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AI Used To Spot Art Forgeries By Looking At Brushstrokes

Tyler Lee November 22, 2017

To the untrained eye, spotting an art forgery would be an impossible task, but that’s what art experts are there for, right? Unfortunately it seems that sometimes even experts can get stumped, and that’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play, which is what researchers from Rutgers University and the Atelier for Restoration & Research of Paintings in the Netherlands have developed (via MIT Technology Review).

Given that everyone holds a brush differently and applies different pressure when painting, it’s almost as if brushstrokes are unique to the artist. This is what the researchers relied on by breaking down 300 line drawings from famous artists like Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, and more. They then fed the strokes into a deep recurrent neural network that identified which were the important strokes to distinguish between the artists.

They also went further by training a new algorithm to look for specific features, like the shape of a line in a stroke. Based on their system, it seems that it was capable of identifying artists 80% of the time. They also commissioned artists to create drawings in a similar style, and the system was able to spot the fakes in every instance.

However there are limitations to this system, and that is it only works when the lines used in paintings are more obvious, but the researchers are planning to test the method on Impressionist works and other 19th-century art.

AI Used To Spot Art Forgeries By Looking At Brushstrokes , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Uber Hit With $8.9M Fine For Hiring Drivers With Criminal Records

Tyler Lee November 22, 2017

If you knew that someone has a history of driving under the influence, or driving recklessly, and has been in multiple accidents before, would you feel safe getting in the car with them? Chances are you might have second thoughts, which is perfectly reasonable, and something you expect taxi companies, Uber, or Lyft to look into before hiring drivers.

Unfortunately it seems that some drivers might have slipped through the cracks, because Uber has since been hit with a $8.9 million fine over in Colorado for hiring drivers who have been found to have past criminal or motor vehicle offenses. This includes drivers who have had felony convictions to driving under the influence and reckless driving, or in some cases these drivers even have had their licenses revoked, suspended, or cancelled, meaning that they should not have made it past background checks in the first place.

In an announcement by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) director Doug Dean, “We have determined that Uber had background-check information that should have disqualified these drivers under the law, but they were allowed to drive anyway. These actions put the safety of passengers in extreme jeopardy.”

Uber spokeswoman Stephanie Sedlak has since provided a statement from the company on the matter, “We recently discovered a process error that was inconsistent with Colorado’s ridesharing regulations and proactively notified the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This error affected a small number of drivers and we immediately took corrective action. Per Uber safety policies and Colorado state regulations, drivers with access to the Uber app must undergo a nationally accredited third-party background screening. We will continue to work closely with the CPUC to enable access to safe, reliable transportation options for all Coloradans.”

Uber Hit With $8.9M Fine For Hiring Drivers With Criminal Records , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


GameStop Expects Gamers To Hold Onto Their Nintendo Switch Longer

Tyler Lee November 22, 2017

Sometimes gamers buy a console and later they decide they don’t like it, or get bored with it, or want something else, so they sell it or trade it in. However with the Nintendo Switch, it seems that GameStop believes that gamers will be holding on to the console longer than the competition.

This is according to GameStop’s interim CEO Daniel DeMatteo during the company’s quarterly financial conference call to investors. According to DeMatteo, he claims that gamers are very engaged with the console and are enjoying the first-party titles available for it. GameStop’s Chief Operating Officer Tony Bartel also stated that the company usually sees an average of 180 days before consoles and games are traded in in significant numbers after launch, but they expect the Switch to defy those conventions.

As DualShockers points out, the PS4 and Xbox One are similar to each other in the games that they offer and in terms of hardware. Obviously there are differences, but for the most part games on the PS4 can be found on the Xbox One, and vice versa, which mean that trading in a PS4 for an Xbox One makes sense, while trading in a PS4 for Switch or the other way around would be a completely different gaming experience.

That being said, the Switch has been enjoying a fair amount of success, having sold close to 8 million units since launch, and also having the honor of being named TIME’s top gadget of 2017.

