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The messaging app just unveiled its new Cat Lenses feature. Cat Lenses allows you to put filters on your cat, which was previously reserved only for human faces, of course. You can even include yourself in the photo and use matching filters on both you and your cat. Snapchat announced the update on Twitter with the caption, “Lenses. For cool cats and their cool cats Try them meow.”
The update builds on the object recognition software added to the app last year, according to TechCrunch. That technology allowed you to identify or bring up a sales page for an object.
Cat Lenses are just the latest of Snapchat’s seemingly unending ideas. Earlier this week, Snap said it would bring original programming to its signature app including scripted shows and docuseries.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Soros Fund Management LLC added Facebook Inc (FB.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), but trimmed stakes in Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) in the quarter through June, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday.
Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros speaks during a discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York, September 27, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
The family office of billionaire George Soros also bought stakes in AT&T Inc (T.N), Chevron Corp (CVX.N) and T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) and divested stakes in eBay Inc (EBAY.O), Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), Snap Inc (SNAP.N) and Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O).
Soros Fund Management also dramatically boosted its shares in BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) – the world’s largest asset management firm, overseeing $ 6 trillion – by nearly 60 percent to 12,983 total shares in the second quarter.
Other notable adjustments included paring stakes in Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), but raising its shares of Pandora Media Inc (P.N) and Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N).
Soros Fund Management took share stakes in Facebook of 159,200 class A shares during the second quarter and 54,500 shares in Apple.
A number of prominent fund managers sharply cut their holdings in Apple only weeks before it became the first publicly-traded U.S. company to be worth more than $ 1 trillion.
Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital slashed its stake by 77 percent, while Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management unloaded 95 percent. Advisory firm Diamond Hill Capital Management cut its stake by 27 percent.
Other big holders, including Sanders Capital and Adage Capital Partners, only trimmed small amounts in the second quarter.
Soros also rejigged his energy holdings, raising stakes in Devon Energy Corp (DVN.N) and Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N), while dissolving his stake in the VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH.P) and cutting exposure to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) and Williams Companies Inc (WMB.N).
Quarterly disclosures of hedge fund managers’ stock holdings, in what are known as 13F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are one of the few public ways of learning what the managers are selling and buying.
But relying on the filings to develop an investment strategy comes with some risk because the disclosures come 45 days after the end of each quarter and may not reflect current positions. Still, the filings offer a glimpse into what hedge fund managers saw as opportunities to make money on the long side.
The filings do not disclose short positions, or bets that a stock will fall in price. As a result, the public filings do not always present a complete picture of a management firm’s equities holdings.
Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, editing by G Crosse
After long professing the uselessness of data deduplication, IBM has announced that it will integrate the technology into its software-defined Spectrum Virtualize and StorWize storage arrays. This mirrors a move by Dell EMC, which recently did the same for its Unity and VMax arrays.
After stating for some months that data deduplication had little use and that only compression was needed in its storage arrays, IBM has announced that inline deduplication will arrive in Spectrum Virtualize v8.1.3 and in most of its systems powered by that software (formerly SAN Volume Controller) at the beginning of June.
Until now, the only IBM storage system to incorporate deduplication in the IBM portfolio has been the FlashSystem A9000, which runs software based on IBM’s XIV technology.
The list of IBM storage arrays supported includes FlashSystem V840 and V9000, part of the StorWize range – the V50x0 and recent v7000 models and their all-flash versions, in which controllers have the performance to support the technology – as well as the VersaStack converged platforms.
With data deduplication technology integrated with Spectrum Virtualize’s code, the 440 systems that the storage virtualisation platform can support will now benefit indirectly.
Spectrum Virtualize needs a minimum of two controllers, with a choice of servers that includes Lenovo x3650 M5 or nodes from SuperMicro SYS-2028U-TRTP+ and with Xeon E5 v3 or v4.
IBM says no additional software licensing is required to deploy data deduplication.
Speaking to a colleague from SearchStorage.com, IBM storage marketing director Eric Herzog said the launch of data deduplication in Spectrum Virtualize and other IBM storage products came with a guarantee of data reduction rates of 5:1.
The caveat to that guarantee is that to benefit, the client must allow IBM to carry out an analysis on its existing datasets. At a minimum, IBM guarantees an “express” reduction rate of 2:1 without prior analysis.
Reinforcing cloud analytics tools
Catching up with the competition, Big Blue has also unveiled an improved version of Spectrum Control Storage Insights.
Cloud Storage Insights is aimed at providing information for telemetry, planning, monitoring and system health analysis via a single console.
The tool is intended to help customers evaluate their needs in terms of capacity, to control their storage budget and simplify systems.
All the array makers have collected data from installed systems for some years, but it was Nimble, with infoSight, that pioneered the idea of using data collected to improve customer support and deliver advanced analytics on system usage.
Since then, HPE has extended InfoSight to its 3Par arrays, while Dell EMC (Cloud IQ), Pure Storage (Pure1) and NetApp (Active IQ) have launched similar functionality.
