Huawei CEO confirms bezel-less display for Mate 10
Mate 10 to take on Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8
Expected to be unveiled in September
We’re fast approaching a new age where bezel-less displays are the new norm. Xiaomi kicked it off with the Mi MIX, while LG and Samsung followed with the G6 and Galaxy S8, respectively, and Apple is expected to do the same with its upcoming tenth anniversary iPhone. Huawei is also looking to shift to ‘full-screen’ displays when it launches the Mate 10 flagship, CEO c confirms.
Bezel-less displays have been trend for smartphones in 2017, and Huawei’s CEO has confirmed rumours that began earlier this month that the successor to the Mate 9 will feature a near bezel-less display as it looks to grow mobile shipments tis year and take on the giant Apple. In an interview with Bloomberg, Richard Yu said that the Mate 10 will be unveiled right around the time Apple reveals its next iPhone, which means we’re looking at a possible September unveiling. In fact, Huawei’s CEO unabashedly revealed that the Mate 10 will have features that will trump Apple.
“We will have an even more powerful product,” Yu says. “The Mate 10, which has much longer battery life with a full-screen display, quicker charging speed, better photographing capability and many other features that will help us compete with Apple.”
The CEO’s remarks comes soon after Huawei reported a slowdown in smartphone shipments the year with an estimated 140 million-150 million smartphones expected to ship by year-end. This is only marginally better than last year’s 139 million figure. Huawei claims the reason behind this is that the company is focusing on chasing profits rather than volumes, and it plans on doing this by shifting focus towards high-end phones.
The Chinese manufacturer also plans on unveiling an “AI processor” this year that looks to make smartphones “intelligent”. Yu, however, did not clarify whether Huawei’s dedicated AI processor will be included with the upcoming Mate 10.
As for everything else that is expected to come with the Mate 10, earlier this month it was reported that the upcoming smartphone will come with facial recognition, support for AR, and could have 3D sensing as well. Additionally, the smartphone is tipped to come with iris scanning and is expected to be powered by Huawei’s HiSilcon Kirin 970 SoC based on the 10nm process.
The Huawei Mate 10 is tipped to come with a 6-inch (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, identical to the LG G6 and similar to the Galaxy S8. Cameras on the smartphone are expected to be Lieca-branded, as was the case with the Mate 9. Going by CEO Richard Yu’s statement, the Huawei Mate 10 could be unveiled some time in September.
A pilot project that uses technology to sync up MTA buses with traffic lights — turning signals green faster as the buses approach — is about to expand, much to the chagrin of other drivers.
The program has been operating along five bus routes since 2006, and the vehicles’ times have improved so much that the city is now planning to install the technology at 1,000 intersections citywide by 2020, officials said Monday.
But drivers’ advocates say the move will just make traffic even more congested than it already is.
“We know mass transit in this city is a disaster and something needs to be done, but if you do it at the expense of other vehicles, you’re serving nobody,’’ said New York Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.
Uber driver Oscar Martinez agreed.
“When the light changes so quickly, everybody gets stuck,’’ he said.
The lights timed to buses are currently located along Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island, First and Second avenues in Manhattan, Nostrand and Utica avenues in Brooklyn, and Webster Avenue in The Bronx.
Signifying the growing popularity of Artificial Intelligence (AI), global research firm Gartner has predicted that AI will be virtually pervasive in almost every new software product and service by 2020.
Owing to its market hype, almost all established software vendors are working to introduce AI into their product strategies which is creating considerable confusion in the process.
The term ‘artificial intelligence’ was not even in the top 100 search terms on gartner.com in January 2016 but by May 2017, it ranked at number 7, indicating the popularity of the topic.
“As AI accelerates up the ‘Hype Cycle’, many software providers are looking to stake their claim in the biggest gold rush in recent years,” said Jim Hare, Research Vice-President, Gartner, in a statement.
“AI offers exciting possibilities, but unfortunately, most vendors are focused on the goal of simply building and marketing an AI-based product rather than first identifying needs, potential uses and the business value to customers,” he added.
Instead of using cutting-edge AI techniques for every solution, Gartner recommends vendors to use the simplest approach that can do the job.
“Software vendors need to focus on offering solutions to business problems rather than just cutting-edge technology. Highlight how your AI solution helps address the skills shortage and how it can deliver value faster than trying to build a custom AI solution in-house,” suggested Hare.
