Raleigh, N.C., detectives have obtained warrants to search a wide variety of Google account data, and not necessarily only of suspects — a practice that has raised the ire of privacy advocates.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News
All 735 Toys ‘R’ Us retail stores across the country will be shuttering their doors soon, as the toy-giant is sadly the latest victim of America’s ongoing retail apocalypse. Not all is bad news in toy-town though, especially if you’re a fan of heavily discounted Apple products. According to multiple Reddit users who’ve lucked out […]
Carphone Warehouse is running a nice promotion on the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. You can get the SIM-free 128GB Pixel 2 for £559. The Kinda Blue model is only 64GB, though, so you’ll have to choose between the Just Black or Clearly White. For reference the Google Store lists the 64GB model at £629 for and £729 for the 128GB one. The SIM free Pixel 2 XL is down by £170 as well – £629 for the 64GB model and £729 for the 128GB model. The Google Store in the UK is running its own promotions for that one – the 64GB Pixel 2 XL for £699 (discounted from £799) and the 128GB 2 XL for…
The big news from this week has been Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Ring for $ 1 billion or more. Kevin and I explain the deal and share our concerns before turning to the issue of smarter cameras, including the recently reviewed Google Clip. From there, we discuss news from Mobile World Congress and then dig into financings, Google winning over a former Alexa exec, the death of Staples Connect, and a new device from Fibaro. This week’s guest is Dominik Schiener, who is a co-founder of IOTA, a distributed ledger for machine transactions. It’s a fun interview.
The following is a guest contributed post from Jeremy Fain, CEO and founder of Cognitiv.
A lot of people have asked me about my thoughts for 2018, and what I think the overarching trends in advertising technology and deep learning will be in the coming year. Far be it from me to disappoint my fans – so here’s my take on next year’s biggest topics:
Marketers will have to start thinking seriously about deep learning.
AI has been a buzzword for the past several years, as clearly evidenced by the vast numbers of products claiming to be AI currently on the market. While most of these applications don’t really live up to the picture of AI that most people have in their heads of a Jetsons-like robot, there have lately been a series of discoveries, most notably in the field of deep learning, that are sure to have a serious impact on the way that most businesses operate.
Deep learning and neural networks are at the heart of some of the most astonishing machine learning developments, from image recognition to the natural language processing that enables gadgets like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home to operate. But access to the technology and insights of deep learning is no longer limited to the big players, as new tools have arrived to bring the computing power and analytical insight of deep learning to marketers.
In some ways, the current wave of AI products is good, because it means that more people, including marketers, have become aware of what AI has the potential to do as well as its possible limitations. As more advanced forms of AI become market-ready, deep learning will be at the forefront of any of those conversations, and marketers will begin to understand the value of using deep learning to buy media and create audiences to advertise against, becoming better equipped to lead their businesses to success in 2018 and beyond.
Mobile ad networks will be forced to become more transparent.
Before programmatic became a mainstay of digital advertising, ad networks performed an important function as an intermediary between digital advertisers and publishers. They could help publishers find buyers for their inventory, and they could put inventory from multiple publishers together to make it easier for advertisers to buy. Because most inventory came from smaller publishers, it cost less, and was a cost-effective value proposition for most advertisers.
The rise of programmatic, however, created a way for advertisers to directly buy from any publisher with added transparency into pricing and websites. Suddenly, ad networks had to deliver more value than just inventory aggregation. This transition took place in the traditional digital display world years ago but has yet to take place in mobile advertising. 2018 will be the year where mobile ad networks will have to prove their added costs or face the reality that mobile advertisers have begun to use programmatic for user acquisition and retention campaigns.
Header bidding will become a problem on the agency side, so its use will diminish.
This relates in some ways to the general theme of greater transparency in the digital advertising markets. Header bidding code allows a publisher to offer the same impression in multiple exchanges at the same time, ultimately leading to the impression being sold for a higher price than if a single exchange was used. This means advertisers are bidding multiple times on the same inventory and, because of the nature of programmatic, they are likely paying more. Originally, header bidding was meant to allow advertisers to compete programmatically for all of a publisher’s inventory, instead of just the unsold “dregs” that were left over after directly sold insertion orders had been fulfilled. The technology, however, is now being used to offer the same impression through multiple exchanges to the same DSP. This has driven DSP costs up because of the skyrocketing number of “duplicate” bid requests being received from multiple exchanges and has given rise to an entirely new ad tech industry of trying to sift through these duplicate impression requests.
