Apple Acquires Artificial Intelligence Company Perceptio

What is this?

Perceptio makes software that enables the function of complex artificial intelligence on smart phones without the need to large amounts of data in the cloud. It also specialises in AI software that determines images using deep learning rather than having delve through reams of information.

Bloomberg reports that, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

 

Why is this important?

This is very important when it comes to Apples privacy policies and its desire to minimise the invasion of privacy for its users. It has been rumoured that Perceptio will play a very significant part on Siri’s upgrading.

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Accurate Weather Info With Sunshine App

What is this?

The new weather app Sunshine promises to give “up-to-the second” weather updates and information. The way the app works is that it combines its proprietary algorithm with existing weather information, user reports and phone sensors to offer users weather information which is 36% more accurate than that of various weather reports.

It also offers users morning weather summary for each day. The app also provides up to 24 hour weather predictions which will come in handy when you don’t know what to wear when you travel to a different city.

 

Why is this important?

The app is a new development in the community-driven department in mobile apps. Its similarity to Waze is also apparent because it will also allow users to manually contribute weather information about their current location. The more users contribute information to a single area the more accurate it will be to many of its users.

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Jack Dorsey: Twitter’s CEO

What is this?

Twitter has finally embraced Jack Dorsey as its CEO to oversee Twitter’s performance and hopefully come up with a brilliant idea to expand the social media’s audience as well as alleviate its financial losses.

It was once reported that Dorsey dumped for this position by its Board of Directors but they are no convinced that he has the maturity and expertise to make Twitter profitable again as it once was.

 

Why is this important?

Twitter is still one of the most influential social networking media out there but its significant losses in its revenue have been the talk of the town in the business community. This new development is a big leap of faith that Jack Dorsey has to live up to.

“The world needs a Twitter that not only remains relevant, but thrives and continues to redefine what came before it,” Dorsey told analysts Monday during a conference call. “It is our goal to exceed the expectations that the world has for us.”

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Peeple: A Yelp For People

What is this?

Peeple, described by founders as a “positivity app” will let its users rate people (be it an ex-bf, friend, classmate, colleague) for everyone to see. It lets its users assign a number of stars between one to five to a person as long as you have his or her contact information. It is expected to launch in late November of this year.

 

Why is this important?

“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” said Julia Cordray, a co-founder of Peeple, in an interview with the publication. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”

This is a first of its kind in the mobile industry and it has a lot of positive comments as well as negative ones. Other people think that this app would promote bullying and use this platform as a means to get back to someone who has wronged them. The founders have made sure that they have implemented a strict policy to make sure that this will not be a place where bullying can thrive.

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Apple sold 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

What is this?

The recently released iPhone 6s and 6s Plus made a huge buzz because of its astounding sales record for its first week of release totalling 13 million. The new iPhones were released last Sept 25, for walk-in customers only.

The rise in sales was mostly due to the countries where the iPhones were sold. US, Japan, Hong kong and China were the first ones to get first dibs of these new iPhone models which played a huge impact to its high sales.

 

Why is this important?

Apple has been expected to sell an estimate of 78.4 million iPhones towards the end of the year. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook says in a press release, “We can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to more customers. The feedback is incredible.”

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Samsung Pay Launches In The US

What is this?

Samsung Pay, the device maker’s answer to Apple Pay has launched in the US today. It has launched earlier in South Korea where it raised over $30 million dollars in transaction sales.

Samsung Pay works in Samsung mobile devices or through a magnetic stripe card. Samsung Pay uses what’s known as “tokenization.” Every time you make a payment, your actual credit card information isn’t sent to the terminal, rather your phone will use a temporary one that the credit card company creates for you.

The payment technology only works for now on Samsung S6, S6 Edge, S5 Edge Plus and Galaxy Note 5.

 

Why is this important?

This offers new options for consumers to conveniently arrange paying methods by using their smart phones so this is another huge milestone to the mobile industry. Also this new development sounds promising, it also has its limits. Verizon has yet to support this payment technology as they are still “in the process of evaluating Samsung Pay”

Samsung Pay will arrive also China, Spain and in the UK in the future.

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Google Improves Its Voice Recognition System

What is this?

Google has just added another feather to its cap by improving its speech recognition feature. The company’s speech technology has become more pronounced and accurate thanks to the power of artificial intelligence.

“Today, we’re happy to announce we built even better neural network acoustic models using Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) and sequence discriminative training techniques,” Google Speech Team members Haşim Sak, Andrew Senior, Kanishka Rao, Françoise Beaufays and Johan Schalkwyk wrote in a blog post today. “These models are a special extension of recurrent neural networks (RNNs) that are more accurate, especially in noisy environments, and they are blazingly fast!”

 

Why is this important?

This new improvement has made Google’s voice recognition thrive even in noisy environments. Microsoft and Apple have also been reported to be exerting more efforts to also improve its voice recognition so this can result and turn into a healthy competition. Let the best one win!

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Instagram Hits 400 Million Users

What is this?

Facebook-owned Instagram just hit 400 million users. That’s up from 300 million users it announced in December of last year. Instagram has revealed that more than half of its recent users hail from Europe and Asia.

“When Instagram launched nearly five years ago, 400 million seemed like a distant dream,” the company writes. “Now, we continue to strive to improve Instagram — helping you experience the world through images and connect with others through shared passions.”

 

Why is this important?

Social networking are commonplace nowadays and this new information has proven time and again how powerful Internet is when it comes to influencing people over the world. As Instagram grows, advertising opportunities also will abound. Looks like Facebook’s $1 Billion dollar acquisition was worth it after all.

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Skype Outage Affects Millions Of Users Worldwide

What is this?

Microsoft-owned video service Skype had a worldwide outage Sept 21, 2015 affecting all of its users due to a bug leaving them unable to send a message or even log in to their Skype accounts.

According to Down Detector, which monitors the status of several services, the outage was most prevalent in the UK, Europe and Japan.

“If you’re signed in to Skype, you will not be able to change your status and your contacts will all show as offline even if they are online. As a result, you won’t be able to start Skype calls to them,” the service said on its status page.

Social-networking sites such as Twitter was also abuzz about Skype’s temporary shutdown.

Skype, which was bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion (£5.5 billion) in 2011, has around 300 million users, making it one of the world’s most popular social networks.

 

Why is this important?

This goes to show how fundamental Internet is in the business industry. The temporary outage caused by Skype left a lot of users impaired with regards to communicating with their co-employees or even bosses to those who work remotely. Communication is key and when that is effected, everything goes down!

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Is Facebook Introducing a Dislike Button?

What is this?

The Dislike Button feature in Facebook has been requested quite a number of times already and now it might just happen but not quite.

Finally, this week CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the company is building a way for people “to express that they understand and that they relate to you” when you share something sad, such as news of a natural disaster or a death in the family. This new button though will not promote hostility or other negative innuendos by considering a “thumbs down” icon. Zuckerberg expressed that he didn’t want “to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts”.

 

Why is this important?

This can be a good marketing move for Facebook because it will further drive interest and a lot of commentaries to the Internet community. One commendable factor though is how Facebook veers away from making the social networking site a place of negativity by thinking of just adding emoticons to express certain feelings as opposed to the “Dislike Thumbs Down” icon.

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