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Posts Tagged ‘Algorithms’

Google to switch on ‘semantic search’ within months, emphasize things as well as words

Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Google to switch on

A search engine should be about more than just keywords. MC Hammer believes that passionately and Google must do too, because over the next few months and years it’ll gradually adjust its own algorithms to put greater emphasis on “semantic search”. Under this system, search queries are run through a vast knowledge database that discovers relationships with other words and facts. A Mountain View exec explained it thus: If you search for “Lake Tahoe”, you won’t just get ranked websites containing those two words but also key attributes about the lake, such as its location, altitude, average temperature and Bigfoot population. If a piece of knowledge isn’t the in the ever-expanding database, the search engine will still use semantic search to help it recognize and evaluate information held on websites. In doing this, Big G hopes to compete with social networks that are amassing their own valuable (and sometimes intrusive) databases full of personal information, while also encouraging people to stay longer on its site and see more targeted ads. Google, who is Viviane Reding?

Google to switch on ‘semantic search’ within months, emphasize things as well as words originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 15 Mar 2012 04:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceWSJ  | Email this | Comments

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DARPA’s ‘Avatar project’ aims to give soldiers surrogate robots, make James Cameron proud

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

In a fevered mash up of blockbuster films directed by James Cameron, DARPA is looking to put soldier controlled bi-pedal robots on the battlefield. Think Terminator meets Avatar. The agency has set aside $7 million of it’s $2.8 billion 2012 budget to develop an “Avatar program” that will “develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.” DARPA isn’t talking about simple remote control rigs, either — these ‘bots are being designed to clear rooms, and facilitate sentry control and combat casualty recovery. The new budget also sets aside $4.1 million to design laser countermeasures to protect military weapons, well, lasers — ensuring that the future’s robot soldiers will be nigh indestructible when they rebel against their human hosts.

DARPA’s ‘Avatar project’ aims to give soldiers surrogate robots, make James Cameron proud originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 19 Feb 2012 07:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink IEEE  |  sourceWired  | Email this | Comments

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How Google’s Algorithms Are Solving Chemistry’s Trickiest Calculations [Video]

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Google knows a thing or two about complex calculations performed across very big data sets. Which is why chemists are borrowing ideas from the search company to help them predict how substances react with each other. More »


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360 Panorama app now available for Android users, no gyroscope necessary (video)

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Looking to capture panoramic photos on an Android handset? Well, you’ve certainly got plenty of options — including, as of today, Occipital’s 360 Panorama, which just hit the Android Market. Compatible with devices running Android 2.3 or above (with the exception of Honeycomb), the app offers much of the same functionality you’ll find on the previously released iOS version. Just tap a button, pan your handset across any given area and watch your photo come to fruition before your very eyes. The tool also allows exposure to fluctuate as a user pans his or her device, thereby creating the potential for HDR panoramic shots during transitions from dark to bright areas. Interestingly enough, this version relies not upon an actual gyroscope, but a “simulated” one, created from motion-tracking algorithms (that’s how it works on older 3GS handsets, as well). Users who already have a 360 Panorama account can still use it on their Android handsets, allowing them to upload and store all their photos in one place. Eventually, this storage system will allow for syncing across both iOS and Android hemispheres, though at the moment, it’s a strictly web-based affair. Pan past the break for a brief demo video, or check out some sample shots in the gallery, below.

Continue reading 360 Panorama app now available for Android users, no gyroscope necessary (video)

360 Panorama app now available for Android users, no gyroscope necessary (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Nov 2011 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Researchers wed quantum processor with quantum memory, quaziness ensues

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Quantum computing has a long way to go before becoming truly mainstream, but that certainly hasn’t stopped us from indulging in dreams of a qubit-based existence. The latest bit of fantasy fodder comes from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where researchers have become the first to combine a quantum processor with memory mechanisms on a single chip. To do this, Matteo Mariantoni and his team of scientists connected two qubits with a quantum bus and linked each of them to a memory element, capable of storing their current values in the same way that RAM stores data on conventional computers. These qubit-memory links also contained arrays of resonators — jagged, yet easily controlled circuits that can store values for shorter periods of time. The qubits, meanwhile, were constructed using superconducting circuits, allowing the UCSB team to nestle their qubits even closer together, in accordance with the von Neumann architecture that governs most commercial computers. Once everything was in place, the researchers used their system to run complex algorithms and operations that could be eventually used to decode data encryption. The next step, of course, is to scale up the design, though Mariantoni says that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, thanks to his system’s resonators — which, according to him, “represent the future of quantum computing with integrated circuits.”

Researchers wed quantum processor with quantum memory, quaziness ensues originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 02 Sep 2011 22:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceTechnology Review  | Email this | Comments

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This Robot Teaches Itself to One-Up You [Video]

Thursday, May 19th, 2011
The nerve of robots these days. You go to the trouble of showing one how to throw a ball through a hoop (sure, you missed a time or two, but you’re human — it’s expected) and the cheeky little bastard goes and improves upon your demonstration until it’s sinking shots like Jordan. Researchers at the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory at EPFL in Switzerland, have developed algorithms that robots can use to analyze your half-assed skyhook. The robot then figures out both what you’re trying to do and what you’re doing wrong (besides not being Dr. J) before perfecting its own technique. No word yet on whether it has learned the art of trash-talking, but once it does, rest assured it’s gonna kick your ass at that too, sucka. More »


