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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Koala-sensing drone helps keep tabs on drop bear numbers

It’s obviously important to Australians to make sure their koala population is closely tracked — but how can you do so when the suckers live in forests and climb trees all the time? With drones and AI, of course.

A new project from Queensland University of Technology combines some well-known techniques in a new way to help keep an eye on wild populations of the famous and soft marsupials. They used a drone equipped with a heat-sensing camera, then ran the footage through a deep learning model trained to look for koala-like heat signatures.

It’s similar in some ways to an earlier project from QUT in which dugongs — endangered sea cows — were counted along the shore via aerial imagery and machine learning. But this is considerably harder.

A koala

“A seal on a beach is a very different thing to a koala in a tree,” said study co-author Grant Hamilton in a news release, perhaps choosing not to use dugongs as an example because comparatively few know what one is.

“The complexity is part of the science here, which is really exciting,” he continued. “This is not just somebody counting animals with a drone, we’ve managed to do it in a very complex environment.”

The team sent their drone out in the early morning, when they expected to see the greatest contrast between the temperature of the air (cool) and tree-bound koalas (warm and furry). It traveled as if it was a lawnmower trimming the tops of the trees, collecting data from a large area.

Infrared image, left, and output of the neural network highlighting areas of interest

This footage was then put through a deep learning system trained to recognize the size and intensity of the heat put out by a koala, while ignoring other objects and animals like cars and kangaroos.

For these initial tests, the accuracy of the system was checked by comparing the inferred koala locations with ground truth measurements provided by GPS units on some animals and radio tags on others. Turns out the system found about 86 percent of the koalas in a given area, considerably better than an “expert koala spotter,” who rates about a 70. Not only that, but it’s a whole lot quicker.

“We cover in a couple of hours what it would take a human all day to do,” Hamilton said. But it won’t replace human spotters or ground teams. “There are places that people can’t go and there are places that drones can’t go. There are advantages and downsides to each one of these techniques, and we need to figure out the best way to put them all together. Koalas are facing extinction in large areas, and so are many other species, and there is no silver bullet.”

Having tested the system in one area of Queensland, the team is now going to head out and try it in other areas of the coast. Other classifiers are planned to be added as well, so other endangered or invasive species can be identified with similar ease.

Their paper was published today in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.


Source: TechCrunch

Amazon Wants Brands to Fight Fake Products Themselves

Getting Amazon to take down counterfeit product listings can be a pain. With Project Zero, Amazon wants to streamline that process—by playing a smaller role in it.
Source: Wired

Save $130 on this speedy color laser printer from Xerox

Walmart is currently selling the Xerox Phaser 6022 printer for just $149, a full $130 off of the regular retail price for a savings of about 47 percent. The non-nonsense color laser printer is perfect for the small or medium office.

The post Save $130 on this speedy color laser printer from Xerox appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

WeWork confirms it has laid off 300 employees

Co-working juggernaut WeWork (now known as the We Company) has laid off 3 percent of its global workforce, or roughly 300 employees, the company told TechCrunch. The heavily funded business, most recently valued at a whopping $47 billion, employs 10,000 people around the world.

Headquartered in New York, the layoffs were performance-related, part of the company’s routine process of shedding underperformers. Among the departments impacted by the cuts were WeWork’s engineering team, product and user experience design.

“Over the past nine years, WeWork has grown into one of the largest global physical networks thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team,” the company said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “WeWork recently conducted a standard annual performance review process. Our global workforce is now more than 10,000 strong, and we remain committed to continuing to grow and scale in 2019, including hiring an additional 6,000 employees.”

WeWork has raised more than $8 billion in venture capital funding since it emerged to disrupt office sharing. The business is backed significantly by the SoftBank Vision Fund, which invested $2 billion in WeWork as recently as January.


