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Everything you need to know about artificial neural networks

Welcome to Neural Basics, a collection of guides and explainers to help demystify the world of artificial intelligence. One of the most influential technologies of the past decade is artificial neural networks, the fundamental piece of deep learning algorithms, the bleeding edge of artificial intelligence. You can thank neural networks for many of applications you use every day, such as Google’s translation service, Apple’s Face ID iPhone lock and Amazon’s Alexa AI-powered assistant. Neural netw...
Tags: Apple, Google, Amazon, Startups, Tech, Alexa, Insider, Syndication, Neural, Neural Basics


Microsoft brings Edge’s hidden Surf Game to everyone

Back in February, Microsoft hid a nifty little surfing game into its Edge browser, which started out as an easter egg to celebrate the browser‘s new logo. (Get it? Like surfing the web?) At the time, it was only available to users on the canary and dev builds of the browser, but now, it is available for anyone to try. To give it a go, first make sure you’re on the latest version of Edge. (You can go to Settings> About to check for updates). Once updated, simply type in ‘edge://surf’ in the addre...
Tags: Startups, Apps, Microsoft, Insider


Stanford uses AI scans of satellite images to track poverty levels over time

A new AI tool can track poverty levels in African villages over time by scanning satellite images for signs of economic well-being. The tool searches the images for indicators of development, such as roads, agriculture, housing, and lights turned on at night. Deep learning algorithms find patterns in this data to measure the villages’ wealth. Researchers from Stanford University tested the tool on about 20,000 villages across 23 countries in Africa that had existing wealth data. They say that it...
Tags: Startups, Stanford, Africa, Stanford University, Insider, Neural


A man was stabbed to death by his son during a Zoom call

It’s not the conference call anyone wants to be a part of: 72-year-old New York resident Dwight Powers was stabbed to death by his 32-year-old son during a Zoom meeting with 20 people people. The attacker, Thomas Scully-Powers, has since been arrested and charged with murder after several people on the call reported the crime to police, according to The New York Times. Suffolk County police said some of the callers may have witnessed part of the stabbing on screen. They later provided visual des...
Tags: Startups, New York, New York Times, Insider, Suffolk County, Dwight Powers, Thomas Scully Powers


Facebook announces Workplace Rooms, basically Messenger Rooms for work

Facebook recently launched Messenger Rooms, one of its biggest new products in years. It attempts to provide an alternative to Zoom for large groups of people who want to video chat outside a work context. Naturally, it integrates tightly into Facebook proper, with further integrations coming to Instagram and WhatsApp. Now the company is taking on Zoom‘s market more directly by bringing Rooms to its Slack competitor, Workplace. It’s basically Messenger Rooms for, you know, work. The feature set ...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Instagram, Insider, Workplace Rooms


The RadWagon 4 is a car replacement e-bike at a great price

Rad Power Bikes’ RadWagon is one of the most popular cargo bikes on the market for its versatile hauling capabilities at an affordable price (for ebikes, anyway). Today the company announced the RadWagon 4, with a new design and more versatile components while keeping a low $1,599 price, with an extra $100 off for early buyers. It’s a better option than ever for potentially replacing your car — or at least helping those who don’t drive carry a whole lot of cargo. For one, the company says it low...
Tags: Startups, Shift, Insider


Apple’s next iPhone may not come with EarPods so you can buy AirPods instead

Apple’s EarPods are perhaps the most iconic accessory ever included with a gadget. The white headphones have been through a few revisions, but they’ve been a staple ever since the original iPod, only becoming more popular with the advent of the iPhone. Unfortunately, they might soon be going the way of the dodo. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo(via 9to5Mac), the iPhone 12 family may be the first ever to not come with bundled headphones. Granted, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surpri...
Tags: Apple, Startups, Insider, Ming Chi Kuo


Microsoft’s new PowerToys Run launcher is like macOS’s Spotlight for Windows 10

Win+R. It’s a command any Windows power-user is familiar with, but the Run launcher has remained basically unchanged for generations. Today at its online-only Build 2020, Microsoft announced an optional, open-source replacement for the command, dubbed PowerToys Run. The idea is to make the Run launcher a more elegant, functional, and customizable tool for power users more akin to Apple’s Spotlight. For power users, the run command tends to be useful for quickly accessing system tools like the re...
Tags: Apple, Startups, Microsoft, Insider


