Posted on in category News

IBM will soon launch a 53-qubit quantum computer

The content below is taken from the original ( IBM will soon launch a 53-qubit quantum computer), to continue reading please visit the site. Remember to respect the Author & Copyright.

IBM continues to push its quantum computing efforts forward and today announced that it will soon make a 53-qubit quantum computer available to clients of its IBM Q Network. The new system, which is scheduled to go online in the middle of next month, will be the largest universal quantum computer available for external use yet.

The new machine will be part of IBM’s new Quantum Computation Center in New York State, which the company also announced today. The new center, which is essentially a data center for IBM’s quantum machines, will also feature five 20-qubit machines, but that number will grow to 14 within the next month. IBM promises a 95 percent service availability for its quantum machines.

IBM notes that the new 53-qubit system introduces a number of new techniques that enable the company to launch larger, more reliable systems for cloud deployments. It features more compact custom electronics for improves scaling and lower error rates, as well as a new processor design.

ibm q

“Our global momentum has been extraordinary since we put the very first quantum computer on the cloud in 2016, with the goal of moving quantum computing beyond isolated lab experiments that only a handful organizations could do, into the hands of tens of thousands of users,” said Dario Gil, the director of IBM Research. “The single goal of this passionate community is to achieve what we call Quantum Advantage, producing powerful quantum systems that can ultimately solve real problems facing our clients that are not viable using today’s classical methods alone, and by making even more IBM Quantum systems available we believe that goal is achievable.”

The fact that IBM is now opening this Quantum Computation itself, of course, is a pretty good indication about how serious the company is about its quantum efforts. The company’s quantum program also now supports 80 partnerships with commercial clients, academic institutions and research laboratories. Some of these have started to use the available machines to work on real-world problems, though the current state of the art in quantum computing is still now quite ready for solving anything but toy problems and testing basic algorithms.

Posted on in category News

GymCam Knows Exactly What You’ve Been Doing In The Gym

The content below is taken from the original ( GymCam Knows Exactly What You’ve Been Doing In The Gym), to continue reading please visit the site. Remember to respect the Author & Copyright.

Getting exact statistics on one’s physical activities at the gym, is not an easy feat. While most people these days are familiar with or even regularly use one of those motion-based trackers on their wrist, there’s a big question as to their accuracy. After all, it’s all based on the motions of just one’s wrist, which as we know leads to amusing results in the tracker app when one does things like waving or clapping one’s hands, and cannot track leg exercises at the gym.

To get around the issue of limited sensor data, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA) developed a system based around a camera and machine vision algorithms. While other camera solutions that attempt this suffer from occlusion while trying to track individual people as accurately as possible, this new system instead doesn’t try to track people’s joints, but merely motion at specific exercise machines by looking for repetitive motion in the scene.

The basic concept is that repetitive motion usually indicates forms of exercise, and that no two people at the same type of machine will ever be fully in sync with their motions, so that merely a handful of pixels suffice to track motion at that machine by a single person. This also negates many privacy issues, as the resolution doesn’t have to be high enough to see faces or track joints with any degree of accuracy.

In experiments at the university’s gym, the accuracy of their system over 5 days and 42 hours of video. Detecting exercise activities in the scene was with a 99.6% accuracy, disambiguating between simultaneous activities was 84.6% accurate, while recognizing exercise types was 93.6% accurate. Ultimately repetition counts for specific exercises were within 1.7 counts.

Maybe an extended version of this would be a flying drone capturing one’s outside activities, giving one finally that 100% accurate exercise account while jogging?

Thanks to [Qes] for sending this one in!

Posted on in category News

Most Useful PowerShell Cmdlets for Managing and Securing Active Directory

The content below is taken from the original ( Most Useful PowerShell Cmdlets for Managing and Securing Active Directory), to continue reading please visit the site. Remember to respect the Author & Copyright.

