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How Pandora plans to reinvent itself with on-demand streaming, ticket-selling, and live streaming concerts (John Paul Titlow/Fast Company)

TechMeme - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 1:45pm

John Paul Titlow / Fast Company:
How Pandora plans to reinvent itself with on-demand streaming, ticket-selling, and live streaming concerts  —  Inside Pandora's Plan To Reinvent Itself—And Beat Back Apple And Spotify  —  In 2016, personalized Internet radio alone won't cut it.  Here's how Pandora hopes to maneuver its way to profitability.

Categories: Technology

New Chip Offers Artificial Intelligence On A USB Stick

Slashdot - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 1:30pm
An anonymous reader writes: "Pretty much any device with a USB port will be able to use advanced neural networks," reports PC Magazine, announcing the new Fathom Neural Compute Stick from chip-maker (and Google supplier) Movidius. "Once it's plugged into a Linux-powered device, it will enable that device to perform neural network functions like language comprehension, image recognition, and pattern detection," and without even using an external power supply. Device manufacturers could now move AI-level processing from the cloud down to end users, PC Magazine reports, with one New York computer science professor saying the technology means that now "every robot, big and small, can now have state-of-the-art vision capabilities." The article argues that this standalone, ultra-low power neural network could start the creation of a whole new category of next-generation consumer technologies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Engineers Plan The Most Expensive Object Ever Built

Slashdot - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 12:30pm
HughPickens.com writes: Ed Davey has an interesting story at BBC about the proposed nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, UK which at $35 billion will be the most expensive object ever put together on Earth. For that sum you could build a small forest of Burj Khalifas -- the world's tallest building, in Dubai, which each cost $1.5 billion. You could build almost six Large Hadron Colliders, built under the border between France and Switzerland to unlock the secrets of the universe, and at a cost a mere $5.8 billion. Or you could build five Oakland Bay Bridges in San Francisco, designed to withstand the strongest earthquake seismologists would expect within the next 1,500 years at a cost of $6.5 billion... But what about historical buildings like the the pyramids. Although working out the cost of something built more than 4,500 years ago presents numerous challenges, in 2012 the Turner Construction Company estimated it could build the Great Pyramid of Giza for $5 billion. That includes about $730 million for stone and $58 million for 12 cranes. Labor is a minor cost as it is projected that a mere staff of 600 would be necessary. In contrast, it took 20,000 people to build the original pyramid with a total of 77.6 million days' labor. Using the current Egyptian minimum wage of $5.73 a day, that gives a labor cost of $445 million. But whatever the most expensive object on Earth is, up in the sky is something that eclipses all of these things. The International Space Station. Price tag: $110 billion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

LA judge compels woman to unlock iPhone with fingerprint, sparking 5th amendment debate (Los Angeles Times)

TechMeme - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 12:10pm

Los Angeles Times:
LA judge compels woman to unlock iPhone with fingerprint, sparking 5th amendment debate  —  The government wants your fingerprint to unlock your phone.  Should that be allowed?  —  In a Glendale case, the FBI wants the fingerprint of Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan so her iPhone can be unlocked.

Categories: Technology

Wearables data becoming a marketer’s goldmine?

ReadWriteWeb - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 12:00pm

Wearables are still a niche market for marketers, but in the future the data procured from smartwatches might be much more valuable than what is currently available from laptop and mobile users.

In a survey conducted by Ovum for Criteo, marketers gave their thoughts on what data would be the most valuable in the future.

See Also: Will tomorrow’s wearables be powered by flexible transistors? 

Daily routine and precision location data were top of the survey at 38 and 37 percent, respectively. Combine that with information from Google searches and marketers could alert stores that you’re passing the shop window to augment, showing products that you’ve searched online for cheaper.

The only problem with that theoretical is getting the consumer to hand over daily routine and precision wearable data to marketers. It would require Google, Apple, or Fitbit to exchange data for services, something we doubt Apple or Fitbit would ever do.

Below daily routine and precision data comes device usage at 30 percent. Learning what a consumer uses a wearable device for and how long they spend looking and interacting with it could be useful, especially for services that want to capture a certain audience.

Fitness, health, movement, and exercise data comes below device usage. We are seeing a growth in health hardware and services, being able to target that audience might become even more valuable as more specific devices — like the Xmetrics swimming tracker — come into the market.

Eye tracking low priority for marketers

Eye tracking is quite low on the list of data priorities for marketers, which is surprising considering how valuable this would be for augmented devices. Perhaps Google Glass getting banned from public places for tracking eyes has turned consumers off giving this information to companies, regardless of intent.