Freedom oranges and avocado toast

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola pandemic pals, Remember when everyone was ripping on millennials for eating avocado toast? The big idea was that they were spoiled because they smeared expensive fruit on their toast instead of butter or jam like everyone else. But I live in Mexico where avocados are very cheap. And, even during a pandemic, they’...
Tags: Startups, Mexico, US, Newsletter, Tech, Insider, Coronavirus


Razer made a surprisingly classy pair of $200 noise-cancelling headphones

I’m always a little skeptical when there’s a new challenger to the noise-cancelling headphone market because the current popular options — Sony and Bose, primarily — are so good. But Razer may have just figured out the formula for a good noise cancelling headphone at a decent price. For $200, the new Razer Opus is a whole lot of headphone. Granted, I’ve only had the headphones for a few days, so this isn’t a full review yet. But the Razer Opus have impressed me with their sound quality, design, ...
Tags: Startups, Sony, Razer, Insider, Plugged, Razer Opus


Qatar forces residents to install its coronavirus tracker — or face the consequences

Qatar is making it mandatory for all citizens and residents to install its coronavirus tracking app when leaving the house — or face a hefty fine and even jail time. “All citizens and residents are obligated to install the Ehteraz app on smartphones when leaving the house for any reason,” state-run news agency QNA revealed in a tweet. “This decision is effective from Friday, 22 May, 2020 until further notice.” Introduced earlier in April, Ehteraz was designed to notify people if they’ve been in ...
Tags: Startups, Qatar, Insider, QNA


Google’s Pixel 4a is reportedly abandoning squeeze-based Assistant activation

Pixel 4a leaks have been coming non-stop as the phone approaches launch date. Though the phone looks set to offer much of the more expensive Pixel‘s features at a lower price, we now know one thing you won’t be able to do with the 4a: squeeze to activate the Google Assistant. Multiple sources have confirmed the 3a won’t have the feature, including 9to50Google’s Stephan Hall, XDA’s Mishaal Rahman, and YouTube channel TechnoLikePlus. Called ‘Active Edge,’ the feature has been a staple of Google’s ...
Tags: Google, Startups, Youtube, Insider, Mishaal Rahman, Plugged, Stephan Hall XDA


The cast of Community returns! But just for a table read on YouTube

Community fans, it’s time to rejoice! The old gang’s getting back together today – sans Chevy Chase – for a table read on YouTube. Hot off its resurgence in popularity thanks to finally landing on Netflix, Community is making the leap from the small screen to a bunch of even smaller screens: The series’ actors, showrunner, and one of the musicians responsible for the show’s theme song recently performed and recorded a live table read of a popular, previously-aired episode and today’s the day it’...
Tags: Startups, Tech, Chevy Chase, Insider, Distract, YouTube Community, Netflix Community


Review: The Revelo Thinstem helps bikes take up way less space in your home

Bicycles are probably the best way to get around New York City, especially during these days of empty roads and social distancing. There’s just one problem every aspiring city cyclist faces: bikes take up a lot of space in a shoebox apartment. Well, that and bike theft — which you know, is easier to prevent if you can keep your bike inside said shoebox apartment. The thing is, bikes shouldn’t have to take so much space. They are fundamentally thin machines — only a few inches wide, if it weren’t...
Tags: Startups, New York City, Shift, Insider, Plugged


Review: The Revolo Thinstem helps bikes use way less space in your home

Bicycles are probably the best way to get around New York City, especially during these days of empty roads and social distancing. There’s just one problem every aspiring city cyclist faces: bikes take up a lot of space in a shoebox apartment. Well, that and bike theft — which you know, is easier to prevent if you can keep your bike inside said shoebox apartment. The thing is, bikes shouldn’t have to take so much space. They are fundamentally thin machines — only a few inches wide, if it weren’t...
Tags: Startups, New York City, Shift, Insider, Plugged