In this article, I show you how to manage and secure Active Directory using PowerShell. I’ll look at the most useful PowerShell cmdlets and give examples of how to use them.

Create New Active Directory Users

The New-ADUser cmdlet is for creating new AD users. You can optionally specify where to create new users with the -Path parameter. In the example below, the new user will be created in the Accounts Organizational Unit (OU). The -Server parameter is also optional. It is used to determine on which domain controller (DC) the new user will be created. Note that you cannot specify a password in plaintext in the -AccountPassword parameter. You must convert it to a secure string using the ConvertTo-SecureString cmdlet.

New-ADUser -DisplayName:"Russell Smith" -GivenName:"Russell" -Name:"Russell Smith" -Path:"OU=Accounts,DC=ad,DC=contoso,DC=com" -SamAccountName:"russellsmith" -Server:"" -Surname:"Smith" -Type:"user" -AccountPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString Pas$W0rd!!11 -AsPlainText -Force) -Enabled $true

Create Active Directory Groups

Adding groups to AD is easy with the New-ADGroup cmdlet. -Server and -Path parameters are both optional.

New-ADGroup -GroupCategory:"Security" -GroupScope:"Global" -Name:"Netwrix" -Path:"OU=Accounts,DC=ad,DC=contoso,DC=com" -SamAccountName:"Netwrix" -Server:""

Add Users to Groups

Once you have some users and groups in your domain, you can add users to groups with the Add-ADGroupMember cmdlet.

Add-ADGroupMember -Identity Netwrix -Members russellsmith,bob.trent

Create New Organizational Units

Use the New-ADOrganizationalUnit cmdlet to create new Organizational Units (OU) in AD. Note that the -ProtectedFromAccidentalDeletion flag is optional. When set to $true, you can’t delete the OU without first changing the status of the flag to $false.

New-ADOrganizationalUnit -Name:"Sensitive" -Path:"OU=Accounts,DC=ad,DC=contoso,DC=com" -ProtectedFromAccidentalDeletion:$true -Server:""

Deleting Active Directory Objects

The ‘Remove’ verb is used in AD cmdlets to delete objects. Remove-ADUser and Remove-ADGroup are used respectively to delete users and groups.

Remove-ADUser -Identity russellsmith
Remove-ADGroup -Identity Netwrix

Before you can delete an OU, you need to set the accidental deletion flag to false using Set-ADObject.

Set-ADObject -Identity:"OU=Sensitive,OU=Accounts,DC=ad,DC=contoso,DC=com" -ProtectedFromAccidentalDeletion:$false -Server:""

Remove-ADOrganizationalUnit -Identity "OU=Sensitive,OU=Accounts,DC=ad,DC=contoso,DC=com"

Import Users from a CSV File

PowerShell makes it easy to automate tasks. In the script below, I use a comma-delimited (CSV) text file to create two users with the Import-Csv and New-ADUser cmdlets. The only trickery involved is splitting the first field of each entry in the text file so that I can separate the first and surnames for the -GiveName and -Surname parameters of the New-ADUser cmdlet.

Import-Csv -Path c:\temp\users.csv | ForEach-Object {

    $givenName = $[0]

    $surname = $[1]

    New-ADUser -Name $ -Enabled $true –GivenName $givenName –Surname $surname -Accountpassword (ConvertTo-SecureString $_.password -AsPlainText -Force) -ChangePasswordAtLogon $true -SamAccountName $_.samaccountname –UserPrincipalName ($_.samaccountname+””) -City $ -Department $_.department


The first line of the text file contains the field names. You can add as many users as you want.

Russell Smith,smithrussell,PassW0rd!!11,London,IT
David Jones,jonesdavid,4SHH$$#AAAHh,New York,Accounts

Move AD Objects

The Move-ADObject cmdlet is for moving AD objects. In the example below, I move a user account from the Accounts OU to the Users container.