A much more elegant, and likely solution in 2018, will be that advertisers through their agencies will require the use of the ads.txt standard. This file is meant to be made available by every publisher wishing to sell their inventory programmatically. It lists the exchanges their inventory is available in. Ads.txt was created to stop a flagrant type of fraud where websites list themselves inaccurately as more valuable websites, but Ads.txt can also be a great tool to cut down on duplicate impressions. A publisher has the right to sell its inventory any way it chooses, and different exchanges may have different strengths for different types of inventory, so I do not predict (or advise) that advertisers will require pubs use only one exchange. In the end though, I predict that header bidding as it is used today is on its way out. The costs are too high for DSPs and advertisers will realize they are bidding on the same exact impression and ultimately paying a higher price. I’ve never met an advertiser that liked that.
If there’s any overarching theme here, it’s the idea that marketers and advertisers are constantly getting more savvy about the tools they’re using, whether it’s AI, ad networks, or ad exchanges. They will begin asking tough questions and demanding accountability in 2018 in new ways that will, as always, lead to big changes in the advertising ecosystem.
The post Opinion: Marketers Have to Start Thinking Seriously About Deep Learning appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.
Easier, Faster, Holograms
In two new studies, researchers at UCLA used artificial neural networks to reconstruct a hologram — not just any hologram, though. Not only is the technique an advancement of holographic technology, but the resulting microscopic images could have fascinating medical applications.
In the first study, published in the journal, Light: Science & Applications, researchers used deep learning to create images of biological samples like blood, Pap smears, and other thin tissue samples.
The neural network technique proved to be easier and faster than the usual methods used to make holograms, which often require an abundance of physical measurements and computational input.
In the second study, the team applied their deep learning framework to improve the resolution and quality of the microscopic images, which could help doctors detect very small abnormalities in a large blood or tissue sample.
As holograms are rendered they can lose information in the process, which can sometimes make “artifacts” appear in the image; something that looks significant (like a dark spot that’s really just a shadow but could be interpreted as a cancerous growth). This also happens at times with radiological scans, especially if the patient moves when the scan is being performed.
However, the UCLA team’s deep learning AI was successfully able to address the problem: once it was properly trained, the neural network could separate the spatial features of the true image from any interference (often caused by light).
Layers of artificial neural networks allow deep learning algorithms to automatically analyze data. The technology has already demonstrated its use for improving real-time speech translation, video captioning, and many other tasks previous left up to humans — who, perhaps, don’t accomplish them as speedily or accurately as the algorithms do.
Since machine learning can sort through enormous amounts of information much faster than humans can, one area that the technology has begun to establish a presence is medicine. The algorithms are already finding applications in diagnostic radiology, where they’ve been used to read x-rays and have even managed to catch cancers that were missed by human physicians on scans.
Beyond the remarkable potential deep learning has to advance hologram technologies, Aydogan Ozca, who led the research, believes it could open up new possibilities in imaging. In a UCLA press release, Ozca said the technology could even lead to the creation of entirely new, coherent imaging systems. Future imaging systems could even use UCLA’s findings to incorporate other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum into the tech, like X-rays and visible wavelengths.
If the future is anything like we’ve seen in science fiction for the last 40 to 50 years, holograms will play a major role, but UCLA’s research doesn’t just support the fantastic future of holograms; it offers realistic applications for the incredible technology.
The post How Deep Learning AI Will Help Hologram Technology Find Practical Applications appeared first on Futurism.
Ok, so, a little game called Final Fantasy (maybe you’ve heard of it?) decided to release its latest mobile version a little earlier than planned, so Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is kind of dominating this week’s list of new releases arriving one day earlier than its previously announced February 9th release date. It’s free to try though, so try it out! But don’t let it overshadow some of the other excellent releases this week like Dandara, which we loved in our review, the quirky roguelite digger Dig Dog from Rusty Moyher, or even the over the top new bowling game StrikeMasters Bowling from the folks who brought us the Great Little War Game series. THAT’S unexpected. Anyway, check out the full list of this week’s new games below and let us know which ones you’ll be checking out.