The Pixel 4a might be cheaper than anyone expected

The Pixel 3a was arguably the best Pixel of its generation, providing so much of what makes Pixel phones great — the camera and software, mainly — at a far cheaper price of $399. And though almost every rumor so far has pointed to a $399 price point for Google’s budget phone, one rumor making the rounds today suggests the phone might just be significantly cheaper than anyone expected. $349 for 128 GB. So says Stephen Hall from 9to5Google, suggesting that Google will forgo a 64GB option this time...
Tags: Google, Startups, Insider, Evan, Stephen Hall, Plugged


Sprint will disappear this summer as T-Mobile takes over

T-Mobile and Sprint officially became one last month, and the two networks have already begun merging their networks. We’ve known for a while that the Sprint brand would be phased out in favor of T-Mobile as well, but now we know when. During an investor call, T-Mobile CEO Mike Seivert said the company will transition to a unified brand starting this summer. The process was originally expected to begin in early summer, but COVID-19 pushed it to mid-summer instead: With COVID-19, we moved it out ...
Tags: Startups, Sprint, Insider, COVID, Mike Seivert


Microsoft will detail how it plans to unify UWP and Win32 apps at Build 2020

The Universal Windows Platform, UWP for short, was supposed to be the future of Windows. Back when Microsoft still had aspirations for Windows to be a major mobile OS, UWP apps were supposed to be able to function on desktops, tablets, and phones alike. Yet over the years, developers largely stuck to the tried and trusted Win32 platform. Now it seems Microsoft is getting rid of UWP altogether. As spotted by Paul Thurrott, a session for the company’s upcoming online-only Build conference will exp...
Tags: Startups, Microsoft, Insider, Paul Thurrott


Trump extends the Huawei ban to 2021

In case you were hoping the Donald Trump‘s government would ease its restrictions on Huawei anytime soon, I’ve got some bad news for you. The president today extended the May 2019 executive order barring US complaining from using Huawei telecommunication equipment, according to Reuters. The extension will last until May 2021. Though the renewed order doesn’t explicitly name Huawei, it’s clearly aimed at the company, as well as others lawmakers have cited as potential security risks, like ZTE. Th...
Tags: Startups, US, Donald Trump, Huawei, Insider, Trump, Reuters, Plugged


Automating your social media posts could hurt your startup’s online presence

It’s the 21st century and automation sits on the brim of just about everything in business — customer service, development, and of course, marketing. But is more automation always a good thing?  Social media automation helps social media managers be more efficient in their job. You can bulk-schedule your content. You can cross-post quickly and easily. With a bit of code, you can probably do a whole lot more. But while you can do all this, it is important to avoid overreliance on automation tools...
Tags: Startups, Social Media, Tech, Insider, Growth Quarters


Google Chrome will let you group and label tabs starting next week

“There are two types of people in the world: tab minimalists who have just a few tabs open at a time and tab collectors who have…significantly more.” So opens Google’s blog post detailing its new tab grouping feature for Chrome. I’m definitely among the latter, so this feature was made for me. Google is far from the first browser (not to mention extensions) to implement tab grouping, but Chrome‘s approach is nicer than most. Right-click on a tab and select ‘add to group;’ the associated tabs wil...
Tags: Google Chrome, Google, Startups, Apps, Insider


Huawei re-releases the P30 Pro so it can keep Google apps

When a Trump administration decree prevented American companies from working with Huawei, the company was forced to abandon Google apps on new phones. But the company has managed to exploit one loophole: Huawei today announced the P30 Pro ‘New Edition,’ providing a minor spec bump to its last flagship phone before the ban went into effect. This is in fact the second time the company has re-released the P30, having done so last fall. So what’s new this time? Well, not much really. The company bas...
Tags: Google, Startups, Huawei, Insider, Trump, Plugged


Musk reopens Tesla factory against local rules: ‘If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me’

Elon Musk is reopening Tesla‘s Fremont factory, defying a shelter-in-place order throughout California’s Alameda county. Naturally, the CEO made the announcement on Twitter, and with a flair of martyrdom to boot: Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2020 Tesla is currently suing Alameda County. As noted by Ars Technica, the company is arguing th...
Tags: Startups, Elon Musk, California, Tesla, Ars Technica, Insider, Alameda, FREMONT, Alameda County


