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+ - Detecting Nudity With AI And OpenCV ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: AI gets put to some strange tasks. Not satisfied with the Turing test or inventing Skynet Algorithmia have put together a nudity detector. Take one face detector from OpenCV and use it to find a nose. Take the skin color from the nose and then see what parts of the body are skin colored in the photo. If there is lot of skin color shout NUDE! Actually the website lets you put in your ow photos and classifies them into Rude or Good and gives you a confidence estimate. Obama with his top off — no problem but the familiar image processing test photo of Lena the pin up girl rates a "Rude".
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+ - Amazon Opens Up Echo's Alexa To Developers ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: Amazon announced Echo. a wireless speaker with a built-in, voice-controlled, personal assistant called Alexa in November last year. Seven months down the line, Echo became available for purchase in the US and UK and will begin shipping on July 14th.In future Alexa will no longer be tied exclusively to Echo. Amazon has announced that the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), the cloud-based service behind Echo, is being made available for free to third party hardware makers who want to integrate Alexa into their devices.To propel developers and hardware manufacturers interest in voice technology and their adoption of Alexa, Amazon has also announced a $100 Million Alexa Fund, open to anyone, startups to established brands, with an innovative idea for using voice technology.
Could it be Amazon's Alexa that beats Siri and Cortana into the home in devices other than mobile phones and tablets?

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+ - Woz To Be Immortalized In Wax ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: Having already made wax figures of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, the Madame Tussauds museum recently put out a call for nominations for who should be next, with the stipulation that the nominees have a connection with the Bay Area. The shortlist was then whittled down to ten, including Google co-founder Larry Page, Tesla's Elon Musk, Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo.
Any of them would look great as wax figures, but outcome of the public vote was a clear winner — Steve Wozniak. Once his statue is complete Woz will be on display next to Steve Jobs in San Francisco and an ideal setting for a selfie.

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+ - Microsoft's Skype Drops Modern App In Favour Of Old Fashioned Win32 App->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: Microsoft, after putting a lot of effort into persuading us that Universal Apps are the way of the future pulls the plug on Skype modern app to leave just the desktop version. The split in Windows apps created by the launch of Windows 8 still persists today and Microsoft is currently trying to fix this huge blunder by creating a true Windows 10 Universal App that can run on desktop, phone and mobile.Microsoft's argument is that any WinRT apps that you have or old style Windows 8 Universal apps can easily be converted to a Windows 10 Universal app with a single code base for all platforms.
Skype is one of Microsoft's flagship products and it has been available as a desktop Win32 app and as a Modern/Metro/WinRT app for some time. You would think that Skype would support Universal Apps, there are few enough of them — but no. According to the Skype blog:
"Starting on July 7, we’re updating PC users of the Windows modern application to the Windows desktop application, and retiring the modern application."
Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 Universal Apps as the development platform for now and the future but its Skype team have just disagreed big time. What ever this is not a good example of dog fooding and puts in doubt any decision programmer might have made about being an early adopter of Windows 10 Universal Apps — if Microsoft can't get behind the plan why should developers?

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+ - CockroachDB Aims To Survive->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: A new database designed to scale, survive disasters, be always consistent, and support abstractions has been released by ex-Google developers. CockroachDB has been named in honor of the sheer resilience of its insect namesake.
The claims made for CockroachDB are certainly impressive enough. It can, according to the developers, transparently manage scale with an upgrade path from a single node to hundreds. You can add capacity to the cluster by starting new storage containers and CockroachDB automatically rebalances existing data. If you kill a container, CockroachDB re-replicates its data from available sources. It self-organizes, self-heals, and automatically rebalances.
The software is open source, and you can find it, and join in as a contributor, on Github. The claims for the database are impressive, it’ll be interesting to see whether it lives up to the promises and how it evolves.
If only cockroaches weren't so icky.

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+ - Twin Detection Using AI ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: Have you ever seen another face that looks so much like your own that you think you could be taken for twins? See if Microsoft's new Twins Or Not site agrees with you.
Like the previous How Old Do I Look site that launched at Build and became a runaway success, the new site, TwinsOrNot was created to showcase Microsoft's Machine learning. Both sites work invite the user to upload photos and use the Face API in Project Oxford to look for salient facial features.
Robin and Maurice Gibbs of the Bee Gees score only 48% but the Winklevoss twins,(Winklevi) score a 100% cause the site to generate — "OMG clones!!!"
Of course this, like the How Old Do I Look site, has the power to cause a lot of trouble in the wrong hands.

