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Ars Technica reports scientists from Cornell University and IBM Research have designed a chip that mimics how the brain works though an asynchronous collection of thousands of processing cores capable of spikes of activity and complicated connections just like neural networks. Computers have been able to model neural networks but the binary nature of transistors have limited the efficiency. This new processor, dubbed TrueNorth, uses the cores to receive and send to 256 other “neurons.” The power density of TrueNorth is 20mW per square centimeter and was fabricated by Samsung using a 28nm process. Next up, software!
According to ZDNet, Google has released a preview of its Android fitness platform to developers. Google Fit, announced in June at Google I/O, will collect fitness activity from Android smartphones and wearables. Google says developers will be able to launch their apps when the SDK goes into general availability later this year through Google Play services for handsets, Android Wear and the web.
ReCode reports Facebook announced Thursday it has acquired PrivateCore, a server security startup. PrivateCore will help defend Facebook’s data centers from malware and other security breaches. PrivateCore’s founders and other members of the team will work at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on the Facebook security team run by Joe Sullivan.
GigaOm reports Google said late Wednesday it will start taking TLS connections, the secure URLS that begin with https:, into account in search engine rankings. It will affect fewer than 1% of queries and carry less weight than other content signals. The move may encourage sites to provide secure connections to their webpages in order to help SEO.
The Verge notes Twitch has begun scanning archived video for copyrighted music and muting entire 30 minute chunks if such music is found. Many games incorporate music and already high profile streams like the dota2 streams from Valve, maker of dota 2, have reportedly been muted. Twitch partnered with a company called Audible Magic for the scanning. The heavy-handed and often capricious nature of the policy reminds many of YouTube’s similar contentID system further fueling rumors that Google is acquiring TwiTch. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said on Reddit Twitch has no intention of flagging songs due to original in-game music and will try to fix the problem and stressed the no live streams will be scanned or blocked. Twitch also announced it will no longer allow videos to be archived forever, Making 14 days the maximum that video will be preserved. However you can push a button and have your archived videos saved— to YouTube.
News From You:
MikePkennedy submitted the Verge article noting several reports that Microsoft will get rid of the Charms bar from Windows 9. That’s the devilish bar that you have to hover over to the right just right in order to access things like settings and shutdown. It works much better on touch screens than with a mouse. Windows 9 will also add an amazing Linux feature from the early 2000s known as ‘virtual desktops’.
sdc111 pointed out the Boing Boing post that USIS, a federal contractor that does background checks for the US DHS, disclosed Wednesday that federal employees’ personal data has likely been stolen. USIS said the attack had “all the markings of a state-sponsored attack,” because reasons. The US FBI is investigating.
diggsalot submitted the Android Police report that T-Mobile claims it is now the number one pre-paid wireless provider in the United States. The company reports it has 15.64 million pre-paid subscribers to Sprint’s 15.19 million. Pre-paid contracts are not generally considered as lucrative as customers can stop anytime. The real money is in ‘post-paid’ subscribers–people locked into nice, predictable two-year prison sentences–er contracts. T-Mobile CEO John Legere predicts his company will overtake Sprint in overall subscribers by the end of the year.
And tm204 passes along good news for European gamers from The Verge: Microsoft will release an over-the-air TV tuner/adapter for the European X-Box One, allowing users to pass broadcast channels through the Xbox’s HDMI port. The device goes on sale in October in France Italy German Spain and the UK, and will cost 29,99 Euros. Microsoft has not yet committed to going full DVR, but users will be able to pause live television and get program listings. No word yet on when this technology will reach other regions of the world, so Australia, you just keep doin’ what you do.
Pick of the Day: The Red Cross First Aid App via Grant in beautiful Northern Ontario.
As a passenger train conductor, I am extensively trained in first aid. But, when an emergency pops up, I like to double check everything I am doing to make sure passengers are getting the best treatment possible. The Red Cross First Aid app is amazing for this purpose. It makes finding emergencies quick and easy right on the home screen and keeps updating for any new techniques that may have been implemented since my last first aid class. It is available for different countries and is free.
Plug of the Day: It’s Thursday, which means its time for another article+video combo from Molly Wood in The New York Times. This week Molly checks out three services competing to be the Netflix of Books. Check out nytimes.com/machinelearning to read up on e-books.
Friday’s guest: Lamarr Wilson and Len Peralta