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Samsung’s new AI can create talking avatars with a single photo May 23, 2019

Samsung’s research center at Moscow has developed a new AI that can create talking avatars of photos and paintings without using any 3D modeling. A paper posted by the research team suggests that while traditionally researchers have used a large number of images to create a talking head model, a new technique can achieve it […]

Samsung’s new AI can create talking avatars with a single photo


Samsung’s research center at Moscow has developed a new AI that can create talking avatars of photos and paintings without using any 3D modeling. A paper posted by the research team suggests that while traditionally researchers have used a large number of images to create a talking head model, a new technique can achieve it by few, or potentially even one image. In a video, engineer Egor Zakharov, explains that although it’s possible to create a model through a single image, training it through multiple images “leads to higher realism and better identity preservation.” Samsung said that the model creates…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Samsung

Samsung’s new AI can create talking avatars with a single photo
Source: The Next Web

$200M cryptocurrency mixing operation dismantled by Eurocops


A cryptocurrency mixing service that turned over $200 million worth of Bitcoin has been shut down following an investigation led by authorities from a number of European nations. The Dutch anti-fraud agency (FIOD) and Public Prosecution Service announced yesterday they have shut down Bestmixer.io and taken its servers offline. “Six operational servers have been dismantled and seized in the Netherlands and Luxembourg,” the announcement reads. The investigation was undertaken by the Dutch Digital Intrusion Team (DIGIT), Europol, and authorities from Luxembourg, France, and Latvia. Investigations began in back in June 2018 after the cybersecurity firm McAfee notified FIOD that Bestmixer.io…

This story continues at The Next Web

0M cryptocurrency mixing operation dismantled by Eurocops
Source: The Next Web

AI-Enabled Teletype Live Streams Nearly Coherent Conversations

If you’ve got a working Model 33 Teletype, every project starts to look like an excuse to use it. While the hammering, whirring symphony of a teleprinter going full tilt brings to mind a simpler time of room-sized computers and 300 baud connections, it turns out that a Teletype makes a decent AI conversationalist, within the limits of AI, of course.

The Teletype machine that [Hugh Pyle] used for this interesting project, a Model 33 ASR with the paper tape reader, is a nostalgia piece that figures prominently in many of his projects. As such, [Hugh] has access to tons of Teletype documentation, so when OpenAI released their GPT-2 text generation language model, he decided to use the docs as a training set for the model, and then use the Teletype to print out text generated by the model. Initial results were about as weird as you’d expect for something trained on technical docs from the 1960s. The next step was obvious: make a chat-bot out of it and stream the results live. The teletype can be seen clattering away in the recorded stream below, using the chat history as a prompt for generating text responses, sometimes coherent, sometimes disturbing, and sometimes just plain weird.

Alas, the chat-bot and stream are only active a couple of times a week, so you’ll have to wait a bit to try it out. But it looks like a fun project, and we appreciate the mash-up of retro tech and AI. We’ve seen teleprinters revived for modern use before, both for texting and Tweeting, but this one almost has a mind of its own.

AI-Enabled Teletype Live Streams Nearly Coherent Conversations
Source: HackADay

GDPR has helped big tech companies cement their dominance in the data economy while smaller companies have suffered from relatively high compliance costs (Mark Scott/Politico)


Mark Scott / Politico:

GDPR has helped big tech companies cement their dominance in the data economy while smaller companies have suffered from relatively high compliance costs  —  The region’s data protection overhaul was supposed to help citizens.  Instead, it’s helped Big Tech.

GDPR has helped big tech companies cement their dominance in the data economy while smaller companies have suffered from relatively high compliance costs (Mark Scott/Politico)
Source: Tech Meme

Fujifilm GFX100 medium-format mirrorless dispenses with the dials – CNET

Because a retro look just doesn’t mix well with the needs of video shooters. Fujifilm GFX100 medium-format mirrorless dispenses with the dials – CNET
Source: CNet

Fujifilm's $10K GFX100 is the most versatile medium-format camera ever – CNET

A 102MP sensor, 4K video, in-body image stabilization, full-res 5fps shooting with tracking and a hybrid autofocus system makes this seem like a terrifically well-rounded camera. Fujifilm's K GFX100 is the most versatile medium-format camera ever – CNET
Source: CNet

Fujifilm’s GFX 100 is a medium format camera that performs like a mirrorless

Fujifilm has just officially announced its next medium format camera, the GFX 100. The latest GFX, the new model joins the GFX 50S and GFX 50R, released in 2016 and 2018, respectively. The GFX 100 introduces some major leaps over the prior models, including a much higher resolution, in-body image stabilization, and much faster performance. It will be available starting on June 27th for $9,999.95.

