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U.S. Government Claims China Using LinkedIn to Recruit Spies in America

Posted on August 31, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

The U.S. government claims that China is using LinkedIn to recruit spies in America. And it’s now calling for Microsoft, the company that owns LinkedIn, to shut down allegedly fake accounts being used to build its spy network. First reported by Reuters, the allegations are being made by William Evanina, the head of…

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Read more: gizmodo.com

Buy Six Months of Xbox Game Pass, Get Three Months For Free, Even If You’re Already a Subscriber

Posted on August 31, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

With Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft basically created the Netflix of video games, and it’s a great deal at its usual $10 per month. But for a limited time, you can get a three bonus months when you buy a six month membership for $60. Xbox Game Pass grants you access to new releases like State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves,…

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Read more: kinjadeals.theinventory.com

Pre-placement offers at IITs set for record high this year

Posted on August 31, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

KOLKATA: There seems to be a rush to snap up the brightest talent much before competition heats up among recruiters during final placements, going by a spike in pre-placement offers across Indian Institutes of Technology — the offers are set to hit an all-time high this year.It’s early days yet — pre-placement offers (PPOs) continue coming in till November before the start of final placements — but IITs such as Kharagpur, Delhi, Bombay and BHU (Varanasi) have already attracted upwards of 100 job offers each, campus officials said. At other IITs, including Patna and Gandhinagar, the PPO numbers are up to 50% higher than the same time last year, they said. Pre-placement offers — given by companies to students who have completed two-month internship with them — mark a great start to the upcoming placement season, officials said.“It looks like we will have a good placement season,” said Manu Santhanam, advisor, training and placement, at IIT Madras. Amarnath Hegde, professor-incharge of training and placements at IIT Patna, said that after an “overwhelming” response from industry, “we are very optimistic about the hiring trends in 2018-19”. IIT-BHU, with113 offers so far, has already crossed last year’s total tally of 101 PPOs. IIT Gandhinagar, too, has crossed last year’s total tally with 50% jump in number of PPOs so far.IIT Kharagpur had attracted 102-plus offers till Monday while the number stands at 108-plus in the case of IIT Delhi. IIT Madras has so far bagged 91 offers, up 34% from the same time last year. Several multinationals and Indian companies, including Microsoft, Walmart, Nutanix, Tower Research, Texas Instruments, Goldman Sachs, Qualcomm, DE Shaw, Fidelity, Citi Corp, Bajaj, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Wipro, have already made pre-placement offers across institutes. Wipro made pre-placement offers to half the IIT students who did their summer internship at the company. “This is a better process of selecting the right talent,” said Ayaskant Sarangi, senior vice-president, HR at the Bengaluru-based IT services company. “Internships allow us to observe them over a 2-3 month time-frame as compared to a 30-minute campus interview,” he said.Several companies made early offers in some campuses for the first time. Walmart, Bajaj and OYO have offered PPOs for the first time at IIT-BHU, while GE Digital, NVIDIA, Salesforce, Mercari Japan and CodeNation have made their PPO debut at IIT Kharagpur. Mercari and Yes Bank made their first pre-placement offers at IIT Madras; Samsung R&D, Mathworks and Fujifilm Software did it at IIT Patna; and JSW at IIT Gandhinagar. Startups, too, are in the market. IIT Delhi, for instance, has got 14 PPOs from eight startup companies till now. CodeNation — which has offered a package of Rs 31 lakh at some campuses — said it has made offers to 15 of the 17 students who interned with it. “We wish to have 25-30 interns for the summer of 2019 and convert them into PPOs,” said a spokesperson for the company.Abhay Raj Singh Gautam, head, career development services at IIT Gandhinagar, said the institute expects “more PPOs this year than any year in the past” in a testimony to the fact that it’s not just the older IITs, but also the newer ones, that are seeing the surge. Many companies prefer PPOs to final campus placements, because in this process interns get adequate time of 6-8 weeks to work in the company offices, understanding the work environment and culture. “This means more time for the company to understand the student from a cultural compatibility and capability perspective,” said Sameer Wadhawan, head, HR, Samsung India.“It also gives time to students to understand the work environment and the people around. This leads to more successful hiring and larger offer acceptance as it is an informed decision by both stakeholders.”

