Matthew Simmons

Matthew Simmons

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Following 24
UK
The HTC VIVE Tracker is a new tool for the VR universe – an extra bit of zazz that opens up new doors and dimensions.Over the past few days I’ve had the opportunity to test out the HTC VIVE Tracker with the relatively limited set of games it already works within.The best of these is the Hyperkin Hyper Blaster – a VR-ready version of a pistol, extremely similar to that of the original NES Zapper from Nintendo.The game isn’t made by Nintendo, and it’s not actually called Duck Hunt, it’s called Duck Season – but the inspiration is clear.The VIVE Tracker activates the gun.These two accessories simply make the act of attaching a VIVE Tracker to said accessory simpler.
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UK
The Dutch National Police, which started a programme where they were hunting errant drones out of the sky using eagles, have shut it down less than two years after launching the innovative solution.The programme was first announced in January 2016, but the department recently said that they are retiring the project owing to low demand for the drone-hunting birds and complications associated with training them.Sea eagles were procured by the Dutch police to train them into drone hunters, notes NOS, a Dutch news outlet.This led them to have serious doubts about weather the eagles would actually perform well in the field, outside of the controlled environment.The birds were present at events in Rotterdam and Brussels, but were not deployed, it was reported.The idea was to have the eagles remove drones that were not supposed to be in certain places, like over crowds and inside restricted zones.
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China
Southeast Asia’s tech firms saw a record US$8.6 billion in disclosed funding in 2017, obliterating last year’s US$2.6 billion, according to the Tech in Asia Database.The region defied slowdowns in China and India’s tech industry.Grab’s US$2 billion in July was Southeast Asia’s biggest investment as the Malaysia-born, Singapore-based ride-hailing startup increased its war chest to fight Uber.Sea’s IPO also makes the list.Here’s the data from January to December 7, 2017:NOTE: This was originally published on August 17, 2017.
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UK
You guys OK with paper print-outs for the next eight months?EE Business Broadband customers will have to make do with old-fashioned paper print-outs for the next eight months because the firm's online portal is down.In a missive seen by The Register, folk were informed that the service will be out of action until July "while EE carries out technical improvements".One customer was less than impressed."No, they've not developed its replacement in parallel with the current one, worked out the kinks and then planned to make the whole thing live on a known slow-day for minimum disruption.EE said: "We're working hard to make sure that you still get the best possible service during this period, but we are sorry for any inconvenience it causes.
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UK
Most of the time, when you hear “18:9 screen” these days, you usually associate it with bezel-less designs like those on the LG V30, the Galaxy S8, and the iPhone X.While that may be true, it isn’t always the case.Take, for example, the OPPO A83 that has popped up on TENAA.It does have an 18:9 screen, though HD+ only, but it is still shown to have some rather noticeable bezels at the sides, especially with the white model.The reason why most of 18:9 screens we have seen so far have thin bezels is to keep the phone size from getting larger with the larger display panel.Granted, the OPPO A83’s bezels are still smaller that most 5.7-inch phones, but don’t go dreaming of Full Vision or Infinity Display screens just yet.
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UK
This is my personal selection of the main news events, some still ongoing, that impressed me during the year.The disk drive industry has been edging towards 14TB drives for some time.As soon as helium-filled drives meant the platter count could rise, another iteration of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology sent capacities upwards.Earlier this month Toshiba, the number three in the HDD industry, finally did it, launching itself into helium-filled drive technology and simultaneously taking the capacity lead with a 14TB drive using conventional PMR recording and not shingling.Seagate is pressing ahead with its heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology, involving laser heating of bit areas on the drive platters, while WDC has ditched HAMR in favour of microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR).Whether OEM array-manufacturing customers will want to buy SSDs and HDDs from a component supplier that competes with them in the array business is an untested proposition.
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UK
Cortana, Office, Bing, Azure get machine-learning boostThe capabilities, a large collection of individually minor updates and new stuff, are part of an effort by the Windows giant to translate its machine-learning research work into things that will actually matter for day-to-day users."We believe that AI comes down to one thing: people," Microsoft AI and research VP Dr Harry Shum gushed during a presentation to Silicon Valley's tech press in San Francisco on Wednesday."AI will amplify human ingenuity, making people the heroes."Microsoft's search engine will also get a deeper tie-in with internet gossip lounge Reddit.Side note: At the event Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian amazingly declared "Reddit is the one social network that isn't anti-social."