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+ - Mining Time-lapse Videos From Internet Photos->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: Computational photography is approaching the status of magic.
Traditionaly time-lapse videos are obtained by fixing a camera to a spot and taking one photo every few hours or even weeks. However, people wander about and take photos of popular landmarks all the time. Often taking them from the same viewpoints. This provides a huge back catalog of potential frames for a time-lapse video that means you can see how something has changed over time.
Researchers at the University of Washington and Google have applied a number of computational photographic techniques to effectively stabilize the images in the videos. They call the overall technique "time-lapse mining". The paper is to be presented at this year's SIGGRAPH.
First they started off with a staggering 86 million timestamped and geotagged photos from around the world. Their system automatically works out which locations have enough images. The photos are selected according to their approximate view point. Computer vision is used to identify the exact view point and then the photos are processed so that they are exactly the same view point. After normalization for exposure and color differences the images are put together to make the final video.
In total the system created 10,728 time-lapse videos. It seems that the internet really is collecting data on the state of the entire planet. Why stop at still images? There are millions of surveillance cameras that could provided complete video sequences. Perhaps soon it will be possible to prove what you did and where you were in the past by showing the video of it happening.

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Comment: Re:Show 'em, India!! (Score 1) 119 119

Thought I'd answer this one about standing up and showing the world.

Taco Cowboy - We're not in a hurry. I think (as an Indian), being inclusive is far more important and this will help us all succeed together. We still don't have the strength/power to do that today but as you can see, we're building up to it.

Yes, we (especially those of us who have worked outside India) are pretty aware of some of the racist comments - a lot of us have experienced it. But having been born and brought up in an extremely diverse society, we know how to come together to succeed together.

Give us time. One day, we will say yes we can!! (stand together)...

+ - Samsung's ARTIK Arduino Compatible From Small To Powerful ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: Samsung has woken up to the Internet of Things (IoT) and decided to provide the foundation that it needs. Three new devices — ARTIK 1, 5 and 10 — span the range from tiny wearable to eight core ARM and all Arduino Certified.
The ARTIK 1 is tiny measuring just 12x12mm and is capable of running on a battery for weeks. It has a dual core processor, 1MB of RAM and 4MB Flash. It communicates with the outside world using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and it has a 9-axis motion sensor.
The ARTIK 5 is about twice the size of the ARTIK 1, but still small at 29x25mm. It has an ARM A7 dual core, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of Flash. This means it can run Yocto Linux. It has WiFi as well as BLE, Bluetooth and ZigBee — which more or less covers everything. It is also large enough to have two 30-pin connectors which provide 47 GPIO and more.
The ARTIK 10 is 29x39mm, making it big compared to the ARTIK 1, but you could still lose it in your pocket. It has an Octa Core ARM running at 1.3GHz. It comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB of Flash and runs Yocto Linux. It also has WiFi/BT/BLE and ZigBee. It has the same video codecs as the ARTIK 5, but with its increased processing power it can work at 1080p at 120fps. Its I/O is also bigger with 51 GPIO and 6 ADCs.
All three devices have hardware security built in, camera support, and they can be programmed in C/C++/Java or Groovy. You can use the standard Arduino IDE or the Samsung SDK.
There is clearly a lot we don't know as yet, but the ARTIK range look like an interesting addition to the Arduino world.
What's in it for Samsung? Well, of course, it wants to be the one to provide you the cloud support that everyone seems to assume is going to be bigger than the IoT itself.

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Comment: Re:nature will breed it out (Score 1) 950 950

the problem will solve itself with modern technology. Kids these days don't get a $500 xstation and a tv and all that. They get a iPad and play everything on there. And no I'm not talking about the 16 yr old that still plays playbox because that's all there was 10 yrs ago before tablets, I mean the 6 year old that does not remember life before iPad. Ask any parent with a child under 8 that has a iPad, they're glued to that thing morning until night. They even watch youtube videos of other kids playing on their iPads. And iPads are far more social than a xstation, they're carrying that around everywhere.

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.