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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/4/2020 11:56:38 AM
1 Recommendation   of 998
This Has Been the Best Year Ever

If you’re depressed by the state of the world, let me toss out an idea: In the long arc of human history, 2019 has been the best year ever.

The bad things that you fret about are true. But it’s also true that since modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago, 2019 was probably the year in which children were least likely to die, adults were least likely to be illiterate and people were least likely to suffer excruciating and disfiguring diseases.

Every single day in recent years, another 325,000 people got their first access to electricity. Each day, more than 200,000 got piped water for the first time. And some 650,000 went online for the first time, every single day.

Read More – NY Times

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/4/2020 12:00:41 PM
   of 998
The Last Decade Was All About the Smartphone Economy

I have always felt that the economic benefit and impact of the smartphone was much broader than the smartphone itself but had never seen its economic impact quantified until I received this Statista chart below in an email over the weekend. It comes from a Deloitte analysis of Apps Annie and others and states that the smartphone economy is estimated to be almost a trillion-dollar business by 2020.

Read More - $Tech.pinions

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/6/2020 12:26:49 PM
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The Mini-Short Video Revolution-Fad or Growth Opportunity

About 18 months ago, I was told by Hollywood insiders I know that Jeffrey Katzenberg was working on a concept where he would develop high-quality stories in short bites. What was described to me was short novella’s that focused on delivering them on smartphones.

AT CES this year, Katzenberg and his partner in this venture, former HP CEO Meg Whitman, talked about their Quibi Venture. In their keynote, they told this CES audience the following:

“What’s the next big opportunity in entertainment?” asked Jeffrey Katzenberg, founder of Quibi. “We’re living through another revolution in entertainment. Mobile phones are the most widely distributed, democratized entertainment platform the world has ever seen.” Collaborating with A-list celebrities and directors the likes of Steven Spielberg and Reese Witherspoon, as well as major news and sports studios, Quibi promises fresh and original content that is different from what the streaming and entertainment industry already has. “We fill a niche [other platforms] don’t. We provide content for people on the go,” said Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi, who was also previously CEO of Hewlett-Packard and eBay.

Read More - $ Tech.pinions

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/7/2020 10:45:46 AM
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AI could help design better drugs that don’t clash with other medication

A new system that can predict a proposed drug’s chemical structure could help prevent adverse drug interactions, one of the leading causes of patient death.

Why it matters: According to the FDA, serious adverse drug interactions could kill more than 100,000 hospitalized people in the US every year. But traditional ways of avoiding such interactions during drug development require expensive and laborious physical testing and clinical trials to catalogue all the proposed drug’s possible chemical interactions with existing ones.

Read More - $MIT Technology Review

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/7/2020 1:03:31 PM
   of 998
Could Photonic Chips Outpace the Fastest Supercomputers

There’s been a lot of talk about quantum computers being able to solve far more complex problems than conventional supercomputers. The authors of a new paper say they’re on the path to showing an optical computer can do so, too.

The idea of using light to carry out computing has a long pedigree, and it has gained traction in recent years with the advent of silicon photonics, which makes it possible to build optical circuits using the same underlying technology used for electronics. The technology shows particular promise for accelerating deep learning, and is being actively pursued by Intel and a number of startups.

Now Chinese researchers have put a photonic chip to work tackling a fiendishly complex computer science challenge called the subset sum problem in a paper in Science Advances. It has some potential applications in cryptography and resource allocation, but primarily it’s used as a benchmark to test the limits of computing.

Read More – Singularity Hub

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/7/2020 1:12:34 PM
1 Recommendation   of 998
Alphabet Has a Second, Secretive Quantum Computing Team

In October, Google celebrated a breakthrough that CEO Sundar Pichai likened to the Wright brothers’ first flight. Company researchers in Santa Barbara, California, 300 miles from the Googleplex, had achieved quantum supremacy—the moment that a quantum computer performs a calculation impossible for any conventional computer.

That was both notable science and a chance for Google to show prominence in a contest among big tech companies, including IBM and Microsoft, to deliver the wild new power promised by quantum computing. The usually low-profile Pichai threw himself into marking the moment, penning a blog post, taking part in a rare media interview, and posting an Instagram photo of himself alongside the shiny machine that scored the result.

Read More - Wired

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/11/2020 3:12:24 PM
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Arm Brings AI and Machine Learning to IoT and the Edge

For a company that doesn’t manufacture anything, Arm has a surprisingly large and broad impact, not only on the chip industry, but the overall tech industry and, increasingly, many other vertical industries as well.

The company—which creates semiconductor chip designs that it licenses as IP (intellectual property) and then Arm’s customers use the designs to build chips—is the brains behind virtually every smartphone ever made. In addition, it has a small but growing market in data center and other network infrastructure equipment and is the long-time leader in intelligent devices of various types—from toys to cars and nearly everything in between; essentially the “things” part of IoT (Internet of Things).

Read More $ Tech.pinions

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/11/2020 3:28:28 PM
   of 998
AI-formulated medicine to be tested on humans for the first time

A drug designed entirely by artificial intelligence is about to enter clinical human trials for the first time. The drug, which is intended to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, was discovered using AI systems from Oxford-based biotech company Exscientia. While it would usually take around four and a half years to get a drug to this stage of development, Exscientia says that by using the AI tools it's taken less than 12 months.

The drug, known as DSP-1181, was created by using algorithms to sift through potential compounds, checking them against a huge database of parameters, including a patient's genetic factors. Speaking to the BBC, Exscientia chief executive Professor Andrew Hopkins described the trials as a "key milestone in drug discovery" and noted that there are "billions" of decisions needed to find the right molecules for a drug, making their eventual creation a "huge decision." With AI, however, "the beauty of the algorithm is that they are agnostic, so can be applied to any disease."

Read More - Engadget

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/11/2020 3:33:49 PM
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Cloud data platform giant Snowflake raises $479M at $12.4B valuation, partners with Salesforce

Data warehousing startup Snowflake Computing announced a $479 million funding round that gives the cloud company a whopping $12.4 billion valuation.

Dragoneer Investment Group — a backer of Airbnb, Slack, Spotify, Uber and other giants — led the Series G round and Salesforce Ventures participated for the first time. Snowflake also announced a new partnership with Salesforce; details of that deal will be announced in June.

Read More - GeekWire

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From: Paul H. Christiansen2/11/2020 3:38:53 PM
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Here are Disney’s hurdles in becoming an international streaming sensation

Walt Disney Co. breezed past analysts’ estimates for its new Disney+ streaming service, which was unveiled in November.

Still, there are a few hurdles that remain before Disney DIS, -1.16% can be considered a global sensation. The Burbank, Calif.-based company may be the world’s most recognized media brand, but it’s not immune to the challenges of the over-the-top (OTT) television environment, especially for subscription video on demand (SVOD).

Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger, in the first earnings report since the company released Disney+, said Tuesday it got 26.5 million subscribers through the end of December. Growth continued in the current quarter, with another 2 million subscribers added, bringing the total to 28.6 million. To put that number in perspective, Hulu recently passed 30 million subscribers despite launching 12 years ago.

Read More Market Watch

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