GameStop Expects Gamers To Hold Onto Their Nintendo Switch Longer , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


State Of Hawaii To Look Into Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s Loot Boxes

Tyler Lee November 22, 2017

While EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was a highly-anticipated title following the success of the original Battlefront, the game has been marred in controversy with regards to the loot box feature, which some felt was a bit unreasonable and also felt a bit like gambling. This led to EA pulling the feature temporarily.

Unfortunately the company’s problems aren’t over because over in the state of Hawaii, Democrat representative Chris Lee announced that the state is looking into the issue and could be interested in introducing a legislation that would ban children from playing games with loot boxes in them.

According to Lee, he said that they needed to “protect kids who are underage, not psychologically or emotionally mature enough to be able to gamble which is why gambling is prohibited under 21.” State Representative Sean Quinlan also added that with Star Wars being one of the most popular IPs in the world and with it aimed at children, it shouldn’t be allowed to be encourage kids to gamble.

We’re sure that gambling was not the intention behind the loot boxes, but that’s how it’s being looked at right now. Over in France, a Senator has requested that the matter be looked into, while Belgian authorities have recently declared loot boxes to be considered as gambling, and are looking into having the feature banned across Europe.

State Of Hawaii To Look Into Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s Loot Boxes , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Analyst Claims 2018’s iPhones Will Allow For Gigabit Speeds

Tyler Lee November 22, 2017

Ahead of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X’s announcement, it was rumored that the new iPhones would not be capable of reaching gigabit download speeds. It turns out that the rumors were true, but the good news is that 2018 is expected to change that, according to a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

According to Kuo, he claims in his report that Apple’s 2018 iPhones will be capable of gigabit speeds, and that Apple is expected to include faster baseband chips in the phones, which echoes Kuo’s report from last week. He claims that the new iPhones will be capable of supporting 4×4 MIMO standards which should allow for faster speeds. This should also allow for better coverage especially in low-coverage areas.

We have heard the rumors that Apple is working with Intel to bring 5G hardware onto the iPhones, but whether or not it will be in time for next year’s iPhones is unclear. Earlier reports have also stated that Intel will be supplying the majority of the chipsets to Apple, around 70-80%, while the remainder will come from Qualcomm.

A recent video that surfaced compared the download speeds on the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung, showing just how far behind Apple is. Whether or not this can be felt by users in their day-to-day usage is unclear, but we suppose being able to hit faster speeds can’t be a bad thing.

Analyst Claims 2018’s iPhones Will Allow For Gigabit Speeds , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


New Star Wars: The Last Jedi Teaser Trailer Released

Tyler Lee November 22, 2017

At this time of writing, there is less than a month before Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released in cinemas, and we’re sure that this is something that many moviegoers are looking forward to. Disney knows this, and to tease fans of the franchise, they have released a new teaser trailer called “Tempt”.

For those who are trying to avoid any tiny bit of spoilers that they possibly can, you’ll want to stop reading and maybe skip this teaser, but for those who aren’t fussed, carry on. Now from what we can tell, this seems to be some kind of Jedi training session between Rey and Luke Skywalker, in which it appears that the dark side of the force is calling out to Rey, and Luke is telling her to resist the temptation.

It is a pretty short teaser at under a minute, but it does show us more scenes from the movie which so far based on the hype is shaping up to be a rather epic film. It will also be the longest Star Wars movie to date, coming in at 150 minutes with the credits included. The movie is directed by Rian Johnson who has recently been tasked to helm a new trilogy of Star Wars films.

New Star Wars: The Last Jedi Teaser Trailer Released , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Apple Reportedly Acquires Augmented Reality Headset Startup For $30M

Tyler Lee November 22, 2017

Apple’s interest in augmented reality (AR) is pretty well known, and the company has expanded on it with the launch of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and the X. The company has long touted the usefulness of AR, so much so that it has led to rumors that Apple could be working on an AR headset of their own.

While Apple has yet to officially confirm their plans, their actions do seem to leave little to the imagination. According to a report from TechCrunch, it appears that Apple has acquired a startup from Montreal, Canada that specializes in AR headsets. Dubbed Vrvana, the company is behind an AR headset called “Totem”, a product which apparently received rave reviews but ultimately failed to ship. The deal, assuming it is accurate, was for $30 million.

