Dropbox Hires Computer Vision Experts to Mine Photographs

Dropbox wants to add image recognition software to its cloud storage service so that photos would automatically be tagged with the objects, people, and places found in the images. The company has hired the co-founders of Kriegman-Belhumeur Vision Technology, Peter Belhumeur and David Kriegman, to engineer the new technology. The two men are university professors with extensive experience in computer vision, facial recognition, and machine learning. Continue reading Dropbox Hires Computer Vision Experts to Mine Photographs

President Obama Names Two Googlers to Fill Key Tech Posts

The White House announced that it has hired Google exec Megan Smith to become the next U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President. Smith replaces Todd Park, who is moving to Silicon Valley in a new position as recruiter of tech talent for the federal government. The White House also announced that Alexander Macgillivray, former counsel for Twitter and Google, will serve as a deputy CTO with a focus on Internet and intellectual property policies and the intersection of big data and privacy. Continue reading President Obama Names Two Googlers to Fill Key Tech Posts

New First: Majority of Digital Media Accessed on Mobile Apps

According to a new study by comScore, U.S. consumers are now spending 52 percent of their time with digital media via mobile apps. Marking a significant shift, we are now spending more time on mobile apps than we are on desktop PCs and mobile Web surfing. The report indicates that mobile usage as a whole now accounts for 60 percent of our time with digital media, while desktop-based consumption accounts for 40 percent. Additionally, one-third of U.S. users download at least one app per month. Continue reading New First: Majority of Digital Media Accessed on Mobile Apps

Gartner Report Says 3D Printing Not Quite Ready for the Home

Gartner analysts estimate that 3D printing our own food, gifts, shoes and other products is at least five to 10 years away. In a report released earlier this week, Gartner suggested that the 3D printing of product models is two years away from its peak usage, while mainstream adoption of 3D printing for medical applications is about two to five years away. Although the technology is advancing and printers are coming down in price, the concept is not quite ready for everyday use in the home. Continue reading Gartner Report Says 3D Printing Not Quite Ready for the Home

Snapchat Now Third Most Popular Social App with Millennials

According to comScore research, Snapchat is now the third most popular social app among the millennial demographic (18-34 year olds). With 32.9 percent penetration on mobile phones, Snapchat trails only Facebook and Instagram. Jumping from 12.1 percent back in November 2013, the app is now more popular with millennials than Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Google+ or Tumblr. The shift is important considering that this age group is the most active of mobile social networkers. Continue reading Snapchat Now Third Most Popular Social App with Millennials

Women Lead Men in Time and Money Spent on Mobile Games

According to mobile analytics firm Flurry, female consumers are leading the charge in mobile gaming in terms of time, money and loyalty. Based on analysis of 1.1 million worldwide devices, Flurry concludes that mobile gaming currently represents 32 percent of the time people spend on their phones. Meanwhile, the report specifies that females spend 35 percent more time in gaming apps than males, make 31 percent more in-app purchases, and have 42 percent higher 7-day retention on average. Continue reading Women Lead Men in Time and Money Spent on Mobile Games

U.S. Spends More on Digital Video Than the Rest of the World

The U.S. video entertainment market — including pay TV, box office, Blu-ray, DVD, video-on-demand, and paid-for online video — is getting ready to reach an all-time high. According to a new report from researcher Futuresource Consulting, the market is expected to make $123 billion in retail value in 2015. Futuresource notes that the video market reached $120 billion in 2013, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. Per household spending on video in the U.S. is the highest in the world. Continue reading U.S. Spends More on Digital Video Than the Rest of the World

Software Allows Photographers to Manipulate Objects in 3D

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new photo-editing tool that lets users turn and flip objects as if they were in 3D. Photo editors have only been able to manipulate objects in 2D by resizing them or changing their location within the photo. This new software uses a publicly available database of models to recreate objects, even the sides that were not captured by the camera. Researchers found that this software could be used for animations as well. Continue reading Software Allows Photographers to Manipulate Objects in 3D

Alibaba Growing, But Not a Threat to Top Cloud Services Yet

In May, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba filed for a public stock offering in the United States. However, this fast growing company still has a way to go before it will be able to compete with the American tech giants that currently control the multibillion-dollar cloud computing business. For now, Alibaba appears to be focusing on expanding in China, where it already has four data centers and handles up to $5.8 billion in commerce per day at its peak. Continue reading Alibaba Growing, But Not a Threat to Top Cloud Services Yet

Google will Compete with Amazon by Adding Product Ratings

In an attempt to compete with Amazon, Google is planning to add ratings to its product listing ads in order to make search results more effective. The ratings are to be based on aggregated rating and review data taken from several sources. Google believes merchants that gather these ratings will decide to share the data because it ultimately generates more business. The move should create more relevant search results as more data surrounds the product.

Continue reading Google will Compete with Amazon by Adding Product Ratings

Liquid Hard Drives Capable of Storing One Terabyte of Data

Researchers at the University of Michigan and New York University have been successful in storing data in a liquid containing suspended clusters of nanoparticles. These 12-particle clusters can reconfigure, similar to the way a Rubik’s Cube can, to represent up to eight million unique states. In a tablespoon of the nanoparticle clusters, the liquid can reportedly store up to one terabyte of data. Liquid hard drives could possibly be used in medicine, law enforcement and other fields. Continue reading Liquid Hard Drives Capable of Storing One Terabyte of Data

Facebook Experiences Surge in Users and Mobile Ad Revenue

Facebook announced that its profits more than doubled and revenue exceeded estimates for the ninth straight quarter due largely to mobile ad growth. About 62 percent of the social network’s ad revenue now comes from mobile devices. According to eMarketer, advertising for mobile this year is projected to surpass advertising for newspapers, magazines and radio for the first time. Facebook also added another 40 million registered users, with the daily login increasing by 27 million. Continue reading Facebook Experiences Surge in Users and Mobile Ad Revenue

Google’s Baseline Study Aims to Spot Diseases in Early Stages

Baseline Study, an ambitious Google project, plans to determine the fullest picture yet of a healthy human being. Andrew Conrad, a molecular biologist who joined the Google X research arm in 2013, is running the project along with his team of experts. The study will collect the anonymous genetic and molecular information of 175 different people, expanding to thousands more in the future. In the long run, Google X hopes to detect fatal illnesses in their early stages. Continue reading Google’s Baseline Study Aims to Spot Diseases in Early Stages

SIGGRAPH: Haptic Interfaces to Pull and Push Wearable Users

Two “force display” devices will make their debut at the SIGGRAPH technology conference in Vancouver next month. These devices, the Traxion and the Buru-Navi3, generate vibrations that offer wearers the illusion of being pulled or pushed in a specific direction. The Buru-Navi3 uses a 40 hertz electromagnetic actuator already found in smartphones. This technology could eventually be used in navigation applications in wearables so that the user will literally be pulled in the right direction. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Haptic Interfaces to Pull and Push Wearable Users

Consumers Spending 31 Percent More Time with Mobile Apps

According to new data from Nielsen, the amount of time consumers are spending on apps has reached an all-time high. The report indicates that Android and iPhone users in the U.S. age 18+ spend 65 percent more time (in excess of 30 hours each month) using apps than they did two years ago. However, the average number of apps used per month only increased from 23.2 in Q4 2011 to 26.8 in Q4 2013. Not surprisingly, 18-24 year-olds spend the most time on apps each month (37 hours, 6 minutes). Continue reading Consumers Spending 31 Percent More Time with Mobile Apps

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