All posts on September, 2016


Researchers make progress toward computer video recognition

Computers can already recognize you in an image, but can they see a video or real-world objects and tell exactly what’s going on?

Researchers are trying to make computer video recognition a reality, and they are using some image-recognition techniques to make that happen.

Researchers in and outside of Google are making progress in video recognition, but there are also challenges to overcome, Rajat Monga, engineering director of TensorFlow for Google’s Brain team, said during a question-and-answer session on Quora this week.

The benefits of video recognition are enormous. For example, a computer will be able to identify a person’s activities, an event or a location. Video recognition will also make self-driving cars more viable.

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Salesforce tries to block Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition

Microsoft made a splash earlier this year when it announced the largest acquisition in its history, signing an agreement to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. But now, Salesforce is trying to convince the European Union to block the deal. 

Salesforce Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton will argue to the EU’s competition authority that Microsoft’s control of LinkedIn’s dataset following an acquisition would be anticompetitive. EU competition chief Margarethe Vestager said in January that her agency would be looking directly at whether a company’s use of data is bad for competition, and these complaints seem aimed squarely at those comments. 

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Bounty for iOS jailbreak exploit jumps to $1.5 million

The value for zero-day exploits targeting Apple’s iOS software is jumping. On Thursday, a company called Zerodium began offering as much as $1.5 million for them.

Zerodium is the same company that offered $1 million last year for an exclusive iOS zero-day exploit that can remotely jailbreak a device. However, that bounty was only temporary, and it was eventually awarded last November.

Zerodium’s new $1.5 million bounty is asking for a remote jailbreak exploit targeting iOS 10. The bounty will be offered all year long, Chaouki Bekrar, the company’s CEO, said in an email. The company’s original offer was a maximum of $500,000.

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BrandPost: Why Don’t People Back Up Their Mobile Devices?

At the start of 2016, there were 3.4 billion global smartphone subscriptions, according to this year’s Ericsson Mobility Report. They expect that number to reach 6.3 billion in the next five years. Meanwhile, tablet ownership has topped the 1 billion mark, eMarketer estimates, and they expect that number to continue climbing as well.

But only a small percentage of these mobile consumers consistently back up data on their devices – even though, as this year’s Acronis World Backup Day Survey shows, one in three consumers has suffered digital data loss.

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BrandPost: Preventing Personal Data Disaster: Why Copying Files Isn’t Enough

It happens with a clicking sound, or maybe a grinding from deep within a computer case. The screen may freeze or files stop loading, or the machine may simply refuse to start. For a lot of people, it is quickly followed by a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach.

It’s not a question of if, but when the drive on your laptop or desktop computer will fail. The risk of data loss due to hardware failure is even greater with mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. They are easily dropped, left behind, or doused with water, adding to the risk that your device will die and take your valuable data with it. The risk of data loss for mobile devices, in particular, is expanding people depend on them in place of laptops and desktop machines. The chances of losing important work through accidental deletion also rises as we increasingly access and edit documents with mobile devices.

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BrandPost: Got Your Back: Data Protection for Families

Imagine an all-too-common scenario. Dana is a college student putting the finishing touches on her senior thesis. Suddenly, her screen goes dark. She tries to restart her laptop and… nothing.

In a panic she calls her dad, who set the computer up for her before she left for college. Unable to access her PC, he isn’t much help, other than to direct her to the computer repair shop on campus. Unsurprisingly, they inform her that her hard drive has failed. Some of the data may be recoverable, but no guarantees. And of course they have a backlog – it will be another week before they can get to it. Dana’s thesis is due tomorrow, and she’s still not sure if any of it still exists.

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