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Back to School tips and tactics in August’s #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet

Posted on August 30, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

It’s a big planet, so we don’t all go back to school at the same time. Sooner or later, though, students and educators inevitably head back to the classroom – hopefully with maximum momentum intact. The #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet of August is a great way to broaden your horizon to encompass different ideas, approaches and opinions about getting Back To School and hitting the ground running.

Our next #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, starting on Tuesday, August 21, at 10:00 a.m. PDT (check your time zone here), will focus on good tips, tactics and ideas for heading Back to School with aplomb. (Sounds great, but what’s a TweetMeet?)

We’re still taking a global approach to the TweetMeet by offering 13 simultaneous language tracks for the event. This month we’re adding עִברִית (Hebrew), norsk (Norwegian), svenska (Swedish), Nederlands (Dutch) and Deutsch (German).

For each language track, we have one or more hosts to post the translated questions and respond to educators. We’re once again most grateful to all current and former hosts who are collaborating closely to provide this service.

The #TweetMeetXX hashtags for non-English languages are to be used together with #MSFTEduChat so that everyone can find the conversations back in their own language. For example: French-speaking people use the combination #TweetMeetFR #MSFTEduChat. English-speaking educators may all use #MSFTEduChat on its own.


Our #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet with Back to School tips is on Tuesday, August 21 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT. Everyone is welcome to join. #BackToSchoolClick To Tweet


Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?


TweetMeets are monthly recurring Twitter conversations about themes relevant to educators, facilitated by Microsoft Education. The purpose of these events is to help professionals in education to learn from each other and inspire their students while they are preparing for their future. The TweetMeets also nurture personal learning networks among educators from across the globe.

Our hosts often use Flipgrid to share their excitement and thoughts around TweetMeet topics, and you’re welcome to participate above!


When and how can I join?


Join us Tuesday, August 21 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PDT on Twitter using the hashtags#MSFTEduChat, #BackToSchool and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us). To find the event time for your specific location, use this time zone announcer.


How can I best prepare?


To prepare for the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, have a look at the questions we crafted this time.

You can also revisit our blog post, Back to School season gets easier with live tips and hands-on help from #MicrosoftEDU, and check out all event sessions and relevant resources from the Microsoft Educator Community: aka.ms/backtoschoollive2018

You can also catch up on the latest Back to School features for:

Microsoft Learning Tools
Microsoft Teams


TweetMeet Questions




Ice Breaker
What excites you about going back to school? Share an image, GIF or story.

What tools and strategies do you use to welcome new students?

What is your main focus this coming schoolyear?

How will you improve communication and collaboration?

How can technology help you meet your goals for this schoolyear?

What’s your best tip to create an inclusive classroom?

What new idea are you eager to try in the new schoolyear?

Takeaway Question
Who or what has inspired you in today’s TweetMeet?


Hosts and coaches


Matching this month’s topic, we have invited 20 global educators to be our hosts. They can’t wait to engage with you and share ideas about Back to School. Check out their profiles and projects, follow them all on Twitter, and check their tweets in this Twitter list.

