BetaNews Staff

10 surprising ways machine learning is being used

Machine learning is taking the tech world by storm. Recently, an announcement that Google was open-sourcing Tensor Flow, their machine learning (ML) software, and Microsoft quickly followed suit. Baidu and Amazon unveiled their own deep learning platforms a few months later, while Facebook began supporting the development of two ML frameworks. But the revolution has spread far beyond the tech realm. In fact, some of the more recent applications of ML technology aren’t just innovative; they’re weird and surprising.

As machine learning (ML) continues to take over the tech world, companies and researchers outside the tech bubble have started using ML in strange and surprising ways. Here are ten unexpected ways machine learning is being used:

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3 clever gift ideas using Raspberry Pi

While thoughts of savory roast turkey and green bean casserole may come to mind when you hear mention of Raspberry Pi this holiday season, the credit card-sized computer is more likely to make you drool over techie gift ideas.

If you want to get creative with your gift-giving this year -- and impress your friends and family with your technical skills -- consider tackling one of these projects that are perfect for RasPi beginners. From AI-enabled teddy bears to mini retro game arcades, these are memorable gifts that anyone would be happy to find under the tree.

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Find the best local craft coffee shop from your smartphone

We can’t be the only people who make finding the best coffee one of our priorities when visiting a new city. Frankly, it’s become a bit of a mission.

You could do some research in advance, scour websites and recommendations, but there’s an easy way of finding the best location for a good coffee without requiring tedious pre-planning. We’ve collated three of the most popular apps for searching, locating and enjoying the best coffee in your new city.

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Remove stubborn applications using new Ashampoo Uninstaller 7

Any company which has to provide customer support for software products will say one of their key concerns is the inability of users to fully remove applications from their computer.

Security software is the most difficult software to remove, which is why companies provide dedicated removal tools. Kaspersky, AVG and others develop specific software to fully remove their installed security suites as many of these tools embed plugins into third-party tools, such as your web browser, to keep you protected.

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Setup and access your own cloud service using Mountain Duck 2

Backing up your data to the cloud makes sense. But using an existing service such as Dropbox is more complicated as these cloud services insist on mirroring your content across your devices.

The most obvious solution is to create your own cloud. This is easy to achieve through a service such as Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service). The Amazon S3 is a cost-effective virtual hard drive in the cloud. You are charged depending the amount of storage you use, the number of times you access your content and the location. It’s competitively priced, too. We backup our server content to Amazon S3 and our monthly bill rarely tops a dollar.

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Adobe releases Acrobat Reader 2018 -- Do you still use it? Perhaps you should

Let’s be fair, for reading a PDF your average end user will rarely need anything more than a simple reader, so Preview on the Mac or Edge on your Windows 10 PC will suffice.

For business users, portable document format files offer a method for sharing commercial-grade documents which can be marked up before they are sent to a printer. Indeed, if you share your PDF through the cloud, anyone can download, view, add a comment and save it back for others to read the comments and make changes.

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SoftMaker releases Office 2018 with enhanced Thunderbird

You have to admire some of the recent design work from Microsoft. Windows 10 has transitioned into a robust and visually-appealing operating system, whilst Office 2016 really is a superb, well-designed, cross-platform office suite.

In addition, Office 365 offers reasonably priced subscription and includes a fair number of licenses for your devices. We have Office 365 installed on our Mac and Windows computers and it’s seamless switching between the two platforms. So, why would you need anything else? That’s certainly a valid question. We do not see too many Office 365 subscribers complaining about the price and home users can pick up a license for as little as $5.99/month for a single device.

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The myth of cloud insecurity

It’s not exactly clear when the term "cloud" was first used to describe shared pools for configurable IT resources.  However, it’s safe to say that it started creeping into our lexicon less than ten years ago.

Back then, the official definition of cloud was even less clear than it is today. Regardless of what the cloud actually was, this mysterious cloud entity was widely assumed to be unsafe.

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Home tech gifts: Which products are topping consumer wish lists?