Bluebird of Happiness
Your brother finds a stuffed bluebird while the two of you visit a festival. Later that night you have a dream that takes place inside of a strange forest with a man having the head of a bird
Try to escape the dream by collecting items and solving puzzles.
Can you save your brother?
Forum Thread: Bluebird of Happiness (by Daigo Sato)
Take complete control of an epic empire and defend it at all costs in the medieval fantasy tower defense strategy game, Caravan War. Collect a variety of resources to build and expand your empire by establishing friendly caravan trades or launch colossal raids to seize all kinds of goods from other caravans. Battle with others worldwide via online multiplayer or fight solo in an offline campaign mode. Can you build the best kingdom of all time?
Forum Thread: Caravan War (by Hiker Games Joint Studio)
The world of Salt hangs on the brink of collapse. The citizens, once free spirits, now stand oppressed and isolated. But not all is lost, for out of this aether of fear arises a heroine, a ray of hope. Her name is Dandara.
Welcome to a unique 2D metroidvania platformer full of mystical creatures and boundless exploration. Defy gravity as you jump across floors, walls, and ceilings alike. Discover the mysteries and secrets hidden throughout the world of Salt and its diverse array of characters. Empower Dandara for combat and survival against enemies bent on oppression.
Awaken, Dandara, to bring freedom and balance to this directionless world.
Forum Thread: Dandara (by Raw Fury)
Dawn Break: The Flaming Emperor
When the Day of Eclipses arrived, a dark shadow appeared, and from the sky, a mysterious lady descended… Join Haley, Anis and Luke in an epic journey and unravel their destiny!
-Explore the world of DawnBreak with familiar voices from Rie Tanaka, Ryohei Kimura, Hikaru Midorikawa, and other fan favorite voice actors and actresses!
-Release your full potential with a well-timed “Ultimate” to turn the tide of combat and annihilate everything in your way!
-Meet a lovely cast of fairy companions who fight and scavenge items for you!
-Gather your friends to conquer legendary monsters in a real-time co-op- daily challenges await you!
-Prove your strength in a 4-player battle royale arena, where you will have the chance to play as epic bosses to destroy other players!
Defender Heroes:Castle Defense
The war broke out and dark monsters are back to attack your castle. Not only orcs, but also goblins, witch, spirits, devils and other monsters are trying to destroy your kingdom! Use the power of the bow and crossbow to defend the realm and the kingdom from attacking enemies. Equip the castle with a bow, arrows and defeat all the demon and zombies that are coming to your castle.
You are not alone in this battle. Choose your legendary warriors and fight together with the legendary heroes. Summon the ancient gods will lead your army and defend your precious kingdom.
Forum Thread: Defender Heroes:Castle Defense (by Unimob)
You find a strange message from a relatively unknown app developer and a mysterious mobile game called ‘Dere Exe’. Like other platformer games, it has challenging levels, nostalgic pixel art graphics, retro music, but it has horror elements as well.
‘Dere Exe’ is an immersive narrative thriller using the interface of a normal platformer game. This game is not for the faint of heart. You were warned.
Forum Thread: Dere Exe (by Darius Immanuel Guerrero)
Dig Dog – Treasure Hunter
Dig Dog is an action roguelike platformer. Dig to discover treasure, adventure and bones! Jump, dash, stomp and dig your way through a strange world inhabited by stranger creatures. Simple, expressive control scheme – Run, dig, drop, jump or dash using only three buttons! Also supports game controllers.
Play both Game Modes:
Bone Hunt – The roguelike treasure hunt. Dig for bones across four worlds of increasing difficulty. Battles enemies above perilous cliffs. Die a lot.
Free Dig – An endless digging experience. Dig through an infinite set of levels with minor challenge and no game overs. Progress is saved.
Includes an original retro soundtrack from 8bitmatt!
Forum Thread: Dig Dog – Treasure Hunter (BY Rusty Moyher)
Exception is a game about AI programming. During the game, the player is required to assist the unit to defeat it’s enemy in the virtual world. However the player need to control the units by programming instead of control them directly.
