Google starts testing its Fuchsia OS on Pixelbook

Jan 3, 2018 0

San Francisco– Google has started testing its Fuchsia Operating System (OS) on the $1000 Pixelbook hybrid laptop that was unveiled alongside the second-generation Pixel smartphone and Google Home Mini smart speaker at the company’s 2017 hardware event in California, reports said.

“This isn’t your typical developer operating system, and you’ll need two machines to host and target a Pixelbook to load the OS. It’s interesting that Google has chosen its own Pixelbook to experiment with,” The Verge reported on Wednesday.

“Fuchsia has mostly been linked to embedded systems like wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the past, but testing was expanded to Intel’s NUC and Acer’s Switch Alpha 12 Chromebooks,” it added.

The Pixelbook installation process for Fuchsia is not easy and the tech giant has reportedly recommended installing the OS with a USB drive.

Fuchsia OS has been open-sourced for the developer community to help build, test and evolve. It is different from the Linux kernels that are also the foundation of Android and Chrome OS.

The operating system, which is being developed, is Google’s third operating system after Chrome OS and Android.

It has been described as targeting “modern phones and modern personal computers” that would put it in competition with both of Google’s existing operating systems, according to tech website Ars Technica. (IANS)


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Facebook replaces Twitter to livestream Golden Globes’ red carpet

Jan 3, 2018 0

San Francisco– Facebook has replaced Twitter to livestream Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show slated for January 7.

In 2017, Twitter scored the rights to livestream the red carpet show.

“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced the two-hour event would be exclusively available on the Golden Globes Facebook page, starting from 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 7,” TechCrunch reported on Wednesday.

It would be available for Indian users at 4.30 a.m. on Monday, January 8.

The Golden Globes Facebook Page would post exclusive live footage, including 360-degree videos captured at the event along with other backstage content.

“Facebook has had a long collaborative relationship with the entertainment community, and we’re thrilled to be able to extend that through our work with the Golden Globes,” Sibyl Goldman, Head of Facebook’s Entertainment Partnerships, said in a statement.

The @goldenglobes Instagram account would offer similar exclusive footage shared in real-time.

“The main @Instagram Story will be hosted by one of the red carpet hosts, Laura Marano,” the report added.

The Golden Globes Facebook Page is currently followed by 2.3 million users. (IANS)

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Google Street View offers peek into US voting pattern

Jan 2, 2018 0

San Francisco– Combining publicly available data from Google Street View with machine-learning methods, researchers have found a way to predict the voting behaviour of people in the US.

If the number of sedans in a city is higher than the number of pickup trucks, that city is likely to vote for a Democrat in the next presidential election (88 per cent chance), showed the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Otherwise, the city is likely to vote for a Republican (82 per cent chance), the study said.

Using machine learning, an approach to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in which computers “learn”, the researchers developed a model that showed that socioeconomic attributes such as income, education, and voting patterns can be inferred from cars detected in Google Street View images.

“Our model works by discovering associations between cars and people,” the study said.

In the study led by Timnit Gebru of Stanford University, the researchers presented a method that estimates socioeconomic characteristics of regions spanning 200 US cities by using 50 million images of street scenes gathered with Google Street View cars.

In order to get their AI algorithms to classify cars accurately, the researchers trained it by recruiting hundreds of people to identify vehicles in a sample of millions of pictures, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday.

The researchers determined the make, model and year of all motor vehicles encountered in particular neighbourhoods.

Data from this census of motor vehicles, which enumerated 22 million automobiles in total (eight per cent of all automobiles in the US), were used to accurately estimate income, race, education, and voting patterns.

The results showed that the number of sedans and pickup trucks encountered during a drive through a city could reveal how the city would vote in the next presidential election.

To confirm the accuracy of their voter preference estimates, the researchers compared them with the voting results of the 2008 presidential election.

The researchers found that the results confirmed the ability of their approach to accurately estimate voter behaviour.

The team believes that their technology can supplement the American Community Survey, which is a door-to-door study and costs more than $250 million each year to perform.

Automated data analysis may become a practical supplement to the survey, the researchers said. (IANS)

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Uber records highest New Year eve rides from Delhi-NCR

Jan 2, 2018 0

New Delhi– People in Delhi-NCR took the highest number of rides on cab-hailing platform Uber for a single night on New Year’s eve, the company said on Tuesday.

Over 90,000 riders opted for “UberPOOL”, a carpooling service from the company that allows the rider to share the ride and split the cost with strangers or co-passengers headed in the same direction.

