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  • News & article

    Brave new world

    Life, Sasiwimon Boonruang, Published on 02/05/2018

    » While virtual reality has been known to gamers for more than a decade, efforts have been made to apply the technology to a wider variety of sectors. This also includes a group of Thai inventors who created VR applications illustrating advantages that go beyond gaming.

  • News & article

    Do you have a fear of spying?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 11/10/2017

    » So how safe do you feel in your home security-wise? I'm not thinking of malware but the ability for someone to snoop on you visually or through audio. There have been some concerns about devices like the Amazon Echo and similar being used to tap into what you are saying with everything recorded on servers that authorities could get from say Amazon.

  • News & article

    Size counts in the world of IT

    Life, James Hein, Published on 04/05/2016

    » When it comes to implementing systems, it is all about scale. If you have ever been a system tester you will know that what works one at a time may not work well if a whole bunch of them are processed all at once. Those who have ever used an old fashioned typewriter will understand this. Volume testing and scalability of system is one of the biggest problems a development testing team faces.

  • News & article

    Computing genetic manipulation

    Life, James Hein, Published on 20/05/2015

    » What is the next big thing? Microsoft and some others would like you to believe it is all things cloudy. The problems with that are factors like communication channels between continents, security of information, the reliability of a server somewhere else versus on-site and the army of hackers trying to get into all that information just sitting there. If you have seen the intro to CSI: Cyber you will know what I mean. Another group want it to be virtual reality glasses for all, but as the Google Glass demonstrated, people walking around with even small glasses were not appreciated. At least the VR goggles will mostly be at home. This technology still has quite a way to go.

  • News & article

    Wall street staggers but set powers past 1,600

    Business, Published on 29/09/2014

    » Recap: Wall Street pulled back last week after disappointing US durable goods orders suggested the recovery might be weaker than thought. However, the Thai stock market continued to march up and finally passed 1,600 points — a level not seen since May last year — on Friday on investor hopes that economic stimulus measures will soon take hold. Window-dressing as the quarter-end approaches also lent support.

  • News & article

    Human override here to stay

    Life, James Hein, Published on 10/04/2019

    » Computers are useful tools and they will emotionlessly churn through thousands of operations in the blink of an eye to produce whatever results they were programmed to do. Most of the time the results are welcomed. When it comes to malware the results generate a different reaction, and then there are those spaces in the middle. The situation surrounding the Boeing 737 Max MCAS aircraft and the recent crash is an excellent example. The latest analysis would seem to indicate that the computer engineers made some choices that have had unintended consequences. In this case overriding the wishes of the pilots by assuming the plane was crashing, when it wasn't, and not allowing the human pilots to correct the computer's decisions.

  • News & article

    Facebook guilty, Huawei continues to claim innocence

    Life, James Hein, Published on 13/03/2019

    » I've been thinking about the new foldable phones. For many years, I have been hoping for a foldable e-book that has, to date, not materialised in a form I'd want to buy. There is something about the traditional book format that is familiar and comfortable. The first releases of foldable phones are aimed at those with lots of spare cash and who want to dip their fingers into the technology. These buyers form a baseline for the manufacturers to build on. I see this as testing the waters and I expect to see Apple jump into the market in the near future, as they have a bucket load of patents for similar technologies.

  • News & article

    IoT for everybody

    Life, Suwitcha Chaiyong, Published on 06/03/2019

    » At a Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education workshop in St Francis Xavier Convent School, high-school girls designed many Internet of Things projects, such as a machine to cook eggs automatically, a pillow that can wake a sleeper in the morning with its vibrations, and a clothesline that can keep clothes dry by putting canvas up when it's raining. The software program Maker Playground is a tool behind the girls' successes.

  • News & article

    AI-aided hope on the horizon

    Life, James Hein, Published on 13/02/2019

    » Despite some of my criticisms in the past there are some excellent examples of emerging artificial intelligence technologies. I've mentioned some of these from the medical world in earlier articles but a new one caught my eye this week, figuring out in which hotel a picture was taken. No, not to help people remember where holiday snaps were taken but to track down human trafficking where pics of women are taken to sell them for sex. The three groups behind this identification technology are from George Washington University, Temple University and Adobe, all in the US. Like many AI systems a large amount of source data is used and to help with this more than a million images have been collected from 50,000 hotels worldwide. Using all the room elements in backgrounds a neural network is being trained to identify a hotel chain and then a location.

  • News & article

    A lot of money for fairly little phone, Apple

    Life, James Hein, Published on 26/09/2018

    » So, the news of the week, or at least as I write this, is the release of the new Apple iPhone range. There are three models ranging from the 5.8 and 6.1 inch models up to the XS Max at 6.5 inches. The latter is a real departure from the early days of Apple declaring that no one needed a large-screen phone. Compared to the latest phone specs across other brands, the features in the new iPhone range are not so special. They do all have very special prices and the bottom of the line starts at US$749 (Thai prices are TBA) and goes up from there topping out at $1449, which would make the whole range easily the most expensive phones per feature on the market today. For this you get no fingerprint reader, no headphone jack, average pixel density and cameras, no expansion memory port but dual SIMs, wireless charging and face detection. Even my most ardent Apple-lover friend will not be forking out their cash for those kinds of prices. I don't expect this range to sell anywhere near as well as earlier models. Seriously, what were they thinking?

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