The survey also indicated that lack of necessary staff skills was the top challenge in adopting AI in the organisations.
Gartner said that AI can greatly augment human capabilities and the combination of machines and humans can accomplish more together.
Google is rolling out a new feature to the Google Play Music service, called New Release Radio, that offers a personalised mix of newly released songs based on your taste. The feature was first discovered last month when some Samsung Galaxy S8 users reported seeing the new station, but Google has now confirmed that the feature is rolling out for all Google Play Music customers. You can find New Release Radio throughout Google Play Music or by typing “New Release Radio” in the search bar.
The New Release Radio station “uses machine learning to select singles and album releases from the past two weeks based on your listening history and musical preferences,” Google says in its blog post. This sounds similar to a feature recently launched for Apple Music, called My Chill Mix, which suggests a playlist of songs based on your listening habit, but is actually closer to Apple Music’s My New Music playlist.
Back in April, Google joined hands with Samsung that would make Google Play Music the default music player and streaming service on Samsung mobiles and tablets. As part of that partnership, the Internet search giant was able to get feedback on New Release Radio from Samsung users through an early access programme, and so far the responses have been positive, Google says.
In a bid to challenge rival Apple Music, Google in May extended its 90-day free trial of Google Play Music to 120 days, or four months, for new subscribers. It also launched Google Play Music All Accessback in April, that gives access to millions of songs similar to Spotify and Apple Music, at an introductory offer of Rs. 89 per month post a 30-day free trial.
Xiaomi will roll out the Nougat update to 14 phones.
The Mi 6 and Mi Max 2 run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, but a majority of Xiaomi’s devices are still on Marshmallow. The company has now confirmed that it is working on delivering the Nougat update to 14 phones, with internal testing underway for five phones: the Mi Note 2, Mi Mix, Redmi 4/4X, and the Mi 5s along with the Mi 5s Plus.
Xiaomi’s best-sellers from last year — the Redmi Note 4 and the Mi 5 — are scheduled to receive the update, along with the first-generation Mi Max and the Mi Note. Here’s a look at the list of devices that will are already on Nougat or are scheduled to receive the update:
The Nintendo Switch companion app is fast turning into a pretty essential part of the Switch.
As well as the previously announced news that you’ll need to use the app in order to enable voice-chat on the console, in a recent interview Nintendo of America’s President Reggie Fils-Aime suggested that the app would be used for a lot more besides voice chat.
In fact, the app’s functionality actually goes as far as enabling matchmaking and allowing you to create lobbies, suggesting that your online options are going to be pretty slim without your smartphone.
Smart (phone) justifications
Fils-Aime justified the decision to rely on the app for voice chat by saying that most people will have a headset that connects to their phone on them at all times.
As such using the phone for voice chat makes sense, as it means you don’t have to carry around an extra Switch-specific headset.
But while these justifications make a certain amount of sense for using the console while on the go, the same can’t be said for docked play, where people are used to having a dedicated headset and a console that can handle everything without needing accessories.
Fils-Aime’s use of the word ‘hotspot’ also suggests that Nintendo expects people to tether their console to their phone to get online while on the go, which might prove challenging for anyone with a limited amount of data.
It’s beginning to feel as though in its quest to make a hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch is fast becoming a device that has limitations in both form-factors.
We’ve contacted Nintendo to ask for clarification on what exactly the mobile app will enable, and what form of online play will be possible without the app.
A few weeks ago, sharp-eyed users spotted something new in a Windows 10 Insider Preview build — reference to a new “Game Mode.” Discussions on what the feature might do, or how it could improve performance, have made the rounds since. But a new investigation suggests the new feature won’t make much difference for the vast majority of Windows 10 gamers.
PCGamesN has details on the latest Insider Preview build (15007) and what it exposes in the OS. While Game Mode can’t be enabled yet, you can read the description of what it’s going to do. Basically, it performs some low-level services tailoring to make the system work smarter when you’re actively using Microsoft’s GameDVR function.
