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Google Unveils Neural Network with “Superhuman” Ability to Determine the Location of Almost Any Image

           

Guessing the location of a randomly chosen Street View image is hard, even for well-traveled humans. But Google’s latest artificial-intelligence machine manages it with relative ease.

CLICK HERE - PlaNet - Photo Geolocation with Convolutional Neural Networks

CLICK HERE - GeoGuessr

technologyreview.com - by Emerging Technology from the arXiv - February 24, 2016

Here’s a tricky task. Pick a photograph from the Web at random. Now try to work out where it was taken using only the image itself. . . .

. . . Tobias Weyand, a computer vision specialist at Google, and a couple of pals . . . have trained a deep-learning machine to work out the location of almost any photo using only the pixels it contains.

Their new machine significantly outperforms humans and can even use a clever trick to determine the location of indoor images and pictures of specific things such as pets, food, and so on that have no location cues.

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China's Mobile Payment Revolution Is Going to Africa

          

BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

huffingtonpost.com - by Claire van den Heever - February 26, 2016

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- With the launch of Apple Pay in mainland China on Feb. 18, Apple has become the first foreign player to secure a place at the table for China's enormous mobile payment market. . . .

. . . Africa's largest lender by assets, Standard Bank, has opted for a more direct route: joining forces with WeChat to secure a piece of Africa's growing mobile payment market. The Standard Bank-backed WeChat Wallet was launched in November 2015 in the continent's most industrialized nation, South Africa, and gives users access to a variety of the Chinese version's most popular offerings, including peer-to-peer money transfers and in-app payments for taxis and other services.

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Building A More Resilient West Africa - How Open Innovation Can Help

         

Improving local health workers’ access to real-time health information will enable a faster and better response to global health threats. / Neil Brandvold, USAID

medium.com/usaid-2030 - by Ann Mei Chang - February 11, 2016

. . . The next generation of health information systems have to not only quickly and accurately deliver the necessary information to healthcare workers, but they need to be able to communicate with each other. The wide range of people involved in combating epidemics such as Ebola need to be able to efficiently and seamlessly share information to ensure coordinated responses and better resource distribution. . . .

. . . To get the conversation started, USAID put out a call for innovative concepts for improving interoperability within health information systems in the developing world. We gathered over 40 organizations for a three-day co-creation workshop in Washington, D.C. in November. Almost 100 experts — including donors, engineers, software developers and implementers in the field — arrived to co-design a solution. . . .

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Why Tech Is Accelerating

          

Graphic from Singularity is Near, demonstrating "Law of Accelerating Returns" in the field of computation

huffingtonpost.com - by Peter Diamandis - January 10, 2016

No doubt you've heard of Moore's Law.

What you might not realize is that Moore's Law only refers to the exponential price-performance improvements of integrated circuits (over the last 50 years).

Did you know that exponential growth has been going on for a much longer period? Or that such growth is occurring in other fields outside of computing, such as communication and genomics?

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Relief Effort Underway for Flood-Ravaged Chennai in India

             

People walk through a flooded street in Chennai, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015. The heaviest rainfall in more than 100 years has devastated swathes of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, with thousands forced to leave their submerged homes, schools and offices. ( AP Photo) Associated Press

CLICK HERE - #ChennaiRains Resource Center

cnn.com - by Archith Seshadri - December 7, 2015

Chennai, a city of 4.6 million people on India's southeast coast, is reeling from some of the heaviest and deadliest rains in decades. . . .

"The value of Wi-Fi access cannot be underestimated," said Sharanya Manivanan of Chennai. "Phone lines were down for days, but those with Internet access were able to make things happen.”

Tech workers created a crowdsourcing site called www.chennairains.org so people can find sources of food and shelter using their smartphones or computers.

Drinking water is a megaproblem . . .

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Vodafone Launches Mobile Cash Transfer System in Ghana Where 15M People Do Not Have a Bank Account

             

Moving money: The service, called M-Pesa, will be branded Vodafone Cash in the West African state

thisismoney.co.uk - by City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail - December 7, 2015

Vodafone has launched its mobile cash transfer system in Ghana where 15m people do not have a bank account.

The service, called M-Pesa, will be branded Vodafone Cash in the West African state. It allows mobile phone users to load money on to their phones, just as pay-as-you-go customers can top up their credit. 

They can send the funds anywhere in the country with a text message. Recipients can pick up the cash at shops that offer the service.

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#Paris: The power, the horror, and the distortions

bbc.com - November 14th, 2015 - Dave Lee

As the true extent of the Paris attacks becomes clear, we are reminded yet again how the internet - or more specifically, social media - is changing what it means to cope with disasters affecting people on a global scale.

It may seem trivial to even care about social media during moments like this - in happier moments it can seem like a place for selfies, holiday photos and banal arguments in 140 characters.

But during a crisis social media becomes the single most significant platform for news to be spread, eyewitness experiences to be shared and official statements to be made.

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How Technology Can Help Reboot Ebola-Free Sierra Leone

submitted by George Hurlburt  

             

The new Sensi Technology Innovation Hub hopes to help the country rebuild after its Ebola crisis

cnn.com - by Peter Guest - November 7, 2015

(CNN) - Morris Marah was working in the Sierra Leonean High Commission in London when the devastating Ebola outbreak struck his country last year.

Desperate to help, he went home; first to volunteer in a community health center, then by applying his technology skills to build an SMS-based platform that disseminated weekly information and advice on how to avoid contracting the disease to more than 500,000 people.

"I felt, sitting in London there wasn't much I could do from that far away. I wanted desperately to come out here and see how I could be useful," he says over the phone from the capital, Freetown.

Working on that platform, called Sensi, and on other public health initiatives demonstrated how successfully technology could be leveraged for social good, and inspired him to look for ways to bring the country's small, but talented, tech community together to help restart the country's stalled economy.

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100% renewables by 2045 is now the law in Hawaii

Link to Article:  http://www.argusmedia.com/News/Article?id=1051970

Hawaii law sets target of 100pc renewables by 2045

 

9 Jun 2015, 2.15 pm GMT

Washington, 9 June (Argus) — Hawaii's governor David Ige (D) signed legislation making the island state the first in the US to set a mandate for all electricity to come from renewable resources.

The governor signed HB 623, which requires electric utilities to supply 100pc of their sales with renewables by 2045. The new renewable portfolio standard includes interim targets of 30pc by 2020, 40pc by 2030 and 70pc by 2040. HB 623 replaces a previous standard that called for 15pc by 2015, 25pc by 2020 and 40pc by 3030. The bill takes effect on 1 July.

Ige said the move to local sources of energy will help the state's economy, which relies on about $5bn/yr in oil imports. Fuel oil provides about 70pc of the state's electricity, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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Video - Humanity From Space

      

pbs.org - July 22, 2015

From the global perspective of space, this 2-hour special reveals the breathtaking extent of our influence, revealing how we’ve transformed our planet and produced an interconnected world of extraordinary complexity.

A journey through 12,000 years, Humanity from Space shows how seemingly small flashes of innovation have changed the course of civilization; innovations that touch all of us today in ways unimaginable to our ancestors. And we’ll gaze into the future at the new challenges we’ll face in order to survive as our global population soars because of our success. In every case we’ll look at our progression in a unique and surprising way, revealing unforgettable facts and "who knew?" connections.

To visualize these stories cutting-edge technology is used to turn raw data into authentic moving images, building on expertise from a previous (and highly-praised) project; "Earth From Space." Using this technique, we can map humanity’s behavior in stunning, never seen before detail, revealing how our civilization grew, how it works today and what the future might hold.

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