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Computers that work like brains
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Computers that work like brains 

Show Notes:

Meltdown and Spectre have dominated security discussions since early this year. These attacks are within the hardware and can expose confidential data.

This is a different kind of vulnerability, one that is tied to hardware instead of an application or operating system.

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were discovered by a team of independent researchers including Google’s Project Zero and are said to likely to be the worst processor bugs ever discovered.

Computers that work like our brains

Advances in machine learning have moved at a gallop in recent years, but the computer processors these programs run on have barely changed. To remedy this, companies have been re-tuning existing chip architecture to fit the demands of AI, while, an entirely new approach is taking shape: remaking processors so they work more like our brains.

This is called “neuromorphic computing,” and scientists from MIT said they’ve made significant progress in getting this new breed of chips up and running. Their research, published in the journal Nature Materials, could eventually lead to processors that run machine learning tasks with lower energy demands – up to 1,000 times less. This would enable us to give more devices AI abilities like voice and image recognition.

Plex in virtual reality with Google Daydream

Plex, the hugely popular media streaming app, is adding support for Google’s Daydream VR. With a Daydream-compatible Android smartphone and the requisite headset, you’ll be able to watch movies or TV shows from any media server linked to your Plex account in virtual reality. Plex has several interactive viewing environments you can choose from, ranging from a luxurious loft apartment to a drive-in movie theater. Once you start playing something, that content will take up “a large percentage of your visual field.”

TechBytes:

Last June, Apple announced the HomePod. Scheduled to be released last December, the HomePod was delayed to early 2018, so that Apple can get some more time to get it ready. Now, the HomePod is finally here. The device will be available in stores on February 9 with pre-orders starting this Friday, January 26 in the US, UK and Australia.

Microsoft today announced that it’s dropping the price of Azure Standard Support from $300 per month to $100 per month and that it’s shortening its promised response time for critical cases from two to one hour.

Google Play has ever seen the highest number of app downloads in a quarter. Google Play app downloads topped 19 billion in Q4 2017, a new record. That also makes Google Play’s download lead over iOS its largest ever, at 145 percent. Specifically, the downloads were driven by markets including India, Indonesia, and Brazil, which all contributed to Google Play’s 10 percent year-over-year growth in total downloads as well.

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