Another Ice Bucket Challenge answered, diagnosing disease with the cloud and Hackathon winner announced — Weekend Reading: August 14 Edition

Greetings weekend warriors. Step away from that barbecue! Or, at least sit down long enough to take in some inspirational and personal stories from the past week. Also, more to report on the Windows 10 front. … Read on!

A Vancouver-based OneNote developer and his team have emerged victorious over more than 3,300 other projects and 13,000 other hackers around the world competing in Microsoft’s second annual //oneweek Hackathon during the last week of July. Their idea? Small tools for learning that can help solve big problems.


Also, this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, for the second year running, took the Ice Bucket Challenge to promote awareness of ALS. Challenged by former pro-football player Steve Gleason as part of Team Gleason’s #GiveTheWord campaign, Nadella “upgraded” his challenge by inviting Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group, and other members of the Windows team, to also take part.

There’s perhaps nothing more terrifying than being a parent of a small child, and watching them suffer from a seizure, explains Julian Isla, whose son Sergio began having catastrophic epileptic seizures when he was two months old. Sergio was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI). Seeking something positive to come out of Sergio’s suffering, Isla, a Microsoft employee, worked with his colleagues in Spain to speed the process of diagnosing Dravet Syndrome and other rare genetic diseases using the cloud.


Calling all developers. Windows 10 offers newly available APIs that can sense user activities such as walking, driving and working out. Developers can use these APIs to build apps and experiences that anticipate customers’ needs and proactively deliver targeted, personalized and relevant content.

Forget about lying by the pool, these young developers have been having all the fun. Inside — at the Microsoft Garage, where they have been creating an ambitious storytelling vehicle called Project Atlas. Devised by 20 Microsoft summer interns, these high-tech gadgets can do everything from communicate to take photos, while also having a distinct “cuteness factor.”


Microsoft’s Pip Marlow, who runs the company’s Australia sector, describes her role as “chief transformation officer,” helping to drive cultural change and dealing with the challenges that change brings. Learn more about Marlow, her 20 years at Microsoft, the influence of great women in her life and her view on feminism in the modern workplace.


In apps this week, your essential collection for Windows 10. Create colorful art with Fresh Paint, wake up to USA TODAY, create a custom newsstand with Flipboard, track and organize your financial life with Mint, and stream movies and TV shows with Hulu Plus. Also new for Windows Phone and PCs, iHeartRadio, with thousands of real radio stations featuring pop, country, hip-hop, R&B and rock are yours to listen to, for free. Or, preserve those summer memories with Photo Story, a new Windows Phone app that chooses the best photos of an event and organizes them into a themed video, complete with stylized music and editing.


As we continue to celebrate the launch of Windows 10 and how technology can #UpgradeYourWorld, we brought you the story of Malcom Brew, founder of Mawingu Networks in Nanyuki, Kenya. Brew is bringing the internet to this rural town in Kenya, and changing the community’s lives for the better.


Now, back to your regularly scheduled burgers and dogs. Don’t forget the sunscreen. And don’t forget to come back for another round-up of the week in Microsoft stories next Friday.

Posted by Aimee Riordan
Microsoft News Center Staff