ZDNet


K2 claims victory over zero-day attacks

ZDNet

Silicon Valley based K2 Cyber Security has emerged from stealth mode with a technology that prevents zero-day attacks by monitoring app performance in the cloud. K2 is able to create an execution map for each application and is able to stop it if it is hijacked by malware. "This hasn't been done before," says Pravin Madhani, CEO and co-founder of K2. "Because it is very difficult to do. We are able to create an execution map for each application in minutes and then monitor it in real-time. There are no false positives."


Laundry-folding robots and recipe-suggesting fridges among our most desired smart tech

ZDNet

In our busy lives convenience and speed have become very desirable commodities. Fortunately technological developments are keeping pace with our frenetic style of living. Wi-Fi devices such as smart speakers and thermostat can function and be controlled in conjunction with one another to create a'connected' working or living environment in your smart home. UK-based online device recycler Recyclezone has analysed the latest findings from Mindshare to find out what smart home technology we really want to own. It surveyed more than 6,000 UK-based respondents to identify the new type of smart technology they would most like in their home.


Google Cloud updates AI-powered speech tools for enterprises

ZDNet

What is AI? Everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence Google Cloud on Thursday announced it's updating its Text-to-Speech products with more voice and more languages. Google has also improved the quality of its Speech-to-Text transcription tools and is bringing some of their features into general availability. The updates should help developers build intelligent voice applications that can reach millions of more people and function more effectively. For Text-to-Speech, Google has roughly doubled the number of voices available since its last update in August. It's added support for seven new languages or variants, including Danish, Portuguese/Portugal, Russian, Polish, Slovakian, Ukrainian and Norwegian Bokmål -- all in beta.


Budget constraints are biggest barrier to innovation at many organizations

ZDNet

Half of C-level executives say their organizations are spending more than 5 percent of their annual budget on innovative initiatives, yet 42 percent cite a limited budget as their biggest barrier to activation, according to a newly released report from consulting firm Ernst & Young LLP (EY). The firm commissioned Wakefield Research to survey 500 senior executives in the US as part of the research, and found that beyond internal budget constraints, the external factors cited as most concerning included market volatility that can distract from an innovation agenda. In EY's work with clients, the firm often sees a disconnect between an organization's investments in innovative technology and its ability to integrate the results of those new technologies and capabilities into the business to create value, said Roger Park, EY Americas advisory and Financial Services Office innovation leader. In many cases, organizational fragmentation creates the risk of "trapped assets," where investments aren't being used effectively across silos to realize their full potential, Park said. Business leaders might feel they need to increase budgets to drive more innovation in their organizations, Park said.


Singtel and Optus make 5G AR call with Ericsson and Oppo

ZDNet

Singtel and its Australian subsidiary Optus have announced making an Australia-to-Singapore 5G augmented reality (AR) video call using technology from Ericsson and Oppo. The call was made using an Oppo prototype device powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem. "AR provides users with a more inclusive form of communication, opening up new possibilities for enterprises, ranging from mobile collaboration between experts in different locations [to] on-the-job training, to remote assistance," Optus and Singtel said. According to Optus CEO Allen Lew, the call is "another step in our commitment to lead 5G delivery in Australia". "This call is a significant marker in our journey to 5G as we develop a robust 5G ecosystem to ensure that our enterprise and consumer customers will enjoy an enhanced connectivity experience," Singtel CTO Mark Chong added.


Robots at Work: Meet the non-engineer who automated his small business

ZDNet

Thanks to falling sensor prices, a robust and supportive maker community, and the convergence of technologies like rapid prototyping and powerful microprocessors, we're beginning to see the fruits of a powerful DIY robotics movement. Lunar rovers and satellites can now be made with off-the-shelf parts, and there are examples of enterprising small business owners creating or customizing their own automation solutions to increase productivity and save money. One of these business owners, Curtis Lucas, has an impressive story of ingenuity and technological derring-do, which I asked him to share with ZDNet. It's a phenomenal example of how automation is creeping into small and mid-sized businesses, as well as how accessible automation technology is becoming, even to non-engineers. Lucas owns Alaska Professional Janitorial (APJ), a commercial janitorial business.


Your next personal trainer could be a robot

ZDNet

In a new study from ETH Zurich in Switzerland, robots successfully taught humans how to row, demonstrating how robotic personal trainers could be used in the future. Georg Rauter, lead author of study that published in Science Robotics, tells ZDNet, "Especially for the large number of hobby athletes that cannot afford professional 1-to-1 training sessions, future possibilities to rent time in robotic gyms could be of great interest to train more effectively." In the study, participants with no prior rowing experience practiced using rowing simulator. While the participants were rowing, the robotic trainer performed data analysis online in real time. When a participant messed up, such as moving the oar the wrong way, the robot immediately called attention to the error, either visually, with sounds, or through haptic (touch) feedback.


Google says 'hidden' microphone in Nest product never intended to be a secret

ZDNet

Google says that a failure to make users aware of a microphone in Nest Guard was nothing more than a mistake -- but the oversight is enough to make us increasingly paranoid about our smart home and voice assistant products. The issue came to light after Google said in early February that the Nest Guard, the centerpiece of the Nest Secure home alarm system, will soon receive Google Assistant functionality. In order to use Google Assistant and voice-based controls, devices must have both a speaker and microphone elements. The problem is, users were not made aware that the Nest Guard had a microphone at all. "The Google Assistant on Nest Guard is an opt-in feature, and as the feature becomes available to our users, they'll receive an email with instructions on how to enable the feature and turn on the microphone in the Nest app," Google said.


SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to collaborate on blockchain ID

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SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom will collaborate to create a new blockchain ID that will borderless, they said. SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom will collaborate to create a blockchain ID with the aim to ease authentication processes, the companies have announced. The South Korean telco will sign an memorandum of understanding to that effect with its German counterpart's research arm, T-Labs, at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC). The two will use blockchain technology to create a mobile digital ID that can be used for authentication, entry control, transactions, and contracts. The ultimately aim will be to make a "borderless" ID, much like a passport, that can used across different countries.


Facebook's Yann LeCunn reflects on the enduring appeal of convolutions

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Thirty years ago, Yann LeCun pioneered the use of a particular form of machine learning, called the convolutional neural network, or CNN, while at the University of Toronto. That approach, moving a filter over a set of pixels to detect patterns in images, showed promise in cracking problems such as getting the computer to recognize hand-written digits with minimal human guidance. Years later, LeCun, then at NYU, launched a "conspiracy," as he has termed it, to bring machine learning back into the limelight after a long winter for the discipline. The key was LeCun's CNN, which had continued to develop in sophistication to the point where it could produce results in computer vision that stunned the field. The new breakthroughs with CNNs, along with innovations by peers such as Yoshua Bengio, of Montreal's MILA group for machine learning, and Geoffrey Hinton of Google Brain, succeeded in creating a new springtime for AI research, in the form of deep learning.