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March 2016 archive

Weekly#159

  • Learning machine learning (Ben Evans Blog)
    …Have you built HAL 9000 or have you written a thousand IF statements?…
  • Craig Venter report engineering a bacterium to have the smallest genome—and the fewest genes—of any freely living organism, smaller than the flower’s by a factor of 282,000. Known as Syn 3.0, the new organism has a genome whittled down to the bare essentials needed to survive and reproduce, just 473 genes. (Science)
  • A new report concludes that 48 percent of all mobile games spending comes from a miniscule 0.19 percent of users. (Wired)
  • After nearly four years of crowdfunding, developer kits, an acquisition by Facebook and seemingly endless hype, the finished Oculus Rift headset is shipping to its first customers. (Engadget)
  • Retro gaming fans rejoice: Atari Vault is on Steam with 100 games (Tech Crunch)
  • Google’s $150 Nik Collection of Photo Editing Software is Now 100% Free (PetaPixel)
  • Meet the largest science project in US government history—the James Webb Telescope
    Precision? The Webb can detect heat generated by a bumblebee as far away as the Moon. (ArsTechnica)
  • Report: “YouTube Connect” will be a livestreaming Periscope competitor (ArsTechnica)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly#158

  • The Epic Story of Dropbox’s Exodus From the Amazon Cloud Empire
  • Volkswagen’s Audi (VOWG_p.DE), Daimler’s (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes-Benz, BMW (BMWG.DE) and car industry suppliers Bosch and Continental (CONG.DE) are all working on technologies for autonomous or semi-autonomous cars.Earlier on Friday, Germany’s Manager Magazin reported that Uber had placed an order for at least 100,000 Mercedes S-Class cars, citing sources at both companies.The top-flight limousine, around 100,000 of which Mercedes-Benz sold last year, does not yet have fully autonomous driving functionality.Another source familiar with the matter said no order had been placed with Mercedes-Benz. Daimler and Uber declined to comment. (Reuters)
  • Domino’s has announced the world’s first pizza delivery robot (QZ)
  • It’s been a week of extremes for Google’s artificial intelligence efforts, as the company luxuriates in the afterglow of winning a board game tournament against one of the world’s top players, while it privately tries to sell one of its most visible robotics efforts.
    Google’s decision to try to shed its Boston Dynamics robotics group highlights a fundamental research problem: software is far easier to develop and test than hardware. That’s especially true when dealing with artificial intelligence and robotics….To develop robots, you have two options: You can either simulate an environment and robot with software and hope the results are accurate enough that you can load it into a machine and watch it walk. Or you can skip the simulation and tinker directly on a robot, hoping you can learn things from the real world– but that’s awfully slow. (Business Week)
  • Ikea’s Newest Product Introduces Hydroponics To Mainstream America
    (Hydroponics is a plant-growing method that involves no soil.) (FastCoDesign)
  • Facebook’s Messenger Bot Store could be the most important launch since the App Store (Tech Crunch)
  • The study from the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan think tank based in Arlington, Va., shows that immigrants started more than half of the current crop of U.S.-based startups valued at $1 billion or more. (WSJ)
  • Spotify is using 50,000 anonymous hipsters to find your next favorite song (QZ)
  • Earlier this week, Sony announced that its PlayStation VR would be available for the low price of just $399. Given that competing VR headsets like the Oculus are at least $200 more expensive, people were pretty excited about it. In fact, purchases of the PlayStation camera went up 3000 percent on Amazon (Move controllers went up 1000 percent), according to Ars Technica. (TechCrunch)

 

Weekly#157

  • Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer says it’s going to operate its own air cargo network in the US, a move that points to its larger ambitions to build out a comprehensive factory-to-doorstep delivery system to serve its customers. Amazon signed a five- to seven-year lease with Ohio-based Air Transport Services Group for twenty Boeing 767 freighter aircraft, the company says (Wired)
  • With AI Scry, you’ll never have to wonder how your iPhone would describe the world around you if it was capable of autonomous thinking.Available for iOS, AI Scry is a new app that generates automatic descriptions of whatever appears in front of your phone’s camera.(TNW)
  • Snapchat has a secret team possibly building a pair of smart glasses
  • An AI expert says Google’s Go-playing program is missing 1 key feature of human intelligence…
    …But when it comes to big-picture intelligence, Sutton said, AlphaGo is missing one key thing: the ability to learn how the world works — such as an understanding of the laws of physics, and the consequences of one’s actions….
    “There’s a 50% chance we figure out [human-level] intelligence by 2040 — and it could well happen by 2030,” he said.
  • At this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos, Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of American cloud computing firm, SalesForce, argued that every country should have a minister of future.“As a society,” Benioff said, “we are entering uncharted territory, a new world in which governments, business leaders, the scientific community and citizens need to work together to define the paths that direct these technologies at improving the human condition and minimising the risks.” (WEF)
  • The Seven Lessons Of Marissa Mayer’s Loss Of Command At Yahoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly#156

  • It has long been rumored that Medium would let you monetize your posts on the service, and a new interview with Evan Williams, Medium’s CEO, confirms that the company plans to launch that very soon.Williams told the BBC that the company plans to launch monetization by the end of this quarter, which includes advertising but won’t allow banner ads, instead focusing on ‘sponsored content. (TNW)
  • The Italian soccer club AS Roma  has won six out of its last seven games, a result that has thrilled fans.One reason for the winning streak, according to Chris Pallotta, an investment officer at Raptor Capital Management, is the club’s relationship with a San Francisco-based analytics startup called Tag.bio.

    Spun out of the University of California San Francisco, which is the UC system’s health sciences school, and founded by two amateur soccer players, Tag.bio has created software that helps AS Roma scout players, group players and analyze before a game how the opposing team is expected to perform. (WSJ)

  • In 2015, Netflix accounted for about half of the overall 3% decline in TV viewing time among U.S. audiences, according to a new study by Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson. The analyst calculated that based on an estimate that Netflix’s domestic subs streamed 29 billion hours of video last year (Netflix said members worldwide watched 42.5 billion hours in 2015). That would represent 6% of total American live-plus-7 TV viewing reported by Nielsen (up from 4.4% in 2014). (Variety)
  • The Cult of Done Manifesto (source)
  • The Future of Jobs (World Economic Forum) (pdf)
  • The Robot Renaissance Map (pdf) (source)
  • Multitasking is Killing Your Brain (Medium)
  • What’s Next in Computing? (Medium)
  • IOT for Smart City (Slideshare)
  • Türkiye’de Mobilin Gücü (Slideshare)