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We're seeing the beginnings of Skynet, with Intel working on launching technology that mimics the human brain and "learns" of its user, but the Google X Lab has built a one-billion-connection "neural network" that can identify... cats... on YouTube. Yes, cats.
The project did have an aim, where it looked to simulate object recognition by humans, and was able to more than double the accuracy of item identification from a list of 20,000. Using 16,000 cores in 1000 connected machines (is that all?), the system was able to identify objects, all without human supervision.
The technology represents a big departure from current vision-learning methods. The system was fed 10 million images from YouTube thumbnails, at the low resolution of 200x200. After 72 hours of learning, the system was capable of recognizing not only the human face and body, but also cats, a subject seen frequently on video clips.
The improved 15.8-percent accuracy rate is said to be a jump of over 70-percent from the previous state-of-the-art system.
Dropbox today issues a couple of updates the the mobile and Web version of its software. Dropbox has found itself in competition with the newly released Google Drive and has still been adding customers. These latest changes are to help keep it competitive with the competition.
The biggest update is to the Web version. Dropbox has confirmed that they will no longer be supporting public folders. Dropbox posted on their forums about the change:
We wanted to let our developers know about an upcoming change to the Public folder for all user accounts. In April, we launched the ability to share any file or folder in your Dropbox with a simple link. This new sharing mechanism is a more generalized, scalable way to support many of the same use cases as the Public folder. After July 31, we will no longer create Public folders in any new Dropbox accounts. If your app depends on the Public folders, we recommend switching to the /shares API call. Public folders in existing accounts, however, will continue to function as before.
So, once August rolls around, users will no longer be able to create public folders to share files. Current public folders, however, will be unaffected by the change and will continue to be supported and work as they currently do. Other users who want to share files will have to use the new quick-link feature.
Microsoft have updated their cloud storage solution, SkyDrive, for both Windows and Mac. The new build is version 16.4.4111.0525 and adds improved Windows 8 integration, noting specifically photos, as well as the usual improvements, and bug fixes.
SkyDrive does have a big change in the form of its Windows 8 photo manager integration, so when a user logs in with their Microsoft account (Windows Live), the Windows 8 Photo app will work with photos from the associated SkyDrive account. Another fancy thing is that this feature will work with the just-released Windows 8 Release Preview.
Other notable changes include an increase from the 150,000 files limit to a maximum of 10 million, improved reliability for both syncing and stability, and quicker folder updates. If you have SkyDrive already installed, the update should be pushed to you automatically, the app just needs to be running. If you don't have SkyDrive yet, you can grab it here.
The cloud, isn't it wonderful? NVIDIA have unveiled some of Kepler's cloud-based benefits during the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California today. NVIDIA has said that Fermi-based game servers, such as those run by Gaikai, only have one GPU per server, or 28 GPUs per rack. One GPU is dedicated to a game stream and consumes 150W of power.
NVIDIA's cloud solution, GeForce Grid, powered by Kepler GPUs allows four GPUs per server, or 84 per rack at 75W each. This results in huge power savings for server operators, and this should also be passed down to consumers, and gamers. NVIDIA has mentioned that it's possible for a streaming service to offer bundles of games for around $10 per month. To compare, OnLive offers roughly 200-plus titles, but not new releases, for $9.99 per month.
GeForce Grid isn't just more economical, it also reduces server-side latency by up to 30ms. With lag being a huge concern with existing server-based gaming services, GeForce Grid could really step up and be something quite amazing. NVIDIA puts this improvement of latency to its fast and concurrent game capture APIs, strategic geographic server placement, and better input lag on Smart TV Ethernet ports.
Not wanting to be left out or bested by Google, Amazon today has released a desktop app for its Cloud Drive. Cloud Drive is a consumer grade storage service that is aimed to compete with Google Drive, Dropbox, and the rest. The new application is available for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS 10.6 or 10.7.
The new application allows drag-and-drop functionality, just as if you were copying from one hard drive to another. Cloud Drive launched last year and feature 5GB of free storage with up to an optional 1000GB more for $20-100. The desktop app should make Cloud Drive a bit easier to use and bring it into line with the offerings of Google and Dropbox.
We've been anticipating the launch of Google Drive for a couple of weeks now, with the occasional rumor drifting about regarding when it was going to launch, pricing, etc. Well, today it has finally launched and the details are now fully known and available for me to report to you, just in case you hadn't seen it.