This is more-or-less as expected, and fairly worthless in any case. Both Nvidia and AMD have shipped software solutions with their own, low-level DVR capture capability, with a minimum impact on their own hardware. Microsoft’s decision to bake in its own solution is probably a boon to Intel gamers or to people who aren’t aware of Radeon ReLive or Nvidia ShadowPlay, but it’s not much benefit to anyone else. If you want to get back the performance improvement of Game Mode before Microsoft ships the feature, you can disable the DVR altogether using these instructions.
As for the amount of performance you’ll get back by making these changes, it’s unlikely you’d ever notice. Heck, it’s not even likely that you’d notice if you benchmarked the game. Barring an unusual situation, DVR recording and other background Windows services are meant to run in the background, where they’re unlikely to consume resources or cause issues. Part of the reason why this simply doesn’t matter on modern hardware is because Windows’ hardware specifications have only changed slightly since the introduction of Windows Vista in 2006. (The idea of running Vista on hardware from 1995 would’ve been beyond hilarious, but you can run Windows 10 on equipment sold 11 years ago, if you have to). Microsoft hasn’t done much moving of the goalposts, and later versions of Windows are generally viewed as improvements to Vista, as far as running on low-end hardware.
Don’t get us wrong — if Microsoft is enabling this feature because it has data suggesting that its DVR software doesn’t play nice with specific titles, that’s a fine thing. But we’d prefer the company just say that, as opposed to pushing the idea of a Game Mode that’s going to make most titles run faster. If you’re trying to play modern games on a computer that was cutting-edge in 2008 and hasn’t been upgraded since, DVR support is the least of your worries. If that doesn’t describe you, then these optimizations aren’t likely to matter.
What we would like to see, if Microsoft is taking notes, is a Game Mode that prevented Windows Update from rebooting the computer while resource-intensive applications or games are running. If you’ve ever had a Windows 10 system suddenly decide it’s time for a reboot in the middle of a game or benchmark run (and I’ve seen multiple testbeds pull this trick with zero warning), you know how infuriating it can be. Fix that problem, and you’ve got a Game Mode worth deploying.
We received a tip earlier today that Minecraft Pocket Edition will no longer be supported on Windows mobile devices.
Since receiving the tip, we have confirmed with sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans that Minecraft Pocket Edition will no longer receive updates for Windows Phone 8.1 or 10 Mobile, but it will still be available in the store.
This will come as a considerable blow for Windows mobile fans of the game, but the amount of users spending time in Minecraft PE for Windows 8.1 and 10 Mobile is reportedly very low, making the development hours needed to keep it up to date is simply no longer economically viable.
At this point, I’d say it’s pretty clear that the future of Windows on mobile devices lies with full Windows 10 on ARM, recently announced for future handsets powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor. Microsoft demonstrated World of Tank Blitz running on a Snapdragon 820 with full Windows 10, which implies that the newer 835 would make short work of Minecraft for Windows 10, which already supports touch. I suspect this is where the bulk of Minecraft development will be spent moving forward.
You can still download and play Minecraft Pocket Edition on Windows Phone devices, at least for the time being, using the link below.
Perhaps the coolest thing about IBM’s 9th “Five Innovations that will Help Change our Lives within Five Years” predictions is that none of them sound like science fiction.
“With advances in artificial intelligence and nanotechnology, we aim to invent a new generation of scientific instruments that will make the complex invisible systems in our world today visible over the next five years,” said Dario Gil, vice president of science & solutions at IBM Research in a statement.
Among the five areas IBM sees as being key in the next five years include artificial intelligence, hyperimaging and small sensors. Specifically, according to IBM:
1. In five years, what we say and write will be used as indicators of our mental health and physical wellbeing. Patterns in our speech and writing analyzed by new cognitive systems will provide tell-tale signs of early-stage mental and neurological diseases that can help doctors and patients better predict, monitor and track these diseases. At IBM, scientists are using transcripts and audio inputs from psychiatric interviews, coupled with machine learning techniques, to find patterns in speech to help clinicians accurately predict and monitor psychosis, schizophrenia, mania and depression.
Today, it only takes about 300 words to help clinicians predict the probability of psychosis in a user. Cognitive computers can analyze a patient’s speech or written words to look for tell-tale indicators found in language, including meaning, syntax and intonation. Combing the results of these measurements with those from wearables devices and imaging systems (MRIs and EEGs) can paint a more complete picture of the individual for health professionals to better identify, understand and treat the underlying disease.
