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Stanford Professor Envisions Brain-Like Computers

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Image Source: techxplore.com

Kwabena Boahen, a professor of bioengineering and of electrical engineering at Stanford University, has envisioned a new generation of computers to be brain-like, or neuromorphic, machines that are vastly more efficient than the conventional digital computers.

As conventional computer chips aren’t up to the challenges posed by next-generation autonomous drones and medical implants, “we’ve gotten to the point where we need to do something different,” said Boahen, also a member of Stanford Bio-X and the Stanford Neurosciences Institute. “Our lab’s three decades of experience has put us in a position where we can do something different, something competitive.”

The Moore’s law, an observation made by Intel Corp. co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, has held up pretty well for five decades: roughly every two years, the number of transistors one could fit on a chip doubled, all while costs steadily declined.

However, transistors and other electronic components are so small they’re beginning to bump up against fundamental physical limits on their size. And there are needs for computing to be ever faster, cheaper and more efficient.

In laying out in the latest issue of Computing in Science and Engineering, Boahen believes that the future is now.

While others have built brain-inspired computers, Boahen was quoted as saying in a news release, he and his collaborators have developed a five-point prospectus for how to build neuromorphic computers that directly mimic in silicon what the brain does in flesh and blood.

The first two points of the prospectus concern neurons themselves, which unlike computers operate in a mix of digital and analog mode. In their digital mode, neurons send discrete, all-or-nothing signals in the form of electrical spikes, akin to the ones and zeros of digital computers. But they process incoming signals by adding them all up and firing only once a threshold is reached – more akin to a dial than a switch.

That observation led Boahen to try using transistors in a mixed digital-analog mode. Doing so, it turns out, makes chips both more energy efficient and more robust when the components do fail, as about 4 percent of the smallest transistors are expected to do. From there, Boahen builds on neurons’ hierarchical organization, distributed computation and feedback loops to create a vision of an even more energy efficient, powerful and robust neuromorphic computer.

Over the last 30 years, Boahen’s lab has implemented most of their ideas in physical devices, including Neurogrid, one of the first truly neuromorphic computers. In another two or three years, Boahen said, he expects they will have designed and built computers implementing all of the prospectus’s five points.

“It’s complementary,” Boahen said, adding that “it’s not going to replace current computers.” As most personal computers operate nowhere near the limits on conventional chips, neuromorphic computers would be most useful in embedded systems that have extremely tight energy requirements, such as very low-power neural implants or on-board computers in autonomous drones. (PNA/Xinhua)
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PCOO Launches ‘DU30 Mobile App’

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Image source: pia.gov.ph

A new media platfrom that will serve as Filipinos’ link, here or abroad, for updates on the plans and programs of the Duterte administration was formally launched here Tuesday.

he Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) led the launch at the second day of the National Information Convention (NIC) at SMX Convention Center in Davao City of President DU30 mobile application as the newest media platform to link government to Filipino communities worldwide.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the DU30 App is the Filipinos link for updates on government plans, activities and speeches of President Rodrigo Duterte via the RTVM, Radyo Pilipinas, and the PCOO’s DU30 on Duty.

The mobile application is one of the initiatives of the PCOO, believing that mobile technology is one of the best ways to fight disinformation, misinformation and fake news.

With the growing number of active mobile users and with fact-based technology, Andanar said the PCOO continues to actively explore means, ways to communicate to people to get to know President Rodrigo Duterte, and the executive branch. Andanar noted that there are 62 million active mobile users out of the 105 million Filipinos.

The DU30 App is developed by iBayad Online Ventures Inc. It is downloadable on Google Play and the Apple Store for IPhone users.

Paolo Saycon, chief operating officer of iBayad, said the DU30 App is Andanar’s brainchild. Initially, it has links with PTV and Radyo Pilipinas. Other agencies within the scope of PCOO will also be added.

One of the features of the DU30 App is the sentiment analysis tool or the poll survey. It has also the Comment and Share, Quick Call, Caption This and Direct and Official Social Media Feeds.

