Microsoft is building a quantum computer that may never work

Microsoft-Sadella

Microsoft is working on a quantum computer that uses what are called “non-abelian anyons,” a quasiparticle that physicists aren’t sure even exist. Quantum computers promise to perform calculations at unfathomably faster rathes than today’s computers. Although other companies are using more realistic, proven materials in their work to create the machine, Microsoft is hopeful that its unique approach will pay dividends as the resultant machine should be less susceptible to external interference. The company has nearly 40 people working on the project, as quantum computing is seen as well worth investing in.

“The upside is enormous and there is practically no downside,” Alex Bocharov, a computer scientist at Microsoft Research working on quantum computing, told Scientific American in an article published Sunday. “Microsoft is a very affluent company; it sits on something like US$100 billion in cash. So what else one would you invest in? Bill Gates is also investing in other things—to eradicate malaria and HIV that might require quantum computing at some point.”

BillGates

Non-abeilan anyons are a controversial part of quantum computing, though. The concept was put forward by Alexei Kitaev in 1997 and was met with skepticism. “I laughed when I first read it,” Nick Bonesteel, theoretical physicist at Florida State University, told Nature in 2008.

Whereas normal computers have transistors that switch between “on” and “off” states, the best way to think about quantum machines is that these switches can exist in both states at the same time, allowing for a multitude of possibilities to be represented at once. Where the on/off states in normal computers are known as “bits,” in quantum computing they’re called “qubits.”

This potential allows for artificial intelligence more powerful than ever before. Yuri van Geest, founder of SingularityU, told an audience at Pirate Summit 2016 last month that a maze solving app would take some time to find the right answer with a regular computer, but with a quantum machine, the answer would appear instantaneously. This boost in analytical skills, van Geest explained, could impact the jobs market.

For Bocharov and the team, it’s all about pushing a pioneering new technology. “In the past, the question was always whether something was a problem where a quantum computer would be hypothetically better than a classical computer,” he said. “Now we want to figure out, not just is it doable, but how doable is it?”

Convert Hex Color Code to Brush/SolidColorBrush in XAML App

To set the background color of an object in .NET XAML, you will need to set the Brush object type. To create a Brush object from a hexadecimal color code, use the following.

//input ex: #dcdcdc
public static Windows.UI.Xaml.Media.SolidColorBrush 
        GetColorFromHex(string hexaColor)
{
	return new Windows.UI.Xaml.Media.SolidColorBrush(
		Windows.UI.Color.FromArgb(
			255,
			Convert.ToByte(hexaColor.Substring(1, 2), 16),
			Convert.ToByte(hexaColor.Substring(3, 2), 16),
			Convert.ToByte(hexaColor.Substring(5, 2), 16)
		)
	);
}

Happy coding!

Nadella: 'Windows is the most open platform there is'

nadella-gartner-2016

When Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft in 2014, he asked what the company's place in the world is, and how it could make the biggest contribution.

What he kept coming back to was that the company builds things that empower people to build their own things. When he looked at Microsoft, he saw software that could be a force to "democratize and empower people."

Nadella articulated what that vision means for the future of Azure, Windows, Office, Cortana, Linkedin, and more during his keynote address - on a telepresence link - at Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2016 in Orlando on Tuesday.

In conversation with Gartner analysts that featured lots of Nadella's usual well-crafted, nuanced statements, he also boldly declared:

"Windows is the most open platform there is."

It came in the context of Nadella talking about Microsoft's mission to unite the three big constituencies in the technology world.

"That's the approach we've always taken," said Nadella, "bringing users, IT, and developers together... When you bring them together, that's where the magic happens."

Microsoft research works on “touching” virtual reality objects

Microsoft Research has presented a new way to interact with virtual reality by touch. As haptic solutions for virtual reality, NormalTouch and TextureTouch 3D haptic shape controllers are able to explore the virtual space with just your finger. Currently, the controller only supports the index finger, but who knows what else could be developed with further innovations.

The 3D objects are tracked in virtual reality with the Optitrack system and presented through the Oculus Rift headset.  The NormalTouch renders the surface of virtual objects by using a flat platform that tilts, extrudes, and turns based on the shape of the digital objects. The TextureTouch uses a matrix of 4×4 pins that give the finger the impression of the shape by rising and falling based on the shape. This controller gives a finer detail into the texture, letting the sixteen pins bump up and down for coarser 3D objects.