Can Van Truong @CanVanTruong (MIE Expert, Thach Xa junior high school teacher – Passionate about helping teachers use technology to empower students – Thach That, Ha Noi, Viet Nam)
Chandni Agarwal @chandni1910 (Head IT Department & teaching Computer Science Grade 12, National ICT Award Winner 2016, MIELA Winner, MIE Expert, Master Trainer, Cyber Security Resource Person, Love to implement Microsoft tools for Power to Empower – Delhi, India)
Elsabé Hart @HartElsabe (Former Teacher Ambassador and Microsoft Learning Consultant, Microsoft Certified Educator, MIE Master Trainer and MIE Expert. Minecraft Certified Trainer and an advocate for Game-Based Learning and 21st Century Learning Design – Cape Town, South Africa)
Erin Holland @erinjurisich (Digital Learning and Teaching Facilitator (DLTF) for Onslow County; passionate about helping teachers utilize technology that empowers students, both in the classroom and beyond! – North Carolina, USA)
Esam Baboukhan @soslearning (e-learning manager, lifelong learner and passionate advocate of meaningful, relevant and engaging teaching, learning and assessment – augmented through the use of accessible Edtech, MIE Expert – United Kingdom)
Ferdinand Stipberger @stipberger (MIE Expert, Middle School Teacher up to 10th grade – helping teachers and students to redefine their teaching and learning by using technology. I love all things the Microsoft Education world is about. – Neunburg v. Wald, Bavaria, Germany)
Jeni Long @jlo731 (Instructional Technologist with EMSISD. Passionate about technology integration and making learning accessible and fun for all! MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, & Flipgrid Ambassadors – Ft Worth, Texas, USA)
Kim Aarberg @KAarberg Teacher (I teach a global classroom. I’m a Flipgrid ambassador, Soundtrap expert and Google-certified teacher. Students learn in a collaborative environment. – Norway)
Kristina Johansson @johfam (Teacher. Interested in how technology can help us learn together. We don’t know what the future will be like! MIE Expert – Sweden)
Lucian Duma @lucianecurator (Teacher for SEN students, MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, Social Media Manager and Curator – Romania)
Luis Oliveira @loliveira55 (ELL HS Teacher, Tech Coach and Director, MIE Expert, MIE Trainer, Flipgrid Ambassador, Certified Newsela, Flipgrid, and Formative Educator. Passionate about providing a voice to all – Middletown, RI USA)
Manuela Valentim @fatela1971 (Interested in PBL and Digital Citizenship. Coordinator of UNESCO’s Projects, MIE Expert, Skype Master Teacher and Teach SDG’s Ambassador – Portugal)
Michel Girard @theMoat (Computer science teacher at DIIAGE, Office 365 administrator, MIE Expert, love sharing teaching practices and empowering students and teachers in their learning paths – Dijon, France)
Natalija Budinski @NatalijaNovta (Math teacher and External Adviser of Serbian Ministry of Education, My fields of interest are STEM disciplines, teaching math through origami and other art disciplines. MIE Expert, Skype Master Teacher, Scientix ambassador, blogger – Serbia)
Noa Lahav @supervxn (Working for the Innovative Tech Unit in the Ministry of Education, MIE Expert, Minecraft Global Mentor and Flipgrid Ambassador – Israel)
Rhea Flohr @RheaFlohr (Teacher in secondary school, EdTech Specialist, OneNote-lover. I am curious and I love to share my classroom experiences always wondering: could technology enhance learning? otherwise don’t use it! – Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
Sachelle Dorencamp @SachelleD (Digital Learning and Teaching Facilitator (DLTF) for Onslow County Schools. I am a fangirl of all things Microsoft Education and love helping teachers positively impact the lives of students. I am a Microsoft Innovative Educator and Microsoft Master Trainer – North Carolina, USA)
Sallee Clark @SalleeClark (Instructional Technologist with Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD. As an MIE Expert & MIE Trainer, I am passionate about making learning accessible and fun for all! – Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
Thuy Nguyen @NguynTh10903062 (English teacher from Minh Dam High School, BRVT; MIE Expert; MIE Trainer; SDGs Ambassador. I love inspiring teachers and engaging students with technology in order to transform education together with the global educator community – Vietnam)
Vicent Ferrís @vicent_fd86 (Technology and Mathematics teacher in Maristas Algemesi. A lover of new technologies in education. I love innovating with my students. Microsoft Innovative Expert and MIE Trainer. Lover of Microsoft Teams – Valencia, Spain)

Finally, we’re introducing Francisco Texeira (@fcotexeira) to help us coordinate the TweetMeet. He is a former TweetMeet host himself and has already been assisting hosts in their preparations for the event. Francisco is a multilingual high school teacher and IT coordinator based in Spain and very passionate about professional development. Thanks for joining us!


What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?


Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Our team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards we make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.

The #MSFTduChat event time is 10:00 a.m. PT. If this time isn’t convenient for you, please follow your local channel or even consider hosting your own #MSFTEduChat in your country and language. Please connect with TweetMeet organizer Marjolein Hoekstra @OneNoteC on Twitter for more info on hosting in your language and time that works best for the educators and MIE Experts in your country.

Read more: educationblog.microsoft.com

How to Become a Virtual Assistant in Australia

Posted on August 30, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

How to Become a Virtual Assistant in Australia

Working from home is the ultimate way of achieving a home/life balance once you have children, and becoming a Virtual Assistant is a great way of doing just that!  If you worked in an office in your former life or are handy on a keyboard, perhaps this is the perfect job for you!