“Hundreds of thousands of riders chose Uber, of which over 90,000 even used the UberPOOL option, considerably reducing the congestion on this busy night,” Sanjay Gupta, Head of Marketing, Uber India and SA, said in a statement.

More than 22,000 riders in Delhi-NCR chose “uberPOOL”, followed by Hyderabad and Bengaluru on the occasion, the company said.

A driver partner from Delhi-NCR completed 18 trips, making it the highest across the country, followed by one in Bengaluru who completed 14 trips in a single night, the company said.

Most popular drop off locations ahead of midnight were Whitefield in Bengaluru, DLF Cyber City in Gurugram, Connaught Place in Delhi, and Juhu Beach and Lower Parel in Mumbai, followed by Madhapur in Hyderabad and GST Road, Meenambakam in Chennai. (IANS)

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India consumes most mobile data per month in world: NITI Aayog

Dec 22, 2017 0

New Delhi–With consumption of 150 crore gigabytes of mobile data per month, India is now the number one country in the world in mobile data consumption, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Friday.

“Amazing! With 150 crore gigabytes per month of mobile data consumption, India is now world’s number one mobile data consuming country. Its mobile data consumption is higher than that of the USA and China put together,” Kant tweeted.

However, he did not share the source of the data. (IANS)

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Infosys arm to offer hybrid cloud retail solutions

Dec 21, 2017 0

Bengaluru– Infosys subsidiary Skava would offer hybrid cloud retail solutions as a partner of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)-driven Cloud28+ community platform, said the software major on Thursday.

“Working with HPE’s network of service providers, Skava will expand its presence in countries where regulations call for hybrid cloud deployments,” said the IT major in a statement here.

The US-based Skava became an Infosys arm following the acquisition of its parent firm Kallidus Inc in an all-cash deal for $120 million (Rs 780 crore) in June 2015.

The San Francisco-based Kallidus provides digital solutions, including mobile websites, apps and e-shopping experiences to large retail clients.

The HPE community helps cloud service providers and software vendors form alliances and offers services through infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-services.

Professional services, cloud software, and deployable apps are also offered via the community’s digital platform.

“Skava is creating a hybrid cloud version of its retail micro-services stack, which is capable of being deployed across cloud environments, including public, private, hosted, and managed,” noted the statement.

The HPE membership enables a service-oriented, collaborative approach to sharing knowledge with an independent cloud service provider network.

“We have joined the community to offer cloud solutions that help us expand our business,” said Skava Chief Executive Arish Ali on the occasion.

As companies undergo digital transformation and take a digital-first approach to business opportunities, Infosys President Ravi Kumar said his company had positioned to become their preferred partner for IT services.

“The Cloud28+ community allows us to benefit from the latest cloud services and knowledge in the industry,” added Kumar. (IANS)

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Kaspersky Lab sues US Department of Homeland Security

Dec 19, 2017 0

New York– Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab has sued US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over its decision to ban the Kaspersky products in federal agencies over data security.

The DHS in September said it was concerned about ties between Kaspersky Lab officials and the Russian intelligence services, directing federal departments and agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products from their information systems.

Kaspersky Lab later denied that it has ties to the Kremlin.

The Russian company has now filed an appeal in a federal court under the Administrative Procedure Act to enforce its constitutional due process rights and challenge the “Binding Operational Directive” prohibiting the use of the company’s products and solutions by US government agencies.

“Because Kaspersky Lab has not been provided a fair opportunity in regards to the allegations and no technical evidence has been produced to validate DHS’s actions, it is in the company’s interests to defend itself in this matter,” Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said in a statement.

“Regardless of the DHS decision, we will continue to do what really matters: make the world safer from cybercrime,” he added.

According to the company, DHS’s actions have caused undue damage to both the company’s reputation in the IT security industry and its sales in the US.

“It has unfairly called into question Kaspersky Lab’s fundamental principles of protecting its customers and combatting cyber threats, regardless of their origin or purpose,” said Kaspersky Lab.

In October, it came to light that Israeli intelligence officials actually told the US authorities about the Russian intrusion into their computers via Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab’s anti-virus software.

According to The New York Times, Israeli intelligence officials were spying on hackers linked to the Russian government.

In the process, they broke into Kaspersky’s systems and found Russian hackers were using the anti-virus software “as a sort of Google search engine for sensitive information”.

The Israeli officials handed over screenshots and documentation of the hack to their US counterparts.