2. In five years, new imaging devices using hyperimaging technology and AI will help us see broadly beyond the domain of visible light by combining multiple bands of the electromagnetic spectrum to reveal valuable insights or potential dangers that would otherwise be unknown or hidden from view. Most importantly, these devices will be portable, affordable and accessible, so superhero vision can be part of our everyday experiences.
A view of the invisible or vaguely visible physical phenomena all around us could help make road and traffic conditions clearer for drivers and self-driving cars. For example, using millimeter wave imaging, a camera and other sensors, hyperimaging technology could help a car see through fog or rain, detect hazardous and hard-to-see road conditions such as black ice, or tell us if there is some object up ahead and its distance and size. Embedded in our phones, these same technologies could take images of our food to show its nutritional value or whether it’s safe to eat. A hyperimage of a pharmaceutical drug or a bank check could tell us what’s fraudulent and what’s not.
3. In the next five years, new medical labs on a chip will serve as nanotechnology health detectives– tracing invisible clues in our bodily fluids and letting us know immediately if we have reason to see a doctor. The goal is to shrink down to a single silicon chip all of the processes necessary to analyze a disease that would normally be carried out in a full-scale biochemistry lab.
The lab-on-a-chip technology could ultimately be packaged in a convenient handheld device to let people quickly and regularly measure the presence of biomarkers found in small amounts of bodily fluids, sending this information streaming into the cloud from the convenience of their home. There it could be combined with data from other IoT-enabled devices, like sleep monitors and smart watches, and analyzed by AI systems for insights. When taken together, this data set will give us an in-depth view of our health and alert us to the first signs of trouble, helping to stop disease before it progresses.
4. In five years, new, affordable sensing technologies deployed near natural gas extraction wells, around storage facilities, and along distribution pipelines will enable the industry to pinpoint invisible leaks in real-time. Networks of IoT sensors wirelessly connected to the cloud will provide continuous monitoring of the vast natural gas infrastructure, allowing leaks to be found in a matter of minutes instead of weeks, reducing pollution and waste and the likelihood of catastrophic events. Scientists at IBM are working with natural gas producers such as Southwestern Energy to explore the development of an intelligent methane monitoring system and as part of the ARPA-E Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) program.
5. In five years, we will use machine-learning algorithms and software to help us organize the information about the physical world to help bring the vast and complex data gathered by billions of devices within the range of our vision and understanding. We call this a “macroscope” – but unlike the microscope to see the very small, or the telescope that can see far away, it is a system of software and algorithms to bring all of Earth’s complex data together to analyze it for meaning.
By aggregating, organizing and analyzing data on climate, soil conditions, water levels and their relationship to irrigation practices, for example, a new generation of farmers will have insights that help them determine the right crop choices, where to plant them and how to produce optimal yields while conserving precious water supplies. Beyond our own planet, macroscope technologies could handle, for example, the complicated indexing and correlation of various layers and volumes of data collected by telescopes to predict asteroid collisions with one another and learn more about their composition.
IBM has had some success with its “five in five” predictions in the past. For example, in 2012 it predicted computers will have a sense of smell. IBM says “sniffing” technology is already in use at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, working to preserve and protect priceless works of art by monitoring fluctuations in temperature, relative humidity, and other environmental conditions. “And this same technology is also being used in the agricultural industry to monitor soil conditions, allowing farmers to better schedule irrigation and fertilization schedules, saving water and improving crop yield,” IBM said.
In 2009 it had an expectation that buildings will sense and respond like living organisms. IBM said it is working with The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to develop and install advanced smart building technology in 50 of the federal government’s highest energy-consuming buildings. “Part of GSA’s larger smart building strategy, this initiative connects building management systems to a central cloud-based platform, improving efficiency and saving up to $15 million in taxpayer dollars annually. IBM is also helping the second largest school district in the U.S. become one of the greenest and most sustainable by making energy conservation and cost savings as easy as sending a text message,” IBM stated.
Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Revolution Analytics represents a significant move on the company’s part. Revolution Analytics is built around the highly popular R language, an open source programming language designed specifically for statistical analytics.
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In addition to the R language, Revolution Analytics offers two platforms for developing and deploying R-based applications, one of which is also open source and available free to the public. With this acquisition, Microsoft is clearly moving into new territory. The question that remains is whether the impact will be felt only within Microsoft, or across the R community at large.
