Microsoft, Nvidia work to speed up AI platform powering Cortana

From PC World: Thanks to artificial intelligence, we have autonomous cars, chat bots, and speech recognition. Microsoft's CNTK (Cognitive Toolkit) is one among many platforms that trains computers to learn, and it's getting an upgrade.

CNTK drives the Microsoft services Cortana and Skype language translation, and it boasts more than 90 percent accuracy in speech recognition tasks. Microsoft will soon release an upgraded CNTK toolkit, and one hardware maker wants to ensure the toolkit works best on its hardware.

WhatsApp launches video-chat challenger to FaceTime, Skype

From CNET: FaceTime and Skype have a new rival in the video-chat market: WhatsApp.

The maker of the hugely popular messaging and voice app said Monday it will soon add the ability to place free video calls from within the app. The feature, which is expected to be available in the coming days, will allow the app's more than 1 billion users to speak face to face with friends and family, regardless of whether they are using Android, iPhone and Windows devices.

Amazon Music Unlimited launches in the UK, with Echo as its secret weapon

From CNET: Amazon Music Unlimited has launched in the UK -- and if you team it with Amazon Echo, it's one of the cheapest streaming services around.

Samsung boosts audio, connected car businesses with $8B Harman buy

From PC World: Samsung Electronics wants to buy its way into the connected car market, with a plan to acquire Harman for US$8 billion.

It's the latest in a line of acquisitions by Samsung, as it seeks to diversify its business beyond the slowing smartphone market. Other recently announced deals include last month's buy of artificial intelligence startup Viv Labs, which has developed a virtual personal assistant Samsung hopes to put in its consumer electronics products, and the June purchase of Joyent, a supplier of cloud services for the internet of things.

Facebook wants to help improve Messenger bots

From CNET: Earlier this year at F8, the social network's most important conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed a big investment in chatbots, which use artificial intelligence to allow people to text with the software to help them do things like schedule calendar meetings or buy a pair of shoes.

Now Facebook wants to help software developers who create bots make them better. On Monday, the company said it would bring free analytics tools to its Facebook Messenger platform, where the bots live.

The Google Assistant Developer Platform will be ready in December

From InfoWorld: Google’s major push into home automation and artificial intelligence has been sort-of realized with the Google Assistant. It lives inside of the Pixel smartphone and Google Home hub, but that’s just the start. The company wants to enable your favorite apps and services to connect with it so you can issue voice commands that simplify numerous day-to-day tasks.

Is an HDD activity LED important to you?

It's very important
14% (20 votes)
It's nice to have, but I can live without it
55% (80 votes)
Not at all
31% (45 votes)
Total votes: 145

Corsair Gaming Harpoon RGB Review (Page 1 of 4)

If you have lived long enough to witness the dawn of the internet era, give yourself a pat on your back: You are now an internet veteran. As an internet veteran, you have probably witnessed the fundamental shifts in the ways we do open communications. It started with simple message boards, which evolved onto internet forums, followed by the rise of social media. But what has not changed is the importance of winning debates on the internet. As you would know, winning internet debates is serious business. Those who win will be allowed to elevate their e-ego for five minutes in front of that twenty people or so who are following that thread, while those who lose are relegated to shame by the warriors of the internet sitting behind a computer monitor and -- if you are against the professionals -- a mechanical keyboard and a gaming mouse. Recently, I was arguing with a member of another forum. After proving a DC motor does indeed produce 100% of the torque from 0 RPM by showing mathematical formulas, physical implications, and system output graphs, my opponent still was not convinced. "I have been an electrician for three decades, and this is not true," he explained. After facepalming in real life for about two minutes, I decided to fire back. "I am doing a PhD in Electrical Engineering. My proofs are sufficient and you are wrong." I think that was a mic drop moment as I watched the flurry of support come in from other internet users over the next few minutes. All I can say is, there is nothing that beats the satisfaction of creaming your opponent by both logic and credibility. I mean, why else do people pursue a PhD other than for the sole purpose of winning arguments on the internet? Okay, this is not the actual reason why I decided to do my graduate studies, haha. In reality, if you possess adequate knowledge in any subject, combined with good logic and decent strategies (This example aside), you will probably win the debate. Similarly, when you buy computer peripherals, how do you evaluate what is adequate for the task? Is a $100 mouse an overkill for your needs, and can a $30 mouse have all the right elements to consistently deliver headshots to your virtual enemies? Read on to see if Corsair Gaming's Harpoon RGB will be the new weapon of choice for the professional internet warrior on a budget.

Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 Review (Page 1 of 4)

With how fast technology advances, especially in products like laptops or mobile devices, it always seems kind of neat to go back to the older products to see how they compare in feel or performance. I used to do this a lot with my parents' older laptops, including one of the laptops on Windows 3.1. Despite having practically zero battery life, weighing over seven pounds, and with a screen size smaller than ten inches, I often liked using that notebook. It had a solid feel, and it even came with a trackball rather than a trackpad. Similarly, I often go back to my old Nokia cellphones for the fun times, like re-experiencing the difficulties of T9 texting and the single game of Snake. Obviously, if I had to choose between the new and old products, it would be hard to really choose the previous generation, even if they had redeeming qualities. It just shows the refinement and even the style of the times. A few weeks ago, we took a trip back in time to take a look at a keyboard styled in a time of typewriters. Today is another time travel, except on a much smaller scale. Twenty months ago, we took a look at the Func MS-2, and it came out with a happy finish. Fast forward to today, and you can see this review unit has a new name in the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1, but not much else has changed... or has it? As with all things, the devil is in the details, and our review of the Clutch G1 will look at exactly this to see exactly what this new iteration looks like!

Yahoo investigating if insiders knew of hack

From InfoWorld: Yahoo said investigators were looking into the possibility that some people within the company knew at the time about the late 2014 theft of information of at least 500 million user accounts.

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