Microsoft won a nearly $22 billion contract to supply U.S. Army combat troops with its augmented reality headsets.  
 
Microsoft and the Army separately announced the deal Wednesday.
 
The technology is based on Microsoft’s HoloLens headsets, which were originally intended for the video game and entertainment industries.
 
Pentagon officials have described the futuristic technology — which the Army calls its Integrated Visual Augmentation System — as a way of boosting soldiers’ awareness of their surroundings and their ability to spot targets and dangers.
 
Microsoft’s head-mounted HoloLens displays let people see virtual imagery superimposed over the physical world in front of them — anything from holograms in virtual game worlds to repair instructions floating over a broken gadget. Users can control what they see using hand gestures or voice commands.
 
The Army’s website says soldiers tested the gadgets last year at Fort Pickett in Virginia. It said the system could help troops gain an advantage “on battlefields that are increasingly urban, congested, dark and unpredictable.”
 
The Army first began testing Microsoft’s system with a $480 million contract in 2018 and said the headsets could be used for both training and in actual battle. The new contract will enable Microsoft to mass produce units for more than 120,000 soldiers in the Army’s Close Combat Lethality Task Force. Microsoft said the contract will amount to up to $21.88 billion over the next decade, with a five-year base agreement that can be extended for another five years.  
 
Microsoft President Brad Smith told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February that the system could integrate thermal night vision and facial recognition to provide soldiers with “real-time analytics” on remote battlefields. He also described how it could help in planning a hostage rescue operation by creating a “digital twin” of the building.
 
A group of Microsoft workers in 2019 petitioned the company to cancel its initial Army deal, arguing it would turn real-world battlefields into a video game.
 
Microsoft is among several tech companies that have sought to wow the gaming world with glitzy new virtual reality goggles over the past decade, though the efforts have largely fizzled. Microsoft pivoted away from consumer applications for its second-generation HoloLens 2, introduced in 2019, which is the basis for the Army’s new gadgets.
 
Although Microsoft recently demonstrated a way to use the goggles to play the hit game Pokemon Go, it mostly pitches the devices as work tools to help surgeons, factory crews and others.  
 
The headset deal is part of Microsoft’s broader work as a defense contractor. The Pentagon in September reaffirmed Microsoft as winner of a cloud computing contract potentially worth $10 billion, although the work has been delayed by a legal battle over rival Amazon’s claim that the bidding process was flawed.
 


Серед імовірних злочинів, про які йдеться – масові страти без належного судового розгляду, довільні затримання, тортури, викрадення, насильницьке переміщення цивільних осіб, напади на цивільні об’єкти і агресія проти співробітників гуманітарних організацій


Також в заяві держави-члени ЮНЕСКО закликали Росію гарантувати безперешкодний доступ міжнародних механізмів у сфері захисту прав людини на територію Криму


Також 31 березня міністр закордонних справ України Дмитро Кулеба мав розмову з державним секретарем США Ентоні Блінкеном, керівники зовнішньополітичних відомств обговорили «системне загострення Росією безпекової ситуації на сході України та в Криму»


Газопровід з Росії до ФРН по дну Балтійського моря зараз побудований на 95% і може бути завершений упродовж місяців – у разі відсутності санкцій


Four Republican U.S. lawmakers requested on Tuesday that Facebook Inc., Twitter, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google turn over any studies they have done on how their services affect children’s mental health.The request follows a joint hearing last week of two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees at which the companies’ chief executives discussed their content moderation practices in the wake of the siege on the Capitol in January.Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the committee’s ranking Republican, asked the CEOs at the hearing whether their companies had conducted internal research concerning children’s mental health.Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said he believed the company had, while Twitter’s Jack Dorsey said he did not believe so. Google’s Sundar Pichai said the company consulted with outside experts and invested “a lot of time and effort in these areas.”In letters to the companies on Tuesday, McMorris Rodgers asked for copies of any relevant research or internal communications, as well as information on any contractors and partners involved. They also requested any research the companies had done about how competitors’ products affect mental wellness of people under 18 years old.The requests also cover Google’s YouTube Kids service and Facebook’s Instagram, which is developing a version for people under 13 years old.The other lawmakers who signed the letter were ranking Republicans on various subcommittees, including Robert Latta, Gus Bilirakis and Morgan Griffith.They asked for the companies to respond by April 16. 


Обшук у резиденції проросійського політика Віктора Медведчука, який є кумом російського президента, відбувся 19 березня


Заступника директора «Укроборонпрому» Мустафу Найєма звинувачують у вимаганні неправомірної вигоди. Він це заперечує


У Росії понад 400 «свідків Єгови» зазнали кримінального переслідування, десятки були засуджені до реальних термінів ув’язнення


У ФСБ стверджували, що кримчанин в 2016 році виїхав на материкову частину України і вступив «у батальйон імені Номана Челебіджихана, створений Ленуром Іслямовим»


Press freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is suing Facebook in France, saying the social media platform spreads misinformation. The suit was filed Monday with the Paris public prosecutor.  “Reporters Without Borders accuses Facebook of ‘deceptive commercial practices’ on the grounds that the social media company’s promises to provide a ‘safe’ and ‘error-free’ online environment are contradicted by the large-scale proliferation of hate speech and false information on its networks,” the group said in a press release. Specifically, the group says Facebook allows “hate speech” against the media, as well as misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. The group said Facebook allowed posts that were insulting and threatening against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, as well as targeting the TV program “Quotidien” and a regional newspaper, L’Union. Facebook said in a statement that it “has zero tolerance for any harmful content on our platforms,” Bloomberg reported. “Over the last few years, we’ve tripled the size of our safety and security team to 35,000 and built artificial intelligence technology to proactively find and remove harmful content,” the statement continued, according to Bloomberg. “While nobody can eliminate misinformation and hate speech from the internet entirely, we continue using research, experts and technologies to tackle them in the most comprehensive and effective way possible.” Should RSF win its case, the decision could have global repercussions for Facebook, as its terms of service are similar worldwide. Any change in France could trigger changes elsewhere. Facebook and other Big Tech companies have been under intense pressure to stop what some call misinformation. In December, the EU proposed new regulations that could hit companies with fines of up to 6% of their global revenue for not complying with orders to remove content deemed violent hate speech, according to Bloomberg. 
 


У Pfizer заявили, що антивірусний препарат виявив потужну активність проти SARS-CoV-2, вірусу, що викликає COVID-19, в лабораторних дослідженнях


У Євросоюзі підтверджують політику невизнання незаконної анексії Кримського півострова Росією, це стосується і російських законодавчих актів щодо землі на окупованому українському півострові


Завод, заснований в 1946 році, виробляє і обслуговує дизельні і газопоршневі двигуни. Зараз він належить британській компанії Rolls-Royce