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Conservative group takes credit for anti-net neutrality comments - News - May 11, 2017 - 2:21am

A conservative group took credit for a barrage of anti-net neutrality comments posted on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's website this week, but it denied generating fake activism.

The Center for Individual Freedom said it did not use a bot to generate comments after news reports raised questions about the legitimacy of the posts. Between Monday and early Wednesday afternoon, the FCC had received more than 128,000 comments duplicating the language provided by CFIF.

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Categories: Opinion

The next 5 years in AI will be frenetic, says Intel's new AI chief - News - May 10, 2017 - 10:18pm

Research into artificial intelligence is going gangbusters, and the frenetic pace won't let up for about five years -- after which the industry will concentrate around a handful of core technologies and leaders, the head of Intel's new AI division predicts.

Intel is keen to be among them. In March, it formed an Artificial Intelligence Products Group headed by Naveen Rao. He previously was CEO of Nervana Systems, a deep-learning startup Intel acquired in 2016. Rao sees the industry moving at breakneck speed.

"It's incredible," he said. "You go three weeks without reading a paper and you're behind. It's just amazing."

It wasn't so long ago that artificial intelligence research was solely the domain of university research labs, but tech companies have stormed into the space in the last couple of years and sent technical hurdles tumbling.

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Categories: Opinion

Desktop 3D printer presages the future of multi-layer circuit board design - News - May 10, 2017 - 9:35pm

An Israel-based provider of 3D printing technologies and nano-inks is now shipping a desktop machine to beta customers that can produce multi-layer circuit boards.

Nano Dimension's Dragonfly 2020 is a desktop 3D printer that can produce circuit board prototypes and small production runs, potentially reducing development time from weeks to hours, according to Amit Dror, co-founder and CEO of the startup.

The Dragonfly 2020 uses an inkjet-like material deposition method followed by a heat-based curing system to create the printed circuit boards (PCBs), and it has no limit to the number of layers beyond the mechanical height of the printer's z axis.

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Categories: Opinion

Comparing the performance of popular public DNS providers - News - May 10, 2017 - 9:25pm

ThousandEyes, a network intelligence company with the ability to monitor performance from hundreds of vantage points across the Internet, has insight into a variety of services across the globe, including public DNS service providers.  In this article we’ll dive into our results from testing 10 of the most popular public DNS resolvers, with the goal of helping you make informed conclusions about your choice of provider. We observed a wide range of performance across different services, both globally and from region to region.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the internet’s system for converting alphabetic web addresses into numeric IP addresses. If a given service’s DNS records are unavailable, the service is effectively down and inaccessible to everyone.  DNS can also have a substantial impact on page load time and web page performance. While it’s just the first step of many in the page load process (see the below image), any increase in DNS lookup time will directly increase load times. DNS lookup time, in turn, is directly affected by latency to the DNS server.

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Categories: Opinion

MSC Cruises uses wearables, mobile apps to power 'small city on the sea' - News - May 10, 2017 - 9:16pm

MSC Cruises -- the world's largest privately-owned cruise liner -- will launch its latest vessel next month, promising to showcase investments in a range of digital technologies. Guests and crew members onboard the MSC Meraviglia will have access services that rely on mobile apps, facial recognition, IoT beacons, and wearable technology, all aimed at improving customer experience.

It is part of a 20 million investment in technology for two ships -- the Meraviglia and the Bellissima, which is set to launch in 2019 -- and the culmination of a three-year process to upgrade the company's digital services, according to Luca Pronzanti, MSC's chief business innovation officer.

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Categories: Opinion

Gap explains how a retail customer can give back to OpenStack - News - May 10, 2017 - 9:13pm

American retail giant Gap deployed its first OpenStack cloud in 2013, but now the vast majority of its forward-facing e-commerce platforms now run on the open source infrastructure.

Eli Elliott, infrastructure architect responsible for private cloud at Gap, explained to Computerworld UK how the company's close partnership with Rackspace -- among other OpenStack vendors -- saw it build and develop from an isolated testing pipeline to running all kinds of workloads.

"We work pretty closely with Rackspace, we're one of their more hands-on clients, I guess I'd say," Elliott said. "I meet with them weekly at places like this, I meet with their architecture team, and tell them all the stuff I wish we had -- and they tell us how quickly they can get it. It's a nice collaboration."

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Categories: Opinion

Nvidia's new Volta-based DGX-1 supercomputer puts 400 servers in a box - News - May 10, 2017 - 8:15pm

You won't need to buy a rack of 400 servers if you have one high-powered Nvidia DGX-1 supercomputer with a Volta GPU sitting on your desktop.