This is a challenging single player game need to go through in chapter sequence. In each chapter, the player is demanded to think about the strategy and realize it by programming the units. The player need to program for different types of units to achieve cooperation between them and pass the chapter in the end.
Forum Thread: Exception (By Kunpo)
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition
“Explore the world of FINAL FANTASY XV
with a cast of cute and cool characters! “
Now you can enjoy the FINAL FANTASY XV story across 10 exciting chapters
Tap to move, tap to talk, and tap to fight
Easy for anyone to pick up and play!
Forum Thread: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition (by SQUARE ENIX)
This is a story of memories and bonds. Raktehelm, a land where Gods and Demons once fought for supremacy. Hundreds of years have passed since the end of the Great War and humans lived in peace. However, these days of peace will come to an abrupt end when the once sealed Demons return…
– Characters that Bring the Story to Life – Summon ancient heroes and head on an adventure! Create your very own all-star team to bring peace to the world!
– Exhilarating Battles – Original and intuitive battle system for action-packed combat!
– Multiplayer with Up to 4 Players – Play with friends to make battles even more exciting! Fight against strong bosses together with fellow adventurers!
– Intricately Detailed Graphics – Units, bosses, backgrounds are all drawn with the highest quality! We are proud to present RPG fans with state-of-the-art pixel graphics!
Forum Thread: Grand Summoners (by GOOD SMILE COMPANY)
Ink or Swim
Time your taps to stay afloat, dodging killer coral and salty sea-enemies!
Power up with the super starfish and turn the tables on your foes!
Collect over 30 underwater worlds from Captain’s Cove to Rockabilly Bay
Simple to learn yet hard to master, Ink or Swim is a squidstastic time for all!
Forum Thread: Ink or Swim (by Valorian Games)
The awesome 3D turn-based battle game Inochi is here. Battle your way through dynamic worlds, defeat the Rust King’s hordes and free your AniMech heroes.
The AniMech’s world, Shine Planet, is under attack from the enigmatic Rust King and his massing army of Rust infected slaves. Inochi brings you a quirky universe of Robot Animals called AniMechs, each with their own special moves and abilities.
Unlock awesome new parts to customise and upgrade your AniMech with crazy cross over creations; there are millions of different combinations so you can make your Hero as unique as you are! Master an expanding arsenal of powerful moves and abilities.
Forum Thread: Inochi (by KISS Publishing)
If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take one app with you, which app would you take? Yeah, probably some sort of “come and rescue me” app. But while you waited for help to arrive, you could use an app like Island Golf to help pass the time!
Island Golf is a simple, easy-to-play arcade game where you play a quick round of golf with fairways on little lonely islands. There’s no complex system of club types, swing meters or wind direction here. You just tap, drag, and release to take a shot.
Every day a new course appears. See if you can beat par on each hole, and how low you can score through all 18. If you do well, you may even make the high score board for that day. If not, there’s always tomorrow.
Forum Thread: Island Golf (by CleverMedia)
Just Ski and Snowboard
Just Ski and Snowboard is the „premium“ combination of Just Snowboarding and Just Freeskiing. The game is a highly authentic snowboard and freeski simulation with sheer endless possibilities to tweak (3D Touch), style and combine realistic tricks! The numerous Slopestyle, Halfpipe, Big-Air, Jibbing (Rails, Boxes) and Backcountry challenge locations are covering a huge variety of freeskiing and snowboarding.
The game features a powerful yet simple steering technology with supportive in-game tutorials and simple buttons for beginners and advanced possibilities (2x taps, swipes, etc.) for Pro’s. Summarized, the aim of the game is to beat the world’s best scores and to master given challenges in order to improve your overall skiing and snowboarding skills.
Forum Thread: Just Ski and Snowboard (by Randerline GmbH)
You can’t run, can’t flip, can’t even jump, all you can do is Just Slide!
Do you like casual, one-tap and one-finger controls in games?
Bad news, we don’t have it. Why? Because it’s boring and not even close to challenging.
