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  • Baidu goes in for ‘deep learning’ with Silicon Valley, China AI labs

    Since Chinese search giant Baidu opened its ‘Artificial Intelligence’ Lab back in January, it has been making some interesting research dedicated to ‘deep learning’. This is done through conducting experiments in order to try and mimic the human brain using hardware and software. Although the company has been trying to implement itself in emerging markets via key partnerships and market-dedicated services, Baidu has now also trying to define itself on the innovation front. It’s called the Institute of Deep Learning and has facilities in both China and Silicon Valley. “We have a really big dream of using deep learning to simulate...

  • New Facebook Home ad has screaming goat, is the right kind of weird

    When Facebook aired its first ad for Home, you may well have found yourself thinking something along the lines of "oh jeez, this is weirder than that time it compared itself to chairs". Its second effort though is much better. While the first ad featured half-naked men, drag queens, and a chocolate-covered child it didn't actually tell you what product it was promoting until right near the end. The second effort continues the theme of Facebook Home apparently bringing real life to your phone, but at least it lets you know that's the case from the get-go. That means...

  • Reality star Giuliana Rancic is ‘uh-bsessed’ with Gyft

    Entertainment/celebrity journalist and E! Entertainment front woman Giuliana Rancic told her fans via Facebook that she is "mildly uh-bsessed" with gift card app Gyft. The mobile gifting service was founded by Yola founder Vinny Lingham last year and is funded by the likes of Google Ventures, 500 Startups and Founder Collective. The platform allows users to store, buy, send and redeem gift cards conveniently from a smartphone or mobile device. Judging by some of the replies to Rancic's post it seems she's not alone in her obsession as her fans seem to love the app as well. Interestingly enough...

  • Feeling nostalgic for static? Watch YouTube videos in blurry VHS mode

    Have you been longing for the comforting sight of lines of static on your screen? When you pause a video, do you wish you could see slowly looping blurs instead of a crisp image? Is HD just too much perfection for your eyes? Well, YouTube can help you out. In celebration of the 57th birthday of the first commercial video cassette recorder, it's given a number of videos an extra option -- VHS tape mode. According to an official Google+ post today, the video sharing site's quirky new feature is designed to help its viewers "relive the magic feel...

  • Can Psy repeat Gangnam Style’s viral success with Gentleman?

    He's back. Korean pop sensation Psy has released the follow-up to his viral mega-hit "Gangnam Style". The song, called "Gentleman" features a number of the same characters as "Gangnam Style" and has ratcheted up over 51-million views in two days of being live. The Psy we see in this video is however slightly different to the one we saw in the video which took him into the YouTube history books. The crazy dance moves are still there, but instead of an affable outsider having a go at the over the top way things are done in one of Seoul's...

  • Personalisation and social discovery: Q&A with StumbleUpon’s CEO

    We all know about the king of social networking: Facebook, with its billion plus users. Then there is Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and the major Chinese social networks like Renren and Sina Weibo. Then there are the outsider social networks, the medium sized ones which have strong brand recognition -- that's where StumbleUpon plays. Most people won't be able to explain what a discovery engine is, but you might find that some of those people are part of StumbleUpon's 25-million users. Though the platform works a little like a search engine, its algorithm is just a bit different. StumbleUpon...

  • 7 things you should keep in mind when designing a data warehouse

    Enterprise data warehouses (also known simply as data warehouses) are similar to what existed before we had computers, when there were central filing systems. These filing systems of yesteryear got information from several sources ensured that this was properly managed for efficient storage as well as retrieval, and delivered information to several sources for the purpose of analysis. Now these systems helped reduce data duplication and to a large extent did eliminate problems with regard to finding lost files. Yes, in a similar way, enterprise data warehouses are very much like central filing systems. It is a central...

  • Twitter CVs and Google’s plan to make it rain: top tech stories you should read

    Imagine you're looking for a job. Which social network would you hit first? LinkedIn's the obvious choice... but perhaps you should give Twitter a chance. It's apparently becoming the next social platform for targeted job ads and recruiting. Yes, it seems strange -- this is after all, the service you probably use to talk about TV shows, the latest sci-fi movies and share Instagrammed photos of your coffee. But at least Twitter hasn't gathered the same level of concern as Google has, with a number of users questioning its every move and wondering what exactly a search company thinks...