Cloud Storage Insights supports a number of IBM storage systems, including the DS8000, Storwize V5000, V5030F, V7000 and V7000F, FlashSystem 840, 900, V840, V9000, A9000, A9000 and A9000R, Spectrum Virtualize, XIV Gen 3 and VersaStack.
The free version of the service supports storage system monitoring of IBM block storage, with “call-home” events, four measures of capacity, three measures of performance, 24-hour data history, event filtering, event history and ticket history.
The Pro version costs $ 257 a month per 50TB and adds functionality such as monitoring non-IBM storage, as well as file and object storage.
The Pro service also offers more than 35 measures of capacity, more than 100 measures of performance, two years of data history, alerts when best practice is violated, customisable alerts, cost analysis, tiering optimisation and capacity optimisation.
Improved Spectrum Virtualize for the cloud
Besides support for data deduplication, IBM has also improved Spectrum Virtualize on the public cloud.
The software made its debut in the cloud in autumn 2017. Its latest version supports deployments up to four virtual pairs and installation is simplified. Bandwidth has improved by nearly 20%.
With these improvements, IBM wants to enable customers to deploy its technology in the cloud for primary storage or for disaster recovery.
IBM has also said it is working on an update to its scale-out file storage Spectrum NAS to allow it to be deployed in VMware virtual machines. The product, built on Compuverde code, has only been supported up to now on physical servers, although that limitation does not apply to the version sold by Compuverde.
(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google is raising the price of its YouTube TV online service for new customers as it adds channels from Time Warner Inc’s Turner, National Basketball League and Major League Baseball, the company said Wednesday.
Less than one year after launching YouTube TV, the company is increasing its pricing to $ 40 per month from $ 35 per month as it adds Turner’s channels, which include TNT, CNN and TBS, and soon will be adding MLB Network and NBA TV, the company said.
Google is expanding its offering at a time when a growing number of competing services, such as Dish Network Corp’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Hulu, are vying to win over the growing number of viewers who are cancelling their cable subscriptions to watch their favorite shows online.
The four largest cable and satellite companies lost 1.5 million pay TV customers in 2017.
DirectTV Now has over 2 million subscribers, according to AT&T. Sling TV, Hulu and YouTube TV do not disclose how many users they have, but research firm BTIG estimates they respectively had 2.1 million, 500,000 and 350,000 as of the end of 2017.
The costs for these competing offerings range from $ 20 for Sling TV’s most basic offering of 30 channels to $ 39.99 for Hulu’s one with more than 50 channels and its library of shows and movies, which costs $ 7.99 separately.
Google is betting that its strong sports offering will help win over more subscribers, said Heather Moosnick, director of content partnerships, YouTube TV.
“Sports is really one of the key offerings that a millennial would be willing to pay for a live TV service,” she said.
To that end, Google has targeted sports fans with its TV ads this year. Ninety-six percent of YouTube TV’s ads on television so far this year have appeared during sports programming, including the Super Bowl, according to iSpot.tv, which tracks TV ads.
When Google launched YouTube TV last April it was cautious with how much content it was offering so that it could keep the price low enough to entice cord cutters or people considering cutting the cord, Moosnick said.
At launch YouTube TV offered almost 50 channels in five markets. With these additions, YouTube TV will have almost 60 channels, and be in 100 markets, Moosnick said.
The new pricing will take effect for new users who sign up after March 13, the company said.
Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Susan Thomas
When Google launched its Pixel 2 flagship smartphone last year, it included something of a surprise: A co-processor called Pixel Visual Core, the company’s first homegrown, consumer-facing piece of silicon. And while that feels like a momentous foray, the co-processor has lain dormant for months. Monday, Pixel Visual Core goes to work.
As it turns out—and as Google had nodded at previously—the hidden chip inside every Pixel serves a narrow but critical purpose. It will use its eight custom cores, its ability to crunch 3 trillion operations per second, all in the service of making your photos look better. Specifically, the photos you take through third-party apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat.
Those are the three partners at the Pixel Visual Core switch-flipping; since it’s open to all developers, more will presumably follow. They’ll all gain the powers to produce Google’s HDR+ images, photos that rely on a series of post-processing tricks to make images shot with the Pixel appear more balanced and lifelike. Photos taken with the Pixel Camera app have already benefited from HDR+ powers since launch—that’s one reason Pixel 2 earned the highest marks yet given to a smartphone by industry-standard photo-rater DxOMark. But Pixel Visual Core will extend the feature to the streams, feeds, and snaps of Pixel owners as well, after an update that will roll out early this week.
To understand why Google would devote its first homemade smartphone processor to a relatively narrow function—not just photography, but HDR+ specifically—it helps to understand the importance of HDR+ to the Pixel’s photo prowess. For starters, it’s not the HDR you’re used to.
