Intel Movidius: What Is a Neural Compute Stick and Why Would You Want One?

Building on technology acquired through its purchase of Movidius last year, Intel has launched a USB tool and software developer kit designed to help developers add deep-learning capabilities to a wide range of “edge” devices.

The Movidius Neural Compute Stick uses deep neural network processing and machine vision technology to “reduce barriers to developing, tuning and deploying AI [artificial intelligence] applications,” Intel said in a statement yesterday. It called the device “the world’s first USB-based deep learning inference kit and self-contained artificial intelligence accelerator.”

Available through Intel Movidius distributor partners RS Components and Mouser, the Neural Compute Stick is priced at $79. Intel said it’s “designed to help democratize the machine intelligence space, and accelerate an age of ubiquitous intelligence devices and systems.”

Enabling Offline AI

The Neural Compute Stick is built with vision processing unit (VPU) technology developed by Movidius that’s already being used in devices ranging from drones to video surveillance cameras. The Myriad 2 VPU combines large computing capabilities with lower power demands, more than 100 gigaflops of performance at a power consumption level of one watt, according to Remi El-Ouazzane, vice president and general manager of Movidius. “This enables a wide range of AI applications to be deployed offline,” El-Ouazzane said in the statement.

Prior to its acquisition by Intel for a reported $400 million in September, Movidius had released its own Fathom Neural Compute Stick, to help developers deploy trained neural networks to a range of devices equipped with Myriad 2 VPUs.

“It’s going to mean that very soon, consumers are going to be introduced to surprisingly smart applications and products,” El-Ouazzane said in a statement at the time. “It means the same level of surprise and delight we saw at the beginning of the smartphone revolution; we’re going to see again with the machine intelligence revolution.”…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Cloud Milestone: Microsoft's Office 365 Beats Out Traditional Office

Six years later, new Office has dethroned the old Office. Revenue from business sales of the Office 365 productivity suite topped traditional corporate Office sales for the first time last quarter, Microsoft said, a milestone in the Redmond company’s transition from selling packaged software to cloud-computing products.


Microsoft first started selling its iconic collection of Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and other workplace software through online subscriptions under the Office 365 name in 2011.


At the time, Google’s Docs and other productivity software were making inroads in a realm then dominated by Microsoft, threatening what had been the company’s most profitable line of business.


Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said in a quarterly earnings call Thursday that during the three months ended in June, sales of Office 365 to businesses surpassed sales of the traditional packaged version that entitled the user to the software in perpetuity.


The company didn’t break out the scale of each, but sales of Office products of all sorts to businesses totaled $5.8 billion during the final quarter of Microsoft’s fiscal year.


Office 365, analysts say, makes up most of Microsoft’s “commercial cloud,” the line of business-focused subscription products the company has staked its future on. Sales of that group of products stood at $4.75 billion in the most recent quarter, helping to propel Microsoft shares to a record high as investors bet the company is positioned to thrive in the emerging world of web-delivered software.


Consumers, on the other hand, still spend more on Office licenses than the subscription edition. Those lines of businesses notched about $850 million in sales during the last quarter.


Office 365 commercial sales grew 43 percent during the quarter from the previous year. Traditional Office license sales fell 17 percent, a decline Microsoft attributes to companies opting to buy into the cloud version instead.


Microsoft has said that it…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Lyft Dives Into Autonomous Vehicles with Level 5

Lyft said Friday that it is setting up its own unit to develop autonomous vehicle technology, but its approach will be different from other companies and partnerships working on self-driving cars.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing service says it will open its network, inviting automakers and tech companies to use it to haul passengers and gather data. It may even share computer software and sensor technology.

Raj Kapoor, the company’s chief strategy officer, says Lyft is pursuing the open strategy as a way to lead and bring the environmental and safety benefits of autonomous vehicles to market faster. Lyft brings network expertise to the table, he said. “We believe this is inevitable where the world is going. We need to be playing this role,” he said.

Like other tech companies and automakers, Lyft has established partnerships with companies like Google’s Waymo autonomous vehicle operation and with General Motors. It does not want to produce cars, but wants to make a standardized system for use on its network.

Just how it would make money off the system is yet to be determined, but it likely would take a cut of passenger fares from everyone who uses its network or shares its system. For example, General Motors, which has invested $500 million in Lyft, would be invited to run its own autonomous vehicles on Lyft’s network. Data gathered by GM and vehicles from other companies would be used to help build high-definition maps that are needed for the vehicles to navigate streets across the world. The data also would be used to develop computers that would make decisions to run the autonomous vehicles.