  • Knomo Kyoto iPad bag review: looks great but costs the earth

    Knomo’s Kyoto, a tiny leather bag for the iPad and iPad Mini, is another exceptionally well-made product that’s unfortunately too expensive to recommend. For what the Kyoto does (it holds one or two iPads and a smartphone), it’s hard to justify the £115 (US$177) price. The Kyoto is also not that comfortable to wear, as the body strap kind of cuts into the flesh for some reason. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t a well-designed bag though. I’d go as far as to say that the Knomo range of leather bags are some of the best I’ve ever seen, regardless...

  • 8 startup lessons from Pinky and the Brain

    In the world of startups, quick thinking is important and a willingness to keep learning should be a given. So are you pondering what I am pondering? I am fascinated by the television show Pinky and the Brain -- the complete lunacy of it. In every episode Brain hatches a new plan in his never-ending quest to take over the world, which ultimately ends in failure. More often than not this is due to Pinky's idiocy, the sheer impossibility of Brain's plan, Brain's own arrogance, or the fact that they are tiny mice trying to take over the world....

  • Chinese scammers exploit Apple to turn fake iPhones into real ones

    Apple has been taking quite a bit of stick over the last month for its after-sales service practices in China, and perhaps rightfully so. But instead of being exploited by Apple, police have discovered that some Chinese criminals used Apple’s return system to turn more than 100 fake iPhones into real ones. The scam saw a Wenzhou Apple shop owner turning in what he claimed were 121 iPhone 4S BAND parts (the core of the phone, worth about $476 each) that were broken and asking that they be replaced back in December of 2012. Apple complied, but in January discovered...

  • Bitcoin exchange suffers DDoS attacks, claims it’s a victim of its own success

    Massive online trading website, Mt. Gox, experienced a serious crash yesterday. The site is the largest online trading website of digital currency and trades about 70% of the Bitcoin pie. Mt. Gox is suspected of being a massive contributor to this week’s recent 40% drop of Bitcoin value after suffering a 12-hour DDoS (Disrupted Denial of Service). The site was unavailable after it suffered an attack and experienced heavy online traffic. This means that 70% of this massive digital currency stopped in trade for half a day as people trying to gain access to the Mt. Gox website experienced a...

  • Plan for your digital afterlife with Google’s new inactive account manager

    With all the news about Google's product-killing spree and rapidly filling graveyard recently, it's quite strange to think that Google's newest feature is designed to help its users after death. Yep, Google is offering to help you transition into the digital afterlife with its new inactive account manager. In an official blog post, product manager Andreas Tuerk admitted the name wasn't the greatest, but the feature is basically designed to let you tell Google what to do with all your data if you can't use your account any more or you pass away. The tool allows you to select a...

  • Zuckerberg nemeses the Winkelvoss twins are big into Bitcoin

    Forget Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg's athletically built nemeses the Winkelvoss twins are now into Bitcoins. According to the New York Times, the two apparently hold one of the largest portfolios of the sought-after virtual currency. The two, rare among Bitcoin investors for disclosing their investment, say they own nearly US$11-million worth of Bitcoins. The digital currency has been going through a slightly tumultuous period of late, but that hasn't stopped seasoned investors such as Andreessen Horowitz backing Bitcoin-related startups like OpenCoin. The Winkelvoss twins are certain that what Bitcoin is just going through a few growing pains and should settle...

  • LinkedIn officially welcomes Pulse to the family after paying $90m

    LinkedIn has officially bought the company behind new reading app Pulse for US$90-million, a month after reports emerged that a deal was set to go through. The professional social network has confirmed that it paid US$90-million for the news reader. The vast majority of that US$90-million (around 90%) comes in stock, while the rest is cash. In an official blog post, LinkedIn's senior vice president of products and user experience Deep Nishar, confirmed that the acquisition had been made to bolster LinkedIn's publishing chops. "We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform -- where all professionals come...