Monthly Archives: May 2015

I/O Spotlights Google’s Machine Learning Smarts


Few will argue that this year’s I/O keynote was Google’s flashiest yet. If you were expecting people to jump out of blimps to bring you a new version of Google Glass, the event surely left you disappointed. Instead, Google used its relatively low-key keynote to announce an evolutionary update to its mobile operating system, a new effort to bring Android to the Internet of Things and a number of new tools for developers to better monetize, advertise and analyze their apps.

The three new products that stuck out for me on the consumer side of Google’s announcement, though, were Google Photos, Now On Tap in Android M, and — though it wasn’t announced in the keynote — the latest update to Inbox for Gmail. To some degree, all of them draw on the natural language understanding, deep machine learnings expertise, and immense Knowledge Graph database Google has focused on so much…

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The Senate Advances NSA Surveillance Reform Legislation As Deadline Approaches


The Senate voted 77-to-17 to take up the USA Freedom Act, a bill already passed in the House that would reform National Security Agency (NSA), in a rare Sunday session.

The procedural vote came just hours before key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire at midnight. It will likely take until the middle of the week for the Senate to pass the House bill, meaning several programs under the bill will temporarily lapse.

Among the expiring provisions is Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which has been applied to allow the controversial bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. It was one of the first programs reported by The Guardian after former government contractor Edward Snowden leaked secret documents about American surveillance processes.

Although privacy advocates and many in tech supported allowing Section 215 to expire, the surveillance reform bill did receive the support of many tech companies. President…

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Meet Musio, A Robot That Talks Back


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Natural language and machine learning company AKA says it’s taking the next step toward the creation of a robot that you can really, truly talk to, with a new project called Musio.

Members of the AKA team demonstrated an Android-based prototype for me last week. As you can see in the video, Musio should be able to carry on a normal conversation, complete with bad jokes and (thanks to Bluetooth connections to smart devices) magic tricks. Why would you want that? Well, besides the novelty and fun of having a talking robot, it could be useful for practicing English and other learning activities, and for controlling smart home devices.

Musio On Shelf

[related_articles] To be clear, this version of Musio is very much a prototype. Its conversation followed an established script (and I wasn’t allowed to butt in). But linguist Jacob Bradsher promised that when the product launches next year…

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Uber Hires Its First India President To Lead Its Business In The Country


India’s is Uber’s second largest market worldwide behind the U.S., and today the company showed its commitment to the South Asian market by appointing its first ‘President’ to head up its business there.

Uber has hired Amit Jain, an IIT Delhi and Stanford graduate who was most recently President of U.S.-based, the once eBay-owned real estate listings site. Jain, who lists TPG Capital and McKinsey as former employers, is charged with leading “all business strategy, operations, and growth in a market of global strategic importance for Uber,” the company said.

The move is an interestingly symbolic one, since Uber doesn’t tend to appoint figure heads to lead it in a country. It prefers smaller teams that run its business on a city-by-city basis, but obviously felt India is enough of a priority to warrant an overall lead.

“I’m thrilled to have Amit on board to lead our business in India,” Uber…

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This & That…


Sun Tzu

(1) Be extreme SUBTLE, even to the point of FORMLESSNESS.  Be extremely MYSTERIOUS, even to the point of SOUNDLESSNESS.  Thereby you can be the DIRECTOR OF THE OPPONENT’S FATE.  —– Sun Tzu.
(2) Life is like a sewer : What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.  —-Tom Leher.
(3) After despair, many hopes flourish, just as after darkness, thousands of suns open and start to shine.
(4) In the future there will be banking by “mental telepathy”, which will enable you to give instructions to your bank via “thought waves”.
(5) Here is an exam pattern across the years : 1995 : —– Answer all the questions.  2010 : —Answer any 5 questions.  2015 : —– Answer A or B.  2020 : —– At least read the questions.  2025 : —– Thanks for coming.
(6) When sadness comes, just sit by the side and look at…

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Ban Jamaat-ud-Dawa under UAPA

Vicky Nanjappa

Why is the Jamaat-ud-Dawa not banned in India as yet under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act? The Jamaat-ud-Dawa figures in the list of organizations listed in the schedule to the United Nations Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Order of 2007. While this automatically imposes a ban in India, the question is whether this is enough and doesn’t India need to ban it under the UAPA as this would give the police officials more power to act?Read more:

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