Imagine blob, cat, doge, rabbit, ghost or even santa. Now put them on oiled, very slippery and rotating platform. And finally drop tons of deadly traps, spikes, bombs, arrows and black holes. Perfect. Now you have to save them without losing your mind. Welcome to ‘Just Slide’.
Forum Thread: Just Slide (by FunnyStoryHa)
How high will you be able to climb the avalanche?
Landslide Ninja is an endless climbing adventure through amazing worlds and planets with exciting landscapes. Avoid getting smashed by the falling blocks while you race against the rising waters! Earn FIVE unique ninja belts ranging from the magma belt to the crystal belt. Level up to earn awesome powers to make your climb easier. Can you climb the highest? There’s only one way to know.
Forum Thread: Landslide Ninja (by Eternal Studio)
Light a Way
Darkness has enveloped the sun and from within it, emerge the dark beings with a sole purpose to consume all beings of Light. It is now up to you, the Guardian. Gifted with the magical Staff of Flare, you must set on a path to restore the Light back to the world and rid the darkness that has tainted the very lands that you step on.
Bring the Light back to the world as you channel the powers of Light. Tap to radiate flare onto your enemies, empower yourself with magical artifacts, and befriend cute glowing Lumis as you battle the forces of the abyss and restore Light to the world.
Forum Thread: Light A Way (by AppXplore)
Evade obstacles and stomp baddies to help Mildred through her quest to find a safe place for her egg to nest in this light-hearted, 2D side-scrolling game.
• Levels are easy to complete, but hard to master
• Flexible design that enables you to play for a minute, or for an hour
• One hand play using tap (to flap) and swipe (to change direction and stomp)
• Quick, simple tutorial to help you learn the controls
• Each level is hand designed to maximize the fun
Forum Thread: Nest Quest (by Moltow)
The year: 1984. The place: Brooklyn, New York Dojo Number 7. The time: of no real consequence.
“Ninja Attack!” is the result of a bizarre thesis statement: If Hunter S. Thompson was head of the art department at the Sega Corporation Ltd. in the early 80s, what would the bonus round in Shinobi look like?
Forum Thread: Ninja Attack! (by The Frosty Pop Corps)
The continuation of the popular action-horror game – “Reporter” from “AGaming+” studio, will shock you to the core! Turn off the lights, connect headphones and be careful, because only the attentive and cautious person can finally unravel this dark history!
You somehow miraculously survived in the hospital! Do you think it is over? And what about that strange call about 7 days? The time is running out! Carefree dreams are left behind: now you are hostage of nightmares and wake up in a cold sweat every morning. And nightmares are becoming more realistic and eerie every day. That’s why you are trying to find out something about that mysterious girl, who is following you in nightmares. One of your friends found out something interesting and you need to start your action, immediately! It’s time to go!
Forum Thread: Reporter 2 (By Igor Migun)
RPG Dragon Lapis
The dawn of a new hero!
A thousand years ago, a great battle ensued between two dragons, one gold and the other silver, where they were sealed away. However, the real tale begins many centuries later after the Silver Dragon reawakens, and launches an assault on a frontier village in the far north.
There, a royal knight by the name of Lucas serves as a guard after being relegated to the rural and much isolated location by the King. Yet, little does he know he is, in fact, a descendant of the hero, Alaric, who once sealed the Gold and Silver Dragons in human form. Nonetheless, when tragedy strikes, he soon finds his place, and after teaming up with a band of unlikely companions, sets out on an adventure to save the world.
Forum Thread: RPG Dragon Lapis (by KEMCO)[+Free]
Side Jumper: Cube Brick Smash
You are that orange cube which is running around the 5×5 board made of squares. Tap on the screen to jump with your orange cube on blocks from one side to another and try to destroy and demolish them all. The higher the number in the numbered squares – the more strength they have. Your player also has a jumping power. It reduces the power of board tiles by that number, or if it’s higher – smashes the cube completely. Try to clear the board, collect cubes with plus sign to level up and increase your player’s smashing power. Collect bombs to destroy the nearby squares. Try to score as many points as possible and compete with others in worldwide leaderboard.
