Category Archives: Software

New Machine Learning Course on Coursera

machine learning

Coursera has just opened a new version  of the course “Machine Learning” in the on demand format.

Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. Machine learning is so pervasive today that you probably use it dozens of times a day without knowing it. Many researchers also think it is the best way to make progress towards human-level AI. In this class, you will learn about the most effective machine learning techniques, and gain practice implementing them and getting them to work for yourself.

The on demand format allows you to work through the materials at your own pace. All materials are available at any time, and there are no deadlines for exercises or assignments.

Skype as “Universal Translator”

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Microsoft has released its first preview of Skype Translator, which allows real-time conversations between spoken English and Spanish and will be extended to more languages. The program will learn by recording conversations in order to analyze scripts and train the system to better learn each language.

The preview program kicks-off with two spoken languages, Spanish and English, and 40+ instant messaging languages will be available to Skype customers who have signed-up via the Skype Translator sign-up page and are using Windows 8.1 on the desktop or device.

Read details on this “universal translator” at the Skype blog announcement.

Apps that help you pass the time

Apps that help you pass the time 

There is always the possibility to be caught passing the time just because the bus or the train has not yet arrived or lining up to get a ticket or an entry to a certain place. At this point of time, boredom can easily set in and it is the most awful state to be in. However, with the explosion of the internet and mobile technology, and also by simply downloading apps, passing the time has never been that awesome and cool.

Games Apps

Adults and the young will surely keep awake and alive by playing mobile games. Angry Birds is a game app that keeps the young and the old with wide-open eyes while figuring it out how to destroy Pig’s brick and ice fortress. It is a popular game that can be easily downloaded on iPhones, Ipad and androids tablets. The Plant and the Zombies is another engaging mobile game that will surely bash boredom. If you have skills in playing poker or blackjacks, the best way to pass the time is play mobile casino. You kick out the boredom and at the same time, you can earn extra money that you can use to level up your gadget.

Entertainment Apps

Love to read? Take your mid-range tablet or your Kindle and read you favorite authors. You can even reread some of the classic novels and recall passages that have been part of your life. You can download and read free online magazine like the Cosmo, Vogue and the iconic Reader’s Digest. If you want to be entertained and laugh out your boredom away, get Youtube app and watch funny and crazy videos. The best way to have fun is to have some good laughs. Google reader is a hybrid reader and audio and you can follow your favorite blogs or stream music.

Music

Tuneln Radio is unlike Pandora as it only streams popular radio channels. It lets you tune in most locals and abroad radio channels. Spotify on the other hand will allow you to listen to your music even without an internet connection. To avail this feature you must have Spotify Premium account. The app is free but there is a monthly subscription fee.

Passing the time is a moment when you are in a slow pace and looks like there‘s no need to hurry up. It’s a state when you can easily have moments of pleasures all for yourself.

 

The Most Common Smartphone Passcodes

 

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Daniel Amitay collected passcodes from thousands of iPhones and provides some analysis of the passcodes people are using on the smartphone. This is really interesting stuff.

The Top 10 iPhone passcodes were: 1234, 0000, 2580, 1111, 5555, 5683, 0852, 2222, 1212, 1998

Is yours listed?  🙂

A couple of things to note here, I think his sample size is probably large enough that the data is probably roughly applicable to Android and WP7 as well, not just limited to the behaviors of iPhone users themselves.

If you want just the analysis, head to the link above. If you want the backstory around how he collected this information, it starts with the Big Brother Camera app for the iPhone which reached #18 most popular iPhone application. Then leads to analysis of passcodes his app was sending back (not the screen unlock codes!), and eventually the back and forth with Apple as they removed his app.

Sergey Brin Blows Smoke Up Your A**

Google Book

“Big Money” analyzes Sergey Brin’s NYTimes op-ed piece proclaiming Google has your best interest at heart in the Google Book Search project:

At least it’s an exotic experience. How many times have you had a man worth billions work so hard to whip out his Google, leak on your leg, and swear to God it’s raining? Today, Sergey Brin does his best to sell you the snake-oil that his Google Book Search project is an undiluted good for the world, all those annoying monopoly worries aside.