How to Beome a Virtual Assistant | Stay at Home Mum

What You Need to Become a Virtual Assistant:

There are a few essentials that you will need to have before you even start advertising for work.  We list them here for you:

A reliable computer
A decent internet connection with at least 50GB to allow for uploading and downloading of documents
A word processing program such as Microsoft Word or G-Suite
A spreadsheet program such as Excel or Google Spreadsheets
A colour printer
Cloud storage such as Dropbox
Public Liability Insurance
An email address that you check regularly
Business Cards with your contact details including email address.
Good typing and grammar skills.
Administration skills
The ability to use multiple computer programs.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant in Australia | Stay at Home Mum

Other things you may or may not need depending on your circumstances:

If you are trading under your own name, you won’t need to register your business name.  However, if you have already thought of a wonderful name for your business, you will need to register this with ASIC (The Australian Securities and Investments Commission).  This does incur a cost, but it is essential.

Register your Business Name with ASIC
Apply for an ABN number
Register for GST (check with the ATO regarding your earnings)

Although there are no formal qualifications for becoming a Virtual Assistant, qualifications are looked upon favourably and there are a few really great online courses to look at that will not only help you get a head start in your Virtual Assistant business, but will also look great on your Media Kit (which will will talk about further down this article!).

There is also some excellent Virtual Assistant software available that helps you to run your empire at home.  They include:


Hubstaff is a way of your clients being able to monitor what you do during the day.  The program takes a screenshot of your computer every ten minutes or so – and the client can have access to this screenshot.  This is particularly good if you have employees under you so you can monitor their work! It is also a great project management tool and a place you can store all your files and discussions regarding a client.


Dropbox is a cloud-based file sharing tool that is pretty outdated now, but loads of people still use it so it is probably good to have an account.  You can set up a free account and scale up as you need more and more online space.

Google Calandar

This App is brilliant – and if you haven’t started using it all ready for your personal life – you should!  Great way of using it to set appointments, remember deadlines and even share with others.


Oh, I love love love love LastPass.  You know how you need about a bisquillion passwords for everything in your everyday life?  Well if you are working online, multiply that by a hundred and that’s how many passwords you will need to remember.  But not with LastPass – you only need one (one really shit-hot password) – and it remembers the rest of them for you!  Makes life so much easier as you don’t have to reset passwords you have forgotten or look for that piece of paper you wrote it on last time you logged in.  Absolutely highly recommend!

How to Market Your Wares as a Virtual Assistant

Once you have all the ticks and balances in place, it is time to start earning some money!  And to do that – you need to market your business and get the word out there that you are looking for work.

You should do the basic marketing strategies such as:

Starting your own Virtual Assistant Facebook Page
Go to local business meetings and events to tell people about what you do.
Join various Linkedin groups and Virtual Assistant Facebook Groups so you can meet other Virtual Assistants and trade information.
Print a Media Kit and drop it into local businesses
Have former happy customers leave a review
Check out our article on 50 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Business Page for more great hints on marketing your small business.

Virtual Assistant Facebook Groups to Join:

Virtual Assistant Jobs Australia
Virtual Assistant Network (Australia)
Virtual Assistant Jobs (US)
VA Institute Australia
VA Directory

Upskilling to Become the Best Virtual Assistant You Can Be

Although formal qualifications aren’t required to become a Virtual Assistant, it still looks shit-hot to have some under your belt.  And like starting any small business, you need to learn the ropes before you jump in feet first. The good thing is that there are now multiple ‘Virtual Reality Schools’ where you not only learn how to be a Virtual Assistant, but you can put that course on your Media Kit for future employers to look at.


How to Become a Virtual Assistant in Australia | Stay at Home Mum

Best Virtual Assistant Course in Australia:

Stay at Home Mum has done hundreds of hours of research to come up with the very best Virtual Assistant Course in the whole of Australia.  The VA Institute.  The VA Institute provides training, hands-on practical support for you during the start-up phase.  They offer three different and affordable learning programs.

The Six Week Accelerated Start Program (online delivery)
The Six Week Accelerated Start Program (Face to Face Delivery)
The two-day VA Start-up Intensive RETREAT (learn everything in a two day weekend, cost includes accommodation and meals)

Why we love them so much:

The VA Institute provides:

Your own business website setup and support
Business email account setup and support
Business Plan
Electronic copies of essential business documents
Social Media review and set up
VA Industry insider tips and tricks
Payment Plans

Fill out my online form.

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What to Sell?

So you are all set up as a Virtual Assistant, so now what?  Now you need a ‘schedule’ of all the tasks that you are capable of in your new position.  You want to accentuate the things that you are good at – and leave the things you don’t know – out!  If there is demand for a service that you have limited knowledge for – this is where you should upskill.