Move-ADObject -Identity "CN=Russell Smith,OU=Accounts,DC=ad,DC=contoso,DC=com" -TargetPath "CN=Users,DC=ad,DC=contoso,DC=com"

Link a Group Policy Object

While PowerShell can’t be used to create Group Policy Objects (GPO), it can be used to perform other tasks related to Group Policy. The New-GPLink cmdlet is used to link existing GPOs to OUs. In the example below, I link a GPO called Firewall Settings to the Accounts OU.

New-GPLink -Name "Firewall Settings" -Target "OU=Accounts,DC=ad,DC=contoso,DC=com" -LinkEnabled Yes -Enforced Yes

Active Directory Reporting

The Get-ADObject cmdlet can be used to filter the directory and display information about objects. In the example below, I use a filter to find the Accounts OU and then pipe the results to the Get-GPInheritence cmdlet. Select-Object is then used to extract information about the GPOs linked to the OU.

Get-ADObject -Filter {name -like "Accounts*"} | Get-GPInheritance | Select-Object -Expand gpolinks | ForEach-Object {Get-GPO -Guid $_.gpoid}

One of the most useful cmdlets for AD admins is the Search-ADAccount cmdlet. In the example below, I search the domain for locked out user accounts and automatically unlock them using Unlock-ADAccount.

Search-ADAccount –LockedOut | Unlock-ADAccount

Get-ADObject can be used with complex filters. Here I list all objects created after the specified date ($Date).

$Date = [Datetime]"02/07/2019"
Get-ADObject -Filter 'WhenCreated -GT $Date'

Filters can get quite complex. In the next command, I list all deleted objects where the change attribute is later than the specified date, and that can be restored, excluding the Deleted Objects container.

Get-ADObject -Filter 'whenChanged -gt $Date -and isDeleted -eq $True -and name -ne "Deleted Objects"' -IncludeDeletedObjects

Finally, I use Get-EventLog to search the event logs on each DC for login event ID 4624. Note the use of Get-ADDomainController to return all the DCs in the domain. Once I’ve retrieved the necessary information, I use Write-Host to write the output to the terminal window, with information separated by tabs to make it easier to read.

$DCs = Get-ADDomainController -Filter *
$startDate = (get-date).AddDays(-1)
foreach ($DC in $DCs){
$slogonevents = Get-Eventlog -LogName Security -ComputerName $DC.Hostname -after $startDate | Where-Object {$_.eventID -eq 4624 }}
 foreach ($e in $slogonevents){

 if (($e.EventID -eq 4624 ) -and ($e.ReplacementStrings[8] -eq 2)){
 write-host "Type: Local Logon`tDate: "$e.TimeGenerated "`tStatus: Success`tUser: "$e.ReplacementStrings[5] "`tWorkstation: "$e.ReplacementStrings[11]

 if (($e.EventID -eq 4624 ) -and ($e.ReplacementStrings[8] -eq 10)){
 write-host "Type: Remote Logon`tDate: "$e.TimeGenerated "`tStatus: Success`tUser: "$e.ReplacementStrings[5] "`tWorkstation: "$e.ReplacementStrings[11] "`tIP Address: "$e.ReplacementStrings[18]


The post Most Useful PowerShell Cmdlets for Managing and Securing Active Directory appeared first on Petri.

Posted on in category News

The mainframe business is alive and well, as IBM announces new z15

The content below is taken from the original ( The mainframe business is alive and well, as IBM announces new z15), to continue reading please visit the site. Remember to respect the Author & Copyright.

It’s easy to think about mainframes as some technology dinosaur, but the fact is these machines remain a key component of many large organizations’ organization’s computing strategies. Today, IBM announced the latest in their line of mainframe computers, the z15. Z15.

For starters, as you would probably expect, these are big and powerful machines capable of handling enormous workloads. For example, this baby can process up to 1 trillion web transactions a day and handle 2.4 million Docker containers, while offering unparalleled security to go with that performance. This includes the ability to encrypt data once, and it stays encrypted, even when it leaves the system, a huge advantage for companies with a hybrid strategy.

