Netflix Will Use Deep Learning to Improve Recommendations

Netflix has been experimenting with new methods of artificial intelligence to improve its products. The streaming service has plans to begin using deep learning models, and while it has yet to specify what exactly it will be improving, the service is likely to use the tech for enhancing its movie recommendations feature. Other companies have also begun putting deep learning into practice in order to train their systems to better recognize text and images, as well as their meanings. Continue reading Netflix Will Use Deep Learning to Improve Recommendations

Virgin Atlantic Turns to Wearable Tech for Enhanced Service

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers became the first air travelers to benefit from wearable technology while flying into London Heathrow airport this week. Concierge staff has begun using Google Glass and the Sony Smartwatch to give a more personal customer service experience by greeting travelers by name and keeping them updated on their flight status. Down the line, wearable tech may even be used to track travelers’ food and beverage preferences. Continue reading Virgin Atlantic Turns to Wearable Tech for Enhanced Service

Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

Foxconn executives have been in talks about robotics with former Android executive Andy Rubin, specifically to discuss new robotic technologies and speed up deployment of robots in its factories. Rubin asked Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou to help integrate a tech company that’s being acquired by Google, which last year acquired eight other robotics companies. In the meeting, Gou was said to have expressed excitement over automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin. Continue reading Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

Gartner Predicts Future of Mobile Apps, Cognizant Computing

In a few years’ time, apps will become one of the most popular tools among consumers around the world for computing. Research group Gartner predicts that by 2017, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times and that each individual user will provide data to more than 100 apps daily. This usage is estimated to generate about $77 billion in global revenue. And by 2015, cognizant computing will be key to enabling smart home functions. Continue reading Gartner Predicts Future of Mobile Apps, Cognizant Computing

CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

As the ratings for television news channels decline, broadcasters are looking for new ways to draw an audience. CNN is working toward gaining viewers by airing original films and series like the documentary “Blackfish,” which aired back in October, and “Chicagoland,” a reality TV show that will begin airing next month. Jeff Zucker, the newest president of CNN, took over in January and has been hands-on since, pointing the network in a slightly different direction. Continue reading CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

Apple iOS 8 Rumored to Feature Health and Fitness Monitoring

Apple plans to release its newest version of iOS this year, and its biggest feature is expected to include integrated health and fitness tracking. This latest development indicates Apple will likely introduce the iWatch, sources say, and iOS 8 will also feature a new app currently codenamed “Healthbook.” The app and wearable combination is said to be able to monitor fitness statistics, track weight loss, and keep an eye on users’ vital signs like blood pressure and hydration levels, among other indicators. Continue reading Apple iOS 8 Rumored to Feature Health and Fitness Monitoring

BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

BitTorrent is making efforts to appeal to Hollywood — and help generate legitimate revenue — by offering studios and artists the opportunity to sell and distribute their material in Bundles as a way to entice customers to buy the full content on iTunes or other similar services. BitTorrent Bundles has already teamed up with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Vice Media to launch promotional content including photos, trailers, videos, songs and other extras. Continue reading BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

Zynga Acquires NaturalMotion and Its Simulation Technology

Social gaming company Zynga has acquired game and software developer NaturalMotion for $527 million — giving the company access to simulation technology that makes characters look and move naturally. Zynga hopes to improve its mobile games like “FarmVille,” which currently feature more cartoon-like 2D characters. The same technology behind NaturalMotion was used in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, and Rockstar uses it for the “Grand Theft Auto” games. Continue reading Zynga Acquires NaturalMotion and Its Simulation Technology

Twitter Makes Its Data Available to Academics with New Grant

Through its new Data Grants program, Twitter is opening its archives to academics who want access to the data — and it’s all free. The data goes back to 2006, and social scientists and researchers can submit applications until March 15th to request access to old tweets. Until now, Twitter has only made this data available to partner companies for a fee starting at $500 a month. Twitter previously worked with Johns Hopkins University to predict where flu outbreaks will hit; this project hopes to make similar research possible. Continue reading Twitter Makes Its Data Available to Academics with New Grant

YouTube Gets New Leadership in its Quest for Ad Domination

YouTube is poised to be one of Google’s biggest assets with potential for billions of dollars in ad revenue, and the video site now has new leadership tasked with making that a reality. Long-time Google exec Susan Wojcicki, formerly SVP of advertising and commerce and one of the company’s earliest employees, is reported to be the new SVP in charge of YouTube. The video site has more viewers than any other like it, and it will be Wojcicki’s job to compete more with TV for ad dollars. Continue reading YouTube Gets New Leadership in its Quest for Ad Domination

Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

Amazon’s newest app feature will make it even easier to never have to leave your home to purchase media, gifts and common household goods. The new feature, “Flow,” will soon be available in Amazon’s shopping app for iOS, and it will allow users to simply scan any object with their iPhone camera and place an order for that specific product. The app does not require barcodes to work — just a clear image — and it takes less than 30 seconds to place an order. Continue reading Amazon’s Flow Plans to Enhance Shopping by Scanning Objects

Cisco Predicts Massive Increase in Data Consumption by 2018

If Cisco’s predictions are correct, wearable technology is about to experience a massive growth spurt. The company projects that by 2018, 177 million wearables will make a sizeable contribution to the amount of data consumed around the world. In its annual report on mobile broadband growth, Cisco projects the 10 billion mobile connections around the world will blast through 190 exabytes of data — 11 times the amount consumed in 2013. Continue reading Cisco Predicts Massive Increase in Data Consumption by 2018

Cable Companies Move Toward Cloud-Based Set-Top Boxes

For the first time in more than six years, Comcast gained more video subscribers than it lost last quarter. The cable provider can attribute that growth to its new set-top boxes, which feature a searchable, cloud-based interface resembling that of a Roku, Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Time Warner Cable, which saw a decline in last quarter’s numbers, plans to release its own set-top box in hopes of boosting its subscribers and preventing cable cutting by customers. Continue reading Cable Companies Move Toward Cloud-Based Set-Top Boxes

Marvel Comics Launches API Featuring 75 Years of Content

Marvel Comics is launching a beta version of an API and developer platform, which will give developers and fans access to its massive library of comics for building apps. The API will include artwork, character bios, expanded stories and more from the original creators spanning 75 years. There are more than 30,000 comics, 7,000 series and 5,000 creators in the database, and developers can even build mini-apps around their favorite characters, titles and creators. Continue reading Marvel Comics Launches API Featuring 75 Years of Content

Artist Offers New Views of Iconic Movie Sets with 3D Models

Four iconic movie sets recently received a 3D makeover by Dutch artist Siebe de Boer. The artist created fully three-dimensional computer models of the Greenwich Village courtyard from “Rear Window,” the modernist living room of “Gattaca,” the Shangri-La towers of “Brazil,” and the War Room from “Dr. Strangelove.” While the original sets used optical illusions to appear three-dimensional, de Boer’s versions use detailed artistry to allow viewers to look at the sets from any angle. Continue reading Artist Offers New Views of Iconic Movie Sets with 3D Models

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