After it was turned over to PCOO, Saycon said application is completely managed by PCOO. This was already reviewed by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).

According to Saycon, it took one year for iBayad to develop the application.

iBayad is also developing another feature of the application that will serve as a tool for President Duterte to send personal messages to the people.

There will be a module on the phone of the President or through Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go whereby the President can just send casual or non-formal messages to the people wherever he is.

This is aimed at bringing the President closer to the people, Saycon said.

iBayad has also developed another application initially called “Public Eye” which has tools on feedback, recording, and reporting for citizens of any incident like crimes, damaged roads, among others.

It will have sub-categories depending on how the PCOO would develop the structure.

Once clicked, it directly opens the camera to serve as CCTV and GPS then the user can send it to responsible agency. If it is of urgent or emergency situation it has linked to the 8888 and 911.

Saycon, however, said the application is not yet ready because it needs more security features to protect citizens.

Mervin Caraan of the iBayad Business Development assured the application is still okay even with multiple reports.

He said the application can even be used by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to report abuses.

There will be no problem on the magnitude of the download because iBayad is using the iCloud infrastructure network.

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Google Pixel Earns Android Enterprise Seal of Approval

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Image source: www.androidheadlines.com

With Pixel 2, we set out to make a mobile experience that is smart, simple, and secure, with a great camera, the Google Assistant to help you get more done, long battery life, and much more. We’ve seen a great response from consumers, and we’ve also gotten fantastic reviews from businesses, employees, and industry analysts for the security and productivity features built into Pixel 2.

Today Pixel 2 and first generation Pixel phones have been recognized in the new Android Enterprise Recommended program, which means the phones are endorsed for the workplace. This new initiative from our colleagues on the Android team showcases enterprise devices and services that meet high standards for security, reliability, and productivity while also enabling the teams which deploy corporate devices to manage them easily and securely.

Not only does Pixel meet the baseline requirements of the program, it exceeds many of them. For example, while all devices in the Android Enterprise Recommended program must receive a security update within 90 days, Pixel goes further by delivering security patches and feature updates every month. Pixel gets the yearly Android operating system upgrades first, directly from Google, so that users have the latest software. Pixel 2 also offers a tamper-resistant hardware security module that reinforces the lock screen, to better defend against malware and hardware attacks.

Alongside its security protections, Pixel has lots of features to help you out at work: you can use the Google Assistant to find out when your next meeting is and the best route to get there, multitask with split-screen which lets you have two apps open on the screen, or check notes while on a video call with picture-in-picture mode.

With Pixel recognized in the Android Enterprise Recommended program, we offer peace-of-mind to administrators who manage corporate devices, while always helping employees get more out of their phones at work and beyond. We look forward to seeing how Pixel will power mobile productivity at work.

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Globe CEO Ernest Cu Joins Thought Leaders in New, Original Netflix Documentary for ‘Altered Carbon’

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Image source: Globe PR

Top streaming platform, Netflix recently released a documentary that tackles the possibility of immortality through technology, as a brief introduction to its latest science fiction series ‘Altered Carbon’. The short video featured several prominent thought leaders in entertainment, technology, science and literature, including Ernest Cu, president and chief executive officer of Globe Telecom.

Cu is an immensely forward-thinking leader and tech innovator, who believes in empowering the Filipinos by elevating their digital lifestyle within the global standards. That vision has shaped the trajectory of Globe as a purveyor of all things digital. Hence, Netflix decided to profile Cu, along with Altered Carbon author Richard K. Morgan, Steve Aoki, Jesse Wellens, and other thought leaders to discuss how technology is changing the landscape of human society and how technology deeply affects the lives of individuals. They were also asked to imagine the various possibilities of living forever.

‘Altered Carbon’ is the new Netflix original series based on the classic cyberpunk novel written by Richard K. Morgan. Its story is set 300 years into the future, in which technology allows human consciousness to be digitized and stored in discs called “stackers” or uploaded to the cloud. When a person dies, this stacker is recovered from the body (called a “sleeve”), or downloaded from the Cloud and reinserted into another “sleeve”, thus ensuring that the person lives again. Since the process is very expensive, only the rich can afford to live lengthy and seemingly immortal lives. This status quo has led to a careless disregard for human lives among the wealthy.