At 17 percent is emotional state and stress data, which is much harder to market than something as simple as where you are and what you’re doing. We suspect that the only apps getting these privileges are health apps that look into mental state and provide you with guidance.

The end goal of a marketer is to sell a product, but wearables open new doors for how to get a customer to purchase an item, download an app or subscribe to a service. The new age marketers that succeed will be the ones that use wearable data efficiently and tactfully.

The post Wearables data becoming a marketer’s goldmine? appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Ask Slashdot: How Could You Statistically Identify The Best Sci-Fi Books?

Slashdot - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 11:30am
jimharris writes: Over at SF Signal I wrote a piece "How Well-Read Are You in Science Fiction?" There are three databases that collect lists of popular science fiction books that try to statistically identify the best books of the genre, [offering] combined list that shows which books were cited the most. They use different sets of best-of lists, but their results are often similar. The final lists are, Classics of Science Fiction, Worlds Without End Top Listed, and Premiosylista Comparativas: Comparativas: Ciencia ficcion (Spain). Interestingly, each list has a different book in its #1 position (though both "Dune" and "Frankenstein" make the top four on at least two of the three lists). But is this really a good methodology for determining the classic canon? What would be the best way to statistically identify the greatest sci-fi books? (And have you read any good science fiction novels lately?)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Can Quantum Entanglement Create Faster-Than-Light Communication?

Slashdot - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 10:30am
Slashdot reader StartsWithABang writes: If you were to send a space probe to a distant star system, gather information about it and send it back to Earth, you'd have to wait years for the information to arrive. But if you have an entangled quantum system -- say, two photons, one with spin +1 and one with spin -1 -- you could know the spin of the distant one instantly by measuring the spin of the one in your possession. This "incredible idea to exploit quantum weirdness" for communication was the subject of a recent Forbes article [which blocks ad-blockers] as well as a NASA mission directorate. ("Entanglement-assisted Communication System for NASA's Deep-Space Missions: Feasibility Test and Conceptual Design".) And Friday MIT News reported a research team is now making progress toward capturing paired electron halves for quantum computing on gold film. "Our first goal is to look for the Majorana fermions, unambiguously detect them, and show this is it. " This week even 85-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner cited quantum entanglement in a discussion of Star Trek's transporter technology, arguing that "Although a lot of the concepts in science fiction are absurd to our Newtonian minds, anything is possible because of the new language of quantum physics."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

How Uber built its business in London from 5,000 to 1.7M active riders in three years (Sam Knight/Guardian)

TechMeme - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 9:40am

Sam Knight / Guardian:
How Uber built its business in London from 5,000 to 1.7M active riders in three years  —  How Uber conquered London  —  To understand how the $60bn company is taking over the world, you need to stop thinking about cars  —  very week in London, 30,000 people download Uber to their phones and order a car for the first time.

Categories: Technology

Flexible Floating Football-Field Sized Solar Panels

Slashdot - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 9:30am
mdsolar writes: Offshore wind farms are growing in popularity as energy providers look for different ways of harvesting power from the sun without using valuable land resources. One unique idea being developed by engineers at Vienna University of Technology is a floating platform called a Heliofloat that would function as a sea-based solar power station.... an open-bottom, flexible float as large as a football field and covered from edge to edge with solar panels. Heliofloats can operate as standalone platforms for smaller operations with moderate energy requirements. Multiple heliofloats also can be connected together, forming a floating solar-harvesting power grid. Each heliofloat is 100 meters long, reportedly cheap and easy to build, and may eventually be used to power desalination plants and biomass extraction.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

On Outlander, How Much Violence Is Too Much?

Wired - Top Stories - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 9:00am
The Starz time-travel drama seems hellbent on demonstrating the infinite nature of suffering, and it may finally be wearing thin. The post On Outlander, How Much Violence Is Too Much? appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

While You Were Offline: We Need to Know Who Becky Is. Right. Now.

Wired - Top Stories - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 7:00am
This week Beyoncé dropped a new visual album and Edward Snowden released a music video. Yeah, it was weird. The post While You Were Offline: We Need to Know Who Becky Is. Right. Now. appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Your Simple (Yes, Simple) Guide to Quantum Entanglement

Wired - Top Stories - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 7:00am
Quantum entanglement is thought to be one of the trickiest concepts in science, but the core issues are simple. The post Your Simple (Yes, Simple) Guide to Quantum Entanglement appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

In the New Wireless Universe, You’re Finally at the Center

Wired - Top Stories - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 7:00am
We’re gradually moving towards a world where you—yes, you—are the center of the wireless universe, not the big carriers. The post In the New Wireless Universe, You're Finally at the Center appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology