A Twist on Wearables: Two Examples that Use Data Differently

Wearables have mostly been discussed in terms of the data they provide — be it steps walked, calories burned or blood pressure measured. Two examples showcased by The New York Times tech writer Eric Taub at CES do more than simply serve data to the user, differences that help to define this new category. One uses sensory information and a rhythmic feedback to change people’s level of happiness and energy; a second was developed by academics, medical centers and Apple to conduct a global medical study on heart health and exercise. Continue reading A Twist on Wearables: Two Examples that Use Data Differently

Netflix Adopts New Streaming Plan for Better Pix, Less Data

Netflix is changing how it streams video, the first such effort since the company launched in 2007. Beginning in 2011, Netflix has been working on a new streaming algorithm that will not only improve image quality but also save up to 20 percent of data. Netflix currently accounts for nearly 40 percent of all data consumed during peak Internet viewing hours. As Netflix focuses on entering more international territories, including nations with less developed Internet capabilities, streaming quality and data usage are critical. Continue reading Netflix Adopts New Streaming Plan for Better Pix, Less Data

Silicon Valley Titans Invest $1 Billion to Establish AI Nonprofit

Several Silicon Valley technologists and tech companies will invest at least $1 billion in OpenAI, a nonprofit research center in San Francisco with a long-term goal of creating open-source “artificial general intelligence,” a machine capable of performing any task that a human can. Among the investors are Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman. One chief focus of the group’s members is to ensure that the resultant technologies augment rather than replace humans, and are used for good. Continue reading Silicon Valley Titans Invest $1 Billion to Establish AI Nonprofit

SIGGRAPH: Scientists Tackle Neuroscience Obstacles to VR

Much has been written about the more obvious issues in viewing virtual reality. Top of the list is the motion sickness that some people get, a result of the mismatch between what they see and what they feel. But there’s another issue — an eye-focusing problem dubbed “vergence-accommodation conflict” — that is specific to virtual reality and is much more difficult to overcome than motion sickness. At SIGGRAPH 2015, scientists from Stanford and UC Berkeley described potential solutions. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Scientists Tackle Neuroscience Obstacles to VR

Sprint Stops Throttling Speeds as Net Neutrality Takes Effect

The new net neutrality laws had a real-world impact when Sprint announced it would no longer throttle speeds for unlimited data customers. Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure made the move in reaction to customers disgruntled by the fine print of a new $80/month unlimited text, talk and data plan, noting that video would be delivered at lower speeds. The 600 kilobits/second speed recommended by a consultant to Sprint would have particularly impacted high definition video, which runs at three to four megabits per second. Continue reading Sprint Stops Throttling Speeds as Net Neutrality Takes Effect

Scientists Develop Aluminum-Ion Battery for Commercial Use

A group of scientists at Stanford University has developed a sustainable, high performing aluminum battery that is supposedly safer and less expensive to produce than the alkaline and lithium-ion batteries commonly used today. Chemistry professor Hongjie Dai and his Stanford colleagues claim that with improvements to cathode material, lithium-ion batteries have the potential to be of commercial use to power devices such as smartphones and other widespread battery enabled products.  Continue reading Scientists Develop Aluminum-Ion Battery for Commercial Use

AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

GigaPower by AT&T, the company’s 1 gigabit-per-second service, was introduced in 2013 in Austin, Texas — and this week it rolled out in Kansas City, Missouri. While customers can enjoy ultrafast fiber-optic Internet access for $70 per month, AT&T also tracks their online activities. Those who prefer to keep their browsing habits private can pay an additional $29 a month. Since opting out of sharing such data is typically offered free of charge, some are questioning whether AT&T’s model will discourage people from doing so. Continue reading AT&T GigaPower Service Offers Data Privacy for Monthly Fee

Verizon Could Face Investigation Over Mobile Supercookies

Last week, we reported that Verizon would offer users the ability to opt out of the company’s mobile ad-targeting program, which tags customers with unique codes to track online activity. The move followed complaints from privacy advocates regarding the use of the alphanumerical customer codes known as “supercookies.” Now, three Democratic members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation are calling for a formal investigation into Verizon’s tracking practices of its wireless subscribers. Continue reading Verizon Could Face Investigation Over Mobile Supercookies

New Image Recognition Technology Can See More Than Faces

Breakthroughs in image recognition technology may drastically improve image searches when machines can recognize people, objects, actions, and even the quality of photographs. Researchers at Google and Stanford University recently unveiled new software that can teach itself to identify the characters, actions, and settings of a scene in photos and videos. Photo sharing startup EyeEm has fine-tuned algorithms that rate photographs based on aesthetics. Continue reading New Image Recognition Technology Can See More Than Faces

Facebook May Introduce Payments Through its Messenger App

Facebook is reportedly ready to allow money transactions between friends on Messenger, according to hacked screenshots and video from Cycript. The feature will allow users to send money using a debit card, similar to how one would send a picture. In order to enhance security, an in-app pincode has been added. The reasoning behind former PayPal President David Marcus’ move to head of Messenger is now clear. The app could compete with Venmo, PayPal, and Square Cash. Continue reading Facebook May Introduce Payments Through its Messenger App

SMPTE and HPA Announce New Move Toward Consolidation

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers announced it plans to provide administrative support for the Hollywood Post Alliance. The move is part of a larger plan to eventually combine the two organizations. SMPTE made the announcement yesterday during the Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age conference at Stanford University. A roadmap has been endorsed by both boards that will steer HPA toward consolidation within SMPTE as a separate affiliate organization. Continue reading SMPTE and HPA Announce New Move Toward Consolidation

Page 4 of 41234