Lyft is calling its unit “Level Five,” the industry term for fully-autonomous vehicles. It expects to have 200 employees working on the vehicles in Palo Alto, California, by the end of the year.

The company, which…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

T-Mobile Clearing Out iPhone 7 Inventory

T-Mobile today introduced a limited-time offer to save big bucks on the Apple iPhone 7. The Uncarrier will give a $300 credit to those who trade in an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, or 6s Plus for an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. Trade-ins must be owned outright, with no remaining payments or commitments. T-mobile says the value of the trade-in can be applied to the purchase of a new iPhone 7 immediately, with the remainder of the $300 offer to arrive later in the form of a prepaid MasterCard. The offer requires people to finance the new iPhone on an installment plan with a T-Mobile service agreement. Sales tax is due on the full price of the new handset at the point of purchase. T-Mobile says the offer can be combined with its iPhone memory upgrade program, which knocks $100 off the price of the 256 GB iPhone for a potential total savings of $400. The balance of the $300 offer will arrive up to 8 weeks after T-Mobile customers sign up for the promotion on T-Mobile’s web site. The offer cannot be combined with T-Mobile’s Carrier Freedom program.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

LG Q8 Appears to Be Smaller Variant of the V20

LG’s Italian web site recently provided details about an unannounced handset called the Q8. The Q8 appears to be a less-expensive, smaller version of the LG V20. The Q8 does not carryover the 2:1 aspect ratio or FullVision display of the new Q series, such as the Q6, which was announced earlier this month. Instead, the Q8 boasts a metal body with a 5.2-inch quad HD display and second screen for alerts and other action items. Other features include a Snapdragon 820 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, 3,000mAh battery, stereo headphone jack and USB-C. Like the V20, the Q8 has a dual-camera configuration and rear-mounted fingerprint reader. The main camera has a 13-megapixel sensor with 78-degree lens at f/1.8 and optical image stabilization, while the secondary shooter has an 8-megapixel sensor with 135-degree lens at f/2.4 for wide-angle shots. Both sensors can take advantage of the dual LED flash. The front camera has a wide-angle, 5-megapixel sensor. Other specs include Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, WiFi, LTE 4G, and an IP67 rating for protection against water ingress. The LG Q8 will be sold in European markets soon. LG’s U.S. press team would not comment on the phone’s potential availability in North America.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Vodafone reveal continued increase in data usage

A trading update? That’s normally quite a dry document and not one we’d feature here on Coolsmartphone, but the latest one from Vodafone has a number of pretty interesting points.

Amongst mentions of “Q1 organic service revenue” and “acceleration in AMAP”, it also shows that data traffic has grown quite substantially. The figures show that for Q1 European data usage increased by 59% and…

In absolute terms, the growth in traffic during the quarter was equivalent to our total quarterly data traffic just two years ago.

Vodafone reveal continued increase in data usage

That’s a pretty big uptick in data usage. The network also reveals that 4G adoption and larger data allowances mean that each customer is using on average 1.8GB of data per month – up 39%. Some 67% of the data traffic in Europe is now on 4G. The company says that this technology is “substantially more cost efficient than 3G”.

What’s taking up this data? Well, 60% of the traffic is “video, social and audio applications” across Europe.

Further details can be found here, but it’s interesting to see that data usage is climbing so rapidly and our thirst for streaming audio and video is increasing.

The post Vodafone reveal continued increase in data usage is original content from Coolsmartphone. If you see it on another news website, please let us know.

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    Source: CoolSmartPhone.com News

  • Cricket Offering 2 Lines of Unlimited Service for $80

    Cricket Wireless today annouced new service and handset promotions meant to entice customers to sign up for the prepaid carrier. To start, Cricket is offering new and existing customers two lines of unlimited service for $80 per month. That includes unlimited mobile data, messaging, and voice calls. Cricket caps data speeds at 3 Mbps, and will throttle unlimited customers who exceed 22 GB of data per billing period. In addition to the new service promo, Cricket has a number of deals on smartphones. For example, the Alcatel PulseMix is $80 with a new activation, or just $30 with a port-in. Similarly, the LG x charge is $130 with a new activation or just $100 with a port-in. Other phones with available discounts include the ZTE Sonata 3 and Blade X Max; LG Fortune, Harmony, and Stylo 3; and the Samsung Galaxy Amp 2. Cricket said the promos are available for a limited time.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