Thanks to the OptiTrack system, the controllers are limited from penetrating through virtual objects and can even detail the softness of each digital surface. Touching a ‘soft’ object would impress more than pressing against the more ‘firm’ object in which the pins wouldn’t move.

 

During testing, users were able to have a more productive experience with virtual reality by involving the haptic controllers. Studied alongside the currently available vibrotactile device, both controllers had excelling areas such as a higher accuracy of touch with the TextureTouch.

Read the full research submitted for more details. Let us know in the comments if you’re looking forward to these sorts of advances in virtual reality.

Microsoft warns iOS isn't as secure as you think

Microsoft_Cybercrime_Center

Microsoft has warned customers that iOS is no more secure than Android, contradicting commonly held beliefs about the relative security of the two platforms. The company said that recent attacks targeting iOS prove it's as vulnerable as Android.

Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president for enterprise and client mobility, set out his views in a company blog post last week. He used the Pegasus iOS spyware, revealed last month, as an example of severe vulnerabilities present in iOS. Pegasus is capable of monitoring everything a user does on their device, leaving them vulnerable to further attack.

The malware was analysed by Lookout Security, a Microsoft partner. In its report, Lookout described Pegasus as "the most sophisticated attack we've seen on any endpoint." Since it originates from a leading iOS security firm, Anderson said the statement reveals a lot about the state of security on Apple's platform.

Anderson is attempting to challenge the trust that consumers typically place in Apple. Android threats are far more numerous and gain more widespread attention than attacks on iOS. iOS is not immune to potentially devastating malware though, in contradiction of the views of some customers. Anderson said Pegasus should be a "pretty startling wake-up call" that everyone is "under constant persistent attack" on every platform.

Microsoft executives have reportedly indicated "unwavering implicit trust" in Apple's iOS "countless times," revealing how strong the association between Apple and security has become. The belief that Apple's platform is stronger than Android appears to derive from iOS' closed nature. Because it's a more controlled ecosystem, the attack surface is lower than for Android malware.

This view is dangerous, according to Anderson. Every mobile device is at constant risk of attack, regardless of the platform it runs. "I know for a fact that all the providers of mobile operating systems go to superhuman lengths to harden their platforms and do everything they can to deliver the most secure operating system possible," said Anderson.

However, iOS, Android and Windows all have vulnerabilities that expose them to potentially devastating attacks. Some platforms are targeted more frequently than others but this shouldn't influence people to make assumptions about a platform's security. Pegasus demonstrates that even a closed ecosystem can be infiltrated by some of the most complex mobile malware ever observed.

Coming from Microsoft, Anderson's argument represents a powerful message to businesses and consumers that iOS may not be all it seems. Pegasus has proven iOS presents a viable attack vector to cybercriminals. It has also demonstrated that malware has been commercialised to the point that it's an off-the-shelf product, available for purchase from the secretive NSO Group. According to Microsoft, the idea of a single platform being more secure than others is an urban myth. In real-world terms, any device can be hacked and every user is a target.

Microsoft to launch new Surface PC at October 26th event

Microsoft-26October-2016

Microsoft is holding a special Windows 10 and Surface event in New York City later this month. The software giant has started emailing out invites to an event on October 26th, and Microsoft is expected to make some Xbox-related announcements at the event, alongside new Surface hardware and some details on the company's next Windows 10 software update. Microsoft's event isn't expected to be as large, or involve as much hardware.

Surface-branded keyboards and a mouse have started leaking ahead of Microsoft's event, and the company is widely expected to be unveiling at least one new all-in-one desktop PC.

The main focus of the event will be the unveiling of Microsoft's vision for the future of Windows 10, and the company's desktop PC hardware to support it. Microsoft is expected to detail new features in Windows 10 that it plans to ship in two major software updates next year, and discuss how some of those features feed into its Xbox gaming strategy across both platforms. Microsoft's event will be live in New York City on October 26th, so stay tuned for our live blog.

$.ajax No 'Access-Control-Allow-Origin' header is present on the requested resource with WebAPI

I want to get data from a WebAPI with jquery

        $("#btnSend").click(function () {
            $("#sending").show();
            $.ajax({
                type: 'GET',
                url: '/Report/SendEmail?quote=18',
                crossDomain: true,
                success: function (msg) {
                    if (msg == 'True') {
                        alert('Email sent to the client');
                    }
                    $("#sending").hide();
                },
                error: function (request, status, error) {
                    $("#sending").hide();
                }
            });
        });

and it produce

‘No Access-Control-Allow-Origin' header is present on the requested resource error.

