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Google acquires DNNresearch Inc, will help the company on their speech and image recognition software
Google are looking to give their image and speech recognition software a nice boost, so they've acquired DNNresearch Inc. DNNresearch Inc was a startup out of the University of Toronto's computer science department, and now a part of the Mountain View-based giant.
The startup was founded by University professor Geoffrey Hinton and two of his graduate students last year, with Google interested in the company's research on deep neural networks, which will assist the company on improving their speech and image recognition software. Professor Hinton will now continue his work with the University, as well as continuing his research with Google.
Mega founder and boss, Kim Dotcom, has said that he will never see the inside of a US jail. He was at the South By Southwest conference in Austin this week, through Skype of course, where he talked about his ongoing legal fisticuffs with the US government.
Dotcom has said that he is confident that his upcoming trial will see him victorious, and that serving jail-time in the US just isn't going to happen. He said: "I will never be in a prison in the U.S., I can guarantee you that." He also added that he doesn't expect the Obama Administration to send a drone over his mansion, either.
Samsung's Galaxy S IV is being launched in 24 hours, so it is about time Apple's marketing chief, Paul Schiller, came out on damage control. Because, you know, they make the devices that everyone else copies.
Well, the Apple marketing chief has had some interesting things to say about the Android user experience, and how it is not a pleasant experience. Schiller yet again attacked Android's continued fragmentation problems, describing it as "plain and simple". He took a big jab at Android, saying: "Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn't as good as an iPhone."
That wasn't all, Schiller also attacked Android for a lack of integrated software solutions - something I personally laughed out loud over - where he said:
When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with. They don't work seamlessly together.
Google is looking to double the size of its Kirkland, Washington complex. The offices, which are just down the road from Microsoft's headquarters, will play home to more engineers. The current complex comes in at roughly 180,000 square feet. The expanded space will be leased from SRM Development.
SRM Development owns the land next to Google's current space and will start construction on the new buildings in January. The new space is expected to be complete sometime in 2015.
"We are excited to expand our presence in Kirkland, where we have one of the largest engineering offices outside of our headquarters in Mountain View," Google said in a statement.
Google already has more than 1000 employees in Washington state. The Kirkland office is home to the engineering teams responsible for Google+ and Chrome and should remain a purely engineering complex.
The new space will consist of two buildings. Underneath the two stories of office space will be two levels of parking garage. The two buildings will be connected with an atrium.
Western Digital has invested in Skyera, a start-up focusing on all-SSD products for the enterprise market. The investment comes as part of Skyera's Series B round of financing, in which Skyera raised $51 million.
Radoslav Danilak, CEO of Skyera:
The backing of Western Digital has enabled us to ramp our business across marketing, sales and engineering which has been instrumental in creating the industry's most innovative solid-state solution. With our skyHawk family of enterprise solid-state storage systems we are witnessing the next era of solid-state storage and I strongly believe that having a close working relationship with Western Digital, the world's top disk drive vendor, is invaluable as we set out to reshape the storage landscape.
Steve Milligan, president and CEO, Western Digital:
One of our primary goals in developing strategic relationships with technology innovators in the broader storage ecosystem is to enable customers to develop highly optimized storage solutions that meet their changing data management needs. We see companies like Skyera as offering a dramatic improvement over traditional approaches to emerging storage challenges. We will continue to support innovation by collaborating with customers and partners, and investing in companies who are addressing today's most exciting storage opportunities.
For those interested, one of the main employees at Skyera is the engineer behind SandForce SF-1000 and SF-2000.
Andy Rubin has resigned from head of Android development. In his place, Google has appointed Sundar Pichai. Pichai has previously been the senior vice president for Chrome and Apps and is a nine-year veteran of Google. This could indicate that Chrome OS and Android will start to get cozy with each other, something that has previously been predicted.
It would be interesting if Google were able to allow Android apps to run on Chrome OS. It shouldn't be that hard of a task, but Pichai has said that it is much too early to discuss whether this is in the cards.
Sergey and I first heard about Android back in 2004, when Andy Rubin came to visit us at Google. He believed that aligning standards around an open-source operating system would drive innovation across the mobile industry. Most people thought he was nuts. But his insight immediately struck a chord because at the time it was extremely painful developing services for mobile devices. We had a closet full of more than 100 phones and were building our software pretty much device by device. It was nearly impossible for us to make truly great mobile experiences.[/quote]
In a regulatory filing made on Tuesday, Google has disclosed what bonuses some of its high ups received for the 2012 fiscal year. At the top of the list is Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt who received a reported $6 million cash bonus.
Other notability large bonuses include CFO Patric Pichette who earned a $2.8 million bonus, and CLO David Drummond who took home a cool $3.3 million in extra cash. Rounding things out is Google's CBO, Nikesh Arora, who received a $2.8 million bonus. Google says that all the bonuses are given in recognition for contributions to the company's performance last year.
Google co-founder and current CEO, Sergey Brin took no bonus this year, following in the footsteps of Larry Page, the other co-founder of the search giant. Schmidt's massive bonus came on the heels of reports that he will be selling off roughly $2.5 billion of his stake in Google.
This week a Paris court passed down a ruling that bans seven French Apple stores from forcing its employees to work night shifts. The ruling was in response to a complaint that was filed by several national labor unions against the Cupertino based company.
In addition to the ruling, the court fined Apple 10,000 euro (about $13,000 USD) in damages to the unions who filed the suit. The court said that any additional infraction would cost the company an additional $65,000 in fines per infraction. Apple stores in France on average close at 9PM, but employees are often required to stay until 11PM to finish close out duties such as cleaning the store.
In a statement one of the unions that filed suit said: "We are asking only that the law be respected," Apple is appealing the decision and a higher court in France is expected to pass down its ruling on the case sometime next month.
Tesla borrowed $465 million in 2010 from the Department of Energy, which was on a ten-year contract, but during an event hosted by Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Tesla CEO Elun Musk announced his company would pay back the near half-billion-dollar loan five years early.
The loan was meant to be paid back over ten years once the production of the Model S started, with Musk announcing they would accelerate the repayment of their loan, a full five years earlier than required under the original loan terms. Tesla's last payments to the Department of Energy will be in 2017. It's also worth noting that Tesla's $465 million loan wasn't the biggest given out by the DoE, where Ford received $5.9 billion, Nissan with $1.4 billion and Fisker with $529 million.
Musk has an addition to getting things done in a timely manner, getting the Tesla S up and running, rolling off their production lines at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California in less than two years. This has put them in the position to pay their loan five years early.
There have been plenty of truly amazing things to come out of Google's X Labs, with the head of the Google X Lab 'moonshot' division, Astro Teller, revealing that a new project will be announced in the coming weeks.
There aren't many details on the new project, but Teller has said that it would be related to control systems. The moonshot division head also said that Larry Page has approved the project, telling Teller to make sure that he broke at least five prototype devices first. Teller said that this was a reminder that if you're not going so fast that you physically break prototypes, you're not going to go "radically fast."