Or, if you’re a believer, you can read the op-ed piece by Brin and just for yourself.

Trekkers Rejoice! Star Trek MMO First Look

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I can’t tell you just how long I’ve been waiting for this bad boy to be released!  I’d heard rumors of it as far back as two years ago, when NCSoft was shutting down some of its earlier developed games, and announced upcoming developments.  If you remember, Andy and I were down in Vegas last summer, and had an opportunity to check out some of the literature for the game there, and there was even a presentation of the MMO by none other than Leonard Nimoy himself.  Early videos promised some beautiful, yet functional space battles, unique character customizations, and many innovative worlds to explore.  One of the online consultants from MMORPG.com has had an opportunity to play the game, and give a semi-detailed analysis of its play HERE.

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I’m chomping at the bit to play this game – and I’m hoping that it’s released soon.  With the new Star Trek movie just around the corner, it would be a smart move to ride the popularity coattails to help promote the game.  Especially since this early look suggests that there are tie-ins between the MMO and movie 🙂

Titan Backup With A Bang!

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Hey folks!  Our good friend, Flavius Saracut over at Neobyte Solutions (creators of Titan Backup)got a hold of me the other day to tell me about a fantastic weekly giveaway they’re sponsoring right now.  Every week, one lucky person will walk away with a 500gb LaCie external hard disk.  How awesome is that?  I think everyone could use an extra 500gb of storage, myself included :)  All you have to do is head on over to their website, and click on the banner across the top of the page.  Good luck!

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Click HERE to go check out the review on Titan Backup!

Dear Obama: Please consider open-source a waste of your time

Linux

The Register has an opinion piece counter argument to the recent open source request to President Obama by OSS advocates.

From the article:

Last week, several big names in open source tossed a letter at American President Barack Obama, urging him to mandate that no government IT purchase be made without someone scrutinizing the software license. "Dear President Obama," it read, "please consider open source."

The letter contained all the classic elements of an open source group hug: freedom, interoperability, community, and transparency. This letter was signed by higher-ups at companies we know and love, like Red Hat, Novell, Unisys, and a handful of other smaller players who want to suckle from the teat of a federal contract.

Chrome Stealing Ground from IE?

googlechromelogoI came across an interesting article from Ars Technica today. I thought a bunch of my fellow geeks would be interested in the read.

Microsoft is apparently suffering from the effects of Chrome’s success. Not that I’m excited about all that too much; I’m not a huge fan of Chrome and I’ve found IE to be a nice solid browser.

With out further adieu…

Chrome, apparently, will not remain in an indefinite period of beta testing for the rest of its life. Speaking to The Times, Sundar Pichai, Google vice president, stated that the browser will exit beta in January. Google, meanwhile, is exploring its distribution options and examining the various ways it might improve its market share. “We will probably do distribution deals,” Pinchai told The Times. “We could work with an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and have them ship computers with Chrome preinstalled.”

So there you have it… Microsoft is going to be under the gun when the OEM deals start rolling. Could it be that someone is challenging Microsoft on their level for the first time in a decade?

To read the rest of the article, visit Ars Technica.

Bill Gates’ Mysterious New Company

bgc3

The graphic above is the logo for Bill Gates’ new company: bgC3. Yes, that’s right, several months after departing Microsoft, BillG is heading up a new company and it’s not too forthcoming with details, though Techflash has talked to an insider to get a sneak peek. I wonder if he’s going to invest in some kind of open source idea or possibly find himself heading up another big money machine.

As you can tell from the bgC3 homepage, there’s not too much to be gleaned about this business.

Sumo Paint Stomps Into Beta

I came across this beauty today in my meanderings on the net.  Sumo Paint is a Photoshop clone that works entirely from your web browser.  Now I’ve never been into the Photoshop scene, so I can’t pretend to know about all its complexities, but this web based version seems to have all the bells and whistles.  I uploaded an image and fooled around with a variety of the settings, turning a perfectly good image into something that resembles a plate of dog food.  BUT, I had fun doing it 😉

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Get it while it’s hot, friends.  Who knows how long a good thing like this will remain free?