Twitter acquisition: So far the bidders are Google, Salesforce, Disney and Microsoft
Close on the heels of Yahoo and LinkedIn acquisitions, the buzz is around another high profile buyout. The speculations are rife that Twitter, the micro-blogging site struggling to generate revenue and increase active members, may soon be acquired. This acquisition may decide the future path for Twitter, but the question is – Who will it be? For now, the company names doing the rounds are Salesforce, Google, Disney and even Microsoft. Despite the fact that Google and Salesforce are reported to be in the final stages of calculating their respective bids, formal announcements aren’t expected till later this year. Meaning, more speculation regarding interested parties will dominate headlines until then.
You can read more here and here.
Chrome for Android will let you download entire web pages and use less data for video
Chrome’s Data Saver mode will soon be able to compress video, meaning that MP4 files will use up to 67 percent less data. If you’re on a 2G or 2G-like network, the Android version of Chrome will also be able to display automatically streamlined versions of web pages that load up to twice as fast and save over 90 percent on data usage. You’ll be able to download entire web pages, including video, music, and pictures, and access them in a new tab for downloads. These downloads will automatically resume if connectivity is interrupted.
More info can be found here.
HTC may be building a phone with a touch-sensitive frame, named HTC Ocean
The device might feature pressure sensitive touch controls instead of physical buttons, making it quite the futuristic device. Of course, all of this is simply speculation at this point, especially given the new technology involved. HTC is not expected to release any new flagship phones in the next few months, so if the leaks turn out to be real, we probably will not see them until next year at some point.
You can read more info here.
Leaked images of Google’s upcoming 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra hit the web
Rumors have been floating around for a few weeks now of an upcoming “Chromecast Ultra”, which Android Police says will make its debut at Google’s October 4th event. Now we know what it looks like.
The puck-shaped dongle will be priced at $69, nearly twice as much as today’s HD-only streamer. It’ll reportedly ship with firmware version 1.21 which recently became available to those participating in the Chromecast Preview Program. We’re also hearing that Google will keep its current streamer around for those that haven’t yet made the jump to 4K.
More info here.
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Neural Photo Editor works like magic thanks to machine learning
Neural Photo Editor is an experimental piece of retouching software from researchers at the University of Edinburgh that uses neural networks to act like Photoshop on steroids. Thanks to machine learning, it can intuitively interpret how a user intends to retouch a photo based on a “contextual paintbrush.” A single brush can change hair color, fill in bald spots, or add a toothy grin.
The process couldn’t be simpler: Users select a color for their paintbrush and the system analyzes that color in context with the image in order to produce an intelligent output. Painting over a subject’s mouth with a white brush, for example, can make a smile larger, while painting with a dark color on a forehead can add bangs.
You can read more here.
IBM meshes AI with analytics in new Project DataWorks platform
Big data is in many ways still a wild frontier, requiring wily smarts and road-tested persistence on the part of those hoping to find insight in all the petabytes. IBM announced a new platform it hopes will make things easier. Dubbed Project DataWorks, the new cloud-based platform is the first to integrate all types of data and bring AI to the table for analytics, IBM said. IBM’s big claim is that Project DataWorks is able to ingest data at a faster rate than any other kind of data platform. It’s capable of ingesting data from fifty to hundreds of Gbps. It can also pull data from just about any source, be it databases, Internet of Things sensors and devices or social media. Meanwhile, the platform sports cognitive capabilities from Watson.
More info are available here.
Robotic tumbleweeds will explore the galaxy for us
Sending robots on planetary missions has been a thing for decades, but the space agencies responsible are always looking for ways to refine the technology. A new concept from NASA could see a way out of the restrictions of tread-based locomotion. The Super Ball Bot has been in development since at least 2012, and is centered around the idea of a ball-shaped robot that “bounces to a landing on a planet, then deforms itself to roll to locations of scientific interest”.
You can read more here.