GitHub Education is now free for schools

GitHub, the code sharing and collaboration platform that Microsoft is acquiring, today announced that its GitHub Education suite of services is now available for free to any school that wants to use it to teach its students. GitHub previously trialed this program with a few schools and is now making it widely available. It’s worth noting that GitHub has long been available for free to individual students and teachers who want to use it in their classrooms. GitHub Education goes a step beyond this and offers schools access to GitHub Enterprise or Business Hosted accounts, as well as access to training, dedicated support for the school’s head of IT or CTO — and swag. As part of this program, students also get access to the Student Developer Pack, which offers free access to tools and credits for services like Datadog, Travis CI and DigitalOcean. To participate in this program, a
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VirusTotal now protects developers from becoming false positives

It’s been six years since Google acquired VirusTotal, a service that allows users to upload any file to check it for malware and viruses against the databases and algorithms of 70 antivirus and domain blacklisting services. Over the years, VirusTotal, which is now part of Alphabet’s Chronicle, has established itself as a neutral public service that has the trust of both users and developers, who can also access its service through an API. Today, the company is expanding on its core services by launching a new tool that allows developers to scan new code against the systems of its antivirus partners to help ensure that those partners don’t mistakenly identify their code as malware. These kind of false positives are surprisingly common and can obviously create massive headaches for developers who aren’t in the malware business. With VirusTotal Monitor, which is now available to all developers, developers can upload
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Adobe debuts Project Rush, its new all-in-one video editor

Adobe today announced the launch of Project Rush, a new video editor that takes the core features of its pro tools like Premiere Pro, After Effects and Audition and combines them into a single, more accessible tool. Don’t get too excited yet, though, the new tool will only be available later this year (and my guess would be a launch at the company’s Max conference in October). The target audience for Rush is the average YouTube creator who is looking to get professional-looking results — and do so fast because the expectation on the platform is for regularly pushing out new content. Rush wants to become the all-in-one video editing app for creating and sharing online content and to do so, the team decided that it had to ensure that Rush was available on any device, no matter whether it’s a high-powered desktop or an iPhone. All projects are
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Crate.io raises $11M and launches its hosted IoT data platform.

Crate.io, the winner of our Disrupt Europe 2014 Startup Battlefield competition, today announced that it has raised an $11 million Series A round. In addition, the company also launched its ‘Crate Machine Learning Platform’ today, a new hosted solution for businesses that want to use the company’s SQL-based database platform for working with IoT data. The new funding round was led by Zetta Venture Partners and Deutsche Invest Equity, with participation from Chalfen Ventures, Momenta Partners and Charlie Songhurst. Existing investors, including Draper Espirit, Vito Ventures and Docker founder Solomon Hykes also participated. Crate co-founder and CEO Christian Lutz told me that over the course of the last year or so, the company has seen a large increase in paying customers, which now tally up to about 30. That has also allowed Crate to grow its revenue beyond $1 million in annual run rate. He attributed the current
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Pulumi wants to let you manage your infrastructure with code

Pulumi, a Seattle-based startup that’s coming out of stealth mode today, wants to make it easier for developers and ops team to define their infrastructure by writing code. Instead of using a cloud-specific configuration language, the service’s tools allow developers to define the infrastructure for their applications in the same programming languages they already use for the applications. The service has the backing of Madrone Venture Group and Tola Capital, with Madrona’s S. Somasegar joining its board of directors. What’s interesting here is that it doesn’t matter whether that infrastructure is containers, virtual machines or a serverless function, or whether those will run in a private cloud or one of the major public clouds. Supported languages currently include JavaScript, TypeScript, Python and Go, with support for .NET, Java, C# and node.js following soon. Pulumi CEO Joe Duffy has extensive open source experience (he built the team at Microsoft that
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With its new in-car operating system, BMW slowly breaks with tradition

When you spend time with a lot of BMW folks, as I did during a trip to Germany earlier this month, you’ll regularly hear the word “heritage.” Maybe that’s no surprise, given that the company is now well over 100 years old. But in a time of rapid transformation that’s hitting every car manufacturer, engineers and designers have to strike a balance between honoring that history and looking forward. With the latest version of its BMW OS in-car operating system and its accompanying design language, BMW is breaking with some traditions to allow it to look into the future while also sticking to its core principles. If you’ve driven a recent luxury car, then the instrument cluster in front of you was likely one large screen. But at least in even the most recent BMWs, you’ll still see the standard round gauges that have adorned cars since their
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App Maker, Google’s low-code tool for building business apps, comes out of beta

