On stage at this week’s Microsoft Build event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that chatbots, which it sees as the next big thing, will have “as profound an impact as previous shifts we’ve had.” Nadella elaborates that this will put chatbots — which he calls “conversations as a platform” — in the same category as past paradigm shifts like the graphical user interface, the web browser and the iPhone-driven adoption of the touchscreen.
Pro-regime forces recaptured the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra from ISIS over the weekend, dealing a blow to one of the terrorist group’s most strategically and symbolically valuable strongholds in Syria.But analysts say that the victory, while significant, serves the dual purpose of buying time and legitimacy for embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad as his country enters its fifth year of civil war.That, in turn, constitutes a significant blow to Syria’s revolution — and a boon for the jihadists who thrive off Syrians’ discontent with the regime.”The capture of Palmyra is an invaluable opportunity for the Assad regime and Russia to now proclaim themselves as capable and willing partners in the fight against ISIS,” Syria expert Charles Lister, a fellow at the Middle East Institute, wrote on Monday in a daily briefing.He added, however, that a “sustainable long-term battle against terrorism in Syria will only be possible” with Assad gone.”ISIS continues to benefit from the widespread disenchantment Syrians feel to their political system and leadership,” Lister wrote.And the same goes for Al Qaeda.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 app strategy has taken some flak from critics, who worry that the company is trying to lock down app distribution and commerce.On Wednesday, Microsoft executives took the stage at the company’s Build conference to respond to the concerns and to show that the company is committed to openness and fair play. With the Windows Universal Platform, Microsoft’s aim is to give developers a way to write an app once and have it run on every single Windows 10 device out there — from PCs and tablets to the Xbox One and HoloLens holographic goggles. It’s a huge part of Microsoft’s Windows 10 strategy. First off, Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo announced a new desktop app converter that will make it super-simple for developers of old-school Windows apps to modernize their software with UWP so they can be listed in the Windows Store app market. Gallo says that there are over 16 million pieces of Windows software that are eligible to work with the tool.
Michigan State’s first-round loss to 15-seed Middle Tennessee State will go down as one of the biggest upsets in NCAA basketball history. Luckily for Spartans fans, Tom Izzo’s squad will be fully reloaded next season — thanks in large part to the recruiting efforts of one notable former Spartan: Golden State Warriors All-Star Draymond Green.In a recent piece for SB Nation, Ricky O’Donnell broke down the ways in which Green helped land Izzo the best recruiting class in the coach’s 21-year tenure.
Amazon has changed the rules around the sale of USB cables after a Google engineer spent months reviewing the cables available through the site, The Next Web reports.Google engineer Benson Leungnoticed that Amazon changed its rules to prohibit the sale of USB-C cables that don’t comply with standards for the cables. Basically it’s banning the sale of bad USB cables that don’t work.
Seth Meyers returned to work Tuesday on NBC’s “Late Night” after his first child, a son, was born on Sunday. And he was joined by his old “Saturday Night Live” cast mate, Tracy Morgan, who had a very inappropriate, and hilarious, gift for the occasion. Meyers revealed that his son arrived two weeks ahead of schedule, so he didn’t realize that his wife Alexi’s frequent complaints of a back ache were actually contractions. Thankfully, there’s an app for that. He downloaded a contractions app that helped to assess the situation.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has told China it will not recognize an exclusion zone in the South China Sea, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said on Wednesday.
Lululemon’s sales are soaring.For fiscal 2015, total comparable sales (including direct to consumer sales) skyrocketed an impressive 10%. For the fourth quarter alone, total comparable sales increased by 11%. Net revenue surpassed $2 billion for the year.One huge factor in Lululemon’s exponential growth is its ever-expanding men’s business.Though some might say that Lululemon is known for its brightly hued, feminine leggings, make no mistake: men are loving Lululemon. In fact, the company said on a recent earnings call that for the past ten quarters, its men’s sales have increased 20% on average each quarter.This is hugely important, as one of Lululemon’s rising competitors, Under Armour, announced plans to expand its women’s line. CEO Kevin Plank said he wanted to make Under Armour’s women’s division “at least as large if not larger than our men’s business.” If Under Armour’s women’s sector did, in fact, increase to the size of its men’s sector, it would completely usurp Lululemon. (In January, consulting firm Conlumino estimated that Under Armour’s business approximately splits at about $1.14 billion for women, and $2.69 billion for men.)
Facebook Messenger is quickly becoming a hub for much more than chatting with friends. On Wednesday the app added its first airline partner, which means you’ll have everything you need to get through the airport in Messenger.”This is one that I’ve been personally eager to solve for a while,” Facebook’s head of Messenger, David Marcus, said in a Facebook post. “Removing stress, and complication from air travel. I’m excited to announce that our first airline partner on Messenger will start rolling out their presence today.”