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HECTOR insect-inspired hexapod walking robot is a smooth operator (video)

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

We’ve seen some rather nightmare-inducing robots inspired by insects, but, once again, the folks at Germany’s Bielefeld University have managed to turn something inherently creepy into a rather lighthearted affair. HECTOR, or hexapod cognitive autonomously operating robot, was designed to help its creators understand how exactly real animals manage to move so gracefully. Physically speaking, HECTOR sports six legs, with 18 joints in total, that protrude from an exoskeleton made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Its legs are given a rather life-like range of motion provided by a special set of “elastic joint drives” and a series of “biologically inspired” algorithms, and its exoskeleton can carry a load weighing 30 kilograms — the robot itself weighs a mere 12 kilograms. What’s more, HECTOR’s built to learn from its experiences. Okay, so a three foot robotic insect that can carry nearly three times its weight does sound kind of creepy in retrospect, but HECTOR really does have some smooth moves. You can see for yourself in the video after the break.

Continue reading HECTOR insect-inspired hexapod walking robot is a smooth operator (video)

HECTOR insect-inspired hexapod walking robot is a smooth operator (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 19 Apr 2011 03:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Gizmag  |  sourceBielefeld University  | Email this | Comments

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Jawbone Era sticks an accelerometer in your noise-canceling headset, we go hands-on

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

With a fantastic Bluetooth headset on the market and a pumpin’ portable speaker to blast out jams, how could Jawbone improve their product lineup? Well, we still think a stereo headset might be swell… but that’s not what the company delivered today. No, this is the Jawbone Era, the world’s first Bluetooth earpiece with a built-in accelerometer for motion-sensing apps, and plenty more improvements where that came from. There’s a new version of the company’s NoiseAssassin noise-canceling algorithms that adjusts inbound volume and equalization to let you hear better, an extra-large 10mm cone speaker with a larger range of frequencies, two processors, more memory, and an hour of extra battery life compared to the Jawbone Icon, to be specific. With only two motions currently recognized — a double-tap to begin / end / switch calls and a rapid shake to pair — the accelerometer’s a bit of a gimmick for now, but Jawbone suggests more gestures are probably on the way. In the meanwhile, the other advancements might make the Era worth the price of entry — which is $130, by the by.

We’ve spent about five hours with the headset already, listening to music and taking calls, and while the accelerometer seems almost wasted at present, there’s no discounting that new 10mm driver and the audio it can pump out. While no substitute for a set of quality dedicated earbuds, it sounded worlds better than the Jawbone Icon’s tiny, tinny drum, and playing Pandora tracks we no longer felt an overpowering desire to take it out of our ear — making a cyborg existence all the more bearable, we suppose. We’ll bring you a full review soon, but if you’re already sold, you’ll find four different Era designs on sale at Jawbone’s online store… oh, right about now. PR after the break.

Continue reading Jawbone Era sticks an accelerometer in your noise-canceling headset, we go hands-on

Jawbone Era sticks an accelerometer in your noise-canceling headset, we go hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Jan 2011 08:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How the Fruit Fly Could Revolutionize Distributed Computing [Science]

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

InputDynamics makes dumbphones smarter with tap-to-touch tech

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

You can’t afford a proper QWERTY keyboard on your phone, much less a expansive multitouch slate. What to do? Well, if a UK startup named InputDynamics has its way, you’ll just tap on any surface of your handset. The company’s developed a piece of software called TouchDevice that uses a phone’s embedded microphone to analyze the acoustics inside, reacting to your finger’s impact on the surface with a touchscreen-like input on the device. New Scientist reports that’s not all, as the algorithms can also be fine tuned for detect scratches and swipes for scrolling and zoom, and the company’s in talks with “tier-one handset manufacturers” to license the program even as we speak. You’ll forgive us if we’re a bit skeptical, though — if this truly requires only software and works on any surface, why not release an app to tap the backs of our Droids, BlackBerrys and iPhones?

InputDynamics makes dumbphones smarter with tap-to-touch tech originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 12 Sep 2010 10:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink DVICE  |  sourceNew Scientist  | Email this | Comments

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WD TV Live Plus gets reviewed, lauded for value

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

After being announced in early June, Anandtech recently put the Western Digital WD TV Live Plus through its paces and discovered the Netflix enhancement works as advertised. Like many Netflix-enabled devices though, the TV Live comes up short compared to the full PC experience since access is limited to only the Instant Queue. Its presence also sacrifices firmware hackability — a quality which previously made up for the WD TV Live’s lack of versatility as an HTPC. The ability to move, copy, and manage locally stored media files via the interface, on the other hand, was praised as a unique advantage over competing models — exciting, we know. Sadly, video quality was docked as being “significantly less than the HTPC counterparts they’ve seen so far.” However, it’s possible this could be improved in the future via firmware updates, since its Sigma Designs processor features noise reduction and deinterlacing algorithms that strangely aren’t currently enabled. File format-wise, DVD ISOs worked flawlessly, while Blu-ray ISO and some WMV video formats experienced issues that users may want to read up on before buying. Gripes aside though, Anandtech was still willing to place it “around the top of the list” for media player devices, thanks to its wide file compatibility and robust features. For more details, hit the review source link.

WD TV Live Plus gets reviewed, lauded for value originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 31 Jul 2010 11:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceAnandtech  | Email this | Comments

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