Telecommunications


Price-bots can collude against consumers

#artificialintelligence

In principle, the launch of, say, a smartphone app that compares prices at petrol stations ought to be a boon to consumers. The rapid reaction afforded by algorithmic pricing means sellers can co-ordinate price rises more quickly. Companies might need only seconds, and not days, to settle on a higher price, note Messrs Ezrachi and Stucke. For instance, the more consumers are pushed to deal directly with price-bots (to thwart the transparency that allows rival sellers to collude), the more the algorithms will learn about the characteristics of individual customers.


Sprint is ruthlessly trolling Verizon with a brutal, fake pop-up shop

Mashable

In its latest shot at competitor Verizon, Sprint decided to open up a unique pop-up shop in Queens called "Twice the Price," which essentially trolls Verizon's prices by overcharging for all of the featured items. SEE ALSO: Amazon Alexa is so not ready to be your phone's digital assistant Sprint explained in a press release that at "Twice the Price" shoppers can find items like "potato chips, party supplies, boogie boards, makeup mirrors, mops, bottles of water, and more" for twice their regular price. The store is conveniently located directly next to a Verizon store, which makes the fact that Sprint used the same font and colors as the classic red and white Verizon logo that much more awkward. "People ask me how I came up with this genius idea and I told them, 'If Verizon can charge customers twice as much for four lines of Unlimited, why can't I?'"


Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Coral Blue: Where To Buy, Discounts & More

International Business Times

Samsung has tapped Best Buy to sell the blue colored Android flagship phones. From July 21 until July 29, Best Buy is slashing $400 off the retail price of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 AT&T handsets provided the customer is qualified to make the purchase. Samsung.com will also have a limited time promo that will slash $150 off the retail price of the Coral Blue and Midnight Black color variants of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 . Samsung's Coral Blue Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 units are coming to the U.S. later this week.


Samsung Galaxy S8 Updates With Bixby Voice In US

International Business Times

In addition to Bixby Voice, the assistant includes features such as the Hello Bixby Hub, which serves as a hub for vital information for those using a Bixby enabled handset, Bixby Reminders, which learns user's patterns and sets automatic reminders, and Bixby Vision, which uses the Galaxy S8 camera app as a machine learning identification tool to pull information about products, places or things or even translate text. The latter three features were enabled on Bixby when the Galaxy S9 launched; however, Bixby Voice was delayed due to Samsung having issues implementing English speech recognition onto the platform. Users can launch Bixby with voice commands, but Samsung's latest smartphone also has a dedicated button on its left side, which users can press to activate Bixby. There was no official name for Samsung's smart speaker, but the product was reportedly referred to internally under the codename Project Vega.


Hi Bixby: Samsung phone's voice assistant now speaks English

Boston Herald

Samsung Electronics said its Bixby voice assistant for smartphones will start speaking English but only in two countries: South Korea and the U.S. The South Korean tech giant said starting Wednesday, users of the Galaxy S8 smartphones can speak in American English to their phones to turn on the flashlight, take a selfie or make the phone search for say, pictures from a summer vacation, and create an album. Samsung did not say why it could not make Bixby in English available to users outside South Korea or the U.S. or when it will become available in other languages in other countries. It also comes about one month before Samsung is widely expected to announce its latest iteration of the Galaxy Note smartphone after the discontinuation of its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone last year.


DJI Spark drone review: A powerful little flying machine for the average person

Popular Science

Setting up the Spark drone is a relatively simple process that takes about 10 minutes once you have the battery charged and the DJI app downloaded. Sync up a smartphone with the Spark's ad hoc wifi signal and you'll seen see a remote feed from the drone's built-in camera. Setup will, however, require that you register your new flying machine with DJI. You can use the smartphone app to fly the Spark or spring for the optional dedicated controller, which will set you back an extra $150.


Virgin Mobile makes Twitter 'free' to access

Engadget

If you have a 4G plan with Virgin Mobile, you can now access Twitter without diving in to your monthly data allowance. It's a sensible strategy, given the popularity of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp in the UK. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruled against a "free" music streaming service offered by Videotron, given it created an "undue and unreasonable disadvantage" for services that weren't included in the plan. The FCC, meanwhile, has taken a different tack, dropping its investigations into zero-rating services offered by T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon in the US.


Shortage of data causing Samsung troubles in launching Bixby Voice for the U.S.

#artificialintelligence

The full launch of the English version of Samsung's Bixby voice control interface for the Galaxy S8 is still in a holding pattern, after originally expecting to launch in June. The delay comes from a handful of issues with the service but is driven by a lack of usage data that's ultimately required for the machine learning systems to work at their full potential. Because of the vast number of potential commands and numerous pathways to accomplish those commands within the interface and apps on a phone, the only realistic way to make it all work is for machine learning algorithms to process large amounts of data and determine those links automatically. Then the discussion begins as to where Samsung will launch Bixby Voice next -- with other massive markets like Europe and India needing attention, the U.S. is simply a stop on the road, not the finish line.


Artificial Intelligence Startup SparkCognition Closes on $32.5 Million - SiliconHills

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Verizon Ventures led the Series B funding round with participating from The Boeing Company, through its Boeing HorizonX unit. "Having industry stalwarts, Verizon and Boeing, support our existing investors in funding this new round of growth serves as tremendous validation of our technology and track record. Our real world deployments and on the ground successes speak to the broad applicability of SparkCognition's AI technology, and the tremendous promise of AI in general." The company previously raised more than $16 million from investors such as Michael Dell's private equity arm, MSD Capital, The Entrepreneur's Fund, Alameda Ventures, Verizon Ventures, CME Ventures, and Brevan Howard.


Smartphones the next big machine learning platform, Deloitte says

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In fact, in its annual technology, media, and telecommunications predictions for 2017, released this month, Deloitte's global arm has predicted that some 300 million smartphones – more than one fifth of all units sold – will incorporate machine learning, Duncan Stewart, director of technology, media, and telecommunications research for Deloitte Canada, tells ITBusiness.ca. The present numbers are being driven by smartphone chip manufacturer Qualcomm Inc.'s latest Snapdragon processors, Stewart notes, but Apple is rumoured to be developing a similar technology for their next iPhone too. More importantly, he says, the increased use of machine learning technology in smartphones will result in enhanced security. "If your voice data, pictures, and location never leave your phone, it can't be intercepted," Stewart says, noting that for the time being users shouldn't expect their phones to complete overly complex tasks such as translating a series of sentences written in a foreign language into English.