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re:Invent: Amazon Web Services adds more data and ML services, but when is enough enough?

ZDNet

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy invoked the Lauren Hill song "Everything is Everything" at last week's re:Invent event in Las Vegas to underscore his assertion that AWS has more than twice the number of services of any other public cloud. The question is, will the services catalog ever become - or, indeed, is it already - so extensive that it becomes unwieldy from a customer development, deployment, and cost-management perspective? This year's re:Invent followed the more-more-more pattern of past events, with more attendees, more exhibitors, more floor space and, you guessed it, yet more services and capabilities announced. That was certainly the case in the data and analytics arenas, with announcements across database, big-data management, analytics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Sometimes less is more, however, a point I'll get back to in my conclusion, but let's start with a recap of what I see as the most important data-to-decisions related announcements.


NFL bets on AWS for machine learning

ZDNet

The National Football League will use Amazon Web Services as its standard machine learning and analytics provider to boost the performance of the league's player statistics platform. The announcement is just the latest customer win AWS has touted at its re:Invent conference this week, following similar cloud deals with Time Warner and Intuit. AWS also announced new cloud deals with the the Walt Disney Company and Expedia on Wednesday. Amazon said the NFL will use AWS' machine learning and data analytics services to improve the statistical capabilities and performance of the league's Next Gen Stats platform, which basically tags up players and tracks new stats like speed, rushes and passes. AWS will also become an "Official Technology Provider" of the NFL.


The Top 10 Gadgets of 2017

TIME

Technology companies like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and more are constantly finding new ways to improve their cutting-edge products, whether it's with stunning new hardware designs, useful software improvements, or by coming up with entirely new products we didn't even know we wanted. When it comes to new gadgets and gizmos, 2017 was the year of several big changes. First and foremost, it was the year of the voice-activated assistant, with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home invading homes everywhere. It was also the year that smartphone designers figured out how to pack a massive screen in a device that's still easy to hold, as seen in the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8. And it was the year that consoles like the Nintendo Switch meant gaming on the go no longer meant making big sacrifices in terms of game quality.


Xbox One X review: one for the 4K die-hards

The Guardian

Four years after the launch of the original machine, Microsoft's Xbox One family is now finally complete. Although the Xbox One X has been hailed as the most powerful console ever made, it very much remains an Xbox One derivative, running all the same games and working with all the accessories with no Xbox One X exclusives. What you get is improved audio-visual performance – rather like the difference between playing a PC game on a regular mid-range home computer versus a high-end gaming monster. Greater power hasn't meant a giant form factor though – this might be one of the least conspicuous consoles in history. Reverting to black after the refreshing "robot white" colouring of the Xbox One S, it's a truly minimalist slab of modern consumer electronics design taking up less space than any previous Xbox iteration.


Kinect, Xbox and Windows 10: Why accessibility matters

ZDNet

Kinect is either Microsoft's biggest success or biggest failure, depending on how you look at it. Kinect brought voice control to the living room long before Alexa or Google Home. It's also just been cancelled -- at least as a separate product. The problem is perhaps that for gamers, and maybe developers, Kinect games never felt as much like the Star Trek Holodeck as we thought it was going to (not least because living rooms aren't that big outside a few places in the US) and somehow there was never quite the momentum behind it. So what does this mean for other novel ways of interacting with our devices?


Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is here: Should you upgrade now?

ZDNet

Windows 10 after two years: Was the upgrade worth it? After a little more than two years, Microsoft has finally settled into a rhythm with its new, fast-paced development cadence for Windows 10. Check Settings System About to see full details about the current Windows 10 installation. What Microsoft's marketers are calling the Fall Creators Update (officially version 1709) begins arriving on desktop PCs today via Windows Update and will soon be available for download at all the usual places. The final build number for this release is 16299.


NVIDIA Targets Next AI Frontiers: Inference And China

#artificialintelligence

NVIDIA's meteoric growth in the datacenter, where its business is now generating some $1.6B annually, has been largely driven by the demand to train deep neural networks for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)--an area where the computational requirements are simply mindboggling. First, and perhaps most importantly, Huang announced new TensorRT3 software that optimizes trained neural networks for inference processing on NVIDIA GPUs. In addition to announcing the Chinese deployment wins, Huang provided some pretty compelling benchmarks to demonstrate the company's prowess in accelerating Machine Learning inference operations, in the datacenter and at the edge. In addition to the TensorRT3 deployments, Huang announced that the largest Chinese Cloud Service Providers, Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, are all offering the company's newest Tesla V100 GPUs to their customers for scientific and deep learning applications.


Oracle leverages machine learning to manage, secure enterprise systems

@machinelearnbot

The new Oracle Management Cloud suite combines Oracle Management Cloud, Oracle Application Performance Monitoring Service, and Oracle Infrastructure Monitoring Cloud Service. The new Oracle Management Cloud suite includes the Standard Edition services, as well as Oracle IT Analytics Cloud Service and the new Oracle Orchestration Cloud Service. The Oracle Management Cloud has an analytics engine that is constantly updated with real-world data, providing it with evolving analytics. Oracle has also expanded its Oracle Log Analytics Cloud Service to monitor and analyze security and operational logs from a wide variety of both on-premises and cloud technologies, providing unified monitoring.


Microsoft launches 'Project Brainwave' for real-time AI

#artificialintelligence

With the help of ultra-low latency, the system processes requests as fast as it receives them. He added that the system architecture reduces latency, since the CPU does not need to process incoming requests, and allows very high throughput, with the FPGA processing requests as fast as the network can stream them. Microsoft is also planning to bring the real-time AI system to users in Azure. "With the'Project Brainwave' system incorporated at scale and available to our customers, Microsoft Azure will have industry-leading capabilities for real-time AI," Burger noted.


Empathy – the final frontier between Natural and Artificial Intelligence?

#artificialintelligence

Losing a job or a bonus is no longer a real fear in a world where high skilled "internet-hired functions" working for multiple companies are getting fairly common. In another study, Harvard found that "expression of positive feedback" (appreciation) outweighs negative feedback by six times or more in high-performing teams. Reaffirming the power of positive feedback, low-performing teams had three times more negative feedback than positive in this study. Appreciation makes people positively motivated and a spoken word / email is free, yet it is rare in the workplace.