Three cool new projects in Microsoft Research

[April Fool’s Edition]   I haven’t blogged in a little while – been a little busy – so I’ll make up for it with a burst of three cool new things coming out of the inventive lab work at Microsoft Research – improving Twitter, computer performance, and mobile phones.

MegaNano: New High-End Camera for Cellphones

Many people are dissatisfied with the fuzzy quality of photos taken with their built-in cellphone cameras. So Microsoft will be rolling out this summer the most advanced built-in mobile phone-cam on the market, based on a fantastic prototype now in final user testing at Microsoft Research’s Beijing lab.

MegaNanoDubbed the “MegaNano,” the sylish but diminutive camera boasts 72 megapixel resolution and a shutter-speed setting range from 0.003 seconds all the way up to seven hours.

The itty-bitty MegaNano will be launched simultaneously with the new Microsoft Mobile Apps Store, bundled with a nice selection of jackets and outerware with specially reinforced pouch-pockets and backpacks designed to hold the tiny device. 

I know you’ll want one. One beta-tester says, “It’s so small yet so powerful!  I have to remind myself sometimes that the weight on my shoulders is actually a tiny camera!”



twitterMany power users of the popular social-networking microblogging Twitter service know about the helpful special commands which can be used to invoke useful features. Below are listed some of the existing commands, along with several new experimental commands developed by the creative minds at Microsoft Research New England’s social-networking lab.

Send these commands to 40404 or over IM and interact with Twitter on your mobile phone or chat window!

Existing Commands

stats a few statistics about your Twitter account
followers sends back a list of your followers
get [username] gets this person’s last update
nudge [username] encourages this person to update
leave [username] disables updates from this person

Experimental TwitterLingoRama Commands

wouldbefollowers sends back list of people you wished follow you
twitenvy recent tweets of cool stuff others are doing, but not you
imdownherema requests your mother bring food to basement
thrill activates phone vibrate function in pocket
here [dogname] tweets your dog to come in from the yard
goodolddays changes your default browser to Microsoft IE
justasgood changes your default search engine to 
helpfulupdate renews all licenses to Microsoft products for 3 years
kissthemgoodbye puts your important documents in Google’s cloud 
weekslost amount of your real life lost using Twitter
moneylost sends back $ amount of work-hours wasted
friendslost sends back list of non-Twitter users who think you’re nuts
shun [username] lets this person know you’ve launched a tweetfeud
nudgehard [username] actually slaps this person across the face
abandon [username] commences divorce proceedings from spouse


The Peregruzka Device

 The last project is a topical item given today’s news; CNN is reporting this morning:

Fears the Conficker.c worm would cause chaos have so far proved unfounded, with no reports of major problems.

“As long as you’ve patched or at least brought your antivirus software up to speed, you should be fine,” said Chris Pirillo, a tech expert for… He predicted that “the worst possible outcome” would be that some computers would run “suboptimally.”

God forbid computers would ever run suboptimally!  And more importantly, how would one know?

Peregruzka DeviceAt MSR’s new lab in Russia, several researchers collaborated to invent a tool to fix the problem when their supercomputers are working suboptimally.  Dubbed the “Peregruzka Device,” the complicated blend of hardware and software performs a sequenced chain of algorithms which are described here

And below is a photo of several users happily engaged in beta-testing the new Peregruzka device.


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  1. […] Three cool new projects in Microsoft Research […]


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