Machine learning and AI could make the problem worseThe issue isn’t new, but it was mentioned again in a recent blog post by Delip Rao, CEO and co-founder of R7 Speech Sciences, a startup using AI to understand speech.And with the rise of voice-activated digital assistants like Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa, or Google Home it’s an important problem to raise.“In speech, we measure the mean fundamental frequency (which correlates with our perception of “pitch”).This is also called mean F0.The range of tones produced by our vocal tract is a function of the distribution around that," according to Rao.
When UE told us it was announcing five "new designs" for its Wonderboom speaker, we were hoping there was some actual change to the speaker.But it turns out its just a cosmetic refresh.Launched last year in six color options, the fully waterproof Wonderboom is adding five more with the arrival of the new Freestyle collection.They include: Concrete, Avocado, Patches, Raspberry and Unicorn.Charlotte Johs, general manager of Ultimate Ears, says, "The new collection is all about expressing yourself."But you can't custom design your own Wonderboom yet, which would be kind of cool.
After decades of growth, consolidation and advancement, todays wireless carriers are bigger and stronger than ever.Let’s take a look at the state of the industry today, at each wireless carrier and the best way to choose the best one for you.The big four wireless carriers, by customer count are Verizon Wireless, AT Mobility, T-Mobile and Sprint.The most innovative carrier is AT, being the first on many important trends like smartphones, iPhone and wireless TV.AT Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, SprintThe wireless world is splitting into two parts.
The newly announced Samsung Galaxy S9/s9+ will be offered at a various price tag.The latter will vary from market to market.Say, on March 6, the new flagship officially launched in Guangzhou, China.The S9’s 4+64GB variant was priced at 5799 yuan ($914), 4+128GB model at 6099 yuan ($961), the S9 Plus’ 6+64GB model at 6699 yuan ($1056), the 6+128GB at 6999 yuan ($1103), and the 6+256GB at 7599 yuan ($1198).They will ship on March 16.However, yesterday Samsung launched these phones in Hong Kong, and the prices differ a lot.
There’s a lot of cool stuff to do and see in the world, and Delta wants to help you get on it pronto.A gorgeous new almost-minute-long ad from Wieden + Kennedy New York makes that familiar case in a surprisingly fresh way, stringing together footage from more than 15 destinations serviced by the airline in a clever visual metaphor, and featuring a voiceover from Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis.A solo backpacker gets out of a taxi and dodges a zooming auto rickshaw laden with teetering vases on a foggy night street somewhere in Southeast Asia (apparently, Vietnam).A traveling couple befriend the owners and staff at a delightfully azure fresh seafood restaurant, maybe along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.A young boy exploring with his mother meets a capybara on a lakeside dock in South America.Error loading player: No playable sources found
The State Department announced Friday that the US embassy in Havana will now permanently operate with minimum personnel following mysterious “health attacks” that harmed at least 24 Americans, the Associated Press reports.The attacks occurred from late 2016 to August 2017 and left widespread injuries to brain networks in many of the Americans affected, according to a recent medical case report in JAMA.Those injuries and a wide array of symptoms—from hearing issues, dizziness, to memory problems—developed after diplomats and their families experienced unexplained episodes of directional, irritating sounds, pressure, and vibrations.This initially led some to speculate that a covert “sonic weapon” was involved in the episodes, however scientists and doctors were quick to point out that sounds in the audible range are not known to cause such brain damage.With ongoing investigations into the attacks, the State Department had pulled nonessential staff from the embassy in October, citing health concerns, and released a travel warning to US citizens.That initial staff drawdown was only temporary, lasting six months, which would have been up this past weekend.
If you want to try and minimize your impact, or even do some good while you travel, you're in luck.There's a range of brilliant apps out there that will help you travel a little more eco-friendly.This is the app if you're looking to book a hotel, attraction or even a business meeting and you want to make sure you're using a service that is eco-friendly.With destinations all over the world you'll be spoilt for choice, and you can guarantee that your choice is green (figuratively of course) thanks to Green Globe's rigorous checklist of over 40 items, from recycling practices to schemes that pay back to the local environment.Olio is for if you're about to set off on your travels and you realise you've still got a carton of milk and a bowl full of fruit that's going to go off while you're away.So if you're in a strange city on your own and don't fancy eating in a restaurant alone, you just log on to the app and see if any businesses are giving away food at the end of the day.