    Alexa Arrives In Amazon's Android App

    Amazon is making Alexa, its artificial intelligence, available to the Android mobile shopping application beginning this week. Any Android device with the Amazon app aboard will have access to Alexa, allowing people to search for and buy goods simply by asking Alexa. Amazon brought this functionality to the iOS Amazon shopping app earlier this year. Amazon says Android users can search for paper towels or reorder batteries and Alexa will do those things within the confines of the Amazon app. The app also lets people listen to music and play Kindle books, ask basic questions, add skills, access Smart Home features, and check the news, weather, and traffic via voice requests. The app works with Android users’ Amazon accounts and subscriptions to services such as Amazon Prime. Android device owned can access Alexa by tapping a microphone built into the app. Separate Alexa-powered devices, such as the Amazon Echo, are not required. The Amazon mobile shopping app for Android is free to download from the Google Play Store.

    Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

    CallMiner Uses Robust Measures To Protect Customer Data

    CallMiner, the leading platform provider of award-winning speech and customer engagement analytics reaffirmed today its multi-layered security procedures in response to the recent serious breach that occurred in the industry. The personal information of millions of customer records of a major telecom provider were recently exposed due to security lapses involving the actions of staff members of the provider’s technology supplier. The exposed information included phone numbers, PIN data, names, analytical data, and call audio which may have other sensitive customer information.

    “In light of the serious data breach affecting our specific industry, we thought it was prudent to discuss the robustness of our security protocols and how seriously we take data security,” says CallMiner CEO, Terry Leahy. “The recent breach did not result in someone taking advantage of the data, but it’s still a breach, and should raise questions about how technology suppliers in our space are handling security. We understand the concerns from customers about the security of cloud applications. The key is to know how to properly manage cloud-based data, through the right training and technology such as data redaction that removes sensitive information from transcripts.”

    CallMiner follows strict data storage and processing standards that it deems essential as a cloud-based provider. The company is the industry leader in using data redaction to suppress or remove sensitive data such as credit card information or PCI data from the speech analytics-derived data it pulls from every agent-customer interaction including call recordings.

    The CallMiner Eureka Redaction functionality is especially powerful because it prevents sensitive data exposure even in cases of human error or illegal access of stored data. If a customer or agent states a sensitive word (such as a credit card number) during a conversation, the Eureka platform marks that occurrence and replaces…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today

    Update Your iPhone, iPad To Squash Dangerous Wi-Fi Bug

    Apple yesterday made a number of security updates to its iOS mobile operating system, including a fix for a Wi-Fi chip vulnerability that could let hackers gain wireless access to iPhones and iPads.

    The iOS 10.3.3 update addresses nearly four dozen security flaws, one of which, called “Broadpwn,” lies in the Broadcom Wi-Fi chip used in many iPhones and Android devices. Google announced an Android fix for Broadpwn earlier this month. Apple’s patch is available for the iPhone 5 and later, 4th-generation and later iPads, and the 6th-generation iPod touch.

    The vulnerability could allow a remote actor to trigger a memory corruption error via Wi-Fi on a user’s mobile device, according to details on Broadpwn from Security Tracker. That error could then enable the hacker to execute arbitrary code on the device without any actions by the user.

    Chip Vulnerability on ‘Millions’ of Devices

    Apple credits discovery of the Wi-Fi vulnerability to Nitay Artenstein, a security researcher with Exodus Intelligence. Artenstein is scheduled to discuss his findings later this month during a briefing at the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas.

    “Remote exploits that compromise Android and iOS devices without user interaction have become an endangered species in recent years,” Artenstein said in a description of his coming Black Hat presentation. “Such exploits present a unique challenge: Without access to the rich scripting environment of the browser, exploit developers have been having a hard time bypassing mitigations such as DEP and ASLR.”

    Rather than targeting a mobile device’s operating system, though, Broadpwn takes aim at the Wi-Fi system on chip (SoC) that’s used to handle a device’s wireless connectivity. The vulnerability exists on “millions” of Android and iOS devices featuring the Broadcom SoC, Artenstein said.

    “The Broadcom BCM43xx family of Wi-Fi chips is found in an extraordinarily wide range…
    Source: Mobile Tech Today