Google drive is now available at drive.google.com and you can visit there now to "get started with 5GB free." This brings me to the features presented by Google Drive. You get 5GB free which is comparable to Apple's iCloud and better than Dropbox's 2GB. Microsoft offers 7GB, or 25GB if you signed up before Monday.
Of course, Google offers additional storage for a cost and surprisingly, at least to me, it seems more expensive than the competitors. For 20GB annually, Google charges you $29.88. iCloud costs $40 and SkyDrive costs only $10. Dropbox doesn't offer 20GB annually. For 100GB, Google charges $59.88 annually. SkyDrive costs $50 and Dropbox, $199. iCloud doesn't offer 100GB annually.
I would encourage you to check out the different services and their offerings because they all have different pros and cons. Also, if you combine the free services from the different providers, you can easily get 14GB for free if you don't mind splitting your files among different providers. It's not like e-mail--as long as you can access the files you need on the devices you need, what's the harm in getting more for free?
As we all await the Google Drive announcement from Google, its competitors are getting ready to stand their ground and keep their customers. They are planning to do this by adding some new notable features. Dropbox and Microsoft' SkyDrive are the two competitors we are seeing update their services.
Dropbox has been great for storage and syncing, but they haven't been very share-friendly. Dropbox has now introduced link sharing which will allow you to share files via a link and open pictures up in your browser. "This means that people who follow your link can see pictures, look at presentations, and watch home videos without having to download and open them separately," Dropbox explains.
Microsoft's SkyDrive has also received some polishing and updates in anticipation of Google Drive. A whole bunch of new apps will be getting better desktop syncing and improved remote access. Interestingly enough, with these updates, SkyDrive users are getting less free storage: 25GB has been reduced to just 7GB.
Google Drive starts its engine, launches next week for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS and offers 5GB storage for free
Google on their quest for world domination are releasing Google Drive next week, according to The Next Web. The service is expected to launch next week, include 5GB of storage, and should be available at http://drive.google.com.
Google will roll out Drive for free, and everyone starts with 5GB of storage. You can purchase more if you want, that is up to you. Google Drive is said to work "in desktop folders" on both Windows- and Mac-based machines, but there's still a few question unanswered with how it all works.
Then we have some information from TechCrunch, where they've got a teaser pic of the Google Drive app for OS X. The version they were given is 1.0.2891 and they've said it works without any problems. John from TC was able to log in to his Gmail account, but other than that there's not much he could do, he was prompted with "Google Drive is not yet enabled for your account".
There's a new website that is offering 10GB of free cloud storage. Trouble is, the website is only in Russian, at least right now. The service launched today as a beta and is the latest in a growing number of cloud storage services providers. It is a system similar to DropBox where files can be stored locally and remotely.
The file then updates among the versions when you save it on your desktop, for instance. The files are accessible from the web, a native Windows or Mac client, or through the Yandex.Mail app on iOS and Android devices. "Yandex.Disk is a cloud service, a virtual folder that can be safely used for file storage," Anton Zabannykh, Yandex's head of Personalized Services, said in a statement. "If your personal computer or laptop catches a virus or breaks down, your files will be safely stored on Yandex.Disk. Currently, Yandex.Disk is integrated with Yandex.Mail, and we have plans to link it with other services offered by Yandex."
The service is currently available by invitation only, so users have to e-mail the site to grab an account. They say that the English version is coming soon, but there is no set date. We will have to wait and see if there is anything that distinguishes these guys from the other service providers that are already established. If you speak Russian, you can head on over to their site and sign up. It is available here.
The incredibly popular file synchronization and cloud storage service Dropbox has increased the amount of free space you get for referrals from 250MB to 500MB with the total amount of free space available to free users topping out at 16GB. 16GB of free space is pretty much enough for anyone's uses, unless they are uploading their entire hard drive.
The person who accepts the referral will also see the increase and will receive 500MB as well. Pro users see a similar bump in data space acquired by referrals. They will now get 1GB of free space with the max amount of free space topping out at 32GB. Dropbox has decided to do this after seeing that the majority of their growth was through word of mouth.
They have also retroactively applied this change, so people will get fully credited for previous referrals:
How much space is that, exactly? For every friend you invite that installs Dropbox, you'll both get 500 MB. If you've got a free account, you can invite up to 32 people for a whopping total of 16 GB of extra space.
Pro accounts now earn 1 GB per referral, for a total of 32 GB of extra space. Have you already invited a bunch of people? Don't worry! Within a few days, you'll get full credit for every referral that's already been completed. Boom!