We continue our What’s in a Name series today with another look at technology companies with interesting names. Today: LemonStand, Bluecore, Sauce Labs and Email on Acid. LemonStand Founded: 2010 Headquarters: Vancouver, British Columbia Number of employees: 11 Specializes in: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) e-commerce software for web designers,
Spin a coin on a flat surface, and it spirals much like a planet orbiting a star — at least until it runs out of steam and rattles to a stop on the table. But spin a wedding ring the same way, and it will make a surprising abrupt turn, following a trajectory more like a boomerang.
If you’ve noticed Google doing a better job of understanding what you say using speech recognition on your smartphone lately, you’re not crazy. Google’s voice search has indeed become more accurate, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, the tech company announced today.
“Today, we’re happy to announce we built even better neural network acoustic models using Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) and sequence discriminative training techniques,” Google Speech Team members Haşim Sak, Andrew Senior, Kanishka Rao, Françoise Beaufays and Johan Schalkwyk wrote in a blog post today. “These models are a special extension of recurrent neural networks (RNNs) that are more accurate, especially in noisy environments, and they are blazingly fast!”
The new models are working in the Google app for iOS and Android, as well as dictation on Android, which works inside of some third-party apps, the team members wrote.
Google has reported improvements in voice search not once but twice this year. Clearly the company has been investing in the underlying technology. RNNs are one increasingly popular approach to doing deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence, and Google is widely thought to have a deep bench in deep learning.
But Apple and Microsoft, among others, have also been working to improve their voice recognition capabilities. Meanwhile, Facebook is also doing more in the area, having acquired a speech recognition company, Wit.ai, some months ago.
Speech could become more important as an input to searching the Web in the years to come. Baidu’s Andrew Ng, who is known for his work on the so-called Google Brain, last year predicted that within five years “50 percent of queries will be on speech or images.”
“In addition to requiring much lower computational resources, the new models are more accurate, robust to noise, and faster to respond to voice search queries — so give it a try, and happy (voice) searching!” wrote Sak, Senior, Rao, Beaufays, and Schalkwyk.
Read the full blog post for more detail on how the team managed to get the new performance gains.
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As if we don’t get enough emails already … To differentiate itself in the field of email service providers, one provider is trying to set itself apart in the small business market with the ability to automatically send a follow-up email to non-responders. The premise behind San Francisco-based VerticalResponse’s email
In the first official U.S. visit of China’s President Xi Jinping this week, nothing speaks louder than one single photo on China’s hopes for its high-tech diplomacy.
Prior to the ISO certification, Google Drive has been certified as compliant with the SOC 2 and SOC 3 security standards for cloud computing.
Here are all the big announcements:
While Oculus is planning to release the amazing new Rift headset in Q1 2016, one of its biggest partners, Samsung, revealed it will release the consumer version of Gear VR in November for just $ 99. This will work with Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5.
Oculus SDK 1.0 is coming in November
Both Rift and Gear VR will need a lot of VR content, and Oculus is planning to update its software-development kit to help studios do exactly that. One of the big things this SDK will come with is direct drivers — this will enable the headset to work without having to fiddle with setting up the Rift as an external monitor.
This is a 1980s-style arcade simulator that enables you to feel like you’re playing Pac-Man at a stand-up machine.
Trailer for Rift games
Twitch, Hulu, Netflix, and more to support Oculus Video
Developers are working on plenty of games for virtual reality, but Oculus is expecting all kinds of content to make the leap to its Rift and Gear VR systems. That includes video services like Netflix and Hulu — the latter of which revealed it is planning to build VR-native videos.
“Oculus Ready” PCs
You’re gonna need a beefy PC to use an Oculus Rift, but you won’t need to guess if certain systems will work. Oculus announced it will work with hardware manufacturers like Dell, Alienware, and Asus on a line of “Oculus Ready” rigs that cost less than $ 1,000.
Microsoft is planning to make the Windows 10 Edition of its block-building game Minecraft compatible with Xbox One.
Oculus is working on its equivalent of Xbox Live and the App Store
Facebook, the owner of Oculus VR, has said that it won’t try to make a lot of money on the Rift hardware. That means it’s going to make the real cash on the app and software side. And we saw a little bit of that today when the company revealed how its platform will handle social features, analytics, and distribution.
Oculus Touch trailer and release date
The incredible Oculus Touch controllers, which brings your hands into VR, aren’t coming out until Q2 of 2016. But here’s a trailer to show what they can do.
Oculus chief executive officer Brendan Iribe said that every new platform needs a paint app, and Medium is what his company is calling its take on 3D drawing.
Epic reveals new Oculus Touch demo Bullet Train
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