Services


Apple unveils TV subscription service with help from Oprah Winfrey

The Guardian

Apple unveiled a host of new subscription services at a star-studded event in Cupertino, California, on Monday morning. The event marked the debut of a new era for a company that built its brand on hardware and software; just last week, Apple announced new products with little fanfare, saving its firepower for Monday's celebration of services, from its attempt to take on Netflix to a new Apple credit card. Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carrell, Kumail Nanjiani, and Big Bird were on hand to promote new creative projects that will be released through Apple's new subscription television service, Apple TV . Spielberg's Amazing Stories will resurrect the 93-year-old brand of a science fiction magazine that inspired the director as a child. Witherspoon and Aniston announced The Morning Show, described by Aniston as "an honest look at the complex relationship between women and men in the workplace".


Eye on A.I.-- Tracing A.I. Breakthroughs From Mars to Earth

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If you need convincing that artificial intelligence will transform the world, I'd like to take you on a trip to Mars. Well, not the planet, but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's annual invite-only MARS conference last week in Palm Springs that takes its name from its focus on machine learning, automation, robotics, and space. Over 200 of the world's leading scientists and technologists gathered to discuss their latest far-out research, a nerve-racking experience for those who presented in front of Bezos himself. A.I., and its ability to make sense of data, was a common theme. But while it's easy to dream about the future of A.I., and all the benefits it will supposedly bring, our present day version has room for improvement.


A lifetime subscription to this powerful WiFi optimization tool is now under $20

Mashable

The almighty WiFi connection reigns supreme at any office, and when it goes down, business comes crashing with it. Slow connections are responsible for an average revenue loss of $4,100 per hour, and it doesn't help that businesses increasingly rely on bandwidth-intensive applications such as cloud-based file sharing and SaaS platforms. And if you're a remote worker whose lifeblood rests in your email inbox? Well, the second your home WiFi connection goes, so too does your livelihood. Sure, some folks have tried outlandish ways of circumventing private WiFi usage, including opting exclusively for public hotspots, but experts highly recommend avoiding that for security reasons.


Apple News includes 'LA Times' and 'Wall Street Journal' subscriptions

Engadget

At its streaming service event in Cupertino on Monday, Apple announced that in addition to more than 300 magazine titles (including TechCrunch) as part of its newly revealed News app, the company will also include subscriptions to the LA Times and Wall Street Journal. What's more, users will get access to the entire digital newsstand for $9.99 a year. Given that users would have to shell out more than $8,000 annually to acquire these magazines individually, that's a pretty good deal. Another interesting feature included in News is the app's recommendation engine. Unlike the recommendation algorithms you'd find on other streaming services like Netflix, News's feature runs on the device itself, rather than remotely on Apple's servers.


Ranking Tweets with TensorFlow

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As a global, public communications platform, Twitter strives to keep users informed with relevant, healthy content. Originally, Twitter presented Tweets in reverse-chronological order. As the community became more connected, the amount of content in users' home timelines increased significantly. Users would follow hundreds of people on Twitter -- maybe thousands -- and when opening Twitter, they would miss some of their most important Tweets. To address this issue, we launched a "Ranked Timeline" which shows the most relevant Tweets at the top of the timeline -- ensuring users never miss their best Tweets. A year later we shared how machine learning powers the ranked timeline at scale.


Google's reCAPTCHA test has been tricked by artificial intelligence

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Computer scientists have found a way around Google's reCAPTCHA tests, tricking the system into thinking an artificial intelligence program is human. But there's a catch, although the AI system can fool the bot test it doesn't live-up to the promise its creators give it. CAPTCHAs are the tests used by websites to battle back against bots, asking website visitors to prove they're human before proceeding. The leading system is Google's reCAPTCHA, which has previously asked website visitors to prove their humanity by checking words scanned from books or photographs of street signs. That was replaced with behavioural analysis, requiring humans to simply tick a box proclaiming "I'm not a robot".


How to make the most of Roku voice controls

PCWorld

If you want to control a Roku player or Roku smart TV by voice, you have lots of options. Many Roku devices include a remote control that supports voice commands, and you can also control Roku hands-free with an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker. But along with all those voice control options comes several limitations, especially when it comes to launching videos or TV channels directly. Knowing what Roku can and can't do will spare you some headaches when you're barking out orders. We'll talk through how to get set up with Roku voice controls, a list of supported voice commands, and some tips for making your experience smoother.


Apple event: What to expect from the new streaming service and news product

Washington Post

On Monday, Apple is expected to announce something altogether different from its typical new products that consumers can touch and feel: A subscription service that in some ways resembles Amazon Prime and will include Apple's own films and television shows with Hollywood stars including Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steven Spielberg. Usually, when Apple holds big, splashy press events, it unveils a new product like the iPhone or the MacBook. For years, Apple's business has centered around the iPhone, but sales of that once-revolutionary but now commonplace device have slowed. And the entire world of computers has been flipped on its head. Apple has been diversifying beyond hardware, selling iCloud storage to its customers, a $10 a month music streaming service and movies and television shows through iTunes.


Six of the best 4k HDR TVs

The Guardian

Your current TV is showing its age. Its resolution is resolutely HD (so very 00s) and it doesn't even respond to voice commands, no matter how loud you bawl. Maybe the time has come to upgrade to something cutting edge. Connected smart TVs are now standard fare. With integrated streaming services, you can season binge from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video without the need for an additional set top box or dongle – or multiple remotes.


Changing Sketches into Photorealistic Masterpieces

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A deep learning model developed by NVIDIA Research turns rough doodles into highly realistic scenes using generative adversarial networks (GANs). The tool is like a smart paintbrush, converting segmentation maps into lifelike images.