Twitch Makes a Bigger Play to Become All-Purpose Streamer

The live-streaming gaming platform Twitch is hugely popular but has a goal to get even bigger. At the annual TwitchCon event, the company showed off an advertising campaign promoting itself as an all-purpose live-streaming platform. This move takes place just as the site’s biggest star, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, defected to Mixer, a rival streaming service owned by Microsoft. On the gaming front, the company also faces competition from Caffeine, a social broadcast platform that received $100 million from 21st Century Fox. Continue reading Twitch Makes a Bigger Play to Become All-Purpose Streamer

Microsoft Announces Launch of Azure Blockchain Services

In the past year, Microsoft has demonstrated a focus on blockchain technology. It previously launched a blockchain developer kit along with its Azure Blockchain Workbench. Just last week, ahead of its Build developer conference, Microsoft announced the launch of Azure Blockchain Services, a “fully managed service that allows for the formation, management, and governance of consortium blockchain networks” which are “meant to help businesses build applications on top of blockchain technology,” according to TechCrunch.

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Experian Uses Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance

The credit reporting company Experian is adopting machine learning to get a jump on identifying problems and predicting application behavior more reliably. Machine learning tools can help such Experian tools as ServiceNow, which monitors infrastructure performance and spots unusual, potentially threatening behavior. With machine learning, Experian hopes to head off and/or fix problems that could impact, and potentially lose, customers. The company also now mandates that monitoring be built into all new applications. Continue reading Experian Uses Machine Learning for Predictive Maintenance

DeepMind Intros Intriguing Deep Neural Network Algorithm

A research team at Google’s AI unit DeepMind, led by Ali Eslami and Danilo Rezende, has created software via a generative query network (GQN) to create a new perspective of a scene that the neural network has never seen. The U.K.-based unit developed the deep neural network-based software that applies the network to a handful of shots of a virtual scene to create a “compact mathematical representation” of the scene — and then uses that representation to render an image with a new perspective unfamiliar to the network. Continue reading DeepMind Intros Intriguing Deep Neural Network Algorithm

As Job Market Improves, Demand for Programmers Hits High

One of the greatest challenges to today’s economic growth is a lack of technology talent. Companies are adopting new strategies to find qualified software engineers, programmers and developers, including new apprenticeship and internship programs. The national unemployment rate hit 4.1 percent in January, its lowest since 2000. As the job market improves, demand for tech talent also increases. For software engineers, the unemployment rate was a mere 1.9 percent last year, which was down from 4 percent in 2011.

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Ubisoft’s New AI Assistant Helps Catch Bugs in Video Games

Another exciting AI development has arrived, and its aim is to keep pesky bugs out of video games. At the recent Ubisoft Developer Conference in Montreal, the gaming company unveiled Commit Assistant, its new AI assistant for game developers. The goal is to catch bugs before they’re coded, saving developers time, reducing in-game flaws, and cutting back on company costs. One of the most expensive and time-intensive aspects of game design is eliminating bugs, which can absorb significant manpower and as much as 70 percent of costs during development.

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Alexa, Cortana and IBM Executives Envision the Future of AI

Amazon vice president of Alexa Engine software Al Lindsay, IBM general manager of Watson’s Content and IoT platform Cameron Clayton, formerly chief exec of The Weather Channel, and Microsoft AI and Research Group corporate vice president Andrew Shuman were prompted by moderator Avram Piltch, Tom’s Guide editorial director, during a CES panel to depict what artificial intelligence will look like in 2023. Clayton summed it up best. “It’s going to be ubiquitous,” he said. “All connected systems will have AI integrated into them somehow someway.” Continue reading Alexa, Cortana and IBM Executives Envision the Future of AI

Autodesk Stingray, Ideal Program for Mid-Small Sized Studios

Autodesk has launched Stingray, a game engine with design tools targeting for smaller studies that are looking for customization without the need for excessive programming. The engine is equipped with node-based scripting tools, however it also offers Stingray’s C++ source code for companies looking for more customization. Stingray provides quicker feedback, and will be bundled with Maya LT to provide artists with a modeling and animation app. It will arrive for Windows beginning mid-August for $30 a month. Continue reading Autodesk Stingray, Ideal Program for Mid-Small Sized Studios

Google Selects London Location for its First Ever Branded Shop

Google has opened its first branded physical store, with plans to sell the company’s Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops and Chromecast TV services. The Google shop is located on Tottenham Court Road in London. While not its first foray into physical locations — Google opened “Chromezones” in U.K. stores in 2011 and “Androidland” in Australian stores — it marks the first time the company is opening a shop under its own name and illustrates how some major online players are exploring new ways to reach consumers. Continue reading Google Selects London Location for its First Ever Branded Shop

Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Computer Enjoys Surprising Popularity

The affordable Raspberry Pi microcomputer — launched three years ago with the modest hope of selling a few thousand units — just passed the five million sales mark. The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers its no-frills Model A Pi for $25 and the Model B for $35. It recently launched the 6x faster Model B Pi 2 with double the memory for only $35. Originally intended as a cost efficient solution for students, the simple microcomputer is now being used to build everything from DIY computers to robotics projects. Continue reading Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Computer Enjoys Surprising Popularity

Apple Programming Language Swift Helps to Develop iOS Apps

Apple released a test version of its new programming language called Swift on June 2, and it is rapidly gaining popularity. Now developers for iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps can write code in an integrated development environment (IDE) and changes to the code can be added during a running process. The Playgrounds tool lets developers experiment with their code and learn new skills. Swift may well be on its way to becoming a mainstream coding language. Continue reading Apple Programming Language Swift Helps to Develop iOS Apps

Detect Emotions via Google Glass with Facial Recognition App

When an Ohio State University study tested how well facial recognition software could detect emotions, it received a 96.9 percent accuracy rate with the six basic emotions and a 76.9 percent accuracy rate with compound emotions such as “happy surprise” and “angry fear.” Emotient, a company that uses machine-learning algorithms, is developing an app for Google Glass that detects emotions in real time. Lead scientist Marian Bartlett says the app will be on the market soon. Continue reading Detect Emotions via Google Glass with Facial Recognition App

NSA Creates Website and Games to Educate Young Children

In a mission to make government agencies more understandable to children, and the general public, the National Security Agency has created a website filled with interactive games, cartoon characters and puzzles. The goal is to educate children about spying, and spark an early interest in related career paths. The CryptoKids website for “future codemakers and codebreakers” is aimed to make these occupations seem cool, and even has a section entitled “How Can I Work for NSA?” Continue reading NSA Creates Website and Games to Educate Young Children

Netflix to Reveal 4K Streaming Details at Next Month’s CES

Netflix is making a push for Ultra HD resolution streaming and promises to reveal details on its plans for 4K at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Neil Hunt, the streaming service’s chief product officer indicated Netflix has deals to offer 4K streaming with embedded players on certain UHD TVs (manufacturers will also be announced at CES). The second season of Netflix’s original series “House of Cards” will be the first to stream in 4K in 2014. Continue reading Netflix to Reveal 4K Streaming Details at Next Month’s CES

UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day

The third annual Hollywood Hack Day took place last weekend, bringing a hackathon — a timed collaborative event during which software developers create new apps or Web services — to Los Angeles. United Talent Agency hosted the event and provided increased bandwidth for the 135 developers and designers involved in the 2-day competition. Because the event was in LA, several teams chose to create apps about the art and business of entertainment. Continue reading UTA Draws Developers for Third Annual Hollywood Hack Day

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