Saturday, March 23, 2019

Machine learning academics are flocking to tech giants and that might be a problem

The die is very much cast when it comes to the growth of machine learning. With the expansion of tech companies like Google, Amazon and Uber, artificial intelligence-based research and products is a growth industry that’s only just getting started. Research from the International Data Commission forecasts that spending on AI and ML will rise from $12 billion in 2017 to $57.6 billion by 2021. The skyrocketing research funding into these fields is mirrored by the resulting patents being filed, with machine learning patents increasing by 34% between 2013 and 2017. As the number of commercial products that are built on these…

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CHEAP: Our beloved UE BOOM 3 now has TOO MUCH DISCOUNT

Welcome to CHEAP, our brand-new series about things that are good, but most of all, cheap. CHEAP! If there’s one thing I love, it’s portable Bluetooth speakers. So, when I found out that the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 is selling for its lowest ever price ($119.99 to be exact), I knew one thing: I had to tell you. I’m not entirely sure when my love affair with portable sound began – quite possibly with the X-mini. But these days, the technology has advanced incredibly. And my favorite of this new wave? The BOOM 3. Hell, I even wrote a love…

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Why banning phones from schools is a backward step for education

Schools and governments around the world are struggling to figure out how to deal with smartphones in the classroom. Last year, France passed a law that banned students from using smart devices at school, and now in the UK politicians are discussing joining in, with UK schools minister Nick Gibb recently saying there should be a new policy introduced to ban phones from schools. To me, and probably others in edtech, this whole discussion feels like a major dose of deja vu. In 2012, when I was working on building the Kahoot! platform, I was invited to a round table…

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Dyson’s V11 vacuum automatically changes its suction power to last longer

Last year, Dyson promised it would no longer develop corded vacuums, because, well, cords are annoying. But battery life is limited. When I reviewed the V10 last year, I had to constantly think about which power setting to use – do I want more suction or longer runtime? Dyson’s new V11 Torque Drive makes that a concern of the past. Dyson’s stuck a 20 percent more powerful motor and bigger battery in the vacuum, but the biggest change is the V11’s Dynamic Load Sensor. The DLS is able to detect the resistance on the motorized brush head and adjust suction…

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You can now play scratchcards with Bitcoin, thanks to the Lightning Network

The Lightning Network is where all the weird and wonderful use cases of cryptocurrency micro-payments come to life. You can order a Coke, feed chickens, dispense candy, and even play roulette or Pok√©mon, all courtesy of the Bitcoin sidechain. But thanks to one enterprising dev, the Lightning Network now has scratchcards. This one has 1,000,000 Satoshis (0.01 BTC) hidden in it. That’s about $40 at the time of writing, not too bad for a scratchcard that might only cost you a few cents worth of Bitcoin. How does it work? A scratchcard is created when someone writes something that can…

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Or just read more coverage about: Bitcoin

Two months on, the Honor View 20 is still one of the best mid-range phones you can buy

Late last year, I flew to Hong Kong to see the the launch of the Honor View 20 first hand. This phone was notable for three reasons. Firstly, it was the second commercially available phone to ship with a 48MP rear camera. Secondly, it was the first phone to come with a punch-hole camera, beating the Samsung Galaxy 10 to the punch. Finally, it is among the first Honor phones to come with Magic UI, rather than EMUI. When you’ve got a phone that’s so groundbreaking, you’ve got to resist the urge to make any snap judgements. After all, the…

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PSA: MetaMask reveals your Ethereum address to sites you visit, here’s how to hide it

There’s a setting that popular Ethereum service MetaMask doesn’t enable by default, and its putting users‘ privacy at risk. MetaMask works as a gateway to decentralized apps (dapps) running on Ethereum’s blockchain. It’s a browser extension that seeks to simplify the use of cryptocurrency, which tends to intimidate unfamiliar users. It’s one of the most popular apps of its kind, boasting over a million installs on Chrome. The company built a new “privacy mode” last year, designed to keep users from unintentionally broadcasting their Ethereum addresses to sites they visit while MetaMask is in use; these signals are known as “message broadcasts.” Ethereum…

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