Unlike Fujifilm’s prior medium format bodies, the GFX 100 features a full-size design, meaning it has an integrated vertical grip and a much larger stance than the typical mirrorless camera. It’s much closer in size to Canon’s EOS-1D X than even Fujifilm’s own GFX 50R. Inside that hulking, three-pound frame is a new, 102-megapixel sensor and…

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Fujifilm’s GFX 100 is a medium format camera that performs like a mirrorless
Source: New feed

NASA wants your help bringing back pieces of a potentially hazardous asteroid – CNET

The Osiris-Rex mission to asteroid Bennu needs extra eyes to scope out the right spot for grabbing a sample of the rock. NASA wants your help bringing back pieces of a potentially hazardous asteroid – CNET
Source: CNet

Acer updates two notebook lines with Ryzen processors – CNET

AMD’s mobile processor is landing in Acer’s Nitro 5 and Swift 3. Acer updates two notebook lines with Ryzen processors – CNET
Source: CNet

Windows Utility Helps ID Serial Ports

The humble serial interface has been around for a very long time, and will stay with us in one form or other for the foreseeable future. It was easy enough to keep track of back in the days when a computer only had one, or perhaps two COM ports. However, in this day and age of USB-programmable microcontrollers, it’s likely you’ve got COMs coming out the wazoo. Thankfully, [Amr Bekhit] has put together a utility to help solve this problem.

[Amr’s] utility is called Serial Port Monitor, and it does what it says on the tin. When new serial ports are enumerated in Device Manager, a system tray notification pops up noting the number of the newly attached COM port. Additionally, it maintains a list of ports sorted in order of the newest first, and also features a right-click menu that allows the launching of various terminal programs.

It’s a useful tool to keep in your back pocket that can prove particularly so when programming many devboards at once, or any other time when you find yourself dealing with a mess of serial devices.

Incidentally, if you find yourself having continual headaches with USB-to-Serial adapters on Windows, this might just be your problem. Happy hacking.

Footnote: In light of this article, the author would like to formally apologise to [Cosmos2000] for permanently disabling COM1 on his main programming rig. Sorry, friend.

Windows Utility Helps ID Serial Ports
Source: HackADay

Siri and Alexa Reinforce Gender Bias, U.N. Finds

Virtual helpers that come with female voices by default are perpetuating bias, a Unesco report argues. Siri and Alexa Reinforce Gender Bias, U.N. Finds
Source: NY Times Tech

A breakdown of Huawei's supply problems after the US ban, using its latest flagship phone as an example, from hardware to software to building an app ecosystem (Ron Amadeo/Ars Technica)


Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:

A breakdown of Huawei’s supply problems after the US ban, using its latest flagship phone as an example, from hardware to software to building an app ecosystem  —  Huawei’s hardware independence is actually pretty good!  The software, though…  President Trump’s Huawei ban is in full effect …

A breakdown of Huawei's supply problems after the US ban, using its latest flagship phone as an example, from hardware to software to building an app ecosystem (Ron Amadeo/Ars Technica)
Source: Tech Meme

Walmart launches a line of Android tablets under its Onn store brand starting at $64, which ship with Play Store and Google apps, unlike Amazon's Fire tablets (Ben Schoon/9to5Google)


Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:

Walmart launches a line of Android tablets under its Onn store brand starting at $64, which ship with Play Store and Google apps, unlike Amazon’s Fire tablets  —  Earlier this year it was reported that Walmart was working on bringing its own Android tablets to the market to compete with Amazon’s popular Fire tablets.

Walmart launches a line of Android tablets under its Onn store brand starting at , which ship with Play Store and Google apps, unlike Amazon's Fire tablets (Ben Schoon/9to5Google)
Source: Tech Meme

Cala Health, an SF-based medical tech company developing wearable electronic devices to tackle chronic disease, raises $50M Series C from investors including GV (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)


Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:

Cala Health, an SF-based medical tech company developing wearable electronic devices to tackle chronic disease, raises $50M Series C from investors including GV  —  Cala Health, a medical technology company that develops “wearable therapies” to tackle chronic disease, has raised $50 million …

Cala Health, an SF-based medical tech company developing wearable electronic devices to tackle chronic disease, raises M Series C from investors including GV (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)
Source: Tech Meme

What Apple's WWDC 2019 invite teases about the next iOS and MacOS – CNET

I’m not Miss Cleo, but did my best to try to solve the visual riddles and spot the Easter eggs in Apple’s artwork. What Apple's WWDC 2019 invite teases about the next iOS and MacOS – CNET
Source: CNet

Game of Thrones: Ranking all 8 seasons from worst to best – CNET

How does season 8 stack up to the rest? Game of Thrones: Ranking all 8 seasons from worst to best – CNET
Source: CNet

Game of Thrones book by summer 2020, author vows, or 'imprison me' – CNET

This is as close to a real deadline as George R.R. Martin has had for a while, and he gave it to himself. Game of Thrones book by summer 2020, author vows, or 'imprison me' – CNET
Source: CNet

Wolfram Engine Now Free… Sort Of

You’ve probably used Wolfram Alpha and maybe even used the company’s desktop software for high-powered math such as Mathematica. One of the interesting things about all of Wolfram’s mathematics software is that it shares a common core engine — the Wolfram Engine. As of this month, the company is allowing free use of the engine in software projects. The catch? It is only for preproduction use. If you are going into production you need a license, although a free open source project can apply for a free license. Naturally, Wolfram gets to decide what is production, although the actual license is pretty clear that non-commercial projects for personal use and approved open source projects can continue to use the free license. In addition, work you do for a school or large company may already be covered by a site license.