It is unclear what Apple wants with Vrvana, but given that the company’s specialty is AR headsets, it feels a little obvious as to what Apple has planned for them, and what they could use their technology for. So far the rumors regarding Apple’s AR headset have suggested that we could see the headset launch in either 2019 or possibly in 2020.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has touched on the possibility of an AR headset in the past, where he briefly stated that he does not believe that the technology today can achieve the quality that Apple is looking for, and that “Apple will only ship something if it feels it can do it ‘in a quality way’”.

Apple Reportedly Acquires Augmented Reality Headset Startup For $30M , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Uber Discloses Massive Data Breach That Occurred In 2016

Tyler Lee November 21, 2017

If your account got hacked, isn’t that something you’d like to be immediately aware of right away? Unfortunately for Uber, the company is only now disclosing a year later that back in 2016, they experienced a massive data breach that saw 57 million user data stolen by hackers, according to a report from Bloomberg.

According to the report, the data breach took place back in October 2016, meaning that it has been a little over a year since it happened. The data stolen included names, email addresses, and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders from around the world, as well as 7 million drivers, 600,000 of which are US driver’s license numbers.

However Uber has reassured users that data such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, trip location details, and so on were not compromised, although we’re not sure how comforting that is given that pretty much everything else was exposed. The report goes on to claim that Uber’s chief security officer and one of his deputies (both have since been let go from the company) tried to keep the breach under wraps by paying the hackers $100,000.

In a statement by Dara Khosrowshahi, who is Uber’s new CEO, “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it. We are changing the way we do business.” Clearly this is not the end of it as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has since launched an investigation into the hack.

Uber Discloses Massive Data Breach That Occurred In 2016 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


OnePlus 5T VS iPhone X In Speed Test

Tyler Lee November 21, 2017

Back in 2016 and in the early part of 2017, Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus appeared to dominate pretty much all of the competition when it came to speed tests, at least until the OnePlus 5 came along and we had a new winner. However with the iPhone X and its new A11 Bionic hexa-core chipset, how does the phone fare?

The good news is that while the chipset is fast, it seems that the new OnePlus 5T has no problems keeping up with it in certain aspects. In the video above put together by EverythingApplePro, it pits the OnePlus 5T against the iPhone X in a variety of speed tests. This includes launching apps and seeing how the phones multitask, as well as seeing how long the phones take to turn on, and so on.

Like we said, the OnePlus 5T appears to be faster than the iPhone X in some regards, with the initial part of the test showing that the OnePlus 5T’s massive amount of RAM certainly did help. However there are certain aspects in which the iPhone X managed to beat the OnePlus 5T, such as exporting videos and photos in which it appeared to be faster.

If there’s one thing we noticed in the video is that the new virtual home button on the iPhone X could have contributed to the delay, as it required users to tap on it and swipe up, versus the on-screen buttons of the OnePlus 5T in which users just had to tap it to exit.

OnePlus 5T VS iPhone X In Speed Test , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Apple Expects To Sell 4 Million HomePods In 2018

Tyler Lee November 21, 2017

A recent report from Bloomberg has revealed that Apple’s HomePod speakers has actually been in development since 2012, and isn’t necessarily a direct response to Amazon and Google’s own smart speakers. However with the speakers being delayed to 2018, could Apple play catchup?

According to the same report from Bloomberg, it seems that Apple is apparently relatively optimistic about the success of the HomePod, with their source claiming that Apple has told suppliers that they expect to sell 4 million units of the HomePod when it launches next year, but the question is, is 4 million units a lot?

For most companies we expect that is a huge figure, but given that undeniable comparison between the HomePod and Amazon’s Echo devices, analysts at CIRP have estimated that Amazon has sold 15 million units of the Echo speakers since it has gone on sale in 2015, meaning that 4 million for the first year pales in comparison to the Echo’s average of 7.5 million units sold per year.

It is possible that the HomePod could end up being a bigger hit than Apple expected and could sell more, or it could prove to be a huge flop and sells even less than expected. Its asking price of $350 also makes it less accessible compared to the Echo, but we suppose we’ll just have to wait until 2018 to find out if Apple has another hit product on its hands.

Apple Expects To Sell 4 Million HomePods In 2018 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.