Microsoft Develops Scalable 2D-to-3D Conversion Technique

Transforming 2D objects into 3D ones is a challenge that has defeated numerous artificial intelligence labs, including those at Facebook, Nvidia and startup Threedy.ai. Now, a Microsoft Research team stated it has created the first “scalable” training technique to derive 3D models from 2D data. Their technology can, furthermore, learn to generate better shapes when trained exclusively with 2D images. The Microsoft team took advantage of software that produces images from display data, as featured in industrial renderers. Continue reading Microsoft Develops Scalable 2D-to-3D Conversion Technique

Letter Released in Protest of Facebook’s Free Internet Project

As part of the growing backlash to Facebook’s Internet.org project, 65 advocacy organizations from 31 countries released a letter of protest this week to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook has partnered with wireless carriers and other organizations on the initiative that hopes to bring free Internet service to the developing world. However, the letter argues that the project “violates the principles of net neutrality, threatening freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, security, privacy, and innovation.” Continue reading Letter Released in Protest of Facebook’s Free Internet Project

Despite Blockades, The Pirate Bay’s Numbers Are Increasing

The Pirate Bay’s visitor count has doubled since 2011 despite repeated attempts to block the website. Courts around the world and entertainment industries have pushed for Internet providers to block subscriber access. Meanwhile, about 9 percent of the site’s users connect to it through a proxy, showing that some people are willing to bypass court-ordered blockades. The numbers do not prove that blockades are ineffective, however, since the increased traffic could be from different countries. Continue reading Despite Blockades, The Pirate Bay’s Numbers Are Increasing

Dish Chair Said to Approach DirecTV About Possible Merger

Insiders report that Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen recently contacted DirecTV CEO Mike White to discuss a potential merger of the two companies. DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite TV operator, currently has about 20 million subscribers, while Dish, the No. 2 operator, has about 14 million. Ergen reportedly approached White in response to Comcast’s proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. However, White is said to be reluctant regarding formal talks out of concern that regulators would block a deal. Continue reading Dish Chair Said to Approach DirecTV About Possible Merger

HPA Tech Retreat Wraps With a Look at “Breaking the Model”

Disruptive content creation models and the resulting vulnerability of content assets were recurring themes at the 2014 HPA Tech Retreat last week, and the topics of discussion on the event’s last day. NSS Labs Sales Director Kari Grubin moderated a panel on “Breaking the Model” that took a look at both issues. She recounted her own “aha moment” at last year’s Tech Retreat, during an ETC panel featuring USC students talking about their media consumption patterns. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat Wraps With a Look at “Breaking the Model”