Forum Thread: Side Jumper: Cube Brick Smash (by Eduardas Klenauskis)
Stickman Disc Golf Battle
Stickman Disc Golf Battle is a PVP game all about disc golfing and builds on the successful multiplayer formula of Stickman Skate Battle and Stickman Cross Golf Battle. Use various realistic discs (Fader, Curver, Ranger, etc.) combined with players with different abilities to beat your opponents in spectacular landscapes. There are tons of cool stuff to unlock like golfers and discs and various challenges like daily, weekly and monthly live events and tournaments with realistic physics. This and more makes Stickman Disc Golf Battle the ultimate disc golfing multiplayer game.
Forum Thread: Stickman Disc Golf Battle (by Djinnworks)
• ONE SWIPE BOWLING – gets you bowling Strikes in no time, but lets you develop skills to master the lanes
• DESIGN YOUR BOWLER – select face type, hair, eye color, clothes and more to create your unique bowling character
• MULTIPLAYER ACTION – take on the best, or your pals in online or local multiplayer matches and tournaments
• SKILL SHOT CHALLENGES – 40+ hand-crafted special shots with pins in lines, pinball-style poppers, ramps and more
• CHOOSE YOUR LEAGUE to play in Rookie, Amateur, Pro or Elite categories
• 11 TOURNAMENT MODES to play, including Free Roll, Small is Beautiful, Strike Master Challenge and Risky Rumble
Forum Thread: StrikeMaster Bowling (by Rubicon Development)
Tabletopia is a digital online platform for playing board games just like in real life. There is no AI to enforce the rules. Read the rulebook, choose a seat at the virtual table, and let the game begin!
Or easily create digital versions of your own board games to promote, playtest, and demonstrate them!
Mobile (Beta) features:
• Solo or Pass & Play modes on iOS tablets (Online Multiplayer mode coming soon)
• Six games are already available with many more on the way
Forum Thread: Tabletopia (by TableTopia, Inc.)
True Legacy is a text-driven puzzle adventure game. Investigate a politically sensitive murder in a dystopian, 21st century metropolis, riven by rampant economic and genetic inequality. Both your ethics, and puzzle solving skills will be tested in this sci-fi noir thriller.
Taking the role of investigator Claire Thornhill, players navigate the world of True Legacy via interactive text, immersive 3D scenes and forensic puzzle gameplay. The branching narrative pushes you to express your ethics in a harsh world transformed by unregulated technological advances.
Developed in partnership with Failbetter Games and the Wellcome Trust, True Legacy is a plausible glimpse into the future. Researched with the help of various UK universities and experts working at the cutting edge of robotics, AI, and genetics, the noir thriller plot presents the player with very realistic dilemmas around the ethics of labour market automation, population surveillance and genetic engineering.
Forum Thread: True Legacy (by Blindfire Limited)
Weapon Shop Fantasy
Weapon Shop Fantasy is a shop simulator with a whole lot of RPG elements.
Or maybe it’s an RPG with a whole lot of shop simulation…
Craft mighty weapons!!!!
Enchant them with magic!!!!
Forum Thread: Weapon Shop Fantasy (by Digdog Studios Ltd.)[+Lite]
The X-Files: Deep State
The Truth Is Out There – do you have what it takes to find it?
Delve into the unknown, investigate mysterious cases of the paranormal and unravel an international conspiracy in a thrilling, story-driven hidden object X-Files adventure game.
Welcome to The X-Files, Special Agent. The following intel is classified Top Secret / For Your Eyes Only. You and Agent Dale have been selected to investigate mysterious crime scenes that defy explanation.
Forum Thread: The X-Files: Deep State (by Creative Mobile)
Dig Dog is a platforming game that feels something like a cross between the arcade simplicity of Dig Dug and the ultra tough (but unwaveringly fair) Spelunky. Here’s a few tips to help you get better in your dogged pursuit of bones.
Go the distance
As any X-Files fan knows, the truth is out there. And well, the truth is The X-Files: Deep State is an appalling release. Even when you take into consideration that this is a casual free-to-play hidden object game, it’s still bad when compared to any of the similar titles found within the genre.
The first clue that this is a thoughtless cash grab meant to take advantage of the nostalgic X-Files fanbase is the fact that the in-app purchases range all the way up to $ 349.30.
The X-Files: Deep State is bad, even for a hidden object game was written by the awesome team at Android Police.