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Science mimics nature: Microsoft researchers test AI-controlled soaring machine

By Vivek Kumar

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HAWTHORNE, Nevada – In the searing midday heat of the Nevada desert, a white Jeep Wrangler heads down a desolate strip of dirt road, surrounded on either side by miles of sagebrush and sand.

As the Jeep bumps along, two members of a Microsoft research team, Jim Piavis and Rick Rogahn, steady themselves against the roll bar, their feet planted on the seats and their upper bodies jutting out of the open roof. They are scanning the bright blue sky, tracking a type of glider known as a sailplane.

The delicate black, white and red sailplane swerves wildly and unevenly at first, and then gradually begins to make wide, soaring circles.

A hawk appears next to it, following the same circular pattern.

“We’ve got a friend up there with us,” says Piavis, head of mission readiness. “That’s a good sign.”

The 16 ½ -foot, 12 ½- pound sailplane has found a thermal, or an invisible column of air that rises due to heat. Soon, it is soaring through the sky, the Jeep reaching speeds up to 30 miles per hour as it flies down the dusty dirt road in hot pursuit of what the team is calling the infinite soaring machine.

 

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RIP Flash

By: Vivek Kumar

Adobe has long played a leadership role in advancing interactivity and creative content – from video, to games and more – on the web. Where we’ve seen a need to push content and interactivity forward, we’ve innovated to meet those needs. Where a format didn’t exist, we invented one – such as with Flash and Shockwave. And over time, as the web evolved, these new formats were adopted by the community, in some cases formed the basis for open standards, and became an essential part of the web.

Source: Adobe

Lyft is partnering with Taco Bell for late night munchies pit stops

By Vivek Kumar

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Lyft’s new partnership with Taco Bell seems like a weird cross-marketing campaign at first glance, but it could become a model for future tie-ups to come, and a new revenue opportunity for ride-hailing in general. Lyft and the fast food restaurant chain debuted “Taco Mode” today, which allows riders to add on a Taco Bell side trip during their ride with a simple tap within the app.

Source: Techcrunch

DockerCon 2017

DockerCon 2017, Austin

By Vivek Kumar

Docker Swarming the World

By Vivek Kumar

Docker, a new container technology, is hotter than hot because it makes it possible to get far more apps running on the same old servers and it also makes it very easy to package and ship programs. Here’s what you need to know about it.

If you’re in data center or cloud IT circles, you’ve been hearing about containers in general and Docker in particular non-stop for over 3 years now.

All the noise is happening because companies are adopting Docker at a remarkable rate. I ran into numerous businesses that were already moving their server applications from virtual machines (VM) to containers.

So why does everyone love containers and Docker? VM hypervisors, such as Hyper-V, KVM, and Xen, all are “based on emulating virtual hardware. That means they’re fat in terms of system requirements.” Containers, however, use shared operating systems. That means they are much more efficient than hypervisors in system resource terms. Instead of virtualizing hardware, containers rest on top of a single Linux instance. This in turn means you can “leave behind the useless 99.9% VM junk, leaving you with a small, neat capsule containing your application”

With a perfectly tuned container system, you can have as many as four-to-six times the number of server application instances as you can using Xen or KVM VMs on the same hardware.

Docker containers are easy to deploy in a cloud. Docker has been designed in a way that it can be incorporated into most DevOps applications, including PuppetChefVagrant, and Ansible, or it can be used on its own to manage development environments. The primary selling point is that it simplifies many of the tasks typically done by these other applications. Specifically, Docker makes it possible to set up local development environments that are exactly like a live server, run multiple development environments from the same host that each have unique software, operating systems, and configurations, test projects on new or different servers, and allow anyone to work on the same project with the exact same settings, regardless of the local host environment

In a nutshell, here’s what Docker can do for you: It can get more applications running on the same hardware than other technologies; it makes it easy for developers to quickly create, ready-to-run containered applications; and it makes managing and deploying applications much easier. Put it all together and I can see why Docker is riding the hype cycle as fast as I can recall ever seeing an enterprise technology go. I just hope that it can live up to its promise, or there will be some really upset CEOs and CIOs out there.

Gigaom AI 2017 Coverage

By: Vivek Kumar

Here are the pictures from our recent coverage of Gigaom AI 2017.

