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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Apple watch: 7 ways to make your run more effective – CNET

Extend your battery life, improve tracking, set custom goals and other Apple Watch tips to help you get the most out of your run.
Source: CNET

Google gives Chrome the virtual reality treatment

Google is injecting a little Chrome into its VR platform, bringing the web browser to Daydream headsets, the company announced today. It’s been a long time coming considering the depths of Google’s WebVR experimentation on desktop and mobile Chrome.

The Mountain View tech giant announced it was working on this quite a while ago, back at I/O 2017.

Google has been moving pretty slowly with any big Daydream updates lately, all while Facebook’s Oculus has driven heavy news to its mobile platform thanks to new standalone hardware. Daydream rolled out its own positionally-tracked headset with Lenovo earlier this summer but a major lack of content has been the system’s biggest issue. Bringing the web to Daydream could help correct this, and directing more mobile developer attention to WebVR might be a positive move for Google as it looks to make content discovery more simple.

Last year, the company made it so that you could open WebVR content in mobile Chrome on your phone and then drop it into a Cardboard headset and check out the content, with this you’ll be able to launch inside VR, explore inside VR and then move onto something else.

Loading desktop webpages inside a VR headset doesn’t necessarily seem earth-shatteringly disruptive but there are some optimizations Google has ensured that some non-WebVR content gets special treatment including a “cinema mode” that drops videos into a special environment to keep your eyes on the content. You’ll also get incognito mode, voice search and access to your saved bookmarks.

The browser is available for Lenovo’s Mirage Solo as well as Google’s own Daydream View headset and you’ll gain access after updating Chrome on Android.

The web is largely still an untested wilderness for virtual reality that nobody is racing to conquer given headset volume is still pretty low and a lot of wind has been sucked out of VR’s sails lately. There’s a lot of interesting stuff that the web enables for virtual social environments especially and though most major powers are drawing attention to their own platforms, a platform like Chrome arriving on Daydream could start to spark some developer imagination for what’s possible.


Source: TechCrunch

MoviePass Mission: Impossible blackout, surge pricing are a bummer – CNET

If the film being blocked out didn’t deter you last weekend, perhaps having to pay extra will.
Source: CNET

Fortnite on Android: See if your phone is getting it – CNET

Fortnite’s mobile version looks to be arriving to Android soon.
Source: CNET

DJI's Mavic 2 Pro plans just got officially spoiled by an ink-and-paper catalog – CNET

Update: DJI was forced to confirm the Mavic 2 Pro — after a retailer started advertising the drone!
Source: CNET

Google’s lead lawyer moves into a global policy role

Google is promoting its top lawyer, Kent Walker, into a global policy position, CNBC reports. Walker, Google SVP and general counsel, has already been a public voice in the company’s recent privacy tangles, but will move into a formal role as senior vice president of global affairs, overseeing Google’s policy, trust and safety, corporate philanthropy and legal teams.

Last year, Walker joined Richard Salgado, Google’s Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security, to head to Capitol Hill for the first round of reckoning on big tech’s failure to mitigate political disinformation campaigns during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Since then, Walker has commented publicly on Google’s policies around political ad transparency and extremist content on YouTube, among other policy issues facing the company. With social platforms at an ethical crossroads globally and tech chafing at its newly forced compliance with international privacy laws, any public-facing global policy role will be very much in the spotlight in 2018 and beyond.

Google hired Walker away from eBay in 2006, where he served as the company’s deputy general counsel. Prior to his time at eBay (and AOL, prior to that), Walker was an assistant U.S. attorney with the Department of Justice.


Source: TechCrunch

OpenAI’s robotic hand doesn’t need humans to teach it human behaviors

Gripping something with your hand is one of the first things you learn to do as an infant, but it’s far from a simple task, and only gets more complex and variable as you grow up. This complexity makes it difficult for machines to teach themselves to do, but researchers at Elon Musk and Sam Altman-backed OpenAI have created a system that not only holds and manipulates objects much like a human does, but developed these behaviors all on its own.

Many robots and robotic hands are already proficient at certain grips or movements — a robot in a factory can wield a bolt gun even more dexterously than a person. But the software that lets that robot do that task so well is likely to be hand-written and extremely specific to the application. You couldn’t for example, give it a pencil and ask it to write. Even something on the same production line, like welding, would require a whole new system.

Yet for a human, picking up an apple isn’t so different from pickup up a cup. There are differences, but our brains automatically fill in the gaps and we can improvise a new grip, hold an unfamiliar object securely and so on. This is one area where robots lag severely behind their human models. And furthermore, you can’t just train a bot to do what a human does — you’d have to provide millions of examples to adequately show what a human would do with thousands of given objects.

The solution, OpenAI’s researchers felt, was not to use human data at all. Instead, they let the computer try and fail over and over in a simulation, slowly learning how to move its fingers so that the object in its grasp moves as desired.

The system, which they call Dactyl, was provided only with the positions of its fingers and three camera views of the object in-hand — but remember, when it was being trained, all this data is simulated, taking place in a virtual environment. There, the computer doesn’t have to work in real time — it can try a thousand different ways of gripping an object in a few seconds, analyzing the results and feeding that data forward into the next try. (The hand itself is a Shadow Dexterous Hand, which is also more complex than most robotic hands.)

In addition to different objects and poses the system needed to learn, there were other randomized parameters, like the amount of friction the fingertips had, the colors and lighting of the scene and more. You can’t simulate every aspect of reality (yet), but you can make sure that your system doesn’t only work in a blue room, on cubes with special markings on them.

They threw a lot of power at the problem: 6144 CPUs and 8 GPUs, “collecting about one hundred years of experience in 50 hours.” And then they put the system to work in the real world for the first time — and it demonstrated some surprisingly human-like behaviors.

The things we do with our hands without even noticing, like turning an apple around to check for bruises or passing a mug of coffee to a friend, use lots of tiny tricks to stabilize or move the object. Dactyl recreated several of them, for example holding the object with a thumb and single finger while using the rest to spin to the desired orientation.

What’s great about this system is not just the naturalness of its movements and that they were arrived at independently by trial and error, but that it isn’t tied to any particular shape or type of object. Just like a human, Dactyl can grip and manipulate just about anything you put in its hand, within reason of course.

This flexibility is called generalization, and it’s important for robots that must interact with the real world. It’s impossible to hand-code separate behaviors for every object and situation in the world, but a robot that can adapt and fill in the gaps while relying on a set of core understandings can get by.

As with OpenAI’s other work, the paper describing the results is freely available, as are some of the tools they used to create and test Dactyl.


Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft patent points to a 2-screen device for 3-way video calls

Although Microsoft’s pocket-sized Andromeda appears to be dead in the water, the company apparently still has multi-screen devices on its radar. A patent describes a hinged multi-screen device supporting three-way video calls.

The post Microsoft patent points to a 2-screen device for 3-way video calls appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The best cloud storage services

Cloud storage is a godsend for anyone with a treasure trove of data and nowhere to put it all, but with so many services, which one is right for you? Your data is valuable, so follow our guide to pick the best service for your needs.

The post The best cloud storage services appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Intel i9-9900K storms ahead of competition in potential early benchmark

Intel’s next-generation Core i9-9900K may have made an appearance in a recent 3DMark benchmark, putting out a fantastic performance to steam ahead of both the last-generation 8700K and an AMD Ryzen 2700X.

The post Intel i9-9900K storms ahead of competition in potential early benchmark appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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