Saturday, June 03, 2017
Friday, June 02, 2017
Below is the full e-mail, obtained by Axios.
I know many of you share my disappointment with the White House's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. I spoke with President Trump on Tuesday and tried to persuade him to keep the U.S. in the agreement. But it wasn't enough.
Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it. I want to reassure you that today's developments will have no impact on Apple's efforts to protect the environment. We power nearly all of our operations with renewable energy, which we believe is an example of something that's good for our planet and makes good business sense as well.
We will keep working toward the ambitious goals of a closed-loop supply chain, and to eventually stop mining new materials altogether. Of course, we're going to keep working with our suppliers to help them do more to power their businesses with clean energy. And we will keep challenging ourselves to do even more. Knowing the good work that we and countless others around the world are doing, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our planet's future.
Our mission has always been to leave the world better than we found it. We will never waver, because we know that future generations depend on us.
Your work is as important today as it has ever been. Thank you for your commitment to making a difference every single day.
Apple CEO blasts Trump's Paris accord move in email - Axios
Thursday, June 01, 2017
"Last year’s reinvention of Motorola centered around the short-lived buzz over modular smartphones. Its Moto Z and Moto Mods platform were the most practical take on the modular phone concept, but they didn’t exactly ignite the smartphone world.
Hidden among this modular hype was one of the best smartphones made last year: the midrange Moto Z Play. It wasn’t the flashiest phone, didn’t have the fastest processor or best camera, and didn’t have the highest-resolution display. It did have the best battery life you could get in any smartphone, and the rest of its components were good enough that the overall package was greater than the sum of its parts. The Z Play was easily the sleeper hit of 2016 (and one of my favorite phones of all time), even if you didn’t care one bit about its modular capabilities."
Motorola Moto Z2 Play review: thinner, lighter, better - The Verge
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
This is sad. Mao had a saying roughly translated; "he who lifts a rock and drops it on his own foot is a fool".
"HONG KONG — Sören Schwertfeger finished his postdoctorate research on autonomous robots in Germany, and seemed set to go to Europe or the United States, where artificial intelligence was pioneered and established.
Instead, he went to China.
“You couldn’t have started a lab like mine elsewhere,” Mr. Schwertfeger said.
The balance of power in technology is shifting. China, which for years watched enviously as the West invented the software and the chips powering today’s digital age, has become a major player in artificial intelligence, what some think may be the most important technology of the future. Experts widely believe China is only a step behind the United States.
China’s ambitions mingle the most far-out sci-fi ideas with the needs of an authoritarian state: Philip K. Dick meets George Orwell. There are plans to use it to predict crimes, lend money, track people on the country’s ubiquitous closed-circuit cameras, alleviate traffic jams, create self-guided missiles and censor the internet.
Beijing is backing its artificial intelligence push with vast sums of money. Having already spent billions on research programs, China is readying a new multibillion-dollar initiative to fund moonshot projects, start-ups and academic research, all with the aim of growing China’s A.I. capabilities, according to two professors who consulted with the government on the plan.
China’s private companies are pushing deeply into the field as well, though the line between government and private in China sometimes blurs. Baidu — often called the Google of China and a pioneer in artificial-intelligence-related fields, like speech recognition — this year opened a joint company-government laboratory partly run by academics who once worked on research into Chinese military robots.
China is spending more just as the United States cuts back. This past week, the Trump administration released a proposed budget that would slash funding for a variety of government agencies that have traditionally backed artificial intelligence research.
“It’s a race in the new generation of computing,” said James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The difference is that China seems to think it’s a race and America doesn’t.”
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
"Every time I open my Chromebook and see that an update is available, I get a twinge of excitement. Is this the moment that my Acer Chromebook will finally get Android apps? So far, the answer has always been no, and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.
Samsung’s new Chromebook Pro starts shipping on Sunday, but Android apps will remain in beta at least through the summer, as reported last week by The Verge.
Google didn’t have much to say about the state of Android on Chrome OS during last week’s annual Google I/O conference. But the company did run a dedicated I/O session aimed at teaching developers how to target their apps for Chromebooks and larger screen devices, as first spotted by Thurrott.com.
The big takeaway from that session is that Google is grappling with the same issues we’ve been hearing about for months. At the opening of the session, Google even showed some of its own apps, including Google Maps and Hangouts, that aren’t yet tuned for large screen devices.
Basically, the big issues that Android apps need to deal with during the migration to Chromebooks are support for wider screens; including a landscape mode in addition to portrait; allowing for adjusting an app’s window size; and tweaking input approaches to suit a laptop with a keyboard and mouse."
Google explains why Android apps still aren't on Chromebooks | PCWorld
"Sony killed off its consumer E Ink e-reader business a few years ago, but its Pro division has continued to carry the ereader torch. And now it's releasing a new, second-generation version of its Digital Paper notepad. The DPT-RP1 will be available in June with some noteworthy improvements and a slightly lower price tag of $700.
The biggest update is a crisper E Ink Mobius high-resolution flexible display that's easier to read and allows for a slightly slimmer design. Sony says the touchscreen is now more responsive (less lag), which makes handwritten note-taking using the included stylus feel more natural, and you can now wirelessly transfer documents to a PC or Mac. Internal storage has been bumped from 4GB up to 16GB but this new model leaves off the SD card expansion slot.
The touchscreen is now more responsive, making note-taking feel more natural.
A 13-inch E Ink digital notepad and PDF reader obviously isn't for everybody, but Sony says its original Digital Paper device (the DPT-S1) has caught on with professors, researchers and graduate students in varied science and technology disciplines. It's also used "extensively by legal, financial and medical professionals."
Here are its key specs, according to Sony:
13.3-inch flexible electronic paper display (1650 x 2200 pixel), 16-level gray scale (displays full-size views of 8.5-by 11-inch documents)
Projected capacitive touchscreen capable of pen input
Dimensions (HWD): 8.82 inches x 11.9 inches x 0.23 inches (224 mm x 302.6 mm x 5.9 mm)
12.3 oz (349 g) -- about the weight of a 70-page print out
Up to 3 week of battery life with WiFi off/up to 1 week with WiFi on (takes 3.5 hours to fully charge)
Rechargeable stylus included
Stylus tracking speeds have been optimized for minimal delay between pen and Digital Paper, so writing feels natural and responsive
16GB of on internal memory (11GB usable; stores around 10,000 PDF files)
Send any file direct from your PC wirelessly to view it on your Digital Paper device, for paperless printing (Digital Paper Application is required for synchronization and document transfer).
Supported unsecured file format: PDF (.PDF)
Ships in June for $700"
Sony Digital Paper DPT-RP1 E Ink tablet is actually flexible - CNET
"A loss for humanity! Man succumbs to machine!
If you heard about AlphaGo’s latest exploits last week — crushing the world’s best Go player and confirming that artificial intelligence had mastered the ancient Chinese board game — you may have heard the news delivered in doomsday terms.
There was a certain melancholy to Ke Jie’s capitulation, to be sure. The 19-year-old Chinese prodigy declared he would never lose to an AI following AlphaGo’s earthshaking victory over Lee Se-dol last year. To see him onstage last week, nearly bent double over the Go board and fidgeting with his hair, was to see a man comprehensively put in his place.
But focusing on that would miss the point. DeepMind, the Google-owned company that developed AlphaGo, isn’t attempting to crush humanity — after all, the company is made up of humans itself. AlphaGo represents a major human achievement and the takeaway shouldn’t be that AI is surpassing our abilities, but instead that AI will enhance our abilities."