Speaking of which, you may recall that IBM bought Red Hat last year for $34 billion. That deal closed in July and the companies have been working to incorporate Red Hat technology across the IBM business including the z line of mainframes.

IBM announced last month that it was making OpenShift, Red Hat’s Kubernetes-based cloud-native tools, available on the mainframe running Linux. This should enable developers, who have been working on OpenShift on other systems, systems to move seamlessly to the mainframe without special training.

IBM sees the mainframe as a bridge for hybrid computing environments, offering a highly secure place for data that when combined with Red Hat’s tools, can enable companies to have a single control plane for applications and data wherever it lives.

While it could be tough to justify the cost of these machines in the age of cloud computing, Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says it could be more cost-effective than the cloud for certain customers. “If you are a new customer, and currently in the cloud and develop on Linux, then in the long run the economics are there to be cheaper than public cloud if you have a lot of IO, and need to get to a high degree of encryption and security,” security” he said.

He added, “The main point is that if you are worried about being held hostage by public cloud vendors on pricing, in the long run the z Z is a cost-effective and secure option for owning compute power and working in a multi-cloud, hybrid cloud world.”

Companies like airlines and financial services companies continue to use mainframes, and while they need the power these massive machines provide, they need to do so in a more modern context. The z15 is designed to provide that link to the future, while giving these companies the power they need.

Posted on in category News

Expanded Azure Maps coverage, preview of Azure Maps feedback site, and more

The content below is taken from the original ( Expanded Azure Maps coverage, preview of Azure Maps feedback site, and more), to continue reading please visit the site. Remember to respect the Author & Copyright.

This blog post was co-authored by Ricky Brundritt, Principal Technical Program Manager, Azure Maps.

Azure Maps services continue to expand our support for Microsoft enterprise customers’ needs in Azure. And, we’ve been busy expanding our capabilities. Today we’re announcing Azure Maps is now available in Argentina, India, Morocco, and Pakistan. We have also launched a new Azure Maps data feedback site that is now in preview. In addition, we’re also introducing several enhancements that are available via our Representational state transfer (REST) services and Azure Maps web and Android SDKs.

Here is a run-down of the new features:

Azure Maps is available in new countries and regions

Azure Maps is now available in Argentina, India, Morocco, and Pakistan and these regions require specific consideration for using maps. Azure Maps will now empower our customers to use the appropriate map views in these regions. To learn more about how to request data via our REST services and SDKs for the new regions and countries listed above, please see our Azure Maps localization page.

Introducing preview of Azure Maps data feedback site

To serve the freshest map data as possible to our customers and as an easy way to provide map data feedback, we’re introducing the Azure Maps data feedback site. The new site empowers our customers to provide direct data feedback, especially on business points of interest and residential addresses. The feedback goes directly to our data providers and their map editors who can quickly evaluate and incorporate feedback into our mapping products. To learn how to provide different types of feedback using the Azure Maps feedback site, please see our How-to guide.

Azure Maps Feedback Site

REST service enhancements

Point of interest data updates

When requesting point of interest data, you might want to restrict the results to specific brands. For example, your scenario is to only show gas stations under a specific brand to your end users. To support this, we’ve added the capability to include one or multiple brands in your request to limit the search results. To learn more, please see our How-to Guide article where we share useful tips to call data via Azure Maps search services.

In addition, Azure Maps now returns hours of operation for points of interest like business listings. We return the opening hours for the next week, starting with the current day in the local time of the point of interest. This information can be used to better optimize your planned routes, and for example, show end users store locations that are open during a specific timeframe.

