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Author: winuxe

SpeakSee makes it simple for a deaf person to join a group conversation

There’s a great deal of activity in the fields of speech recognition and the “Internet of Things,” but one natural application of the two has gone relatively unpursued: helping the deaf and hard of hearing take part in everyday conversations. SpeakSee aims to do this (after crowdfunding, naturally) with a clever hardware design that minimizes setup friction and lets everyone communicate naturally. It’s meant to be used in situations where someone hard of hearing needs to talk with a handful of others — a meeting, a chat at dinner, asking directions and so on. There are speech-to-text apps out...

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This simple robot offers more cowbell

Fellas, you’re gonna want that cowbell. And what better way to get that cowbell than with an automatic cowbell-playing robot that uses simple components to create a musical experience like no other. The system, built over at Adafruit, includes a simple Arduino controller, a potentiometer to control the speed of the cowbell hammer, and a few audio systems to play back some BÖC and the immortal words of The Bruce Dickinson: “More cowbell.” It even includes a controller to activate a fog machine for a little extra rock and roll. You can download the code for the system here and there is a full build guide here. Ultimately this is one of the silliest DIY projects I’ve seen in a while but, as you may recall, the only prescription for certain fevers is obviously more cowbell. Source:...

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Apple’s new Mac ads show that even Grimes uses dongles

Apple has launched a new advertising campaign for the Mac called “behind the Mac”. In this campaign, the company is sharing user stories of people using Mac for work, creative projects and accessibility reasons. The Mac is a versatile platform. People use it for boring tasks, such as checking emails and browsing the web. But you can also use it for countless of other things. Apple wants to show you what you can do with a Mac beyond Word and Excel. Apple has shared 4 videos today. The first is a 60-second recap of the three other videos. Each standalone video is a portrait of someone who is using a Mac every day. There will be 12 portraits in total on Apple’s website. Peter Kariuki is a developer who created an iPhone app to improve road safety in Rwanda. Bruce Hall is a photographer who is legally blind and uses photography to see more details of the outside world. And Grimes is one of the most interesting music artists out there. There are a few interesting things to note. All three are using laptops. It’s clear that MacBooks have become the most popular computers from Apple. It doesn’t mean that Apple should abandon the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Pro. But only a fraction of Apple’s customers will buy them. It’s also interesting to see that none...

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Purdue’s PHADE technology lets cameras ‘talk’ to you

It’s become almost second nature to accept that cameras everywhere — from streets, to museums and shops — are watching you, but now they may be able to communicate with you, as well. New technology from Purdue University computer science researchers has made this dystopian prospect a reality in a new paper published today. But, they argue, it’s safer than you might think. The system is called PHADE, which allows for something called “private human addressing,” where camera systems and individual cell phones can communicate without transmitting any personal data, like an IP or Mac address. Instead of using an IP or Mac address, the technology relies on motion patterns for the address code. That way, even if a hacker intercepts it, they won’t be able to access the person’s physical location. Imagine you’re strolling through a museum and an unfamiliar painting catches your eye. The docents are busy with a tour group far across the gallery and you didn’t pay extra for the clunky recorder and headphones for an audio tour. While pondering the brushwork you feel your phone buzz, and suddenly a detailed description of the artwork and its painter is in the palm of your hand. To achieve this effect, researchers use an approach similar to the kind of directional audio experience you might find at theme parks. Through processing the live video data, the technology...

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Samsung announces a push for renewable energy

Samsung has announced that it will use 100 percent renewable energy for all its factories and offices in the U.S., Europe and China. This is the first time Samsung has announced a public commitment for renewable energy. Greenpeace and environmental activists have been calling out Samsung for months as many tech companies have already started switching to renewable energy. Samsung is starting by the parts of its organization that it can control more easily — its own buildings, factories and offices. According to Greenpeace’s press release, 17 of its 38 buildings are based in the U.S., Europe and China. “Samsung Electronics is the first electronics manufacturing company in Asia to set a renewable energy target. This commitment could have an enormous impact in reducing the company’s massive global manufacturing footprint, and shows how critical industry participation is in reducing emissions and accelerating the transition to renewable energy. More companies should follow suit and set renewable energy targets, and governments should promote policies that enable companies to procure renewable energy easily,” Greenpeace campaigner Insung Lee said in the press release. It won’t happen overnight. But these buildings will run on renewable energy by 2020. Samsung says that it could increase its use of renewable energy in other countries. In addition to that, Samsung is going to install solar panels in Gyeonggi province in South Korea. Like many tech companies, Samsung...

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