Takeshi Kovacs, the protagonist in the series, is the lone survivor of a group of elite interstellar soldiers that was defeated in an uprising against the new world order. After 250 years in ice, Kovacs is revived by Laurens Bancroft, an impossibly wealthy, long-lived man, to solve Bancroft’s suspicious death.

From writer and executive producer Laeta Kalogridis, Altered Carbon stars Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, Martha Higareda, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Will Yun Lee, and Dichen Lachman. Altered Carbon is on Netflix starting February 2.

Globe customers can enjoy six months access to Netflix with Globe At Home Plan 1299 and up, while Postpaid customers can get six months worth of Netflix with Plan 999 and up. To learn more, just visit www.globe.com.ph/content/netflix.

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Don’t Forget the Digital Prenup: Relationship Break-Ups Put Personal Privacy at Risk

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Image source: Kaspersky PR

With online accounts and connected devices playing an ever-growing role in our daily lives, it has become harder than ever for people in relationships to define the boundaries of personal privacy. But what happens if they break up? According to global research from Kaspersky Lab and Toluna, 21% of people have spied on their ex-partner via an online account that they had access to but, with revenge also a key motivator for scorned lovers, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the privacy risks that accompany modern-day partners after a break-up.

Privacy is becoming an increasingly fluid concept in a world of digital borders, and relationships are no exception.

For example, 70% of couples share passwords, PINs or fingerprints to access their personal devices, and 26% store some type of intimate data on their partner’s device: such as intimate messages from/to the partner (14%), intimate photos of themselves (12%) and intimate videos of them and their partner (11%). In addition, people keep sensitive data in accounts and devices they share with their partner – for example, financial information (11%) or work-related data (11%).

This is all well and good when the relationship is healthy and the data is in trusted hands, but some clear issues emerge in the event of a break-up. If things start to collapse, sharing intimate memories on devices or online accounts goes from being a perfectly natural part of a loving relationship, to a potential privacy nightmare.

Of those who have experienced a break-up, 12% have shared or wanted to share their ex-partner’s private information publicly as an act of revenge, 12% have damaged or wanted to damage their ex’s device and 21% have spied on their former partner via accounts they had access to. There’s also a potential financial impact, with one in ten (10%) people admitting to having spent their ex-partner’s money online.

Interestingly, there are some noticeable differences between the sexes, as men are much more likely than women to share their ex-partner’s private information publicly as a form of revenge (17% vs. 7%) and use their ex’s information for their own benefit (17% vs. 8%). In comparison, women are much more willing than men to take the high road by deleting all their ex-partner’s information from their device (55% vs. 49%) and deleting all partner photos or videos following a break-up (56% vs. 48%).

Women, however, are also prone to some sneaky tactics, with 33% admitting to spying on their ex-partner via social networks compared to 28% of men.

“The digital world offers a great way for couples to connect, but also presents significant privacy risks if partners decide to go their separate ways,” said Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab. “With a sizeable proportion of individuals seemingly willing to abuse the intimate data they have on their ex-partners, individuals should always make sure they are careful when sharing anything intimate and know exactly where it is being stored. Moreover, there’s always the option of a digital prenuptial agreement to determine the ‘custody’ of data before it becomes a privacy problem.”

But a break-up doesn’t have to put your privacy at risk. People should always be sure to change passwords to accounts that their ex-partner has access to, using the Kaspersky Password Manager to help generate strong passwords and store them securely. Furthermore, Kaspersky Total Security features a File Shredder feature which permanently deletes files that you don’t want anyone else to see, while intimate messages on your Android device can be hidden using the Privacy Protection feature.

For more information about how Kaspersky Lab products can help keep your relationship on track, visit: https://www.kaspersky.com/home-security.

 

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