It’s been a year and a half since Google announced App Maker, its online tool for quickly building and deploying business apps on the web. The company has mostly remained quiet about App Maker ever since and kept it in a private preview mode, but today, it announced that the service is now generally available and open to all developers who want to give it a try. Access to App Maker comes with any G Suite Business and Enterprise subscription, as well as the G Suite for Education edition. The overall idea here is to help virtually anybody in an organization — including those with little to no coding experience — to build their own line-of-business apps based on data that’s already stored in G Suite, Google’s Cloud SQL database or any other database that supports JDBC or that offers a REST API (that that’s obviously a bit more of
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Amazon starts shipping its $249 DeepLens AI camera for developers

Back at its re:Invent conference in November, AWS announced its $249 DeepLens, a camera that’s specifically geared toward developers who want to build and prototype vision-centric machine learning models. The company started taking pre-orders for DeepLens a few months ago, but now the camera is actually shipping to developers. Ahead of today’s launch, I had a chance to attend a workshop in Seattle with DeepLens senior product manager Jyothi Nookula and Amazon’s VP for AI Swami Sivasubramanian to get some hands-on time with the hardware and the software services that make it tick. DeepLens is essentially a small Ubuntu- and Intel Atom-based computer with a built-in camera that’s powerful enough to easily run and evaluate visual machine learning models. In total, DeepLens offers about 106 GFLOPS of performance. The hardware has all of the usual I/O ports (think Micro HDMI, USB 2.0, Audio out, etc.) to let you create prototype
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Microsoft gives Office a refreshed look and feel

Microsoft today announced that it’s bringing a new user interface design to its Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. This new look will be in line with the Fluent Design System the company launched last year and will roll out to both the Office.com online apps and the Office desktop tools over the course of the next few months. Besides the overall switch to the Fluent Design System, which is essentially Microsoft’s take on what Google is doing with Material Design, there are three major changes to the design of the Office apps. The most obvious is the redesigned and simplified Ribbon — though Microsoft is taking a very cautious approach with rolling this new feature out to all users. While it was a bit controversial when it first launched in Office 2007, most users quickly got used to the Ribbon and Microsoft quickly brought it to
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Google wants to make the college search easier

Google Search is getting an update today that will put data about colleges front and center when you search for a school’s name. The idea here is somewhat similar to what Google did with its job search feature. In this case, the company aggregates data about a school that’s typically hard to find and then presents it in a single widget. One caveat here, though, is that this only works for four-year schools. So if you’re looking for data about community colleges, for example, this new tool won’t help you. Finding all of this information about cost, acceptance and graduation rates, available majors, stats about the student body and other details like the typical annual income of graduates after ten years can be very time-consuming. This new widget puts all of this data right into the sidebar (on desktop) or at the top of the page (on mobile). Google is mostly
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Google brings offline neural machine translations for 59 languages to its Translate app

Currently, when the Google Translate apps for iOS and Android has access to the internet, its translations are far superior to those it produces when it’s offline. That’s because the offline translations are phrase-based, meaning they use an older machine translation technique than the machine learning-powered systems in the cloud that the app has access to when it’s online. But that’s changing today. Google is now rolling out offline Neural Machine Translation (NMT) support for 59 languages in the Translate apps. Today, only a small number of users will see the updated offline translations, but it will roll out to all users within the next few weeks. The list of supported languages consists of a wide range of languages. Because I don’t want to play favorites, here is the full list: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Belarusian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian,
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Google puts an end to Chrome extension installs from third-party sites

Google today announced a major change to its Chrome Web Store policy that aims to shield users from websites that try to fool them into installing their Chome extensions. Until now, developers who publish their apps in the Web Store, could also initiate app and extension installs from their own websites. Too often, though, developers combined these so-called ‘inline installs‘ with deceptive information on their sites to get users to install them. Unsurprisingly, that’s not quite the experience Google had in mind when it enabled this feature back in 2011, so now it’s shutting it down. Starting today, inline installation will be unavailable to all newly published extensions. Developers who use the standard method for calling for an install from their site will see that their users will get redirected to the Chrome Web Store to complete the installation. Come September 12, 2018, all inline installs of existing
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Mapfit raises $5.5M for its mapping platform

If you are a developer and you want to use the Google Maps Platform to power direction or other location-based features in your applications, things can quickly get expensive. Mapfit, which today announced that it has raised a $5.5 million funding round, promises to challenge Google on price while offering geocoding services and vector-based maps that are just as accurate as Google’s (and sometimes even better). Among other things, Mapfit promises that it can figure out the correct entrances of buildings for 95 percent of addresses, making door-to-door navigation easier, for example. Mapfit also argues that it’s new vector-based maps are 95 percent smaller than the map tiles that other services often use. The service does offer those traditional tiles, too, though, and they include support for 3D buildings and public transit info. The company was founded in 2015 and gets its data from a wide variety of sources, including
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Why Microsoft wants to put data centers at the bottom of the ocean

