World content from The Stack


Apple confirms iPad Pro death-by-charge

Apple has issued a very brief advisory acknowledging recent reports that its newly-launched iPad Pro tablet can in some cases respond badly to being charged, requiring a hard reset in order to bring the device back to life. The issue first came to light on November 16th with reports of the iPad Pro dying after… Read More


Sharp seeks solutions to its financial crisis

Two recent reports have claimed that Sharp Corporation has come up with two solutions to help combat its falling profits. Last month, Sharp’s second quarter profits were reported to have dropped 86% from the same period in 2014. Additionally, Sharp’s LCD television business was reported to have made a loss of 12.7 billion yen (the… Read More


Silent ear and tongue-tracking tech can control wearables

Scientists at Georgia Tech are developing silent speech systems that can enable fast and hands-free communication with wearable devices, controlled by the user’s tongue and ears. As seen this week with open source project Eyedrivomatic, the researchers want to apply the technology to provide a device control solution for people who are disabled. They suggest… Read More


Firefox discontinues tab groups (aka Panorama) in favour of Pocket

To my personal annoyance, The Mozilla Foundation are removing the Tab Groups feature (also known as Panorama) from the Firefox web browser from version 45 onwards*, citing ‘declining usage’ as the reason. The post about it, which apparently went up on November 12th, is likely to fuel recent public ire over the fact that Firefox… Read More


Unjamming music with convolutional neural networks

Since annual turnover in the music industry stands at an estimated $130bn, Music Information Retrieval (MIR) is a growing branch of academic interest. The need for better-targeted music recommendations alone fuels research because of the commercial interest in recommender systems such as Pandora (powered by the Music Genome Project), but the field also takes in… Read More


IXPs fundamental in achieving safe and reliable net-neutrality

German internet pioneer and entrepreneur Harald A. Summa, CEO at carrier and data centre-neutral internet exchange point (IXP) DE-CIX, discusses the development of the technology and explains its regional differences… The importance of IXPs in networking The internet is not a single network as such, but consists of nearly 55,000 autonomous networks. An internet exchange… Read More


China’s Tsinghua Unigroup reveals $47 billion bid to become major league chip maker

In an interview today the head of China’s Tsinghua Unigroup revealed that TU will invest 300 billion yuan ($47bn) across the next five years with the ambit of becoming the world’s third largest chip-maker, freeing China further from its dependence on foreign imports in the $355bn global chip market and potentially opening up new western… Read More


Microsoft open sources its machine learning toolkit

Microsoft has this week made its Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit (DMTK) openly available to the developer community. Researchers at the Microsoft Asia lab have released the toolkit on GitHub under an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) license, to encourage the use of multiple computers in parallel to solve complex problems. Its design builds on a… Read More


Facebook testing self-destructing Messenger feature

French Facebook users have spotted a new addition to their Messenger app – a self-destructing message option in the style of digital story-telling platform Snapchat. The feature has been discovered in France by iOS and Android users, who accessed it via a new hourglass icon in the top right of the screen. “We’re excited to… Read More


New photographs from dead photographers with convolutional neural networks

Researchers out of the University of Pittsburgh have used Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) to identify the strange obsessions and unique styles of 41 well-known photographers and even to generate new photographs which accord with their unique perspectives on the world around us. Seeing Behind the Camera: Identifying the Authorship of a Photograph [PDF], by Christopher… Read More


Facebook AI software could stop users posting risqué shots online

Having announced new developments in its artificial intelligence (AI) image recognition technology earlier this month, Facebook has confirmed that the software will also alert users if they’re about to upload a photo that they may rather keep away from the public eye. When uploading photos which may include nude content or images of children, for… Read More


Eight signs of the robot incursion

It’s the kind of scenario presented in science fiction TV, films and books: What if one day, the world was ruled by robots? Today, that scenario is taking steps closer to reality. A recent report has seen Toyota invest $3 billion in a new research and development unit to investigate the feasibility of robots becoming… Read More



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