The DGX-1 supercomputer -- which looks like a regular rack server -- gets most of its computing power from eight Tesla V100 GPUs.

The GPU, the first one based on the brand-new Volta architecture, was introduced at the company's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California, on Wednesday.

"It comes out of the box, plug it in and go to work," said Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang during a keynote speech.

But the DGX-1 with Tesla V100 computer is expensive. At US$149,000, it's worth some people's life savings. But Huang encouraged people to order it, saying the box will ship in the third quarter.

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Categories: Opinion

Microsoft's new tools help devs manage cloud deployments on the go - News - May 10, 2017 - 8:10pm

Microsoft is making it easier for developers to manage their cloud deployments on the go, using a new mobile app and browser-based command line.

On Wednesday, the company unveiled Azure Cloud Shell, which lets developers spin up a full-fledged terminal environment inside Microsoft’s cloud and comes with a set of preconfigured tools for managing deployments. Each user will have persistent file storage in their Cloud Shell, hosted in Microsoft Azure.

Cloud Shells are accessible through the Microsoft Azure web portal, as well as the Azure mobile app for iOS and Android, which was just released Wednesday. That app also provides users with the ability to monitor the workloads they have running in Microsoft’s public cloud and perform basic management like stopping and restarting virtual machines.

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Categories: Opinion

Google search results will cure your boredom with a local events calendar - News - May 10, 2017 - 8:09pm

We all know Google search is the best way to find news, concert clips, and funny cat GIFs, but when it comes to local happenings, it can be hit or miss. But a new feature baked into Google’s search tools on your phone is designed to fill up your social calendar.

In the latest update to the Google app on Android and iOS (as well as anywhere else you can find a search bar on your phone), you should begin seeing a new interface for local events. For example, when you search for “concerts this weekend” you’ll see a new Events tab at the top of your search results.

You’ll be able to quickly view events happening today, tomorrow, or next week, all presented in a calendar-style view that lets you easily see the date, time, and location. Tapping “more events” will expand the view to see additional dates, and you can tap again for more details or to buy tickets.

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Categories: Opinion

Tesco uses AI to stock shelves, route drivers with Google Assistant - News - May 10, 2017 - 7:49pm

Tesco is starting to incorporate machine learning algorithms across the business, from internal applications such as driver routing to customer-facing apps like integration, with Google's home assistant device.

First, the online grocery and clothing seller had to lay the groundwork for machine learning techniques to be brought into the organisation, and this meant getting its data lake in order so that near to real-time data could be used by the developers and data scientists within the company.

Speaking at the AI Summit in London recently, Tesco group CTO Edmond Mesrobian spoke about the importance of creating a data loop where "everything knowable is captured and then we can reason about it and build models. Take those models and reflect them back into the business, whether that's a colleague or a customer, to make better decisions." He says that Tesco has been working on this for a year and a half and is now starting to see the benefits.

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Categories: Opinion

VMware unveils the latest nervous system for enterprise IoT - News - May 10, 2017 - 7:18pm

The internet of things seems tailor-made for management headaches. Having thousands of tiny devices distributed across a city or a company is hard enough. Then there's the whole infrastructure supporting them, including network connections and edge gateways.

Some big players, including General Electric, Nokia, and Cisco's Jasper division, have products and services for running all this. Now VMware is taking on the challenge with VMware Pulse IoT Center, a solution that draws on two platforms the company already sells.

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Categories: Opinion

Hottest news from OpenStack Summit - News - May 10, 2017 - 7:18pm
OpenStack Summit convenes in Boston

Image by OpenStack

Twice a year the OpenStack community gathers for its Summit in which users, vendors and the programmers that build the open source IaaS cloud computing software talk about OpenStack’s progress and plan future releases. This week than 5,000 attendees from 63 countries descended on Boston and more than 100 sponsoring companies released myriad products and services. Here are some of the highlights.

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Categories: Opinion

IBM's new PowerAI tools automate image recognition - News - May 10, 2017 - 7:00pm

IBM is trying to remove some of the complications related to image recognition with new tools to automate critical machine learning tasks.

A major update of the company's PowerAI tools has a feature called AI Vision, an auto tuner that makes it easy to identify and classify pictures. It will also speed up image recognition by breaking down tasks over multiple clusters.

AI Vision plays a big role in automating machine learning by creating a tuned model, said Sumit Gupta, vice president of machine learning.

The software abstracts machine learning, and developers don't need knowledge of low-level access to frameworks to tune, train, and deploy image recognition models. It's much like programming a game to take advantage of GPUs without deep knowledge of low-level APIs.

