Microsoft Teams-Slack calling integration is coming, says Slack CEO

Credit: Slack

The Slack group-collaboration platform already is integrated with a number of Microsoft Office services, including Outlook, OneDrive and SharePoint. But it soon may be integrated with Microsoft Teams’ calling capabilities, according to Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield.

Butterfield announced the coming integration during a call with RBC Capital Markets on March 26, according to CNBC, which reported the news. He didn’t provide a timeframe as to when it would be available, CNBC noted.

Like Teams, Slack has built-in voice and video calling as part of its platform. Slack already has the ability to start voice or video calls from within Slack using the command /skype .

I asked Microsoft if the company was working together with Slack on this type of calling integration and/or whether Slack was doing this using publicly available programming interfaces. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had “nothing further to share at the moment.”

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Fintechs create Covid Credit to help self-employed prove income loss

Financial technology (fintech) professionals have created a cloud-based tool using open banking technology to help self-employed people prove their income losses during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

The service will access transaction data from the bank accounts of self-employed people, made possible by open banking regulations, and will be able to prove an individual’s earnings. It collects historic banking data from the last 12 months as evidence of past income and potential loss of income in the future.

Known as Covid Credit, the tool is in development and has not been given the green light by the government.

The concept was created by staff at fintechs including Credit Kudos, 11:FS, Coconut, Capital on Tap and TrueLayer. They are working on a proof of concept to support self-employed people prove their lost income to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The group said in a statement: “In 48 hours, a team from

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In artificial intelligence, enterprises still not minding their data

Data is the raw material that fuels artificial intelligence and machine learning initiatives, but it actually can’t be that raw. It needs to be as accurate, timely and well-vetted as possible — or else AI will deliver erroneous or biased results. At this stage, most enterprises haven’t quite locked down the viability of the data employed within their AI efforts. 

Photo: Joe McKendrick

The potential biases at the code level in AI have been well documented in works such as Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction, which calls for greater transparency in the algorithms that are driving decisions on everything from creditworthiness to corporate performance.

Data needs to be looked at as well, and efforts to do so are only beginning, according to O’Reilly’s latest survey of 1,388 data scientists, executives and IT professionals on AI adoption. The survey finds that AI efforts are maturing from prototype to production,

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Zoom accelerates away as office workers make video calls

Since the start of March, the use of business video-conferencing tools has skyrocketed as employees work from home because of the coronavirus.

Data seen by Computer Weekly shows there was a vast increase in the use of video-conferencing tools as Western governments began ramping up their coronavirus lockdown efforts.

The data, based on single sign-on and multifactor authentication from enterprise users logging into conferencing services and other software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps via the Okta cloud-based identity management service, showed a massive increase in the use of video-conference software.

Logins to RingCentral grew by 58% for the same period, while Cisco’s WebEx experienced 44% growth in logins. This suggests that, during this period, the three services experienced huge growth in the number of users logging in for video calls with their work colleagues and to take part in online meetings hosted on these platforms.

Between 2 and 13 March, Okta reported an

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The best HP Black Friday 2019 tech deals

(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Following hot on the heels of rivals Lenovo and Dell, HP has seen its Black Friday ad leaked to the world, with deals on a full range of its laptop and desktop PCs. It follows the trend of extending deals into Thanksgiving but adds a wrinkle by taking further discounts off for the first buyers at the appointed doorbuster time. 

It’s unclear how many buyers can score the lower prices, so make sure to log on promptly to have a chance at additional savings.

When is HP’s Black Friday sale?

HP’s Black Friday sale starts on 11/28 and sees sales on everything from computers to office and home electronics. If you’re looking to save every cent possible be sure to check out the doorbuster sales, which start at a specified time and are only available to the first few customers. 

Black Friday 2019: Best HP deals


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IT contractors ‘left stranded’ by exclusion from support for self-employed

The government stands accused of leaving IT contractors “out in the cold” by denying limited company contractors access to financial measures designed to support the self-employed through the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

In an address to the nation on Thursday 26 March 2020, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, outlined details of a support package the government will roll out to help self-employed people through the pandemic.

This includes a promise to pay self-employed people who earn up to £50,000 a year a maximum of £2,500 a month for at least the next three months, if their ability to earn an income has been adversely affected by the coronavirus.

These payments will be made possible through the provision of a taxable grant worth up to 80% of the average monthly profits these individuals have banked over the past three years.

“To make sure only the genuinely self-employed benefit, it will be available to

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