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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The Spanish Ghost Towns Left By the 2008 Financial Crisis

An estimated 3.4 million homes are currently unoccupied in Spain thanks to the country’s great housing bust.
Source: Wired

Ibuki is the 10-year-old robot child that will haunt your dreams

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro makes robots in Osaka. His latest robot, Ibuki, is one for the nightmare catalog: it’s a robotic 10-year-old boy that can move on little tank treads and has soft, rubbery face and hands.

The robot has complete vision routes that can scan for faces and it has a sort of half-track system for moving around. It has “involuntary” motions like blinking and little head bobs but is little more than a proof-of-concept right now, especially considering its weird robo-skull is transparent.

“An Intelligent Robot Infrastructure is an interaction-based infrastructure. By interacting with robots, people can establish nonverbal communications with the artificial systems. That is, the purpose of a robot is to exist as a partner and to have valuable interactions with people,” wrote Ishiguro. “Our objective is to develop technologies for the new generation information infrastructures based on Computer Vision, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.”

Ishiguro is a roboticist who plays on the borders of humanity. He made a literal copy of himself in 2010. His current robots are even more realistic and Ibuki’s questing face and delicate hands are really very cool. That said, expect those soft rubber hands to one day close around your throat when the robots rise up to take back what is theirs. Good luck, humans!


Source: TechCrunch

Galaxy Home: Samsung's answer to the HomePod video – CNET

Samsung teases its first smart speaker, the Galaxy Home.
Source: CNET

Samsung beefs up Bixby with more conversational capabilities – CNET

Despite these new features, Bixby remains behind Alexa and Google Assistant in the voice-computing race.
Source: CNET

Samsung reveals the new LTE Galaxy Watch video – CNET

Samsung unveiled its Galaxy smartwatch with standalone LTE connectivity and extended battery life.
Source: CNET

Cinemark gives a nod to MoviePass as its Movie Club passes 350K subscribers – CNET

Cinemark’s CEO thinks MoviePass has raised awareness about moviegoing subscription services.
Source: CNET

Samsung Unpacked 2018 Galaxy Note 9 event in photos – CNET

Live from the Barclays Center in New York City, Samsung unveils its Galaxy Note 9, all-new S Pen, Galaxy Watch and accessories.
Source: CNET

Samsung makes Bixby more conversational, concierge-like

Samsung this morning showed of a new version of its Bixby voice assistant, which is now more conversational and is able to continue your conversation when you ask a follow-up question. For example, if you first ask the assistant about concerts over Labor Day weekend, as was demoed on stage at a Samsung press conference today, you can then follow-up by asking about another date without having to repeat the entire question. Other new features were also demoed, including support for making reservations, and the ability to tap into apps like Yelp, Uber, Ticketmaster, Fandango, OpenTable, and Google Maps.

 

The app integration allows Bixby to answer questions without opening the apps directly. Even if you don’t have those apps installed, Bixby will be able to use them for results, the company said.

Samsung also noted it was working with these partners so you could more easily take actions. For instance, instead of saying ‘buy a ticket on Ticketmaster” you could just say “buy a ticket.” With Google, the integrations will allow for things like routing, navigation and points-of-interest.

Bixby will also get smarter in time, as it will learn what you’ve done in the past to inform its responses.

One example Samsung showed off was with reservations – it will fill in the number of people in your party and the time, based on your prior bookings.


Source: TechCrunch

Prometheus monitoring tool joins Kubernetes as CNCF’s latest “graduated” project

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) may not be a household name, but it houses some important open source projects including Kubernetes, the fast-growing container orchestration tool. Today, CNCF announced that the Prometheus monitoring and alerting tool had joined Kubernetes as the second “graduated” project in the organization’s history.

The announcement was made at PromCon, the project’s dedicated conference being held in Munich this week. According to Chris Aniszczyk, CTO and COO at CNCF, a graduated project reflects the overall maturity where it has reached a tipping point in terms of diversity of contribution, community and adoption.

For Prometheus that means 20 active maintainers, more than 1,000 contributors and more than 13,000 commits. Its contributors include the likes of DigitalOcean, Weaveworks, ShowMax and Uber.

CNCF projects start in the sandbox, move onto incubation and finally to graduation. To achieve graduation level, they need to adopt the CNCF Code of Conduct, have passed an independent security audit and defined a community governance structure. Finally it needs to show an “ongoing commitment to code quality and security best practices,” according to the organization.

Aniszczyk says the tool consists of a time series database combined with a query language that lets developers search for issues or anomalies in their system and get analytics back based on their queries. Not surprisingly, it is especially well suited to containers.

Like Kubernetes, the project that became Prometheus has its roots inside Google. Google was one of the first companies to work with containers and developed Borg (the Kubernetes predecessor) and Borgmon (the Prometheus predecessor). While Borg’s job was to manage container orchestration, Borgmon’s job was to monitor the process and give engineers feedback and insight into what was happening to the containers as they moved through their lifecycle.

While its roots go back to Borgmon, Prometheus as we know it today was developed by a couple of former Google engineers at SoundCloud in 2012. It joined Kubernetes as the second CNCF project in May 2016, and appropriately is the second graduate.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s role in all of this to help promote cloud native computing, the notion that you can manage your infrastructure wherever it lives in a common way, greatly reducing the complexity of managing on-prem and cloud resources. It is part of the Linux Foundation and boasts some of the biggest names in tech as members.


Source: TechCrunch

Galaxy Home is Samsung’s HomePod competitor

It was just a matter of time, right? We knew Samsung had to be working on a Bixby-based Amazon Echo/Google Home competitor. Welp, the Galaxy Home was announced at today’s big Note 9 event, and the device is going right after Apple’s HomePod with a premium design and what looks to be some high-end hardware. 

The device has a cloth covering and a tripod stand, which would make it just as at home on the floor as it would on a desktop. There’s a built-in subwoofer and eight-microphones designed for a similar far-field communication as other smart speakers. Like the HomePod launch, there’s not really a lot of information at the launch — not even pricing or timing. Instead, the product is currently listed as “coming soon.”

Given the design and Samsung’s device history, I’d expect the thing to cost an arm and a leg — or, at the very least, something similar to the HomePod. At very least, some working reference units in the world. Dozens of the devices were present at the event, partially powering the sound system for today’s keynote.

Naturally, the company’s smart assistant is the key to the product, which is, well, a mixed bag at best. Bixby got off to a major rough start here in the space and still doesn’t offer much to differentiate it from Alexa/Assistant/Siri and the like. Instead, the company is no doubt hoping to making existing Galaxy users the base here.

Given that Samsung has failed to offer a decent music streaming service of its own, the company found a natural partner in fellow Apple competitor, Spotify. The popular music service will serve as the basis for the smart speaker’s music playback. That in and of itself may be enough to cause users to give it a second look. Though the Google Home Max, notably, also lets users make Spotify the default choice.

As with the rest of the competition, smart home functionality is also key, with Samsung’s SmartHome service as the the basis of that experience.


Source: TechCrunch

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