For months now, much of the media attention on the crypto space has been directed at ebbs and flows in the price of bitcoin on one side, and whiz-bang ICOs on the other.The price of the most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (specifically the BTC chain), has backpedaled significantly from highs set in December 2017.But the comparatively quiet and glacially paced world of traditional venture capital deserves no short shrift from reporters, market analysts and enthusiasts alike.At the time of writing, 2018’s venture fundraising totals alone are more than 40 percent of the way to 2017’s high water mark, according to Crunchbase data.(Data) mining for insights into blockchain and blockchain-adjacent companiesTo avoid any complaints from so-called maximalist supporters of any one cryptocurrency or blockchain ecosystem, we’re going to base the following analysis on a fairly wide basket of companies.
The thing about a good idea is that, all too often, someone else has had it before you.That certainly seems to be the case with Vivo’s attention-grabbing Apex concept smartphone from Mobile World Congress this past week.Problem is, it looks like Essential got there first.Apple’s iPhone X and Essential’s eponymous smartphone opted for a notch.Each has a cut-out in the upper portion of the touchscreen, within which the front-facing camera resides.As a design compromise it has been the subject of no shortage of criticism – not to mention seemingly starting a trend, with a number of other Android phones shown off at MWC 2018 with notches of their own – but there’s another, more complex fix out there.
More intimate than text but easier to record than video, Facebook hopes voice could get people sharing more on its aging social network.And internationally where users may have to deal with non-native language keyboards, voice lets them speak their mind without a typing barrier.A spokesperson tells us “We are always working to help people share and connect with their friends and family on Facebook in ways that are authentic to them.Voice Clips gives people a new medium through which to express themselves.”Facebook has spent years struggling to get people to share more unique personal content on the app instead of generic news article links that audiences can find elsewhere like on Twitter.Original content broadcasting declined 21 percent year-over-year as of mid-2015, and was down another 15 percent as of mid-2016, The Information reported.
A new scheme backed by Bloomberg, Google and Amazon aims to improve diversity in the tech workforceLondon mayor Sadiq Khan has announced £7 million worth of funding into a programme aimed at developing the next generation of digital talent, in an effort to address tech problems including the industry’s lack of diversity and insufficient digital skills to meet the country’s needs.The programme, part of the mayor’s Skills for Londoners scheme, is intended to contribute to providing free digital skills training for more than 1,000 young people, with a particular focus on young women and black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Londoners.Khan said he hopes the initiative will help young people learn more about opportunities available for them in the city’s digital, tech and creative sectors, while helping build up a base of skills that are in short supply in the UK, including programming, web development, digital marketing and visual effects.The programme also aims to train 400 education providers in digital skills.“We need to provide all Londoners with the opportunity to succeed in this industry, particularly women and Londoners of a BAME background who have been under-represented in these fields for too long,” he stated.
A new progress in the scaling of semiconductor quantum dot based qubit has been achieved at Key Laboratory of Quantum Information and Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information & Quantum Physics of USTC.Professor GUO Guoping with his co-workers, XIAO Ming, LI Haiou and CAO Gang, designed and fabricated a quantum processor with six quantum dots, and experimentally demonstrated quantum control of the Toffoli gate.The result was published as 'Controlled Quantum Operations of a Semiconductor Three-Qubit System ' (Physical Review Applied 9, 024015 (2018)).Developing the scalable semiconductor quantum chip that is compatible with modern semiconductor-techniques is an important research area.Professor GUO Guoping's group aims to master these technologies and has been devoted to this area for a long time.Before the demonstration of the three-qubit gate, they have realized ultrafast universal control of the charge qubit based on semiconductor quantum dots in 2013(Nature Communications.
Samsung is preparing for a future in which chips will have to be smaller, the company may invest more than $6 billion depending on the market at the time.With the goal of manufacturing 7-nanometer chips and smaller, Samsung Electronics has initiated the setting up of a new extreme ultra violet (EUV) semiconductor line.The line will be added to the Samsung plant situated in Hwaseong, South Korea, with the company outlining plans for structural completion in 2019 to begin working in 2020.It is the application of the EUV technology that will allow Samsung to condense the size of its chips, with shorter wavelengths allowing for enhanced accuracy.Kinam Kim, President & CEO of Device Solutions at Samsung Electronics, said: “With the addition of this new EUV line, Hwaseong will become the center of the company’s semiconductor cluster spanning Giheung, Hwaseong and Pyeongtaek.The line will play a pivotal role as Samsung seeks to maintain a competitive edge as an industry leader in the coming age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The number of cloud storage providers out there today is dramatic, so it comes as no surprise so many businesses struggle to definitively choose one.Additionally, it is quite clear that organisations will continue migrating to cloud solutions, over hardware for their storage needs, so to ensure the right provider is chosen CBR has identified the best providers to pick from.This offer limits at 16GB, so still not a substantial amount compared to a TB but enough for the daily needs.This method means that all data stored in the cloud is available online or offline, apart from on mobile devices where offline content must be specified.Having started out thirteen years ago, in 2005, Box is primarily designed for business use above all else.The pro plan offers the ability to work in teams of three to 10 people, as well as supporting document encryption, extensive permissions and stores previous versions of files.