The world of Revolution Analytics
Formed in 2007, Revolution Analytics set out to build and support the R community as well as meet the needs of a growing commercial base. Since then, Revolution Analytics has become the world’s largest provider of R-related software and services. That shouldn’t be surprising, given that R is the world’s most widely used programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics.
Since its rise to fame, Revolution Analytics has continued to support the open source community, contributing regularly to projects such as RHadoopand ParallelR. The company also supports more than 150 R-based user groups across the globe. Revolution Analytics’ own open source product, Revolution R Open, provides a development platform for R-based applications that users can download for free and share with other users, making analytical software affordable to a wide range of individuals and organizations.
Yet Revolution Analytics has been just as busy on the commercial side with Revolution R Enterprise, a more sophisticated version of the open platform. With the enterprise edition, organizations can implement scaled-out options for exploring and modeling large sets of data. The enterprise edition uses parallel external memory algorithms to support large-scale predictive modeling, data statistics and machine-learning capabilities, delivered at breakneck speeds on multiple environments.
A closer look at R
Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman at the University of Auckland created the R language in 1993 to address the limitations of existing analytical solutions. In 1995, they released R to the open source community under the terms of the GNU General Public License established by the Free Software Foundation.
From there, the code quickly gained in popularity among analysts and those developing analytical applications. Organizations that have used R include Google, Facebook, Twitter, Nordstrom, Bank of America and The New York Times, to name a few. R set a new standard for analytics that delivered predictive modeling capabilities lacking in more traditional languages.
Because R was created by and for statisticians, it contains many of the features needed to accomplish common statistical-related tasks. For example, R includes data frames, a natural data structure available in few other languages. R also makes it easier to track unknown values within an application so the actual values can be easily inserted once they are known. In addition, R makes it easy to save, reuse and share new analytical techniques with other developers and data scientists.
The R language is particularly efficient at generating visualizations, such as charts and graphs, to identify patterns and hidden anomalies. The language is efficient at reading data, generating lines and points, and properly positioning them into meaningful representations, whether maps, plots (image, scatter, bar), 3-D surfaces or pie charts.
What’s in it for Microsoft?
According to Microsoft, the Revolution Analytics acquisition will help its customers more easily implement advanced analytics within Microsoft platforms, including on-premises, on Microsoft Azure or in hybrid cloud implementations.
The R language will allow a wide range of industries to address their need for powerful analytical models, whether financial, retail, healthcare, manufacturing or a host of others. The Microsoft-Revolution Analytics mix offers customers a way to achieve high-performing, data-centric computations that can scale to meet their evolving business needs.
To this end, Microsoft plans to build R and Revolution Analytics’ technologies into Microsoft data systems, including SQL Server. Developers and data scientists will be able to take advantage of in-database analytic capabilities that can be deployed across environments. Microsoft also plans to integrate R into Azure HDInsight and Azure Machine Learning, providing more options for creating analytical models that can aid in making data-driven decisions.
Microsoft’s deep pockets also will let the company invest in the R-based applications that Revolution Analytics brings to the table. In addition, Microsoft promises continued support of Revolution R Enterprise across multiple operating systems and heterogeneous platforms such as Hadoopand Teradata. In addition, Microsoft says it will also continue Revolution Analytics’ education and training efforts for developers and data scientists.
What is particularly interesting about Microsoft’s acquisition is its stated commitment to foster Revolution Analytics’ open source nature, not only for the R language, but also for other open source commitments, including Revolution R Open, ParallelR, RHadoop, DeployR and other notable projects.
Perhaps this isn’t such a leap. Microsoft was already an R proponent long before bringing Revolution Analytics on board, having used R to enhance Xbox online gaming and to apply machine learning to data coming from such sources as Bing, Azure and Office. And Microsoft already supports R extensively within the Azure framework.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Revolution Analytics is still new, and despite the promises coming out of both companies, we don’t know what R will look like once everything has played out. What we do know is that R is a popular and widely implemented technology used in a wide range of analytical applications. The marriage between Microsoft and Revolution Analytics could go a long way in solidifying R’s hold on analytics. And we all know how much Microsoft likes to maintain its hold over those industry pieces of the pie.