August 6, 2015 Leave a comment
api.wordpress.com: Robo-Sabotage Is Surprisingly Common: The beating of hitchBot reflects widespread robot sabotage in many workplaces.
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June 20, 2015 Leave a comment
Originally posted on Quartz:
American sci-fi novelist Philip K. Dick once famously asked, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? While he was on the right track, the answer appears to be, no, they don’t. They dream of dog-headed knights atop horses, of camel-birds and pig-snails, and of Dali-esque mutated landscapes.
Google’s image recognition software, which can detect, analyze, and even auto-caption images, uses artificial neural networks to simulate the human brain. In a process they’re calling “inceptionism,” Google engineers sought out to see what these artificial networks “dream” of—what, if anything, do they see in a nondescript image of clouds, for instance? What does a fake brain that’s trained to detect images of dogs see when it’s shown a picture of a knight?
Google trains the software by feeding it millions of images, eventually teaching it to recognize specific objects within a picture. When it’s fed an image, it is asked to emphasize the…
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April 5, 2015 Leave a comment
Originally posted on Fortune:
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the Silicon Valley-based technology company Polycom [fortune-stock symbol=”PLCM”] and its former chief executive on Tuesday over allegations they hid more than $200,000 in personal perks from investors.
Polycom has agreed to settle charges over inadequate internal controls and disclosure violations and pay $750,000, while the SEC’s case against former Polycom CEO Andrew Miller will be litigated in federal court, the SEC said.
Attorneys for Miller could not be immediately reached.
A company spokesman said Polycom would not comment beyond an 8K filing announcing the settlement to investors. The company settled the case without admitting or denying the charges.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Miller created fake expense reports with “bogus business descriptions” for how he used corporate funds to pay for meals, gifts and entertainment.
The SEC added that Miller used company funds to travel with friends and his girlfriend to fancy resorts…
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March 30, 2015 Leave a comment
One of the easiest ways to encrypt and code communication between two places is to ideally use a language that very few people speak and understand and native communicators of which language are stationed at both ends to encrypt and decrypt. There are machines that could do it – the Enigma from the world war for example – but it took longer and with humans that time taken was much and substantially less. Those humans were the code talkers that the American developed with their Native American Chocataw, Cherokee, Navajo language speakers – languages that were never spoken – ever outside of America !!
Adolf Hitler, it is said was aware if them and sent in fact specialists (anthropologists in fact) into America to learn how they were used in the First World War. His agents however reverted back that it was impossible to break! Which it would have been, since besides being extremely difficult to learn. It was estimated that there were perhaps 10 – 15 non native speakers of Native American Indian language at that time. The first documented instances of the use of Native Americans in the American military to transmit messages during war was by the American 30th Infantry Division serving alongside the British during the Second Battle of the Somme. They used a group of Cherokee soldiers in September 1918. Their unit was under British command at the time.
Around this time the Choctaw code talkers were a group of Choctaw Indians from Oklahoma who pioneered the use of Native American languages as military code. Their exploits took place during the waning days of World War I. The government of the Choctaw Nation maintains these men were the first native code talkers ever to serve in the U.S. military. An American officer, Colonel A. W. Bloor, noticed some American Indians serving with him in the 142nd Infantry in France. Overhearing two Choctaw Indians , he realized he wasn’t able to understand them. He guessed, if he couldn’t understand them, neither could the Germans, no matter how good their English skills may be! Since many Native American languages hadn’t ever been written down it would be an added degree of complexity. With the active cooperation of his Choctaw soldiers, he tested and deployed a code, using the Choctaw language in place of regular military code.
There were many others like the Comanche, Meskwaki, Basque, Seminole, Nubian and the biggest of them in terms of adoption – Navajo. Non-speakers would find it impossible to distinguish unfamiliar sounds used in these languages. Not surprisingly, a speaker who has acquired a language during their childhood sounds distinctly different from a person who acquired the same language in later life, thus reducing the chance of successful impostors sending false messages. Finally, the additional layer of an alphabet cypher was added to prevent interception by native speakers not trained as code talkers and in the event of their capture by the Japanese. A similar system employing Welsh was used by British forces, but not to any great extent during World War II. Welsh was used more recently in the Balkan peace-keeping efforts for non-vital messages.
Navajo was an attractive choice for code use because few people outside the Navajo had learned to speak the language. No books in Navajo existed. Outside of the language, the Navajo spoken code was not very complex by cryptographic standards. It would likely have been broken if a native speaker and trained cryptographers could have worked together effectively. The Japanese had an opportunity to attempt this when they captured in the Philippines in 1942 during the Bataan Death March Joe Kieyoomia, a Navajo sergeant in the U.S. Army, but not a code talker, was ordered to interpret the radio messages later in the war. However, since Kieyoomia had not participated in the code training, the messages made no sense to him. When he reported that he could not understand the messages, his captors tortured him bu the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy never ever cracked the spoken code.
November 20, 2014 Leave a comment
Taxi business a booming !!!
Originally posted on TechCrunch:
Uber may be in the midst of a major PR crisis in the U.S., but it continues to ramp up its efforts in India — its second largest market — where it launched a low-cost service aimed at beating the country’s icon auto rickshaws.
The company said Uber Go, its new service that includes small vehicles like the Tata Indica Vista (image below) and Maruti Suzuki Swift, is now available in all ten cities that it services in the country. The company believes it is now in a position to challenge India’s near ubiquitous fleets of auto rickshaws for cheap travel.
Uber is in a constant state of price reductions and offers across its markets in Asia as it aims to accelerate mainstream adoption of taxi booking services across the region. It’s no surprise, then, that it is giving all Uber Go passengers an immediate and ongoing 35 percent discount on their rides.
An Uber Go journey…
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November 12, 2014 Leave a comment
Helicopter Parenting and us !!
Originally posted on Quartz:
About 25 years ago, when the era of irrational exuberance allowed enough disposable income for irrational anxiety, the concept of “helicopter parenting” arose. A “helicopter parent” micromanages every aspect of his child’s routine and behavior. From educational products for infants to concerned calls to professors in adulthood, helicopter parents ensure their child is on a path to success by paving it for them.
The rise of the helicopter was the product of two social shifts. The first was the comparatively booming economy of the 1990s, with low unemployment and higher disposable income. The second was the public perception of increased child endangerment—a perception, as “Free Range Kids” guru Lenore Skenazy documented, rooted in paranoia. Despite media campaigns that began in the 1980s and continue today, children are safer from crime than in prior decades. What they are not safe from are the diminishing prospects of their parents.
In America, today’s parents have…
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