Microsoft cancels MVP Summit due to COVID-19 coronavirus fears

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Microsoft is canceling its annual Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Summit a couple weeks ahead of its opening, citing worries over the COVID-19 coronavirus. Instead, the event will be run as a virtual-only conference during the same time slot this year. The Microsoft MVP Summit joins a growing list of conferences and events canceled over potential health issues connected to the virus.

Microsoft began notifying MVPs of the cancellation on March 2. The Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2020 was slated to run from March 15 to 20 in Bellevue and Redmond, Wash. The annual MVP summit is a multi-day event that includes technical and feedback sessions for active Microsoft MVPs.

Microsoft officials still haven’t said whether the company intends to cancel its

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Best rugged laptops for business in 2020: Dell Latitude, Panasonic Toughbook, Lenovo ThinkPad, and more

While virtual threats to our PCs rightfully grab most of the headlines — as viruses and cyberattacks can affect millions of computers simultaneously — our systems also face threats from physical damage that can knock them offline temporarily for repairs or permanently if the damage is catastrophic enough. Mobile devices obviously run a bigger risk of physical damage since they are picked up and moved around far more frequently than desktop PCs.

To combat potential physical hazards to on-the-go computing, manufacturers responded with what are known as “rugged” laptops — notebooks that can resist the bumps and bruises of mobility better than standard-issue portables. Minimum defenses rugged laptops possess include bumpers that can protect against drops and specially treated keyboards that can withstand liquids being spilled on them. If you’re working in more challenging environments — on a construction site or in extreme climates — there are rugged notebooks designed

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Refinitiv uses Google Cloud to revolutionise delivery of huge datasets

Financial data giant Refinitiv has removed the need for customers to use trucks and thousands of hard disks to receive large datasets, by using a platform build on Google’s cloud.

The organisation, formerly the Thomson Reuters financial and risk business, has moved its Tick History database into Google Cloud, which will enable customers to analyse the data there, rather than having it shipped to them on hard disks.

The Tick History database contains a large amount of historical data, with about 5PB of data on trades and quotes from more than 500 trading venues going back to 1996. It adds 4TB-5TB of data every day.

Refinitiv’s customer base includes the world’s biggest investment companies, such as banks and hedge funds, which use the data to build and test their investment strategies.

The datasets that Refinitiv’s customers want from the database are so large that many requests cannot be sent over

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Mastercard creates 1,500 tech jobs in Ireland

Mastercard is recruiting an additional 1,500 technology professionals in Dublin as it expands its tech operations in the Irish capital.

The US credit card company already has 650 workers at its tech hub in Dublin, and will add 1,500 more over the next three years. The hub is part of the firm’s global IT delivery network.

Mastercard said professionals with expertise in artificial intelligence, cyber security, blockchain and user experience are examples of the roles being created.

Ken Moore, executive vice-president of product and innovation, and head of Mastercard Labs, said: We look forward to welcoming new people with unique ideas to our already strong workforce, ensuring we continue to provide cutting-edge payment technology solutions for our customers and consumers globally. We’re confident our new workplace will provide a collaborative environment to do this and we look forward to moving into our new home.”

Martin Shanahan, CEO at

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Nordic lessons on digital transformation

Whenever possible, it is wise to learn from others’ mistakes when planning a significant transition of IT within an organisation. History is littered with outsourcing and digital transformation projects that went over budget, over deadline and, in some cases, over and out, pulling the organisations concerned so far down that they never recovered.

Taking account of where and how such projects went wrong can be a good starting point for other organisations hoping to get it right. However, it is also possible to learn from others’ successes, although these are not necessarily as newsworthy as the failures.

According to Asbjørn Eide, head of IT at Swedish debt resolution firm Hoist Finance, outsourcing for digital transformation is one of the success stories of Nordic IT – albeit still with a few hiccups along the way. Hoist Finance serves individuals, companies and banks in 11 European countries. It is based in

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Queensland Airports consolidates IT asset management system

Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), which owns and operates Gold Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa, and Longreach airports, has signed Freshworks to manage its catalogue of service level agreements and IT assets, including security cameras and Wi-Fi connections across its airports.

Under a three-year agreement, Freshworks will implement its cloud-based solution to replace an overall system that has been operating as three to four separate systems to manage QAL’s assets, incidents, and knowledge base, according to QAL technology general manager Mark Allen.  

“As well as streamlining our systems, we were looking to track our service and receive feedback on how we were performing,” Allen told ZDNet.

“We wanted to see how we were responding to customer requests, how many queries we were receiving, how quickly these were being resolved and ultimately, how satisfied our customers were.

“We can achieve all this using Freshservice — because the platform provides a way for us

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