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the second phase of Project Natick, a research experiment that aims to understand the benefits and challenges of deploying large-scale data centers under water. In this second phase, the team sank a tank the size of a shipping container with numerous server racks off the coast of the Orkney islands and plans to keep it there for a few years to see if this is a viable way of deploying data centers in the future. Computers and water famously don’t mix, as anyone who has ever spilled a cup of water over a laptop, so putting server racks under water sure seems like an odd idea. But as Microsoft Research’s Ben Cutler told me, there are good reasons for why the bottom of the ocean may be a good place for setting up servers. The vast majority of people live within 200 kilometers of
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IBM and the DoE launch the world’s fastest supercomputer

IBM and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) today’s unveiled Summit, the department’s newest supercomputer. IBM claims that Summit is currently the world’s “most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer” with a peak performance of a whopping 200,000 trillion calculations per second. That performance should put it comfortably at the top of the Top 500 supercomputer ranking when the new list is published later this month. That would also mark the first time since 2012 that a U.S.-based supercomputer holds the top spot on that list. Summit, which has been in the works for a few years now, features 4,608 compute servers with two 22-core IBM Power9 chips and six Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs each. In total, the system also features over 10 petabytes of memory. Given the presence of the Nvidia GPUs, it’s no surprise that the system is meant to be
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Highfive’s video conferencing platform is now available through Ingram Micro and at Best Buy

Highfive, a Redwood City-based startup, offers businesses an integrated video conferencing service through its own custom meeting room hardware. While Highfive has been quite successful in selling its service and hardware online, the company today announced that it is adding Best Buy and Ingram Micro as distribution partners in an effort to expand its reach to a wider audience. Today’s announcement follows the company’s $32 million Series C round in February. That round was led by Dimension Data, a global technology integrator owned by Japan’s NTT Group. As part of this deal, Highfive signed a distribution deal with Dimension Data and it’s clear that company’s focus right now is on getting more of these deals on the books. In the enterprise world that Highfive is targeting, getting distribution from Ingram Micro is obviously a big deal. The company has 155 distribution centers and works with over 200,000 resellers. And it’s through
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GitLab’s high-end plans are now free for open source projects and schools

The fact that Microsoft is buying GitHub has left a lot of developers with a deep feeling of unease and a lot of them are now looking for alternatives. One of those is GitLab and that company has decided to strike the iron while it’s hot. To attract even more developers to its platform, GitLab today announced that its premium self-hosted GitLab Ultimate plan and its hosted Gold plan are now available for free to open source projects and educational institutions. “Most education and open source projects don’t have access to enhanced security or performance management tools for their software projects,” GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij told me. “At GitLab, we are happy to have achieved a level of success that allows us to extend the full set of features to these important communities by offering GitLab Ultimate & GitLab Gold plans for free.” The interest in moving to GitLab is
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Firefox launches side-by-side browsing and a theme editor as Test Pilot experiments

Mozilla’s Firefox is back in the browser game, thanks to its recent updates which now allow it to once again challenge the likes of Google’s Chrome browser. One thing that always made Firefox stand out was its willingness to experiment. In recent years, the organization channeled many of these experiments through its Test Pilot program and today, it’s launching two new projects through this project: Firefox Color and Side View. Firefox Color does pretty much what you probably expect it to do. It’s essentially a theme editor that allows you to pick the colors in your browser and even set textures for things like your background, for example. It’s nothing all that fancy, but if Firefox has always been about customization and this takes it to the next level. Having played with plenty of Firefox themes in my days, I know that I always just go back to the default
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Hailo raises a $12.5M Series A round for its deep learning chips

For the longest time, chips were a little bit boring. But the revolution in deep learning has now opened the market for startups that build specialty chips to accelerate deep learning and model evaluation. Among those is Israel-based Hailo, which is building deep learning chips for embedded devices. The company today announced that it has raised a $12 million Series A round. Investors include Israeli crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, Maniv Mobility, Next Gear, and a number of angel investors, including Hailo’s own chairman Zohar Zisapel and Delek Motors’ Gil Agmon. Hailo tells me that it will use the new round, which brings its total funding to $16 million, to further develop its deep learning processors. The company expects samples to reach the market in the first half of 2019. Those chips will be able to run embedded AI applications in a wide range of settings, including drones and cars, as
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Udacity and Google launch free career courses for interview prep, resume writing and more

Udacity today announced a new partnership with Google that will make a number of career courses freely available to recent graduates and mid-career professionals. The free career courses, which mark a first for Udacity, will focus on helping employees improve their chances of getting a job, no matter whether that’s a first job or we are talking about a mid-career course change. The two companies trialed this approach with the “Networking for Career Success” course, which launched in March. At the time, they made that course available to 60,000 Grow with Google scholars and it’s now part of the 12 courses Udacity and Google are launching together. The new courses cover a wide swath of topics that range from helping you refresh your resume and write a cover letter to giving you tips for optimizing your GitHub profile and strengthening your LinkedIn Network. But there also are more technical topics,
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