Weekend Reading: July 6th Edition–Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals Begin in Australia & Microsoft Names Zeus Botnet Defendants

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Imagine Cup 2012, Microsoft naming new defendants in the Zeus botnet case and an interview with Tony Bates, president of the Skype Division of Microsoft.

World’s top tech students go for it all Down Under. More than 350 young technologists from 75 countries and regions have gathered in Sydney this week to participate in the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals, the 10th running of the technology competition sponsored by Microsoft. The whirlwind event begins Friday, the judges will announce finalists on Sunday, and overall winners will be announced Tuesday. For more detail, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center. Below, flag-draped competitors, flashing cameras, big smiles, hoisted trophies – it’s a scene from many a sporting event, but at Imagine Cup the “sport” is using technology to solve the world’s toughest problems.

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Microsoft names defendants in Zeus botnets case; provides new evidence to FBI. We are pleased to announce that we have identified and named two defendants as members behind the Zeus botnet family, and that we will also be referring the case to the FBI for criminal review, turning over all of the evidence gathered so far, including evidence of a broader group of perpetrators beyond the named defendants. Head on over to The Official Microsoft Blog for the whole story.

AllThingsD: Tony Bates on the future of Skype – Part 2. At the 10th annual D: All Things Digital Conference, Skype’s Tony Bates chatted with AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher on the final day of the event where he detailed the future of Skype. A few weeks ago, he reviewed his discussion with Kara about the growth of Skype after joining forces with Microsoft, and talked about our commitment to recruitment and talent acquisition. In this post, he talks about his discussion with Kara on the product side, our vision to continue being a user-driven company and how this will all drive Skype’s ultimate goal of becoming an essential tool for everyday global communications.

Windows Phone wrap: Malls on Maps, Twitter toast, road-ready games. In this June 29 news wrap on the Windows Phone Blog, you’ll find stories on Bing adding hundreds of new venue maps, another update to the official Twitter app and Marketplace’s top platformer games. Don’t miss it.

Webinar: PowerPoint tips. Be sure to check out this week’s 15-minute webinar on the PowerPoint Blog, you’ll learn about nifty ways to organize and design your next PowerPoint presentation.

Using robotics to train tomorrow’s scientists. Students from around the world are converging on Sydney now for the Imagine Cup finals. It will be the end of a process that started last October and involved multiple rounds of development and debugging until they have the perfect solution — or until development time expires, whichever comes first. There’s a similar competition focused on the field of robotics and a handful of Microsoft employees have volunteered as mentors to work alongside students. But where Imagine Cup is spread out over a few months, the First Robotics Competition (FRC) gives students and their mentors roughly six weeks to conceptualize and create a 120-lb. robot that will complete the task at hand. Head on over to Next at Microsoft to watch a short video and see what it’s all about.

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog