Five Hottest Mobile Startups to Watch In 2015

Not all of the mobile startups launched last year were warmly met by users. Of course, developers will not stop experimenting and presenting new applications. So, there is no doubt that 2015 will explode with new inventions.

Here are 5 mobile startups to watch in 2015.

Slack

This startup will be interesting for enterprises looking for an innovative communication and messaging app. Slack allows workspaces sharing files, sending private messages and using group chat rooms. This communication app has quickly gained recognition in the business world and is already used by many big and small enterprises. In fact, this is one of the fastest developing enterprise applications ever created. There is no doubt that the demand for Slack will grow this year.

The startup has raised $180 million in funding. Among its world-famous investors are: Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins.

Wish

This is a real catch for shopaholics. This mobile shopping application is somewhat similar to Pinterest. The app exhibits items you wish buying. The startup founders are pretty sure in their success and hope their pet project will raise 100 million dollars and will later be evaluated in 1 billion dollars.

For the moment, Wish was funded $78.7 million by Jared Leto, GGV Capital and Legend Capital.

Headspace

Many enterprises across Silicon Valley are obsessed with meditation nowadays. They believe, meditation is the best method of helping employees boost their productivity. Headspace founders decided to snatch good money on this trend and created an application that allows users meditating on their own time. More than one million users in over 150 countries are already meditating with Headspace.

Funding capital of the meditation app is equal to 4 million dollars. The names of investors are kept under wraps.

Instacart

Want to buy groceries and have them delivered to your door, without leaving the comfort of home? This is not a dream, as with Instacart you can purchase groceries online or from your mobile phone.

Instacart has a decent funding capital – $154.8 million. The main startup investors are Sam Altman, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Khosla Ventures, Aaron Levie.

Yik Yak

This gossip applications with a fancy name has taken college and high school students by storm. Yik Yak allows posting anything you want absolutely anonymously. Being a location-based app, it enables watching information posted by the nearby people only. To stop the spreading of rumours, some schools have blocked Yik Yak.

The app has raised $73.5 million in funding.

If you have your own startup idea in mind, however you do not know how to put it to life, Lezgro team is ready to help you. This is a company with an excellent experience of custom software and application development. High-end web and mobile applications created by Lezgro are highly prized by their customers across the world.

LINEAR ACTUATORS IN ROBOT’S MOTION

Linear Actuators in Robot’s Motion   

Introduction

A robot motion can be controlled by Linear Actuators (for example www.progressiveautomations.com/track-linear-actuator). A linear actuator is an electric device that used in converting the revolving motion of a DC motor into linear movements. Linear movements refer to the pull and push movements that make it possible to lift, push, tilt or pull objects simply by using a remote. Linear actuators are useful in robotic applications to help them in performing such movements.

Methods

There are multifaceted methods of using linear actuator to perform robotic motions. However, a simple method requires an external source of power popularly a DC motor which is attached with a gearbox. One can use an external control box such as PLC where one plugs in the actuator’s plug into a control box. If one does not wish to use a control box they can cut the plug and stick the two wires into a battery or switch.

Requirements

The general tools required include an aluminum sheet, a driller, fasteners, and two sets of small wheels. The aluminum sheet is used to install the motor to the robot’s body by drilling two holes into the bottom right and top left of the aluminum sheet. The fasteners on the other hand are used to install the motor onto the robot by drilling two holes into the motor’s installation panel.

Linear actuator1

How It Works

The first step involves connecting the servo motor controller to the Direct Current motor and connecting the servo motor controller to the micro controller. This ensures that power is supplied to the actuator and the robot. The servo ensures the correct voltage is supplied to the linear actuator while the micro controller also helps on determining the amount of power needed to run the robot and the actuator. The wheels are then installed on the robot to provide motion to the robot. The wheels are attached to the robot and the motor by drilling holes on them and fastening them properly onto the devices using the fasteners. After the motor is turned on, the amount of power required to run the application should be adjusted. The control boxes and remote controls allow a person to control the movement of the linear actuator.

Linear actuator2

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.

Gambling Research Reveals the Psychology of Expertise

The psychology of gambling – what it is that makes it so appealing – is a little understood phenomenon. Some things, of course are self-evident: we all like easy money; we all enjoy the sensation of winning, and we all enjoy a sense of playful recreation. These simple explanations hold good for just about every human society that we have any knowledge of. People like gambling – but that doesn’t explain why we seem to like it so much.

cards

Creative Commons courtesy of  Images_of_Money 

Increasingly, research into what it is that people find so attractive is adding to our understanding of this seemingly universal human impulse. In the process, we are learning more and more about the fundamental drivers of our more general behaviour. In this sense, studying gambling offers a window into the psychology of market behaviours and other mass phenomena.

For example, a study published in the journal Psychopathology, by Professor Pinhas Dannon and Doctor Ronen Huberfeld of the Beer Yaakov Mental Health Centre in Tel Aviv showed that when it comes to betting on sports there is little or no advantage to be gained from ‘expert’ knowledge of the sport itself. This is obviously a finding that will have sports fans scratching their heads. How can this be?

The researchers had three groups of subjects place bets to predict the outcome of 16 second round Champions League soccer games. One group comprised professional sports gamblers, the second comprised knowledgeable soccer fans who did not ordinarily bet and the third was made up of people with no prior interest in either betting or soccer.

The results were surprisingly even. When it came to the crunch all three groups were comparable in their success rates. In fact, the two highest performing subjects came from the third – ‘ignorant’ – group. The researchers concluded that there is a mythical quality to ‘expert knowledge’ which aficionados get a kick out of.

What that means in practical terms is that if you are tempted to back a horse on the basis of its name – if you are attracted to Irish Saint at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival for example – then you can put your money down safe in the knowledge that in reality you know every bit as much as the next man or woman. And much as they will be getting a kick out of thinking that they know something the rest of the world has missed – and we all know that feeling – you will be enjoying a taste of schadenfreude on a grand scale.

Research elsewhere however has shown that there is a peculiarly shared, social aspect to gambling that was previously unrecognised. Professor Josep Marco-Pallarés, a psychologist at the University of Barcelona, writing in BMC Neuroscience, suggests that when we watch others gamble, our brains respond as though we are gambling, too. His research used EEG brain wave technology to measure respondent’s neural reactions to other people’s gambling. He found that even if a subject was not betting themselves, they experienced the same mental response as gamblers they were watching closely.

So much for the schadenfreude!

What this points to an innate herd instinct to share in the emotional reactions of others. And this, perhaps takes us back to where we started. Gambling, like sport, is a fundamentally social activity. It’s appeal lies in the ability to generate that deep social connection between people. It may pit them into adversarial but, like boxers who embrace at the end of a gruelling bout, they will fundamentally recognise the profound value they see in coming together in the first place – however confrontational that might appear at first glance.

As numerous sages down the years have noted, the business of gambling and the gamble that is business are much the same thing. Difficult as it may be to swallow, the research into gambling poses some searching questions for anyone who takes their professional expertise too seriously.

Professor Pinhas Dannon’s and Doctor Ronen Huberfeld’s findings concerning the ‘mythical quality’ of expert knowledge are summarised here.

John P. Craven, 90, Pioneer of Spying at Sea, Dies

john p craven

I served on submarines in the US Navy during the cold war. John P. Craven, a former Navy scientist whose innovations in ocean technology and exploration led to some of the nation’s most celebrated feats of espionage, died on Feb. 12 in Hawaii. He was 90. The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, his family said.

From 1959 to 1969, as chief scientist of the Special Projects Office, Dr. Craven led the Navy’s drive to expand its presence into the crushing depths of the sea. Among other things, he turned submarines into spy machines that could reach down miles to inspect and retrieve lost enemy matériel, including nuclear arms.

Read the full story on NYTimes.

RIP John.

Scanaflo Home Urine Testing via Iphone

Scanaflo™ is a urine test kit in development that will empower people to monitor their health at home.

Health tech startup Scanadu is working on the cutting-edge of a new type of medical technology that could one day put the hospital in the palm of our hands. Scanadu is now in the testing phase with Scanaflo. This is an iPhone-ready urinalysis strip that, with just one pee, knows if you are pregnant, diabetic or have been smoking weed.

Found via TechCrunch

Hawk-Eye Technology to Quell Italian Football Angst

Italian Football
Common Criteria by olaszmelo

E-sports are on the rise, but the impact of digital technology is also being felt in the traditional sporting arena. Hot on the English Premier League’s adoption of goal-line technology to establish whether or not all of the ball has crossed all of the line in those instances where the award of a goal is in doubt, the Italian top division has announced that it is to follow suit.

There has been a long-standing objection to the introduction of optical technologies by traditionalists in both the UK and Italy who have insisted that the matter of human error is an integral part of the game. More practical objections on the basis of cost have also been aired.

However, as in England, the demands of television and club managers – neither of which are ever content with officials’ mistakes – combined with the overflowing riches of the top clubs have seen those objections overcome. From the start of next season the Italian Serie A will adopt the same Hawk-Eye technology as was introduced in the English Premier League at the start of the 2014/2015 campaign.

Recent seasons in Italy have seen a number of controversies erupt as to whether the ball has – or has not – crossed the goal line in matches. AC Milan have twice been at the centre of such rows, on one occasion in 2012 with serious implications: an incorrectly disallowed goal was adjudged to have cost them a victory. The resulting points ‘loss’ inevitably impacted their final tally for the season.

With so much money at stake in terms of direct winnings, and indirectly from the revenues that derive from Champions’ League qualification, it was entirely logical that the means to eliminate human error from the equation should be adopted. Likewise, the considerable interest in Serie A betting put a high premium on teams competing for major honours being able to have complete faith in the accuracy of referees’ decisions.

uefa
Common Criteria by MULADAR NEWS 
Hawk-Eye represents a network of high-speed video cameras to track and triangulate a ball’s position to within a 3.6mm margin of error. Because the system is able to accurately identify the ball’s position in relation to the goal-line, Hawk-Eye can tell when it has actually crossed the line. When it does so, an automated alarm alerts the match officials via a radio transmission to the referee’s watch.

Hawkeye has already been widely used in tennis and cricket, and therefore represents a well tried and tested solution to one of football’s perennial bugbears. AC Milan’s recent sense of grievance and the 1966 World Cup final are by no means the only instances where a dubious decision has had far reaching consequences.

It is unlikely that the technology will be extended to less wealthy leagues, but the news that Germany’s Bundesliga is also to adopt the technology  shows that it is more than just a short-term experiment for the bigger clubs.

The next step, now that the principle of human error has been punctured, will be the development of a software package capable of determining the equally vexed question of precisely when a player steps offside. Given the universal confusion on that point, that could take some time to deliver. Needless to say, it is an issue that does not arise in E-sports.

The Internet of Sheep

Internet of Sheep

The Internet of Things is the idea that all physical objects could communicate data over the internet to other connected devices.

In rural Wales, researchers have begun a study into the Internet of Sheep, attaching devices to livestock to gather information. Researchers say the beauty of sheep is that they stick together — easily transmitting data between the flock.

When the flock comes close to an internet receiving station it would transmit data to researchers at Lancaster University.

CNN has the full story on these connected sheep.

Avalon II Slot Game Review

Whats changed in Avalon II Slot

Be ready to be taken on a memorable and unique quest with the famous King Arthur together with other characters. Avalon II consists of 8 bonus games, cinema-quality 3D animation and a fantastic soundtrack. If you thought Avalon I was outstanding then you will be blown away by Avalon II which offers you 243 ways to win!

This is a 150 coin slot game that has five reels, wild, scattered and expanding wild symbols as well as three additional features, called merlin, grail and pay-table achievements. The aim is to get the winning string on one of 243 pay ways. How much will a player win? This is directly linked to the combo type he gets.

Avalon II consists of the standard features that one would expect to find with a micro gaming slot. There is a wild symbol that will take the place of all regular game icons to help create combinations and there is also a scatter icon that can offer instant pay-outs when three or more appear anywhere on the reels. While these features can get one excited, the main highlight of the game is the Grail Bonus, which is triggered with three scatters. You can also read a more detailed review of the slot game at Casino UK.

During the free spin game, players who are betting five coins will have the chance to win as much as 2,430,000 coins and during the bonus rounds, a 25,495 coin pay-out is highly possible.

How to Play Avalon II?

• -and+ keys next to the coin size field adjust the coin size.
• -and+ keys next to the coins field adjust the betting amount.
• Spins starts the game.
• Win box shows the pay-outs per winning combo.
• The winning combos are highlighted.
• The highest winning combos are set as achievements and are not cleared after exiting the game.

Be prepared to get sucked in by Avalon II slot game!

This game is now available at Golden Riviera Casino. Goto the site here : http://www.goldenrivieracasino.com

ESPN Invests in the Future of E-Sports

E-Sports
Creative Commons by campuspartymexico

The e-sports industry is a multi-million dollar industry that has thousands of fans and players across the world. Although Asia has traditionally been the epicenter for the industry’s virtual battlegrounds, a recent investment by ESPN has given the e-sports world a new platform to perform upon.

Although the American TV network has shown e-sports for a number of years, it recently committed to broadcasting more events in the future as the industry continues its migration into the mainstream. This shift, according to an article by Fortune, has led industry analysts to project a major upswing in the market between 2015 and 2017.

