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Cyrus

Cyrus is currently getting his bachelors degree in computer programing. As a part time job, Cryus writes contributing articles and content for GetUSB.info. He is an avid swimmer, loves Minecraft and prefers to program in Python.

Google’s DeepMind AI VS. the Go World Champion

It’s over 2500 years old and the rules are deceptively simple, but Go is an incredibly complex game. The rules are simpler than those of chess, but a player typically has a much more vast choice of moves. The game is played with white and black stones and the aim is to capture territory as well as your opponent’s pieces. Stones can be captured by surrounding them but the control of the board is a much more complicated matter which is why a true competitive AI has been rather difficult to create. In a landmark victory against the European champion in October it was proven that the efforts of the DeepMind team and subsequently Google’s efforts on the AlphaGo project had found success in what had been thought impossible since the early years of computing.

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By first studying the patterns repeated in various games, AlphaGo will play different versions of itself millions of times during a single match and learn incrementally. Learning from its mistakes is what makes the AI truly remarkable and what led its developers to take their months of improvements since beating the European champion, to the next level. As of today, AlphaGo has secured its second win against world champion Go master Lee Sedol in a 5-game match worth 1 million US dollars. The games are being played with a 2 hour set time limit for each player followed by three 60 second overtime periods as well as the standard Chinese ruleset.

The magnitude of this achievement opens many doors to advanced functionality of artificial intelligence. The emerging truth is machines can learn real world tasks in much the same way they learn to make moves in a game. This opens new paths of scientific research while augmenting existing industries where machines can learn to identify promising areas of research and help humans in the right direction. Whether it’s fields with a sheer overload of data needing to be sifted through such as biology or security, or more subjective fields such as arts and language. As stated many times in AlphaGo’s 7 matches thus far, regardless of which player wins, it is a victory for humanity.

Game 3 between Lee Sedol and AlphaGo is set to take place tonight, March 11th, at 8:00 PST Watch Here

Source: Deep Mind

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Sony files patent for a glove-like controller

With the advent of Virtual Reality consoles upon us, now is as good a time as any for accessories which can be used in tandem with the technological leap. Electronics giant Sony has recently filed for a trio of patents and they look to be taking VR to an interesting new place.

The trio of patents are for a new glove-based controller system which centers around a finger-tracking flex sensor, a separate contact sensor that registers when the user touches a physical object, and a communications module that sends this data to a VR headset where it is incorporated into the simulated experience.

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The patent filing describes the system as “a trackable object that is configured to be illuminated during interactivity with at least one inertial sensor for generating inertial sensor data”. Reminiscent of the Move Motion “wand” revealed in 2009 and released for the PS3, the glove appears to be more dexterous and its collaborative capabilities have the potential to make gesture actions or motions applicable far beyond the world of gaming.

An important note to make in the nature of patents is there is no guarantee a product of this nature will ever see the light of day. Between cost, time, and how well it would actually work, Sony may choose to simply hold the patent and work on other projects but it does suggest they are at least considering wearable computing in the future.

Source: Sony

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Quick Tips for Faster Wi-Fi

Slow internet connections can turn the most innocent web browsing session into an absolute struggle to maintain sanity but luckily there are a variety of steps available to increase speeds once again.

First up, ethernet cables. Ironically the best Wi-Fi tip is to not use your Wi-Fi connection, but rather a wired connection to ensure stability by reducing interference. Plugging an ethernet cable from your machine to a router will ensure connection integrity and having a connection that doesn’t drop out can be particularly helpful for videos and game console activity.

Second, all to often, routers are stuffed in a closet in some far corner of the house. Getting it out in the open and as high as possible will create a larger and more consistent coverage area. Additionally, keep as few walls as possible between the router and the usual location of frequently used devices.

Third, if you’re running 802.11n, you might want to try connecting via 802.11g instead. Throughput speeds can potentially double but it does usually depend on other ISP variables and especially upon what other wireless sources are overlapping signals with the router.

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It’s not always necessary to buy a new router to speed up your Wi-Fi, but if a router is more than a couple years old, an upgrade may provide some benefits. And if you own new gear that has 802.11ac built in, it’s definitely time to upgrade your router. Best of all, some of the least expensive 802.11ac routers out there deliver excellent performance.

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Create your own Custom USBs

Branding products isn’t a new concept in today’s marketing world, but Nexcopy has made it a lot more accessible to brand one of the most versatile pieces of technology in the industry. With the new USB7P full color inkjet printer, anyone can bring their designs or images to life on their flash drives. Below is a video illustrating the product with its features and benefits.

For more information about customizing this video for our reseller channel, please contact Nexcopy directly.

Source: Nexcopy Inc.

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A Breath of Fresh…

Helium?

The gas most commonly associated with balloons and chipmunk voices has recently seen use in Western Digital’s hardware. The memory provider unveiled a new set of their helium-filled drives this week, aimed at personal and small business use. While some of their sizing options are above and beyond what many users would care for, bringing these kinds of options beyond just server use can be a step in an uplifting direction.

