Information Technology Hardware


London is the second city to get free gigabit WiFi kiosks

Engadget

Having a mind to update these payphones for the modern age, BT -- which owns the majority of them -- announced last year it had teamed up with the same crew behind New York's LinkNYC free gigabit WiFi kiosks to make that happen. The first of these, installed along London's Camden High Street, have been switched on today, offering the fastest public WiFi around, free phone calls, USB charging, maps, directions and other local info like weather forecasts, Tube service updates and community messages. Like the LinkNYC program, later plans for the UK's next-gen phone boxes include temperature, traffic, air and noise pollution sensors. By comparison, London's starting small with only a handful of cabinets along one major street, but many more are expected to spring up around the capital and in other large UK cities before the year's out.


iPhone 8 sales are forecast to be blockbuster

USATODAY

On the heels of the iPhone's 10th anniversary this week, and before Apple unveils its expected new models in September, analysts expect flat year-over-year iPhone sales as consumers wait for the revamped phones. Angelo Zino, a senior equity analyst at CFRA, predicts record iPhone shipments of 241.5 million in the 12 months following the iPhone 8 launch -- smashing the previous high, set by iPhone 6, following its introduction in late 2014. A revamped iPhone is crucial if Apple is to keep pace with rival Samsung's popular Galaxy S8 and inexpensive smartphones from Chinese vendors, which are gobbling up market share, Nguyen says. "Samsung has pretty much recovered, and there is the rise of [Chinese vendors] Oppo and Vivo in terms of market share that make it increasingly harder for Apple," analyst Nguyen says.


Apple iPhone AR, VR Could Improve After Eye-Tracking Company SMI Acquisition

International Business Times

Apple has acquired German eye tracking company SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), MacRumors reported Monday. In the report, MacRumors cited the power of attorney signed by German law firm Hiking Kühn Lüer Wojtek giving power to Delaware-based shell company Vineyard Capital Corporation to represent it in all business related to the acquisition. SMI has been working in the arena of eye-tracking hardware and software for close to three decades in the segments of augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in-car systems, clinical research, cognitive training, linguistics, neuroscience, physical training and biomechanics, and psychology. The tech giant recently announced its ARkit to help developers create augmented reality experiences.


Computer system predicts products of chemical reactions

MIT News

When organic chemists identify a useful chemical compound -- a new drug, for instance -- it's up to chemical engineers to determine how to mass-produce it. But MIT researchers are trying to put this process on a more secure empirical footing, with a computer system that's trained on thousands of examples of experimental reactions and that learns to predict what a reaction's major products will be. In tests, the system was able to predict a reaction's major product 72 percent of the time; 87 percent of the time, it ranked the major product among its three most likely results. In the past, chemists have built computer models that characterize reactions in terms of interactions at reaction sites.


Build a talking, face-recognizing doorbell for about $100

@machinelearnbot

This tutorial will focus on the machine learning part--using Amazon's new Rekognition service to do face recognition on your guests, and send that to your Amazon Echo so you will always know who's at your door. Amazon's Rekognition service uses machine learning to find distances between points on a face, and then uses those points to match people in its index, so you can train the system with just one picture of a friend and it's likely to work well. We're going to have the Echo connect to an AWS Lambda service, which then talks to our Raspberry Pi through an SSH Tunnel. When you talk to Alexa, it actually parses your speech to find an intent, and runs a Lambda function, which calls an external server, which tunnels into your raspberry pi, which gets an image from its camera, which it uploads to S3, and then runs a deep learning inference algorithm on it to match it against your friend's face, and then sends the results back to your Pi, which then parses the results and sends them to your Echo, which then talks to you...but the whole thing happens amazingly fast!


From braille to Be My Eyes – there's a revolution happening in tech for the blind

The Guardian

I am using an app called Be My Eyes, an app that connects blind and visually impaired people to sighted volunteers via a remote video connection. In the mid-1970s Ray Kurzweil, a pioneer in optical character recognition (OCR) – software that can recognise printed text – founded Kurzweil Computer Products and programmed omni-font, the first OCR program with the ability to recognise any kind of print style. All the time, companies are finding new ways to improve accessibility and Be My Eyes isn't the only assistive technology company taking advantage of the real time human element, building technology that is based on the creation of dialogue with its users. Earlier this year, Aira helped Erich Manser, who has retinitis pigmentosa, run the Boston marathon.


Benefits of Machine Learning in IT Infrastructure - Blazent

#artificialintelligence

Two key scenarios are possible: transforming infrastructure from a set of under-utilized capital assets to a highly efficient set of operational resources through dynamic provisioning based on consumption; and the identification of configurations, dependencies and the cause/effect of usage patterns through correlation analysis. When a user expresses a demand for an IT service, the resources needed to provide that service will be dynamically provisioned from an available pool of capacity to fulfill the demand in real-time. Whether this is network capacity or compute Virtual Machine size – machine learning will enable analysis of the patterns of behavior by users and correlate them to the consumption of infrastructure resources. Automated discovery combined with behavioral correlation analysis will virtually eliminate the need for manual inventory and mapping of components and configuration items in the IT ecosystem to reveal how the ecosystem is operating.


'Superhero' 3D printed hands help kids dream in Argentina

Daily Mail

Hundreds of Argentine kids like Kaori who were born without limbs are now able to write, play sports and make music thanks to low-cost prosthetic hands devised by Gino Tubaro, a 21-year-old inventor whose work was praised by President Barack Obama during a visit to Argentina last year. In this June 12, 2017 photo, Kaori Misue attends art class in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In this May 30, 2017 photo, Gino Tubaro, right, fits a prosthetic arm on Juan Pablo Pelaez in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In this May 30, 2017 photo, Juan Pablo Pelaez stands in Gino Tubaro's workshop, as he waits for a 3D printer to finish a piece for his prosthetic arm, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


What the first iPhone tells us about tech's future

USATODAY

Battery life on the first device was so-so, and even given the vast improvements made over the decade since on the iPhone and on rival devices, you still hear frequent complaints today that phones run out of juice too soon and at the most inopportune times. The iPhone itself still lags rival devices in offering fast charging and wireless charging features. And AT&T's Edge network back on the original device was so poky that we frequently felt as if we were falling off an Edge. Follow USA TODAY Personal Tech Columnist @edbaig on Twitter.