Full Coverage at below link

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.663490430497103.1073742001.202043366641814&type=1&l=041d5698ec

Uber and Daimler Join Forces on Self-Driving Cars

By: Vivek Kumar

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I’m excited to announce an agreement with Daimler, one of the world’s top auto manufacturers with more than a century of experience designing some of the world’s best and most iconic vehicles. In the coming years, Daimler has planned to introduce and operate their own self-driving cars on Uber’s ridesharing network.

We are incredibly excited by the potential for self-driving cars to further our mission of bringing reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere. They will also help to reduce traffic accidents, which today kill many people a year; free up the huge amount of space currently used to park the world’s billion-plus cars; and cut congestion, which is choking our cities.

Of course, we can’t do it alone. Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars—and in fact, making cars is really hard. This became very clear to me after I visited an auto manufacturing plant and saw how much effort goes into designing, testing and building cars.

That’s why instead of building them ourselves, we want to partner with the best auto manufacturers in the world. We can combine Uber’s global ridesharing network with the world-class vehicles of companies like Daimler, so that Uber riders can have a great experience getting around their cities.

I’ve been personally impressed with Daimler—whose company mantra is “The Best or Nothing”—and with the leadership of Dieter Zetsche, who had a friendly debate with me about the future of mobility and the auto industry last year in Berlin. Dieter said then that Daimler and Uber could be “frenemies”—in fact, we turned out to be great partners.

By opening up the Uber platform to Daimler, we can get to the future faster than going it alone. It’s a future in which our cities and roads will be safer, cleaner and more accessible, and we couldn’t be more excited about what’s next.

Source: Uber

Amazon Expands Into Ocean Freight

By: Vivek Kumar

Move marks online retail giant’s latest step in effort to build out its delivery business

Jan. 25, 2017 10:24 a.m. ET

Amazon.com Inc. is taking to the high seas.

The online retail giant has begun handling shipment of goods by ocean to its U.S. warehouses from Chinese merchants selling on its s ite-taking on its role previously left to global freight-transportation companies

Read more at source.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Ricoh Unveils Ultra-Compact PENTAX KP

By: Vivek Kumar

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The PENTAX KP’s compact body is the result of a complete internal re-design to produce an advanced DSLR camera with an extremely slim profile for optimal comfort and handling. The KP’s rugged exterior is dustproof and weather-sealed to enable use in the most challenging outdoor conditions. The camera will perform in temperatures as low as 14 degrees F (-10 degrees C).

The PENTAX KP incorporates additional advanced technologies and ease-of-use features that have long been the hallmark of PENTAX cameras and enable them to be used comfortably and reliably in a wide range of conditions. These include:

  • 5-Axis Shake Reduction System: The PENTAX KP is the first PENTAX APS-C DSLR to offer the new generation SR II system, which uses a five-axis mechanism to compensate for camera shake caused by horizontal and vertical shift (often generated in macro photography), roll (difficult to handle by lens-installed shake reduction mechanisms), as well as pitch and yaw. The SR II unit is controlled with great precision as soon as the camera’s power is turned on, providing a wide compensation range—as much as five shutter steps—to further expand the limits of handheld shooting. With the addition of an optional accessory GPS module (O-GPS1 GPS unit), the PENTAX KP, simplifies astro-photography, making it possible to record stars as points of light rather than star trails during extremely long exposures.
  • Pixel Shift Resolution: This acclaimed PENTAX technology enables producing color-accurate still-life subjects with the highest resolving power. The technology uses the KP’s in-body Shake Reduction System to move the image sensor in single-pixel increments, to capture four separate images that are subsequently combined into a single, high-definition image.
  • A vertical-tilt LCD monitor that facilitates high- and low-angle shooting.
  • A grip replacement system that lets photographers choose their preference of grip based on shooting style or lens choice. In addition to the standard grip that comes with the PENTAX KP, accessory grips include medium (M) and large (L) grips (these will come packaged with KP bodies sold in North America), as well as the optional D-BG7 Battery Grip.
  • Control panels, button settings and dial controls that can all be customized, based on a user’s preference.

“We designed the PENTAX KP to appeal to the world’s most discerning outdoor photographers, who will appreciate its rich and powerful feature set and rugged, compact design, whether they are shooting a landscape on a trek in Patagonia or capturing an eclipse,” said Kaz Eguchi, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas. “From Pixel Shift Resolution to our new generation of Shake Reduction, PENTAX proudly continues to lead the way in photographer-friendly innovation.”

Read more at source.

Source: PRNewswire

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