December 09, 2015

Google Says It Has Proved Its Controversial Quantum Computer Really Works

Google posted a research paper describing its results online last night, but it has not been formally peer-reviewed. Neven said that journal publications would be forthcoming. Google’s results are striking—but even if verified, they would only represent partial vindication for D-Wave. The computer that lost in the contest with the quantum machine was running code that had it solve the problem at hand using an algorithm similar to the one baked into the D-Wave chip. An alternative algorithm is known that could have let the conventional computer be more competitive, or even win, by exploiting what Neven called a “bug” in D-Wave’s design.

PINE A64 is a $15, 'high-performance' take on the Raspberry Pi

"PINE64 set out to create a simple, smart and affordable computer that gives people access toward making their next big idea come to life." says Co-Founder Johnson Jeng. "We provide a powerful 64-bit quad-core single-board computer at an exceptional price and remain compatible with multiple open source software platforms to build a community of creativity and innovation." If you're familiar with other ARM-based boards then you know the drill. It can be set up to operate as a mini computer, a gaming console, control your connected home and let you run your own media center. It'll handle Android 5.1 (Lollipop), Ubuntu Linux, openHAB, OpenWRT and Kodi, which offers 4Kx2K output via the H.265 video standard (1080p60 and 4Kp30) and also supports Miracast.

Despite progress, the future of AI will require human assistance

One of the basic obstacles Horvitz is interested in solving is a classic IT problem: AI technologies were essentially built in silos. For systems to become more powerful, they'll likely need to be knitted together. "When I say we're trying to build systems where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, we sometimes see surprising increases in competency when we combine, for example, language and vision together," said Horvitz, who recently launched (and, along with his wife, is funding) the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence at Stanford University, an interdisciplinary research effort on the effects of AI. Exactly how AI systems should be integrated together is still up for debate, "but I'm pretty sure that the next big leaps in AI will come from these kinds of integrative solutions,"

How to get the most from the Internet of Things

Things (IoT) systems and connectivity solutions that enable customers to more efficiently collect, process and analyze IoT data. Here, we share our vision for IoT.  The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most important technological innovations of the past decade. Analytical insights from IoT can lead to valuable business outcomes like automation, improved productivity, reduced downtime and enhanced knowledge of what’s going on at your company. McKinsey estimates that IoT will have a total potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. IoT is, well, exactly what it sounds like: A network of physical things that are connected to the Internet.

Big Data Industry Predictions for 2016

Companies will continue to seek competitive advantage by adopting new big data technologies and allowing machines to simulate subjective ‘squishy’ data – including human communication cues such as nonverbal behavior, facial expressions, tone of voice. Big data analytics makes this possible by assimilating vast amounts of information, including the types of data that were too slow ... As the machines get better at interpreting a variety of data types and collating it with vast quantities of structured data, they can begin to improve and accelerate both employee-owned business processes and customer-facing experiences. Employees’ work can be recorded and compared with what is considered ideal and can then receive personalized decision support so to execute their tasks faster and more effectively.

Easily Create Java Agents with Byte Buddy

A Java agent is a Java program that executes just prior to the start of another Java application (the “target” application), affording that agent the opportunity to modify the target application, or the environment in which it runs. In this article we will start with the basics, and crescendo to an advanced agent implementation using the bytecode manipulation tool Byte Buddy. In the most basic use case, a Java agent sets application properties or configures a certain environment state, enabling the agent to serve as a reusable and pluggable component. ... a Java agent is defined like any other Java program, except that premain replaces the main method as the entry point. As the name suggests, this method is executed before the main method of the target application.

Cyber Insurance Underwriting Moves from ‘Toddler’ to ‘Teen’

The cyber line is “sustainable, but not if we continue to drive pricing down to the lowest common denominator, and not if we don’t underwrite risks. There definitely was a point in the last few years, where you could get a cyber quote with no information,” Stephens said. “It doesn’t seem sustainable to me to do it that way. Insurers have swung the pendulum a little bit back, to actually asking for detailed information, and really trying to differentiate a good risk from a bad risk. They’ll continue to do that.” Carriers expect this area to grow, said Manny Cho, regional underwriting manager at Axis Pro in San Francisco, but they need to be profitable in order for that to happen.

Here's what open source critics are missing in their Apple-bashing

The source of the sin was Apple's release of Swift as open source. Though the page now humbly acknowledges "open source software is at the heart of Apple platforms and developer tools," it originally touted Apple as "the first major computer company to make Open Source development a key part of its ongoing software strategy." Too much? Perhaps. Or not. Apple has actually had that claim on its site for some time, but it wasn't until Swift was released that people paid attention. Ironically,developers started grousing about it on the eve of Apple living up to the spirit of its claim.

Your Tech Employees Aren't Happy? Here's How to Fix it

Part of the problem might be in the employers' perception of work-life balance. Dice found that there seems to be a significant gap in how employers interpret work-life balance and what employees actually want. For example, 67 percent of HR professionals stated that their employees enjoyed a balanced work life, while 75 percent of employees ranked work-life balance as a top benefit they wish they had. Compare that to the number of employees that feel work-life balance is a myth and those who reported a lack of work-life balance at work, it seems there is a disconnect in how employers view this issue. But fostering a culture that encourages a work-life balance isn't that hard, and it's pretty cheap, according to Dice

The Tech Revolution Is Failing to Deliver

Another way to think about it is that many of the recent innovations only make it easier and more fun to do things we hardly ever noticed were hard and no fun. People use internet messenging apps where they once relied on email, or they pay with their phones where they used to pull out a credit card. There is no perceptible change even in time use -- we're just switching to a new, seemingly more perfect way to conduct the same old transactions. Much of the "Internet of Things" (now often referred to as the Internet of Everything) -- connected light bulbs and faucets, excessive electronics and software in cars -- provides this kind of "quality improvement": Gadgets are wonderful, but rarely essential.

Quote for the day:

"Transparency doesn't mean sharing every detail. Transparency means providing context for the decisions we make." -- @simonsinek

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