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Just like their predecessors, the new hard drives come with SATA III interfaces. With a density one-seventh that of air, helium filled hardware reduces the drag force acting on the spinning stack and lowers fluid forces affecting the disks, enabling thinner platters in larger numbers. The family of WD’s hermetically-sealed hard drives will include 8TB options with 5400RPM or 7200RPM spindle speeds and looks to be optimized for mixed workloads. While the only helium platforms available are for NAS drives, the use of the gas leads to speculation that Western Digital is working on more inexpensive helium-filled platforms. Hopefully, this will lead to helium adaptations of their high-performance HDDs currently on the market for desktop use.

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Energizing How We Charge Our Phones

At trade shows around the world, StoreDot is showing off the Samsung Galaxy S6 with a modified battery and charging port which enabled the device to charge from 10% to 100% in 5 minutes and 25 seconds. This solution isn’t simply faster, the physics within the battery is a new generation of lithium ion batteries which sets it apart from companies pursuing similar avenues to solve the battery inconvenience.

Possibly one of the most impressive features is how the charger manages heat. At Nexcopy we manage temperatures between each piece of our products to keep them safe and durable throughout their use, so we can appreciate some solid thermal decorum when we see it. These new batteries will make sure your phone is never hot to the touch during or after a charging session and it does so with modifications to the connector itself. This however, means there isn’t simply a wire between the phone and the charger but rather a solid, wall-mounted charger unit.

Wall Mounted Charging

What does this means for the industry? Well the technology is alive and well to make our charge times negligible. The delay will be in the coordination needed to make the improvement. There has to be a suitable connection port to enable the top speed charging, and a StoreDot 150W charger is required to reach these speeds. Most notably, Samsung has invested alongside other interested parties so eliminating the wait time of charging could be a thing of the past in the next generation of our smartphones.

Source: StoreDot

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Review: Adesso Wireless USB Trackball Keyboard

Review: Adesso Wireless USB Trackball Keyboard

Don’t you hate it when you buy a new gadget and don’t have the batteries it needs? This new keyboard from Adesso avoids that let down. Batteries ARE included. No more scrounging around for those AA Batteries that you need just to get this keyboard to work

USB wireless keyboard

This little keyboard is great for the multi-media user. With the 100-ft range you can sit on the couch, relax, and set up your music without having to get up and go to the computer. Or if you are that Fortune 500 CEO and you are doing a presentation in the conference room. You can now walk around the room and still control your media presentation. Even if you are just the basic computer user you will find much utility and love for this little guy. It is an easy to use, plug-n-play, keyboard that requires no Continue Reading

SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition USB Flash Drive

SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition USB Flash Drive What does a high class manufacturer of motorcycles have to do with a manufacturer of USB sticks? Ducati and Sandisk have decided to create a partnership together creating fast memory products like CompactFlash and USB Flash Drives. Well, Ducati and SanDisk believe by slapping “Sandisk Extreme Ducati Edition” and creating a 4GB flash drive with a fast 20MB/second transfer rate will be able to command $125 from consumers. Why so expensive? The flash drive was designed in an industrial look echoing “the performance, colors and lines of a Ducati MotoGP motorcycle.” I’m sure someone will buy it, but I can get a 500GB drive that would be faster (and much bigger) for about the same price! Source: Gizmos for Geeks Continue Reading

USB Drum Kit

USB Drum KitGeek Rockers rejoice and get your bang on with this USB Drum Kit.  The kit is much like the USB piano whereby everything rolls up for ultra portability, and of course, is a one-connect USB gadget so no additional power cords or cables. The kit has six different pad areas (snare, kick and a couple of toms) and the included software allows you to control and select the various sounds programmed to each pad from 50 percussion sounds, 20 preprogrammed percussion sets and 100 preprogrammed beats.Girls will flock to your cube as you become a Geek rockstar! Purchase online at Thinkgeek. Source: gizmosforgeeks.com Continue Reading

Credit Card Size Digital Video Player

 Is that a PMP in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Sorry, that’s all I could think of for this super mini video player that sports a 2.4″ or 2.8″ full-size bright high-res LCD display. The device can be expanded with a memory card (T-Flash or MicroSD) but comes with 2GB built-in. The battery life will let you play video for 3-4 hours and audio for 6-8 hours.

Credit Card Size Digital Video Player

The device is so simple but really combines many features people look for in a PMP including simplicity of transferring video to the device (supports USB mass-storage mode for easy transfer of video on any OS), expandability memory, charging via USB (when traveling I hate bring extra chargers) and can play FM Radio, Text, Pictures, Games and Videos. Continue Reading

USB Wireless Rocket Launcher

USB Wireless Rocket Launcher It’s kill or be killed in office warfare so you need every advantage you can get and this USB Wireless Rocket Launcher gives you 15 extra feet from your base station to smite your enemies, er co-workers, down. No longer do you have to worry about an abduction of your Red Swingline Stapler, your special neon-colored dry-erase markers or that last piece of your boss’ birthday cake while this Rocket Launcher’s got your back!Purchase the USB Wireless Rocket Launcher online at ThinkGeek. Source: gizmosforgeeks.com Continue Reading

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