The solution is to add in the result of the WebAPI the following code:

            Response.Headers.Add("Access-Control-Allow-Methods", "GET, POST");
            Response.Headers.Add("Access-Control-Allow-Headers", "accept, authority");
            Response.Headers.Add("Access-Control-Allow-Credentials", "true");

Happy coding!

Multi Step Form with Progress Bar using jQuery and CSS3

Wizard

Got long forms on your website ? Break them up into smaller logical sections and convert it into a multi-step form with a cool progress bar. Could work for lengthy processes like registration, checkout, profile fillups, 2-factor authentication logins, etc.

The form has 3 fieldsets containing the 3 different sections of the form. The fieldsets are absolutely positioned and only the first one is visible by default. Moving to the next section fades out the current fieldset using jQuery .animate() and brings in the next fieldset from the right. The reverse happens if the user moves to the previous section.

HTML

<!-- multistep form -->
<form id="msform">
	<!-- progressbar -->
	<ul id="progressbar">
		<li class="active">Account Setup</li>
		<li>Social Profiles</li>
		<li>Personal Details</li>
	</ul>
	<!-- fieldsets -->
	<fieldset>
		<h2 class="fs-title">Create your account</h2>
		<h3 class="fs-subtitle">This is step 1</h3>
		<input type="text" name="email" placeholder="Email" />
		<input type="password" name="pass" placeholder="Password" />
		<input type="password" name="cpass" placeholder="Confirm Password" />
		<input type="button" name="next" class="next action-button" value="Next" />
	</fieldset>
	<fieldset>
		<h2 class="fs-title">Social Profiles</h2>
		<h3 class="fs-subtitle">Your presence on the social network</h3>
		<input type="text" name="twitter" placeholder="Twitter" />
		<input type="text" name="facebook" placeholder="Facebook" />
		<input type="text" name="gplus" placeholder="Google Plus" />
		<input type="button" name="previous" class="previous action-button" value="Previous" />
		<input type="button" name="next" class="next action-button" value="Next" />
	</fieldset>
	<fieldset>
		<h2 class="fs-title">Personal Details</h2>
		<h3 class="fs-subtitle">We will never sell it</h3>
		<input type="text" name="fname" placeholder="First Name" />
		<input type="text" name="lname" placeholder="Last Name" />
		<input type="text" name="phone" placeholder="Phone" />
		<textarea name="address" placeholder="Address"></textarea>
		<input type="button" name="previous" class="previous action-button" value="Previous" />
		<input type="submit" name="submit" class="submit action-button" value="Submit" />
	</fieldset>
</form>

CSS

/*custom font*/
@import url(http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat);

/*basic reset*/
* {margin: 0; padding: 0;}

html {
	height: 100%;
	/*Image only BG fallback*/
	background: url('http://thecodeplayer.com/uploads/media/gs.png');
	/*background = gradient + image pattern combo*/
	background: 
		linear-gradient(rgba(196, 102, 0, 0.2), rgba(155, 89, 182, 0.2)), 
		url('http://thecodeplayer.com/uploads/media/gs.png');
}

body {
	font-family: montserrat, arial, verdana;
}
/*form styles*/
#msform {
	width: 400px;
	margin: 50px auto;
	text-align: center;
	position: relative;
}
#msform fieldset {
	background: white;
	border: 0 none;
	border-radius: 3px;
	box-shadow: 0 0 15px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.4);
	padding: 20px 30px;
	
	box-sizing: border-box;
	width: 80%;
	margin: 0 10%;
	