Report: The iPhone 12 Pros will come with 120Hz screens and bigger batteries

We won’t be seeing new iPhones until the fall – and that’s if coronavirus doesn’t delay things further – but that isn’t stopping the leaks from coming. According to Max Weinbach and EverythingApplePro, some of the key upgrades in the new upcoming iPhones may include a 120Hz screen and a massive(for an iPhone) 4,4000 mAh battery on the top-end model. Apple already uses 120Hz displays in its iPad Pro, a feature it calls ProMotion, and can dynamically adjust the refresh rate depending on the conten...
Tags: Apple, Startups, Insider, Plugged, Max Weinbach


WhatsApp may soon support 50-person video calls through Messenger Rooms

Ever since Facebook bought WhatsApp back in 2014, the company has managed to keep the the mega-popular chat app quite separate from its other services. But every now and then, we’re reminded that WhatsApp is, in fact, owned by Facebook. Case in point: an upcoming feature test spotted by WABetaInfo would redirect you towards Messenger Rooms in order to make video calls with large groups. Though WhatsApp recently added support for up to eight people in a video call, that number pales in comparison...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Insider, Facebook Case, Messenger Rooms WABetaInfo


Re:Brand online event: How to achieve better business outcomes through social contribution

Whether scrolling Instagram or browsing our email inboxes, the current crisis has us tuned in to what brands do and say. In stride, our personal values are running close to the surface: is that letter from the CEO out of touch, or appropriately optimistic? Marketing campaigns that don’t skip a beat while the world is rapidly changing can feel brash, and tone-deaf sentiments can quickly spur an unsubscribe. But it’s not all blunders and missteps! Brands that assert a strong mission and communicat...
Tags: Startups, Events, Insights, Insider


Sonos’ new high-res app launches in June, just in time for its new speakers

Sonos had more than just a new soundbar to announce today. The company also revealed a release date for the new Sonos app teased it teased earlier in the year: June 8. The new app will kick off the Sonos S2 platform, adding support for high resolution audio, Dolby Atmos, and more thanks to more powerful internals in Sonos’ newer speakers. It also enables “increased security” and comes with a new design that’s easier to use and more in line with modern music apps. To better support high-res exper...
Tags: Startups, Insider, Dolby Atmos, Plugged


Sonos announces the Arc soundbar, its first Dolby Atmos speaker

Sonos makes some of the world’s most popular wireless speakers, but when it comes to home theater, the company omission of Dolby Atmos support has long been a sore point. Fret no more: Sonos today announced the $799 Arc soundbar, the long-awaited replacement to the Playbar released way back in 2013. The Arc is Sonos‘ first speaker to support Dolby Atmos, and is, according to the company, “one of the most technically complicated products we’ve ever made.” For those not in the know, Dolby Atmos ad...
Tags: Startups, Insider, Dolby Atmos, Plugged


Microsoft’s $399 Surface Go 2 brings a larger screen and faster processors

I have a soft spot for tiny computers, so it’s no surprise Microsoft’s original Surface Go was one of my PCs. The 10-inch tablet was surprisingly usable for everyday tasks, its small size made it easy to take with you anywhere, and a $400 starting price made it a solid entry-level or secondary PC. Now Microsoft has improved on it with the Surface Go 2. Long story short: the company is keeping the same $399 starting price, but bumping up the specs to make the Go 2 a little more useful. Most notab...
Tags: Startups, Microsoft, Insider, Plugged, PC Now Microsoft


Microsoft announces Surface Book 3 with Nvidia RTX Quadro graphics and Intel’s latest

After weeks of rumors and leaks, Microsoft today announced the Surface Book 3. It’s up for pre-order today starting at $1,599, and will be available starting May 21. Given the current state of the world, Microsoft did not hold a physical event for the launch (the company said it was canceling all gatherings until 20201). We’ll be going hands-on with press samples soon, but in the meantime, there isn’t too much new to go ‘hand-on’ with anyway; the Surface Book 3 is mostly just a spec bump. But it...
Tags: Startups, Microsoft, Intel, Insider, Plugged, Nvidia RTX Quadro