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+ - AI Learns To Beat Classic Atari Games Without Human Help->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "DeepMind, a British AI company recently acquired by Google, has taught software called the Deep Q-network (DQN) onto classic Atari 2600 video games. Well, taught is the wrong word: the AI takes as input only the pixel information from the screen and the score; with an iterative process and a biologically inspired architecture, DQN learned the winning strategy for a number of games, though it fared poorly on games that required long-term planning."
Link to Original Source

+ - IBM Provides Software For Management Of Long, Skinny Things->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Most large organizations use software to keep track of the assets they control, use, or sell. But keeping track of widgets in a warehouse is very different from keeping track of something a few feet wide and miles long — like a highway, an oil pipeline, or the London Underground's train lines. Transport for London is using IBM's linear asset management software to try to improve its dodgy uptime record."
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+ - NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data-> 1

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "This may not come as a huge shock, but the director of the NSA doesn't believe that you have the right to encrypt your data in a way that the government can't access it. At a cybersecurity policy event, Michael Rogers said that the U.S. should be able to craft a policy that allows the NSA and law enforcement agencies to read encrypted data when they need to."
Link to Original Source

+ - Silicon Valley Unionization Starts From The Bottom Up->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Unionization has long been resisted in Silicon Valley, both by management and by tech workers for whom high pay is an acceptable tradeoff for long hours and job instability. But as employees beyond programmers are pulled into the tech industry's orbit, Silicon Valley may have to reckon with workers with different ideas. For instance, the drivers who shuttle Facebook employees to and from the company's campus are now represented by the Teamsters, and just won a pay increase from $18 to $24.50 an hour."
Link to Original Source

+ - Sony Is No Longer An Electronics Company->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Sony announced last week that it was spinning off its AV equipment divison; it's already dumped PCs and is considering selling off its smartphone line. In effect, that will leave the company with three main businesses: movies, music, and video games. In other words, the once-storied electronics company is now almost entirely in the business of selling content."
Link to Original Source

+ - Japan's Love For The Flip Phone Lives On->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Many Westerners think of Japan as a futuristic tech paradise, but the truth is that many older technologies are still popular there: Fax machines are in wide use, telegrams are still sent, and sales of flip phones actually increased in 2014 while smartphone sales fell. Part of the reason is that flip phones are beloved by older people who make up a large portion of Japan's population, but Japanese companies have been cramming features into them as well, making them much more tech-savvy devices than the ones Americans remember from the early '00s."
Link to Original Source

+ - Revenge Porn King Faces At Least Two Years In Prison->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Hunter Moore, the infamous creator of Is Anybody Up, a site that posted nude photos that had been pilfered from people's email accounts, is facing prison time. He pled guilty to unauthorized access to a protected computer for private financial gain, and will serve a minimum prison sentence of two years in prison. But the legality of the act of posting nude photos online without the subjects' permission is still up in the air."
Link to Original Source

+ - Will Every Xbox Be A Dev Kit?->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "There were a lot of rumored features of the Xbox One that vanished after public outcry — that it would need an always-on Internet connection, for instance. But another rumor from that era was that every Xbox One sold would include a dev kit that would allow anyone to create games — and it looks like this is one dream that might be coming true soon."
Link to Original Source

+ - Sony Offering Smart Glasses At Half The Cost Of Google Glass->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "With Google retooling its Glass offering, Sony appears to have jumped into the breach to offer an Android-compatible wearable face-computer. SmartEyeglass is relative bargain at only $840, although it must be manipulated with a separate, wired controller unit that houses a microphone, speakers and an NFC module."
Link to Original Source

+ - Payments Startup Offering Free Chip-And-PIN Reader In Europe->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "European credit card processing generally relies on chip-and-PIN readers, which are considered more secure than the card-swiping devices that prevail in the United States. But security comes at a cost, and up to 20 million small European businesses don't accept credit cards because of the expense of a chip-and-PIN reader. Now a European payments startup is offering the readers for free."
Link to Original Source

+ - Company Promises Positive Yelp Reviews, For A Price; Yelp Sues->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Many restaurants and other small businesses live and die by Yelp reviews. Revleap operates a paid service that it says can “create a large constant flow of positive reviews that stay on top of your [Yelp] profile, and remove fake reviews.” But Yelp is suing Revleap for what it says are practices that are fradulent and in violation of Yelp's terms of service; among other things, Revleap promises users gift cards in exchange for good reviews."
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+ - FAA Proposal: Commercial Drones OK, Delivery Drones Not So Much->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "The FAA is trying to bring some legal order to the Wild West of flying drones over U.S. skies with a set of proposed new rules. Under the regulations, flying drones for commercial uses like surveying would be fine, but using them to deliver goods, as proposed by Amazon, would be off the table."
Link to Original Source

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