Source: TechCrunch

Snap serious selfies with Samsung's Galaxy A30 and A50 video – CNET

Not every Samsung Galaxy phone needs to be as fancy as the S10. At MWC, the A30 and A50 debuted with bright displays and powerful cameras.
Source: CNET

Lyft files for IPO, says it 'represents freedom at your fingertips' – CNET

We combed through Lyft’s SEC filing. Here’s everything we learned.
Source: CNET

Apple investors debate political diversity at annual shareholder meeting – CNET

CEO Tim Cook takes questions from investors about privacy, politics and new products.
Source: CNET

Motorola Moto G7 is now available on Google Fi for $50 off – CNET

Moto’s budget friendly phone is now on Google’s phone service.
Source: CNET

Lyft’s IPO Filing Shows Ridership Is Surging—So Are Losses

Uber’s recent stumbles have helped Lyft surge ahead in terms of revenue, but its costs are growing, too.
Source: Wired

Alpha, the geek-friendly streaming service from Nerdist and Geek & Sundry, is shutting down

Another overly niche streaming service is closing up shop. On Friday, Alpha – a geek-friendly streaming service that focused on TV, pop-culture, sci-fi, comics, video games and more – announced it was shutting down. The subscription-based streaming service had been a joint venture between Nerdist and Geek & Sundry, and offered $4.99-per-month access to a mix of exclusive original content and other fan favorites from both brands.

Launched in 2016 by Legendary Digital Networks, the company had claimed a year ago it had a “six-figure” subscriber base that had grown by 200 percent over the past year. But even then, its potential reach would have remained small – Nerdist and Geek & Sundry combined had 8 million monthly uniques. Only a fraction of that audience would have likely converted to paying customers.

The company says today Alpha customers watched a cumulative 600 million minutes.

In an announcement to subscribers, the company said Alpha will no longer be active as of March 31, 2019. As of today, it will no longer accept subscriptions and renewals. However, existing subscribers can continue to watch until the end.

Some of the service’s content will move to Twitch, while others will become VOD (video on demand.)

“This is the end of an era that we will remember fondly, but it’s also the beginning of a future where more of the premium Nerdist and Geek & Sundry content featured on Alpha will be available to more viewers than ever,” the company wrote in an email to subscribers.

The decision to close up Alpha appears to have been fairly recent. In August 2018, the company acquired a sci-fi drama “Sona” starring Ashley Clements for the service, and commissioned a new sci-fi series “Orbital Redux” which was to be streamed live, as a twist to get viewers to watch.

But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of competition for consumers’ dollars on the wider streaming market, and plenty of bingeable sci-fi and pop culture content to be found elsewhere.

The full email to subscribers is below:

Dear Valued Alpha Member,

We regret to announce that effective March 31, 2019, we will be closing Alpha. All of us at Nerdist and Geek & Sundry are so thankful to you for being a part of this amazing community. Since Alpha launched in November of 2016, we have watched over 600 million minutes of content together. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve GIFed. And we’ve cherished the friendships we’ve made. And while Alpha is going away, we have some exciting news to share.

First things first, starting today, new subscriptions/renewals will no longer be accepted, however all accounts that are active on March 1, 2019, will continue to be active until the service closes. If you have remaining months on an annual subscription after March 31, 2019, we will refund any prepaid amounts on a prorate basis to your payment method on file.

But here’s the good news! As part of an ongoing partnership with Twitch, the library of Alpha content will be streamed to the Twitch platform effective immediately. Some titles are already being shown on the Geek & Sundry Twitch Channel, and episodes that have been streamed will remain viewable as VODs to subscribers. We would love for you to come join us on Twitch, so we can continue entertaining each other. Don’t worry. If you’re not already a Twitch account-holder, signing up is a breeze!

This is the end of an era that we will remember fondly, but it’s also the beginning of a future where more of the premium Nerdist and Geek & Sundry content featured on Alpha will be available to more viewers than ever.

Thanks for coming along with us on this continuing adventure.

Your Friends at Alpha

 


Source: TechCrunch

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