Weekend tech reading: The current state of wind power, SoundHound steps up speech recognition

By Matthew
Jun 7, 2015
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  1. soundhound

    The technical advances that could make wind power viable everywhere Wind power is often described as relying on "mature technology" and, in many contexts, that's correct. Today, well-sited wind farms in the US and EU generate electricity at a lower cost than coal. But numerous difficulties remain with the way we build wind turbines, and these difficulties raise the price of the turbines, which in turn determines where they can profitably go. High turbine costs mean that, unless the wind at a site is quite strong, there are typically better ways to spend money. Ars Technica

    Uber poaches 40 peopIe from 'partner' Carnegie Mellon Carnegie Mellon University is scrambling to recover after Uber Technologies Inc. poached at least 40 of its researchers and scientists earlier this year, a raid that has left one of the world’s top robotics research institutions in a crisis. In February, Carnegie Mellon and Uber trumpeted a strategic partnership in which the school would “work closely” with the taxi-hailing service to develop driverless car technology. MarketWatch (also, Self-driving cars will cause motion sickness 'often' to 'always,' study finds)

    Steam refund – friend or foe? On Tuesday Steam added a refund procedure that allows you to get a full refund on any Steam game you’ve purchased in the last 14 days, for any reason, as long as you’ve played the game for less than 2 hours. On the surface this change brings Steam up to code in many European countries that require this by law. And it will certainly do right by players in every other country. But the sudden manner in which the refund program was announced and implemented has many developers asking: "Is this good for me?" Andrew Pellerano

    2000's cyberpunk adventure 'Deus Ex' really did see the future coming Deus Ex turns 15 this year, having been released on the 26th of June 2000, but its vision of the future is startlingly relevant. It's a world of corporations being uncomfortably cosy with governments, of haves and have-nots, of high property prices, of constant terror threats, of police militarisation, of web surveillance, of increasingly sophisticated AI, of military drones. Even some of its "that will never happen" moments have turned out to have a prescience that shits all over Nostradamus' track record. Vice

    Hound internal demo In this video, SoundHound Inc. Founder & CEO, Keyvan Mohajer does examples of voice queries to Hound that show speed and accuracy, and the ability to handle context, detailed criteria, and other examples. Hound can't do everything, of course, but, for users who believe that speaking to connected devices should be like how we speak normally -- this shows that it's now possible. SoundHound

    The Agency Around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 11 last year, Duval Arthur, director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, got a call from a resident who had just received a disturbing text message. "Toxic fume hazard warning in this area until 1:30 PM," the message read. "Take Shelter. Check Local Media and" St. Mary Parish is home to many processing plants for chemicals and natural gas, and keeping track of dangerous accidents at those plants is Arthur’s job. The NY Times

    4K displays for HTPCs: A consumer checklist Getting a HTPC setup right for the 4K era has become a very confusing exercise for the consumers. We tried to clarify some aspects in our Future-proofing HTPCs for the 4K Era: HDMI, HDCP and HEVC piece back in April. While we did touch upon the features that consumers should look for in the HDMI sinks in the setup (I.e, the HDMI ports on the TV and the AV receiver), we didn't go into detail on the characteristics of the display itself. Anandtech

    Is Samsung's plan to ramp up 10nm production by the end of 2016 a paper war? Samsung has only just begun shipping 14nm hardware in the last few months, but the company is already aggressively talking up its plans for a 10nm ramp in 2016. In fact, this is the second such push we've seen in recent weeks -- TSMC is talking up its own 10nm plans as well. Ironically, the one company being quiet about its own 10nm ramp is Intel, which has said only that it will detail its own push later this year. ExtremeTech

    Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht appeals life sentence Last Friday, convicted Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for running the online drug marketplace that made more than $200 million in sales. Now, Ulbricht's defense is putting up one last fight to prevent that from happening. On Thursday, the defense filed an appeal for both the life sentence and the original conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Forbes

    Will your job be done by a machine? Machines can do some surprising things. But what you really want to know is this: Will your job be around in the future? We have the "definitive" guide. What job is hardest for a robot to do? Mental health and substance abuse social workers (found under community and social services). This job has a 0.3 percent chance of being automated. NPR

    Amazon making 'ambitious' PC game with creators of Portal, World of Warcraft and more Amazon Game Studios has been growing for over a year now, but up to this point it's only published smaller mobile releases and games for Amazon's Fire TV hardware. According to a new hiring post on Gamasutra, that's set to change soon. Polygon

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