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How Roku built a quiet path to rock the home audio market

ZDNet

Roku has long been adept at staying above the fray in the platform wars. For example, it was the only third-party video device to support Prime Video as Amazon rolled out its own Fire TV. With its announcement today that it now supports Apple HomeKit (and thus Siri), in addition to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, its players will now be able to be controlled by all of the major voice agents. But while it has steered clear of alienating the industry's giants, it has nonetheless been mounting an offensive, one that is now clear in its pursuit of capturing the home theater. It all began innocently enough with the launch of the Roku Wireless Speakers.


Neural network trained to control anesthetic doses, keep patients under during surgery

ZDNet

Academics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital have demonstrated how neural networks can be trained to administer anesthetic during surgery. Over the past decade, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and deep learning algorithms have been developed and applied to a range of sectors and applications, including in the medical field. In healthcare, the potential of neural networks and deep learning has been demonstrated in the automatic analysis of large medical datasets to detect patterns and trends; improved diagnosis procedures, tumor detection based on radiology images, and more recently, an exploration into robotic surgery. Now, neural networking may have new, previously-unexplored applications in the surgical and drug administration areas. A team made up of MIT and Mass General scientists, as reported by Tech Xplore, have developed and trained a neural network to administrator Propofol, a drug commonly used as general anesthesia when patients are undergoing medical procedures.


Singapore urges need for international organisations to 'reform' in digital age

ZDNet

Singapore has called on global organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) to reform, so international rules are in line with cybersecurity and other key digital developments. The Asian nation also underscores the need for unified cooperation against COVID-19, which it notes has accelerated "self-defeating" sentiments worldwide including protectionism and xenophobia. Continued international cooperation was key to overcoming the impact of the pandemic as well as to rebuilding, and nations needed to build greater trust and learn from each other, said Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, in the country's national statement at the UN General Assembly's General Debate of the 75th session held Saturday. Delivered via video message, Balakrishnan said in his speech: "The world is facing a period of prolonged turmoil. The multilateral system is confronted by nationalism, xenophobia, the rejection of free trade and global economic integration, and the bifurcation of technology and supply chains. Caught by the sudden onslaught of COVID-19, most businesses lacked or had inadequate security systems in place to support remote work and now have to deal with a new reality that includes a much wider attack surface and less secured user devices. "But, these threats are not new.


NumPy's contribution to Python is remarkable, but where it goes next could be even more so

ZDNet

Something fascinating happened in the world of scientific publishing last week: The prestigious journal Nature featured an overview of a 15-year-old programming library for the language Python. The widely popular library, called NumPy, gives Python the ability to perform scientific computing functions. Asked on Twitter why a paper is coming out now, 15 years after NumPy's creation, Stefan van der Walt of the University of California at Berkeley's Institute for Data Science, one of the article's authors, said that the publication of the article would give long-overdue formal recognition to some of NumPy's contributors. Our last paper was 2010 & not fully representative of the team. While we love that people use our software, many of our team members are in academia where citations count.


Of course I want an Amazon drone flying inside my house. Don't you?

ZDNet

I always know a new product is excellent when its makers describe it as "next-level." I hear you moan, on seeing the new, wondrous Ring Always Home Cam. Also: When is Prime Day 2020? Oh, how can you be such a killjoy? When Amazon's Ring describes it as "Next-Level Compact, Lightweight, Autonomously Flying Indoor Security Camera," surely you leap toward your ceiling and exclaim: "Finally, something from Amazon I actually want! A drone that flies around my living room!"


Always Home Cam: Amazon's robot drone flying inside our homes seems like a bad idea

ZDNet

I actually had to double-check my calendar to make sure today wasn't April Fool's. Because watching the intro video of an indoor surveillance drone operated by Amazon seemed like just the sort of geeky joke you'd expect on April 1. But it isn't April Fools, and besides, Google has always been the one with the twisted sense of humor. Amazon has always been the one with the twisted sense of world domination. This was a serious press briefing.


Follow-the-leader: A shortcut to autonomous trucking

ZDNet

A company spun out of a prestigious university robotics lab is making a big leap in autonomous trucking. Locomation is claiming the world's first autonomous truck purchase order from a Springfield, MO, company called Wilson Logistics. The order will equip 1,120 trucks with Locomation's convoy technology, which enables driverless trucks to follow a lead-truck piloted by a human, combining the best of autonomous technology with reliable human-in-the-loop driving protocols. The first units will be delivered in early 2022. Trucking is considered one of the nearest horizons for on-road autonomy.


Monash University researchers speed up epilepsy diagnosis with machine learning

ZDNet

A new study by Monash University, together with Alfred Health and The Royal Melbourne Hospital, has uncovered how machine learning technology could be used to automate epilepsy diagnosis. As part of the study, Monash University researchers applied over 400 electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings of patients with and without epilepsy from Alfred Health and The Royal Melbourne hospital to a machine learning model. Training the model with the various datasets enabled it to automatically detect signs of epilepsy -- or abnormal activities known as "spikes" in EEG recordings. "The objective of the first stage is to evaluate existing patterns involved in the detection of abnormal electrical recordings among neurons in the brain, called epileptiform activity. These abnormalities are often sharp spikes which stand out from the rhythmic patterns of a patient's EEG scan," explained Levin Kuhlmann, Monash University senior lecturer at the Faculty of IT Department of Data Science and AI.


SharePoint Syntex to automate content categorization and build a foundation for knowledge curation

ZDNet

Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft SharePoint Syntex as of Oc. 1, 2020. This is the first packaged product to come out of the code-name Project Cortex initiative first announced in November 2019. Project Cortex reflects Microsoft's ongoing investment in intelligent content services and graph APIs to proactively explore and categorize digital assets from Microsoft 365 and other connected sources. Teams need tools to help them collaborate and stay productive while remotely working. SharePoint Syntex will be available to M365 customers with E3 or E5 licenses for a small per-user uplift.


Every new Alexa device Amazon just announced: Prices, release dates, and how to buy

ZDNet

Amazon-owned Ring announced a new line of security cameras for cars: The new $199 Car Cam, $60 Car Alarm, and the Car Connect systems, which lal integrate with the Ring app. The Car Alarm plugs into your car's OBD-II diagnostic port and sends alerts to your phone. It has a built-in siren that can be remotely triggered, or it can link to other Ring or Alexa devices to emit audible alerts when an event is detected. As for the Car Cam, it is Ring's first camera for outside of the home and has the ability to record both inside and outside of the car when mounted on a dashboard. Like the Car Alarm, the Car Cam can send alerts.