A Growing Market

The increase in media coverage is expected to push up the number of fans from 89 million to 145 million. Moreover, the global awareness of e-sports is expected to increase dramatically by 2017 as researchers predict that more than 1.2 billion people will have watched at least one e-sports event.

Although many people often associated e-sports with strategy games, such as Dota 2 or League of Legends, the collective term is actually used to describe any multiplayer game involving teams or individuals.

As well as fighting games, e-sports teams can compete across a number of disciplines, including many real-life sports. Soccer, motor racing and American Football are all arenas of conflict in the e-sports world. In fact, fans of FIFA can routinely compete against players from across the world in a range of tournaments which offer up to $150,000 in prize money.

New Avenues for E-Sports

Of course, not all games are currently covered by the e-sports banner. However, as the industry grows, that could certainly change. Strategy games are often some of the most popular and some sports lend themselves perfectly to this pursuit.

For example, horse racing and golf are two pursuits that most people won’t ever be able to play on a professional level. However, thanks to the structure of each sport, stats and analysis are extremely important for a number of reasons. Although it’s possible to watch each sport and be ignorant of the numbers dictating the action, it certainly improves your viewing pleasure if you do know them.

Watching the physical prowess of horse and jockey working in unison is compelling. But if you really wanted to get the most from the race, you’d take a moment to look up the latest Cheltenham betting odds. Doing this would not only give you an insight into the competitors, it would also give you a greater understanding of the race’s context and, therefore, increase your engagement with the race.

An Evolving E-Sports Empire

From an e-sports perspective, this kind of analysis, which most people do subconsciously, is great. Pitting two individuals (or teams) against each other in a bid to see who can best analyze their sport and make the best decisions is the nature of the industry. Although it will be a long time before e-sports becomes mainstream enough to allow events such as horse racing and golf to become popular, there’s no reason why that couldn’t be the case in the near future.

Indeed, back in the early Nineties, no one would have predicted that in 2015 ESPN would be preparing to broadcast virtual versions of sports such as motor racing and NFL. However, the e-sports industry has come a long way since then and as more people become aware of the genre it’s highly likely we’ll see a lot more changes over the next two decades.

PS4 or Xbox One: Who is the winner?

xbox one vs. ps4

This is going to be a pretty tough comparison to make. This is mainly down to the fact that there is very little in terms of noticeable differences between the PS4 and Xbox One. You have to realize that console games have become a whole lot more ‘PC like’ over the years, and that means there is very little difference in terms of hardware. That being said; the PlayStation 4 has drastically outsold the Xbox One in most regions of the world. This means that gamers have spoken. The PS4 is better than the Xbox One. Just why though? Well; let’s take a little look, shall we?

I would start with the processor here, although to be fair the Xbox One does actually boast a considerably better processor than the PlayStation 4. In all fairness however; much of the processing power is actually taken up by the Kinect device, so whilst there is a 10% boost of power for the Xbox One, it is brought down to about the same during those ‘Kinect’ games. That being said; the processor in this day and age is not the most important part. The most important part is the graphics processor.

I am not going to dive into the actual graphics card in each. This will make sense to barely any readers (no offence here, it is just that the graphics cards are not generic). There is a roughly 10% higher amount of graphics capabilities on the PlayStation 4 than the Xbox One. This means that the PlayStation 4 is able to render slightly better graphics and perform at slightly higher frame rates. If you want a more in-depth comparison on the specs of the two consoles, GoWin wrote a good piece about it back in August.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both have 8GB of RAM. The PlayStation 4 opts for the slightly higher performing GDDR5 memory though (i.e. the read and write access of the RAM is a great deal higher). You do however have to be aware that GDDR5 technology is still in its earliest stages. Even the most avid of PC Builders are not going down that route nowadays, due to the fact that it is still relatively unstable. That being said, from a RAM perspective the PS4 is slightly better than the Xbox One.

One of the key things which separates the PlayStation 4 from the Xbox One is the fact that most cross-platform games nowadays tend to utilize the PlayStation 4 as the lead development console. This means that many of the games that are developed for both consoles have to be ported over to the Xbox One. This in turn means that the games are never that well-optimized. This means that if the Xbox One did actually boast a better spec it would not perform as well as the PlayStation 4. We had this problem in the last generation. The PlayStation 3 was considerably better than the Xbox 360 in terms of spec, but the Xbox 360 was easier to develop for and thus the PlayStation 3 had a ton of poor quality ‘ports’.