Given how comprehensive the engine is, this is reasonably generous. The engine even has access to the Wolfram Knowledgebase (with a free Basic subscription). If you don’t want to be connected, though, you don’t have to be. You just won’t be able to get live data. If you want to play with the engine, you can use the Wolfram Cloud Sandbox in which you can try some samples.

If this were just another language it might be interesting, especially since it can do so much with math. but the real power is how it interprets things and can draw data from a variety of sources. For example, this query for flags of European countries:

A Wolfram query for flags of European countries.
A Wolfram query for flags of European countries.

There is no special library or database required. It just happens to know what a country is and what flag each country has and what “European” means. Naturally, it can read data from the web, make charts, and even do machine learning. If you’ve had trouble following machine learning code before, try this animal image recognition example:

Distinguishing between predators, with Wolfram.
Distinguishing between predators, with Wolfram.

We covered when the Wolfram language emerged in 2013. If you really have a thing for the notebook style of programming there is always Mathics, Jupyter, and even Fortran.

Wolfram Engine Now Free… Sort Of
Source: HackADay

Boeing 737 Max won't be rushed back to flight, FAA chief says – CNET

Federal regulators are reviewing the aircraft maker’s proposed remedy to issue linked to two fatal crashes. Boeing 737 Max won't be rushed back to flight, FAA chief says – CNET
Source: CNet

Researcher: since at least October, source code for thousands of Instagram profiles leaked the user's contact info when loaded in a web browser; fixed in March (Laura Hautala/CNET)


Laura Hautala / CNET:

Researcher: since at least October, source code for thousands of Instagram profiles leaked the user’s contact info when loaded in a web browser; fixed in March  —  Instagram’s website leaked user contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, over a period of at least four months, a researcher says.

Researcher: since at least October, source code for thousands of Instagram profiles leaked the user's contact info when loaded in a web browser; fixed in March (Laura Hautala/CNET)
Source: Tech Meme

Atari’s VCS throwback console is getting a joystick upgrade


The Atari joystick is one of the most recognizable controllers in gaming history, and now the company is not only bringing it forward into the modern age, it’s making it better with new bells and whistles. You younglings might remember much about the Atari CX40 joystick (The author of this piece was born over a decade after the release of said controller. –Management), but it was extremely ubiquitous in the 80s and was one of the first cross-platform controllers. The introduction of the Atari joystick port predates the computer mouse, just to give you some idea of how old and…

This story continues at The Next Web

Atari’s VCS throwback console is getting a joystick upgrade
Source: The Next Web

IHS reports cloud-based gaming earned $387M in 2018, with Sony's Playstation Now responsible for 36% of that total, and predicts it will grow to $2.5B by 2023 (Giancarlo Valdes/VentureBeat)


Giancarlo Valdes / VentureBeat:

IHS reports cloud-based gaming earned $387M in 2018, with Sony’s Playstation Now responsible for 36% of that total, and predicts it will grow to $2.5B by 2023  —  Cloud-based gaming is starting to heat up.  In a new report from market research firm IHS Markit, cloud gaming earned $387 million in 2018 …

IHS reports cloud-based gaming earned 7M in 2018, with Sony's Playstation Now responsible for 36% of that total, and predicts it will grow to .5B by 2023 (Giancarlo Valdes/VentureBeat)
Source: Tech Meme

Alphabet's Toronto smart campus reportedly opening around late 2023 – CNET

The tech giant’s first smart buildings will open in either late 2023 or early 2024, according to a CNBC report. Alphabet's Toronto smart campus reportedly opening around late 2023 – CNET
Source: CNet

Redditor allowed to stay anonymous, court rules – CNET

In a copyright lawsuit, a Jehovah’s Witness has been given protections regarding anonymous online free speech. Redditor allowed to stay anonymous, court rules – CNET
Source: CNet

Indiegogo CEO and President David Mandelbrot steps down, citing personal reasons, will be replaced by Andy Yang, former Reddit core product lead and 500px CEO (Bijan Stephen/The Verge)


Bijan Stephen / The Verge:

Indiegogo CEO and President David Mandelbrot steps down, citing personal reasons, will be replaced by Andy Yang, former Reddit core product lead and 500px CEO  —  Reddit’s Andy Yang takes over  —  David Mandelbrot is out as CEO of crowdfunding site Indiegogo, citing “personal reasons” in his farewell LinkedIn post.

Indiegogo CEO and President David Mandelbrot steps down, citing personal reasons, will be replaced by Andy Yang, former Reddit core product lead and 500px CEO (Bijan Stephen/The Verge)
Source: Tech Meme

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