Meet Cimon. The 3D-printed floating robot head was developed by Airbus for the German Space Agency. He’s been a crew member of the International Space Station since June, though as Gizmodo notes, this is the first time we’re seeing him in action.
Really the floating, Watson-powered robot face is like an extremely expensive Amazon Echo designed to study human-machine interactions in space. This video highlights an early interaction between Cimon and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst.
Gerst requests his “favorite song,” leading Cimon to play Kraftwerk’s “Man Machine,” only to be shaken by the astronaut, who then demands the robot shoot some video. Once again Cimon complies, though this time he’s clearly a bit annoyed that the music has stopped. Kind of a rough first encounter for the two new co-workers.
“Happy with his initial outing, both Cimon’s developers and Alexander hope to see Cimon back in action again soon,” the ESA says. “While no further sessions are planned during the Horizons mission at this stage, it could mark the beginning of exciting collaboration between astronauts, robotic assistants and possible future artificial intelligence in space.”
Hopefully things go a bit more smoothly next time. Lord knows the last thing you want to do is piss off a space robot.
Facebook and MIT tap AI to give addresses to people without them
According to a paper published by the researchers earlier this month, the team trained a deep-learning algorithm to scan satellite images and identify pixels that contain roads. Another algorithm took those pixels and stitched them together into a network of roads which could then be analyzed and split into quadrants. Once everything is laid out, numbers and letters are assigned to the streets, which serve as addresses. The method makes it easy to determine intersections and other nearby locations because it’s easy to relate where different roads are on the grid based on their assigned number and letter.
The project from MIT and Facebook is not the first effort to solve the issue of unaddressed rural lands. Google introduced Open Location Codes to its maps back in 2015 as a way to label otherwise unmarked areas. Another organization, what3words, has split the globe up in a three-by-three meter square grid and applies a randomly generated, unique three-word combination to every space.
The problem with many of these solutions is that assigning addresses is the easy part of the problem. Getting those addresses widely adopted is the challenge, as they have to be accepted by governments and citizens alike. Despite the hurdles, having addresses is necessary for providing essential services like medical care and package deliveries. It also aids in planning and building infrastructure.
Apple Music is coming to the Amazon Echo – TechCrunch
Starting mid-December, Amazon Echo devices will be able to stream songs from Apple Music. A bit of a surprise, perhaps, given that Apple’s been a competitor in the space since launching the HomePod back in 2017.
Amazon’s had its own music service for some time, as well, but the company appears to have given up on the dream of being a serious competitor in the space — for now, at least. Instead, Echo smart speakers offer native support for a decent cross-section of streaming services, including Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.
The new skill lets users play specifics songs, genres, playlists and the Beats 1 station through the smart speakers. Adding Apple Music will help the popular smart home products tap into a rapidly growing service.
The company cracked 50 million subscribers earlier this year. That’s still well behind the 83 million paid subscribers Spotify announced back in July, but this addition should help give Amazon an added advantage against Google’s Home devices, particularly here in the States, where the bulk of Apple Music subscribers reside.
For Apple’s part, the offering brings Music to much more accessible hardware. The HomePod currently runs $349 — several times the price of the entry-level Echo Dot. The new skill arrives on Echo devices the week of December 17.
DoJ charges Autonomy founder with fraud over $11BN sale to HP – TechCrunch
U.K. entrepreneur turned billionaire investor Mike Lynch has been charged with fraud in the U.S. over the 2011 sale of his enterprise software company.
Lynch sold Autonomy, the big data company he founded back in 1996, to computer giant HP for around $11 billion some seven years ago.
But within a year around three-quarters of the value of the business had been written off, with HP accusing Autonomy’s management of accounting misrepresentations and disclosure failures.
Lynch has always rejected the allegations, and after HP sought to sue him in U.K. courts he countersued in 2015.
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s own Serious Fraud Office dropped an investigation into the Autonomy sale in 2015 — finding “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.”
But now the DoJ has filed charges in a San Francisco court, accusing Lynch and other senior Autonomy executives of making false statements that inflated the value of the company.
They face 14 counts of conspiracy and fraud, according to Reuters — a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
We’ve reached out to Lynch’s fund, Invoke Capital, for comment on the latest development.
The BBC has obtained a statement from his lawyers, Chris Morvillo of Clifford Chance and Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson, which describes the indictment as “a travesty of justice,”
The statement also claims Lynch is being made a scapegoat for HP’s failures, framing the allegations as a business dispute over the application of U.K. accounting standards.
Two years ago we interviewed Lynch onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt London and he mocked the morass of allegations still swirling around the acquisition as “spin and bullshit.”
Following the latest developments, the BBC reports that Lynch has stepped down as a scientific adviser to the U.K. government.
“Dr. Lynch has decided to resign his membership of the CST [Council for Science and Technology] with immediate effect. We appreciate the valuable contribution he has made to the CST in recent years,” a government spokesperson told it.
With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016
California adds Iowa to ‘travel ban’ over refusal to fund gender transitions
Senior U.S. Democrat focused on Trump impeachment, not Kavanaugh
Manhattan DA subpoenas Trump tax returns
Tulsi Gabbard accuses Trump of being ‘Saudi Arabia’s b—-’ over response to attacks on oil fields
NHL roundup: Lightning overwhelm Devils
Keeps parent company Thirty Madison raises $15 million to fight male pattern baldness – TechCrunch
Bucks vs. Warriors – Game Summary – November 8, 2018
NHL notebook: Oilers fire McLellan, name Hitchcock coach
ChargePoint gives Europe equal billing in electric car grid plan
‘Fantastic Beasts’ flies to top of weekend box office
- With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016
- California adds Iowa to ‘travel ban’ over refusal to fund gender transitions
- Senior U.S. Democrat focused on Trump impeachment, not Kavanaugh
- Manhattan DA subpoenas Trump tax returns