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US
After laying off 40% of its staff and securing $169 million in emergency funding, SoundCloud’s first product push is a much needed step in the right direction.It’s filling its home page with personalized playlists and best of collections from top genres rather than other content like it’s feed.The hope is to make SoundCloud instantly accessible to new users and a more reliable place to discover fresh songs for long-time loyalists.In my recent deep-dive into SoundCloud’s strategy, I outlined its need to differentiate itself from Spotify by focusing on its $5 tier of ad-free access to independent music, legally grey remixes and DJ sets you can’t find elsewhere, and helping artists earn money beyond royalties through commerce.In line with that strategy, today’s redesign lets SoundCloud highlight the best of its unique archive of user uploaded songs.SoundCloud’s new CEO Kerry Trainor tells me “The new SoundCloud home is a more curated, personalized way to discover amazing creators first—years ahead of the mainstream charts”.
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UK
If you want to get in on the cutting edge S8 action but were thinking you wanted to make better use of that gorgeous Infinity Display, then the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is gonna be the phone for you.We've collected a bunch of Australian plans that'll get you the best phone on the market without having to sell your house, but if you're after the UK or US page, you can check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus deals in the UK or the best cheap Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals in the US.If Samsung's Galaxy series is what you're after, but maybe you'd like a little more screen real estate, and maybe a stylus, then check out the best plans and pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.On this page we've collected all the best plans currently going for the Samsung Galaxy S8 flagship, whether you're chasing the most data, best budget offering, or just the plan with the best overall value.We'll also take a look at each of the networks and pick the best plan that each offers.If you already have your hands on a plan, check out the prices for a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus at our sister site Getprice.
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UK
The internet advertising giant has been tight-lipped about its TPU2, so far declining to publish any documentation or papers detailing the chipset's architecture and specs.During Dean’s talk in a machine-learning systems workshop at the conference, he revealed that each second-generation Tensor Processing Unit v2 device contains four chips, each containing:Two cores, each with a 128x128 mixed multiply unit (MXU) and 8GB of high-bandwidth memory, adding up to 64GB of HBM for one four-chip device.32-bit floating-point precision math units for scalars and vectors, and 32-bit floating-point-precision matrix multiplication units with reduced precision for multipliers.Some 45 TFLOPS of max performance, adding up to 180 TFLOPS for one four-chip device.It was designed so that 64 TPU2 devices can be connected to create a pod capable of performing 11.5 PFLOPS, maximum, using 4TB of high bandwidth memory.
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China
Walmart, JD.com, IBM, and Tsinghua University National Engineering Laboratory for E- Commerce Technologies announced on December 14 that they will work together in a blockchain food safety alliance that will kick off with a collaboration designed to enhance food tracking, traceability and safety in China, to achieve greater transparency across the food supply chain.The four companies will work together to create a standards-based method of collecting data about the origin, safety and authenticity of food, using blockchain technology to provide real-time traceability throughout the supply chain.Food safety places a great importance for JD.com who plans to open 7Fresh in Beijing by end of this year, as a counterpart to Alibaba’s Hema store.It is rumored that 75% of the layout will be fresh produce (Source in Chinese), and it will combine restaurant, supermarket just like Alibaba’s Hema.Walmart, JD, IBM and Tsinghua University will work with food supply chain providers and regulators to develop the standards, solutions and partnerships to enable a broad- based food safety ecosystem in China.IBM will provide its IBM Blockchain Platform and expertise, while Tsinghua University will act as a technical advisor sharing its expertise in the key technologies and the China food safety ecosystem.
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US
To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the 4A’s has partnered with The Drum to pull back the curtain and look at an industry full of problem solvers, creative types and analytical minds.But what keeps them going once the briefs are written, the campaigns executed, and the pitches won (or lost)?Before she was promoted to president in November, Cotrupe served as managing director where she lead the agency that works with clients including BMW and MINI Financial Services, Gannett/USA Today Network, Highmark, Xerox, Keurig Green Mountain, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Robert Mondavi and Delta Vacations.Additionally, in the philanthropic vein, she has dedicated herself to multiple charity efforts.She’s driving the agency’s pro-bono initiative for Rochester City School District to combat chronic absenteeism, which has already declined by 21%.At home, she and her husband are raising two young kids, meaning her days are packed as she successfully tackles the work-life balance and gender equality — two topics she says she’s passionate about.
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UK
It seems like everyone's trying to get into streaming TV these days, and now T-Mobile has tossed its ambitions on the pile following its acquisition of Layer3 TV.T-Mobile says the upcoming, unnamed service will "un-carrier" your TV at some point in 2019, and the company describes it as a bit of a halfway point between a traditional cable service and the on-demand channels like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.T-Mobile CEO John Legere outlined his plans in a new video (below), drawing parallels with the company's ambitions in streaming TV with the "un-carrier" campaign that's made T-Mobile a serious contender in the mobile space in recent years."All of these un-carrier moves sent shockwaves through the wireless industry, prompting competitors to continue to follow T-Mobile's lead," Legere said."T-Mobile plans to launch its own disruptive new TV service next year, tapping into the amazing content available from creators today to disrupt legacy cable and satellite TV's distribution model."The service clearly aims to bring T-Mobile roaring into the set-top arena, providing an attractive complementary service to its already appealing "Binge On" unlimited streaming program for mobile devices.