	/*stacking fieldsets above each other*/
	position: absolute;
}
/*Hide all except first fieldset*/
#msform fieldset:not(:first-of-type) {
	display: none;
}
/*inputs*/
#msform input, #msform textarea {
	padding: 15px;
	border: 1px solid #ccc;
	border-radius: 3px;
	margin-bottom: 10px;
	width: 100%;
	box-sizing: border-box;
	font-family: montserrat;
	color: #2C3E50;
	font-size: 13px;
}
/*buttons*/
#msform .action-button {
	width: 100px;
	background: #27AE60;
	font-weight: bold;
	color: white;
	border: 0 none;
	border-radius: 1px;
	cursor: pointer;
	padding: 10px 5px;
	margin: 10px 5px;
}
#msform .action-button:hover, #msform .action-button:focus {
	box-shadow: 0 0 0 2px white, 0 0 0 3px #27AE60;
}
/*headings*/
.fs-title {
	font-size: 15px;
	text-transform: uppercase;
	color: #2C3E50;
	margin-bottom: 10px;
}
.fs-subtitle {
	font-weight: normal;
	font-size: 13px;
	color: #666;
	margin-bottom: 20px;
}
/*progressbar*/
#progressbar {
	margin-bottom: 30px;
	overflow: hidden;
	/*CSS counters to number the steps*/
	counter-reset: step;
}
#progressbar li {
	list-style-type: none;
	color: white;
	text-transform: uppercase;
	font-size: 9px;
	width: 33.33%;
	float: left;
	position: relative;
}
#progressbar li:before {
	content: counter(step);
	counter-increment: step;
	width: 20px;
	line-height: 20px;
	display: block;
	font-size: 10px;
	color: #333;
	background: white;
	border-radius: 3px;
	margin: 0 auto 5px auto;
}
/*progressbar connectors*/
#progressbar li:after {
	content: '';
	width: 100%;
	height: 2px;
	background: white;
	position: absolute;
	left: -50%;
	top: 9px;
	z-index: -1; /*put it behind the numbers*/
}
#progressbar li:first-child:after {
	/*connector not needed before the first step*/
	content: none; 
}
/*marking active/completed steps green*/
/*The number of the step and the connector before it = green*/
#progressbar li.active:before,  #progressbar li.active:after{
	background: #27AE60;
	color: white;
}

JavaScript

//jQuery time
var current_fs, next_fs, previous_fs; //fieldsets
var left, opacity, scale; //fieldset properties which we will animate
var animating; //flag to prevent quick multi-click glitches

$(".next").click(function(){
	if(animating) return false;
	animating = true;
	
	current_fs = $(this).parent();
	next_fs = $(this).parent().next();
	
	//activate next step on progressbar using the index of next_fs
	$("#progressbar li").eq($("fieldset").index(next_fs)).addClass("active");
	
	//show the next fieldset
	next_fs.show(); 
	//hide the current fieldset with style
	current_fs.animate({opacity: 0}, {
		step: function(now, mx) {
			//as the opacity of current_fs reduces to 0 - stored in "now"
			//1. scale current_fs down to 80%
			scale = 1 - (1 - now) * 0.2;
			//2. bring next_fs from the right(50%)
			left = (now * 50)+"%";
			//3. increase opacity of next_fs to 1 as it moves in
			opacity = 1 - now;
			current_fs.css({'transform': 'scale('+scale+')'});
			next_fs.css({'left': left, 'opacity': opacity});
		}, 
		duration: 800, 
		complete: function(){
			current_fs.hide();
			animating = false;
		}, 
		//this comes from the custom easing plugin
		easing: 'easeInOutBack'
	});
});

$(".previous").click(function(){
	if(animating) return false;
	animating = true;
	
	current_fs = $(this).parent();
	previous_fs = $(this).parent().prev();
	
	//de-activate current step on progressbar
	$("#progressbar li").eq($("fieldset").index(current_fs)).removeClass("active");
	
	//show the previous fieldset
	previous_fs.show(); 
	//hide the current fieldset with style
	current_fs.animate({opacity: 0}, {
		step: function(now, mx) {
			//as the opacity of current_fs reduces to 0 - stored in "now"
			//1. scale previous_fs from 80% to 100%
			scale = 0.8 + (1 - now) * 0.2;
			//2. take current_fs to the right(50%) - from 0%
			left = ((1-now) * 50)+"%";
			//3. increase opacity of previous_fs to 1 as it moves in
			opacity = 1 - now;
			current_fs.css({'left': left});
			previous_fs.css({'transform': 'scale('+scale+')', 'opacity': opacity});
		}, 
		duration: 800, 
		complete: function(){
			current_fs.hide();
			animating = false;
		}, 
		//this comes from the custom easing plugin
		easing: 'easeInOutBack'
	});
});

$(".submit").click(function(){
	return false;
})

 

Happy coding!

Tim Cook defended Apple's approach to security: 'Encryption is inherently great'

Apple CEO Tim Cook has robustly defended his company's strident approach to security in a new on-stage Q&A, declaring: "Encryption is inherently great."

The Cupertino tech exec spoke in Salt Lake City, Utah, as part of the US state's "Utah Tech Tour" event

Advertsing

125X125_06

Planet Xamarin

Planet Xamarin

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