“HDR+ actually works shockingly differently,” says Isaac Reynolds, project manager for Pixel Camera. Where HDR essentially tries to combine three or so simultaneous exposures for the best result, HDR+ takes up to 10 identical underexposed shots. “We take them all and chop them into little bits, and line them on top of one another, and average the image together,” says Reynolds, who ticks off the reduction in noise and color quality as just two of the benefits.
That’s not just hype, or at least not entirely. HDR+ really does have tangible benefits—especially in Google’s implementation.
“HDR+ technology is a very good technology for noise and data preservation. This removes the noise in the picture,” says Hervé Macudzinski, manager of DxOMark.com. “That enables Google to provide a nice picture with low level noise high level detail.”
You can see an example of what that means in the below before-and-after shots, with the usual caveat that Google provided them, and your own experience may vary.
The various benefits of HDR+ are also more or less pronounced depending on the conditions of the shot you’re taking. It helps especially bringing clarity to low-light images, or to give an assist if you for some reason take a portrait with the sun at someone’s back.
Google’s not the only company capable of this particular trick, but its execution clearly stands apart.
“The HDR+ is very impressive because they did something very efficient,” says Macudzinski. “If you want to do that, it’s going to be optimized and very powerful.”
Pixel Visual Core will also power two related photographic enhancements; RAISR, a technique to sharpen zoomed-in shots, and Zero Shutter Lag, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Until now, these optimizations have been off limits for third-party developers. Photos taken within the Instagram app, for instance, look a bit muddled compared to those taken with the Pixel’s native camera app. Which is where Pixel Visual Core comes in.
Sharing the Wealth
The primary benefit of the Pixel Visual Core, now that it’s on? You still won’t even notice it, says Ofer Shacham, the chip’s engineering manager.
“If we look at HDR+ as a key benchmark for us, it gives us the ability to run five times faster than anything else in existence, while consuming about 1/10th of the energy of the battery. We can put it under the hood,” says Schacham. “We basically hide it. That’s what enables every developer to use it, while not consuming energy from the battery, and even better, reducing the energy consumption from the battery while those applications take pictures.”
That also hints at why Google decided to go it alone with Pixel Visual Core, rather than rely on the powerful Snapdragon 835 processor that handles the bulk of the Pixel 2’s computational needs. The Pixel Visual Core offers not just customization, but flexibility.
“Google in a sense is a software and algorithm company,” says Schacham. “We want something that allows us to rapidly innovate, rapidly change the algorithm, rapidly improve it.”
To that end, the Pixel Visual Core is also programmable. That means while it works primarily in service of HDR+ today, it could go toward making other applications zip in the future, a possibility that Schacham acknowledges, while declining to go into detail on what sorts of use cases Google envisions.
More broadly, though, the Pixel Visual Core represents Google’s first foray into an increasingly common trend of smartphone manufacturers rolling their own silicon, giving itself tighter control over its product and weaning itself off of chip giant Qualcomm.
“I think it’s significant in that, first off, Google is an advertising company, who is also an operating system provider, and they are going more deeply vertical in what they’re doing by adding semiconductor features to enhance the experience,” says Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategies. “Any time somebody in software gets into hardware, interesting things happen—as in interesting really good, or interesting really bad.”
It would also make sense, Moorhead says, for Google to extend its processor plans beyond Pixel Visual Core. Microsoft uses a custom system-on-a-chip for the Xbox. Apple’s A series SoC has contributed greatly to the iPhone’s dominance. And with Google having poached a key Apple chip designer last summer, it seems unlikely that an HDR+ coprocessor is the end of the line.
For now, though, Pixel 2 owners can look forward to adding an HDR+ veneer to their social media pics—while waiting Google’s broader ambitions to come more fully into focus.
The last update to Hangouts on Android added arguably the greatest emoticon of them all: ¯_(ツ)_/¯, also known as the shruggie. That was literally the only real update in Hangouts v12. But as spotted by Android Police, Hangouts v13 adds a whole slew of new emoticon Easter eggs. Here’s the full list of new commands: /algebraic /dealwithit /disapprove /facepalm /flowerbeam /happy /lgtm /lit /octodisco /puppyparty /shame /shrug /success /sunglasses /tableback /tableflip /that /this /wizard /yuno Go have fun and test them all out, or just head to the source link below if you have better things to do with your time. They…
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Firms trading on the BSE exchange can receive and act upon real-time price and order book information faster than ever before
(PRWeb August 14, 2016)
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/08/prweb13612975.htm
Move over Skype, Facebook Messenger is beefing up its calling features in a big way.
The social network is starting to roll out group calling features to Messenger’s iOS and Android apps, Facebook announced Wednesday.
The feature is rolling out to Messenger’s iOS and Android app over the next 24 hours, Facebook’s head of Messenger said Wednesday. A phone icon will appear in the top right corner of group conversations once the feature is live.
When you’re in a call, you can see who in the group is participating in the call and who is not. There doesn’t appear to be a limit on how many group members can participate simultaneously. Read more…
OneNeck becomes SAP-certified provider of hosting services.
(PRWeb September 24, 2015)
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/09/prweb12983489.htm