Our ongoing obsession with electronics shows no sign of cooling off, but consumers are showing an increased interest in connected devices, according to CES trends, market research from Parks Associates, and Amazon Wish List rankings. While gaming and mobile devices continue to be favorite gift items, many consumers are just beginning to embrace the idea of a smart home. As they do, smart and connected products are seeing a rise in popularity. Some consumers shop independently for smart products, while others seek to purchase easy-bundled solutions from home security companies and ISPs.

As consumers are creating wish lists for housewarming presents, wedding gifts, and holiday surprises, here are some items that are emerging as trends this season. 

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A guide for mastering endpoint management

Endpoint protection

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) has emerged over the last couple of years as a new approach to help IT teams better manage a growing number of devices in an increasingly distributed work environment, by uniting traditional endpoint management and mobile device management (MDM). Yet successfully integrating the two commonly disparate approaches is easier said than done. In fact, many teams find themselves overwhelmed by the thought of figuring out where to even begin marrying both approaches, resulting in continued separate workflows and lingering inefficiencies.

For the modern enterprise looking to maintain both its security posture and digital relevancy, however, the impact of resisting UEM extends well beyond a missed opportunity for IT workflow optimization. By not deploying an effective UEM strategy, an organization is missing a critical step to comprehensively and uniformly securing its entire IT environment -- which includes an ever-growing web of network connected devices, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, as well as printers, projectors, BYOD devices, gateways and Internet of Things devices -- all of which are essential to employees’ daily work and, ultimately, business continuity and growth. For organizations looking to unite endpoint management and MDM workflows to optimize efficiency, security and digital enablement UEM has to offer, here are some key tips to keep in mind.

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9th anniversary of Bitcoin: Is the war between cryptocurrencies and governments over?

Bitcoin more acceptable

The global real estate market is worth $217 trillion, and one-third of income-generating real estate transactions are cross-border. But cross-border real estate transactions are notoriously complicated and rife with delays and impediments inherent to antiquated property rights registrations systems. However, an American’s purchase of $60,000 apartment in Kiev may change everything.

In September, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington remotely purchased a $60,000 apartment in Kiev in a deal that will change real estate forever.

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Dashlane 5 and 1Password 7 support Face ID -- which password manager will you choose?

Using more than one password is somewhat essential. Remembering all your passwords is a lot trickier. Remembering them and keeping them safe is even tougher.

There are plenty of password managers out there, but which one do you choose? We’re big fans of 1Password, primarily due to the seamless cross-device synchronization.

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Speeding up product development with Infopresence

True product innovation has long heralded not just greater growth for companies, but for nations and individual careers as well. (Apple is a great example of this.) Now take it a step further: the ability to repeat a successful product innovation model confers an even more important benefit: lasting competitive advantage. (Again you can look to Apple and its concerted efforts to continue innovation in the absence of Steve Jobs.) Yet we see successful innovation within large companies trending consistently downward, and according to the Journal of Product Innovation & Management, up to 49 percent of innovations now fail.

So what can companies do to bottle innovation?

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How self-driving cars will forever change California's cities

With more than 46,500 miles of interconnected highways and minimally viable public transit in most parts of the state, California is undoubtedly a driving state. This is best evidenced in Southern California, where the freeway system’s notorious traffic and intricacy in design is a daily conversation piece.

A novel concept at the time, California freeways expounded upon the rudimentary expressways that existed in New York, Detroit, and Chicago. What had once been an impromptu system of roads were revamped into streamlined boulevards. Highways were widened and streets were extended. Arteries like the Ramona Boulevard freeway and Hwy 101 linked metropoles to remote locales. Californian’s urban and suburban identity was radically transformed and never looked back.

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3 tips to guide your digital transformation efforts

digital transformation

A quick look at current rankings of the top Fortune 500 companies reveals a key finding -- most of today’s best performing companies have had to start from scratch when it came to digital transformation.

Of the top 10, only one -- Apple -- started as a technology company. The other highest performers, Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway and Exxon Mobil, all had to strategize to become digital after their company was well on its way to success. Being digital today isn’t about having a website -- it involves redesigning the experience based on the way we work, live and interact. A recent report by Forrester suggests that companies have underestimated just how difficult it is to pivot to mobile-led digital transformation. But, as the world around us becomes more and more connected, digital transformation is within reach -- and in our always-on society, it all starts with a "mobile first" mindset.

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