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Continental is a big supplier, but its ideas are even bigger, if what it plans to show off at CES is any indication.One system it will show at CES is a wireless charging network.That might not sound novel, but it's a bit more involved than you might think.Continental's setup relies on the idea of widely available microcharges -- with wireless chargers installed all over the darn place, EVs will receive small bursts of charge throughout the day, and hopefully by the time drivers return home, they won't need to plug in.We first took a look at this wireless EV charging system back in May.It presents an interesting challenge by relying on a large quantity of wireless charging spots.
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Cracking the German Enigma code is considered to be one of the decisive factors that hastened Allied victory in World War II.Starting with clues derived from espionage, computer scientists were able to work out the rules that turned a string of gibberish characters into plain German, providing life-saving and war-shortening intelligence.A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University have now accomplished a similar feat, using cryptographic techniques to decode the activity of motor neurons.Their approach has allowed them to predict, from brain data, and with only generic knowledge of typical movements, which direction monkeys will move their arms.The same cryptography-inspired technique could eventually be used to decode more complex patterns of muscle activation, for use in prosthetic devices, or even speech, to aid those with total paralysis.The research team was led by Konrad Kording, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with appointments in the Department of Neuroscience in Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and in the Department of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Eva Dyer, then a postdoctoral researcher in Kording's lab and now an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University.
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A developing area of tropical low pressure designated System 96W was affecting the central Philippines when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead.On Dec. 13 at 0412 UTC (Dec. 12 at 11:12 p.m. EST) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible image of System 96W as its western quadrant moved over the east central Philippines.The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite showed the center of the storm over the Philippine Sea.The low pressure area appeared elongated from southwest to northeast.Animated multispectral imagery showed several unorganized convective areas to the north and one band of thunderstorms wrapping into the low level circulation center.Another satellite image showed that storms were building up to the north of the center.
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UK
New research on 100 million year-old amber with ticks preserved inside indicates these tiny, annoying critters have been around for a long time—and that dinosaurs were among their hosts.New research on ancient amber with ticks trapped within provides evidence that not only were the arachnids of ill repute around a hundred million years ago, but that dinosaurs were among their targets.That’s right, not only were many (if not basically all) dinosaurs blanketed in feathers like jumbo roosters, but they also probably carried around pendulous clusters of engorged ticks.Apologies to your inner child for further “ruining” dinosaurs.Were these proto-ticks blood feeding?And if so, which animals were they parasitising?
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As retailers gear up for the most important months of the year, there are a variety of factors kept top-of-mind throughout the planning and optimization stages of holiday strategy.If ease and convenience were some of the only things valued by consumers, it wouldn’t take much convincing to shepherd more shoppers onto the platform and keep them there for the long-term.Content is an avenue where brands can stay competitive with and, in many scenarios, even surpass Amazon’s influence.Here are some of our top tactics and recommendations:It’s all about a compelling, informative customer experienceMarketing of proprietary merchandise: Consider how to entice shoppers with unique product, like a special edition or “brand.com offer only” that they can’t get elsewhere.
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Google announced that it is bringing Assistant to tablets, reversing its original decision to keep the voice-friendly assistant a phones-only affair.You’ll soon be able to find it on any tablet running Android Marshmallow or Android Nougat.This includes a wide swath of options available from the likes Samsung, Asus, Lenovo and more.Some popular examples would be the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Asus ZenPad 3S 10, the Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0, but the list goes on.One caveat that Google notes is the Assistant will only be coming for users using English in the US.Additionally, Google has announced that it will be rolling out the Assistant to even more phones than before, now looping in Android Lollipop users for the fun.
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BINGHAMTON, NY- Doctors might be able to better detect any disease or disorder that involves inflammation thanks to a new MRI imaging technology co-developed by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.Amber Doiron, research assistant professor in the biomedical engineering department at Binghamton University, along with a fellow researcher at Temple University, has developed a new MRI imaging technology that, when injected, could help doctors detect inflammation in the body that is indicative of heart disease."Doctors use factors like blood pressure and cholesterol level to get an idea of a patient's risk."But there's a fairly poor correlation between plaque size and heart attack or stroke.""We created a nanoparticle-based contrast agent for MRI," added Doiron."It can theoretically be injected and, when activated, we can actually see areas of inflammation on the MRI scan."
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