Sunset and sunrise times

According to a recent report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, buildings construction and operations account for 36 percent of global final energy use and nearly 40 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions when upstream power generation is considered. To create impact with IoT and help to combat climate change changes and optimize buildings for energy efficiency, Get Timezone by Coordinates API now returns sunset and sunrise times for a given coordinate location. Developers can automate device messages in their IoT solutions, for example, by building rules to schedule heating and cooling by using sunrise and sunset times combined with telemetry messages from a variety of devices and sensors. 

Cartography and styling updates

Point of interest data rendering

To provide richer and more informative map data content, we’ve pushed up certain point of interest data so that certain categories appear at higher levels. As a result, airport icons are rendered at zoom levels 10 to 22.


Point of interest icons for important tourist attractions like museums, and railway and metro stations are displayed on zoom levels 12 to 22. In addition, universities, colleges, and schools are shown on zoom levels 13 to 22.


State boundaries and abbreviated state names

To improve usability and give more detailed views, state boundaries are pushed up in the data so that they appear already at zoom level 3. Abbreviated state names are also now shown in zoom level.

Azure Maps State Boundaries Update

Blank map styles in web SDK

Often it is useful to be able to visualize data on top of a blank canvas or to replace the base maps with custom tile layers. With this in the mind the Azure Maps web SDK now supports two new map styles; blank and blank_accessible. The blank map style will not render any base map data, nor will it update the screen reader on where the map is centered over. The blank_ accessible style will continue to provide screen reader updates with location details of where the map is located, even though the base map is not displayed. Please note, you can change the background color of web SDK by using the CSS background-color style of the map DIV element.

Web SDK enhancements

The Azure Maps team has made many additions and improvements to the web SDK. Below is a closer look at some of the key improvements.

Cluster aggregates

Clustering of point data based on zoom level can be done to reduce the visual clutter on the map and make it easier to make sense of the data. Often clusters are represented using a symbol with the number of points that are within the cluster, however sometimes you may want to further customize the style of clusters based on a metric like the total revenue of all points within a cluster. With cluster aggregates, custom properties can be created and populated using an aggregate expression. To learn more please see our Azure Maps documentation.


Aggregating data in clusters

Image templates

The Azure Maps web SDK uses WebGL for rendering most data on the map. Symbol layers can be used to render points on the map with an image, line layers can have images rendered along it, and polygon layers can be rendered with a fill pattern image. In order to ensure good performance, these images need to be loaded into the map image sprite resource before rendering. The web SDK already provides a couple of images of markers in a handful of colors, however, there is an infinite number of color combinations that developers may want to use. With this in mind we have ported the SVG template functionality for HTML markers over to the image sprite and have added 42 image templates, 27 symbol icons, and 15 polygon fill patterns. You can easily define a primary and secondary color as well as a scale for each template when loading it into the map image sprite. These templates can also be used with HTML markers as well. Check out our documentation and see our Try it now tool to learn more.


Images can be used HTML markers and various layers within the Azure Maps Web SDK

Additional notable improvements to the web SDK:

Tile layers in the Android SDK

The Azure Maps team released an Android SDK into preview earlier this year. It is able to render point, line, and polygon data. The team has now added support for rendering tile layers. Tile layers are a great way to visualize large data sets on the map. Not only can a tile layer be generated from an image, but vector data can also be rendered as a tile layer too. By rendering vector data as a tile layer, the map control only needs to load the tiles which can be much smaller in file size than the vector data they represent. This technique is used by many who need to render millions of rows of data on the map.

Azure Maps Tile Layers in the Android SDK

Rendering tile layers within the Azure Maps Android SDK

We want to hear from you!

We are always working to grow and improve the Azure Maps platform and want to hear from you. We’re here to help and want to make sure you get the most out of the Azure Maps platform.

Posted on in category News

Brad Dickinson | How Edge Data Center Providers are Changing the Internet’s Geography

How Edge Data Center Providers are Changing the Internet’s Geography

The content below is taken from the original (How Edge Data Center Providers are Changing the Internet’s Geography), to continue reading please visit the site. Remember to respect the Author & Copyright.