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Categories: Opinion

5 reasons to give Fitbit Blaze a second look - Opinion - May 10, 2017 - 6:48pm

In the 14 months since my Blaze review, Fitbit’s fitness watch has continually risen in my estimation thanks to a handful of compelling new features. Also, Blaze was recently named the best wearable for corporate wellness programs, based on a new study from health analytics company Springbuk.

So, if you disregarded Blaze in the past, it’s worth taking a second look — though note my word of caution at the end of this post.

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Categories: Opinion

Microsoft takes its databases worldwide with Cosmos DB - News - May 10, 2017 - 6:25pm

Developers will have an easier time scaling their applications to meet global needs with a database product Microsoft updated on Wednesday. Called Cosmos DB, the service lets developers store data that can be replicated across any of the company’s 34 Azure public cloud regions.

Cosmos is an expansion of DocumentDB, a managed NoSQL database service that Microsoft launched in 2015. Its key innovation is a feature that lets developers pick between five consistency models that range from "strong" to "eventual" consistency.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: How CIOs are helping upgrade the way people sell - Opinion - May 10, 2017 - 6:02pm

Every aspect of business is evolving to meet the growing demand for automation. The pressure on companies to reduce costs or increase profit margins has never been greater, and technology is one of the biggest drivers. 

As artificial intelligence (A.I.) technologies improve, more and more processes that used to take time and resources are completed quickly and at minimal cost. Companies are constantly evaluating what functions can leverage automation to increase output and save money. Processes like accounting, payroll and scheduling are just a few areas where these changes are happening.

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Categories: Opinion

Amid fight with Apple, Imagination's Series8XT GPU faces challenges - News - May 10, 2017 - 6:00pm

The graphics processor in Apple's upcoming iPhone could have been based on Imagination's new PowerVR Series8XT GT8525. Instead, the two vendors are locked in an open battle, and Imagination is threatening legal action against Apple, which is developing a homegrown GPU.

The last few months haven't been smooth for Imagination Technologies, which this month said it was planning to sell its MIPS and Ensigma processor businesses. Apple likely won't be a customer for the new Series8XT GPU, which is based on the Furian architecture. But the company's PowerVR GPUs are used in many low-cost and mid-range phones.

The GT8525 is targeted at high-end smartphones, automotive computers, set-top boxes, and smart devices. It is the first new GPU design in the Series8XT line, succeeding the Series7XT, which powers graphics in Apple's iPhone 7. 

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Categories: Opinion

Kaiser CIO shares IT lessons for the future of healthcare - IT industry - May 10, 2017 - 5:58pm

SAN MATEO, CALIF - Kaiser Permanente crossed an important threshold last year when 52 percent of its patient interactions were digital. That’s a dramatic change from the traditional in-person doctor or nurse visits, but Kaiser CIO Dick Daniels said it was inevitable.

“The consumer is in the driver’s seat. On-demand everything is a resounding drumbeat where people expect services 24 x 7 and pay for what they use,” Daniels said during his keynote address at the CIO Perspectives conference here.

[ 30 CIOs share their strategic focus ]

Kaiser’s transition to digital is not done. Even with more patients than ever using the healthcare organization's website and mobile app there were still over 40 million in-person doctor visits last year and of course patients needing direct care can’t do that online. Daniels said that’s part of the challenge of striving to be consumer-friendly while also addressing all the patients who don’t want to use online services. Kaiser is also experimenting with giving low-cost Tracfones that are Wi-fi-only for patients who can’t afford smartphones.

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IDG Contributor Network: Gaming: iOS and Android both stink - Opinion - May 10, 2017 - 5:45pm

iOS and Android have long battled each other for mobile supremacy, and that includes gaming. But which one is better? A writer at MakeUseOf believes that iOS is the superior gaming platform and he shared why in a recent post.

Dan Price reports for MakeUseOf:

But which operating system is best for mobile gaming? The industry is huge, especially among casual gamers. Estimates suggest almost one billion people played a game on their smartphone at least once in 2016.

If you’re one of those billion people, in my opinion, you should be using an Apple device.

  1. The “iOS First” Approach

  2. Development Is Easier on iOS

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Categories: Opinion

Bot-generated comments swamp FCC, urging overturn of net neutrality - News - May 10, 2017 - 5:02pm

Some supporters of a U.S. Federal Communications Commission plan to repeal its recent net neutrality rules have apparently resorted to dirty tricks.

An apparent bot-generated campaign has posted more than 83,400 comments on the FCC's website supporting the agency's plan to gut its own net neutrality rules.

A handful of people whose names are on the bot-generated comments have denied making the comments, according to a report by ZDNet. The 83,400 comments, filed to the FCC's comment system between Monday and Wednesday, all contain the same text, reading in part:

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Categories: Opinion

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