This led the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to direct federal departments and agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products. (IANS)

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New Facebook feature lets advertisers reach WhatsApp users

Dec 15, 2017 0

San Francisco– If you are an advertiser on Facebook, you now have a bigger audience to cater to as Facebook has launched a click-to-WhatsApp button on its platform that will let advertisers connect with over one billion WhatsApp users.

Facebook that has over two billion users confirmed this to TechCrunch on Friday that it is rolling out the feature gradually, starting with North and South America, Africa, Australia and most of Asia.

“Many people already use WhatsApp to communicate with small businesses. It’s a fast, convenient way to stay in touch,” Pancham Gajjar, Product Marketing Manager, Facebook, was quoted as saying.

“By adding a click-to-WhatsApp button to Facebook ads, businesses can now make it even easier for people to learn about their products, set up an appointment or use their service,” he added.

Facebook said that over a million Pages currently include WhatsApp numbers in their posts.

To make the new feature work, reported Adweek, businesses that have WhatsApp numbers can add ‘send message’ buttons with the WhatsApp logo to their Facebook ads and those ads will only be delivered to users who have WhatsApp installed on their smartphones.

People must add businesses’ WhatsApp numbers to their contacts to initiate conversations.

Once they do it, the messaging app opens with a default message expressing interest, which can be edited by users before being sent.

The feature is similar to the click-to-Messenger button that Facebook introduced in its ads in November last year.

The click-to-Messenger ads debuted on Instagram in May this year.

Facebook said that over a million Facebook pages currently include WhatsApp numbers in their posts.

To make the new feature work, businesses that have WhatsApp numbers can add ‘send message’ buttons with the WhatsApp logo to their Facebook ads and those ads will only be delivered to Facebook users who have WhatsApp installed on their phones. (IANS)

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Amazon launches Alexa skill testing tool for developers

Dec 15, 2017 0

New Delhi– Amazon on Friday launched Alexa Test Simulator (Beta) tool for developers to optimise, test and improve their skills.

The new tool will add more features, including a visual display, new voice input capabilities and the ability to test multi-turn conversation, or conversation with multiple people, the company said in a statement.

Alexa is an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot devices.

The new updates will help developers improve their skills even if they do not have an Alexa device such as Echo, Echo Spot or Echo Dot smart speakers.

The updates follow other features introduced this year that enable developers to build more engaging and high-quality skills.

With the new voice input capability, developers can validate Alexa’s understanding of the spoken word and how it responds.

The new device’s event log shows the directives that are sent to the devices, which allows developers to understand how the skill interacts with the device.

The tool will be available globally and will support English (US), English (UK), English (Indian), English (Canadian), Japanese and German language models.

The company said that the visual display testing capability for Echo Spot smart speaker will be available next year. (IANS)

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Adobe reports record $2 bn revenue in Q4

Dec 15, 2017 0

New Delhi– Riding on the success of its Creative, Document and Experience Cloud portfolios, software giant Adobe on Wednesday said that it has achieved a record $2.01 billion revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 that ended on December 1.

The company also registered an annual revenue of $7.30 billion — representing a 25 per cent year-over-year growth.

“Adobe delivered a record revenue of $2 billion in Q4. Our strong business momentum is driven by the market-leading solutions we provide to empower people to create and businesses to digitally transform,” Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO of Adobe, said in a statement.

The company said that its ‘Digital Media’ segment revenue was $1.39 billion, with Creative and Document Cloud achieving record quarterly revenue of $1.16 billion and $235 million, respectively.

Digital Media Annualised Recurring Revenue (ARR) grew to $5.23 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $359 million.

Adobe Experience Cloud achieved a record revenue of $550 million, which represents a 18 per cent year-over-year growth.

“Adobe achieved record annual and quarterly revenue and the leverage in our business model once again drove record profit and earnings,” said Mark Garrett, Executive Vice-President and CFO of Adobe, adding that “We are raising our fiscal 2018 revenue target and remain bullish about delivering strong top line and bottom line growth.”

The software giant’s operating income grew 37 per cent and net income grew 26 per cent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis, operating income grew 37 per cent and net income grew 39 per cent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.

“Cash flow from operations was a record $833 million and deferred revenue grew to an all-time high of $2.49 billion. The company repurchased approximately 1.9 million shares during the quarter, returning $297 million of cash to stockholders,” Adobe said.

As far as revenue details of the fiscal year are concerned, Adobe reported $5.01 billion in Digital Media segment revenue, with Creative and Document Cloud achieving a record annual revenue of $4.17 billion and $837 million, respectively.(IANS)

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