Not all Virtual Assistants do all jobs, in fact, if you specialise in a particular area, you could demand more money for your services!

Putting all this information together is called a ‘Media Kit’ or ‘Rate Card’.  I’ve enclosed a copy of mine for public speaking so that you can get a good idea of what to do.  I put it together in Canva (which is FREE) and a great way to get a professional looking Media Kit with just a bit of time and tenacity!

Think of a Media Kit much like a resume.

An example of things you should include on a Media Kit includes:

Typing Speed and Accuracy – rate per word or per hour
Computer Programs that you know are are competent in eg: Word, Excel, Photoshop
Other skills such as data entry, social media management
Contact details including your email address and mobile number

Try and keep it to a single page if you can.

jody allen mentoring session | Stay at Home Mum

How to Price your Media Kit

As exciting as it is to become a Virtual Assistant and earn money whilst working from home, you still have responsibilities as a business owner.  That includes taxes such as GST if you are earning over a certain amount, covering yourself for superannuation, the expense of new business equipment or computer programs you need and remembering that you really have no paid holidays.

You need to take all your costs into account, and your experience when coming to a price.

On top of that, you may want to charge your services out for a whole job, rather than an hourly rate.

A typical Australian Administrative Assistant or similar earns around the $25.00 per hour mark – and that can go up from there.

In Conclusion

Becoming a Virtual Assistant is a great way to ‘Future-Proof’ your career and is something you can always fall back on.  Get the information right, upskill and learn how to do it the right way, good customer service and a keen attitude will steer you well.

We wish you all the best!


Read more: stayathomemum.com.au

Celebrate Cuphead selling over 3 million copies with 20% off on Steam, Xbox One

Posted on August 30, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

Cuphead has sold over 3 million copies since it released digitally last year.

Studio MDHR has announced its wacky platformer Cuphead has sold over 3 million copies since its release on September 29, 2017.

To celebrate the milestone, the studio is knocking 20% off the original price on Steam and the Xbox Store.

You have another 17 hours to save money on Cuphead for Xbox One, and 24 hours on Steam.

DLC is in the works for the title. Called The Delicious Last Course, the added content includes a new island, new weapons, charms and bosses.


It also adds the new player character Ms. Chalice, and she can be used in the main game once unlocked in the DLC.

A price and firm release date for the DLC has yet to be announced, but it will release on both Steam and Xbox One sometime next year.

The post Celebrate Cuphead selling over 3 million copies with 20% off on Steam, Xbox One appeared first on VG247.

Read more: vg247.com

New Preview Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead 1810 Update – 8/4/18

Posted on August 30, 2018 By In Microsoft News With no comments

Starting at 2:00 p.m. PDT today, members of the Xbox One Preview Alpha – Skip Ahead and Preview Alpha rings will begin receiving the latest Xbox One system update (1810.180801-1920). Learn more about the new features in development for 1810 here, and read on for a list of fixes and known issues in this 1810 system update.

Important Build Notes



We’ve received feedback that the integration of Avatars on console has been a bit confusing due to the use of phrases like “Avatars on Home” and “Avatars on Dashboard,” so we wanted to clear up a few things. Currently, Avatars are visible to Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip Ahead and Alpha Rings in the following places: the Avatar Editor, activity feed, leaderboards, and the Profile.




Stability fixes to address failures with various console sound settings of PCM, Dolby Atmos and DTS.

System Performance

Various Performance and bug fixes.


Known Issues:



We are aware that some users with HDMI audio are hearing no audio at all and working to resolve ASAP.  This build allows us to gather more data to help diagnose the issue.


It can take up to 10 seconds to view an Avatar on the profile screen the first time after your console has flashed.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge crashes for some users at random times.
The cursor may disappear when exiting and re-entering the app
-> Workaround: Press Y when re-entering the app to make the cursor re-appear


Sometimes users may encounter stuttering when launching straight into Oneguide after the console is turned on from Instant on. Please file feedback when you see this.

Profile Color

Sometimes users may encounter an incorrect Profile color when powering on the console.

See the rest of the story on Xbox WireRelated:New Preview Delta & Omega Ring 1806 System Update – 8/4/18New Preview Beta Ring 1806 System Update – 8/3/18New Preview Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead 1810 Update – 8/3/18

Read more: news.xbox.com