Facebook is overhauling its metrics offering in a clean up that it claims will help bring greater clarity to advertisers over how paid-for media placements on the network perform – an earlier source of contention for media buyers.The clean up will see Facebook introduce a new labeling system that will better articulate how ad performance metrics – such as reach and frequency or ad recall rates – are estimated, the retirement of outdated metrics, as well as an education drive to “measure what matters.”Media buyers will now new able to more clearly see if the labels in Facebook Ad Manager are either “estimated” or “in development”, as well as the methodologies used to apply these labels.This will enable Facebook to provide better guidance on the likely business outcomes of media buys on the social network, including Instagram and Facebook Audience Network, as advertisers will have better insight, according to Brad Smallwood, Facebook, vice president marketing science.He penned a blog post outlining the initiative, which states: “For example, reach is an estimate of the number of people who saw an ad at least once.This is also how reach is calculated for ads on TV and across other digital platforms.”
The travel and tourism industry is worth nearly $1.6 trillion globally and accounts for one-tenth of the world’s GDP.Major players like Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb have become the go-to places for finding hotels and rooms but they all charge fees for the vendors while payment processing charges a fee on the customer.According to the Vietnam-based travel tech startup Concierge, up to 50 percent of transaction value goes to middlemen like booking services and not the actual service provider.The Concierge marketplace will open “direct communication between traveller and provider” by cutting out the intermediaries, diverting power away from the monopolies and back to the service providers.The peer-to-peer platform will serve as a booking hub for hotels, resorts, and tours with payments carried out all within the platform.The marketplace will be powered by Concierge’s dedicated token dubbed the CGE Token, which will be used for bookings and minimising fees.
German boffins design solar reactor that, er, works at nightResearchers in Cologne, Germany have successfully demonstrated a solar reactor known as CONTISOL, which promises to be able make hydrogen day and night while running on little more than air and sunlight.Hydrogen is often touted as a zero carbon fuel and promises a future free of potentially nasty emissions.However, the reality is that generating hydrogen normally requires prodigious amounts of energy to drive the thermal chemistry required.The fossil fuel element can be removed (or at least reduced) by switching to a reforming reaction produced by running methane and steam through a catalyst and heating to over 800 C using Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), producing carbon monoxide and hydrogen.The boffins at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have published the results of research that describes a novel concept, CONTISOL, for dealing with the main issue associated with solar reactors.
As of today, Flixster Video is officially gone.Fandango bought the site in 2016, and has been sending users regular emails over the past several months about the shutdown, as reported by Android Police.The website is no longer operational, and now only points people to its mobile app, which can still be used for getting movie reviews and tickets.Flixster first announced it was closing in 2016, after being acquired by Fandango along with subsidiary Rotten Tomatoes.That year, Fandango also bought video streaming service M-Go, later rebranding it under FandangoNow.Flixster Video, which let people access their UltraViolet movie collection, was not a part of that deal.
Job listings recently posted by Spotify suggest that the company is close to launching one or more connected hardware products.Currently open job listings relevant to the company's hardware ambitions include Operations Manager – Hardware Product, Project Manager – Hardware Production & Engineering, Product Analyst – Hardware Products, and Senior Project Manager Hardware Production.The Operations Manager listing is explicit about Spotify's plans, saying:Spotify is on its way to creating its first physical products and setting up an operational organization for manufacturing, supply chain, sales & marketing.The responsibilities listed for this role also suggest Spotify is far enough along with one or more products that it will soon be talking with vendors and planning distribution, if it has not started that already:You will define and manage Distribution, Supply, Logistics, Fulfillment, and Customer Service for Hardware Products.
While the Apple HomePod made waves earlier this year, it’s now Sonos’ turn to snag some of the spotlight with these excellent Sonos deals.Today, Sonos announced that it's offering a pretty hefty discount on a pair of its black or white Sonos One smart speakers for $349 in the US and £349 in the UK, which, strangely enough is the same price as Apple’s HomePod.Isn’t that a real coincidence?Get 2 Sonos One speakers for $349 @ SonosOk, we've got to admit, the deal is super enticing.You’re basically getting buy one, get one 25% off.