PaperFree recently had the opportunity to sponsor the Single A Muckdogs little league team's end of season pizza party. The team, a part of the Vista American Little League, enjoyed the celebration and looks forward to next season!
PaperFree is again delighted to be able to support events in the surrounding communities.
Those of us who've had the opportunity to know the deaf or blind/visually impaired have had a small glimpse into an entirely new world where connectively tools must work differently. The deaf "hear" with their eyes and the blind "see" with their ears. As a consequence, mobile phones that rely on both audio and visual functions rarely serve their needs straight out of the box. To address this a variety of helpful mobile apps have entered the market and are revolutionizing communications for the deaf and blind.
Before mobile devices with accessiblity apps, the blind would often have to plan ahead for simple things like shopping lists, and often ask for help. Now, with apps like Microsoft Seeing AI, they can have text read aloud to them. This gives the blind independence as well as lessens the guilt over having to bother others for assistance. Plus, it gives them privacy to handle things like email. Many of these applications use AI to understand what the user is asking them to do.
Not only do these apps make life easier for the disabled, they also open up a market for hardware and software developers. More products are in the works to introduce apps that caption live audio as well as apps that use AI to help those with speech impediments communicate. Online delivery services like InstaCart, which has a mobile app, make shopping easier for those who have difficulty traveling, and there are even more apps that have made the world more accessible.
This article was based on a May 13, 2019 CNet article by Shelby Brown
Recently, a human kidney took its own way to the hospital - by way of drone. The organ, destined for transplant in an ill 44 year old from Baltimore, found itself as part of a larger project organized by doctors, researchers, aviation experts, and engineers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The project has also been supported by The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, a nonprofit that helps to enable organ and tissue donation and their needed transportation steps.
The project aimed to investigate whether the problematic hiccups in organ transportation could be reduced or eliminated by taking to the (lower altitude) skies. Currently, organ donations travel by vehicle or commercial air, which is subject to delays and cancellations beyond the doctor's control. It's also critical that organs be brought to their recipient as quickly as possible. The theory is that by using drones, the organ can bypass the rush hour traffic faster, avoid airline delays, and get to the hospital faster. By getting organs to the hospital faster not only are the organs in better condition, they can come from further away too. This expands the pool of potential matches for very sick patients.
Currently, the technology relies on a specially built drone with expansive GPS tracking features, numerous power and propulsion redundancies, and an emergency parachute. Interestingly enough, this isn't the drone's first time carrying a kidney. Previous test flights involved transporting a nonviable kidney, blood samples, and bags of saline.
The use of drones for critical medical needs reveals an interesting intersection of where one science can help another - and the people waiting at the other end.
This article was based on a May 1, 2019 CNN article by Susan Scutti.
Remember the days of your computer mouse getting a little squirrely and the remedy being to partially disassemble the mouse and do away with all of the lint, dirt, and general desk gunk that had found its way onto the roller ball and its sensors? (Which were also the days where a mousepad was mandatory. And the roller ball made a pretty great toy too.) Thanks to Microsoft, that is fortunately a distant memory as on April 14, 1999 their first optical computer mouse was introduced at a tech convention in Las Vegas and eventually revolutionized our mousing habits.
Microsoft's first iteration of an optical mouse, the IntelliMouse Explorer, used LEDs and a digital camera to track movement digitally without the need for physical input methods. Despite its steep price tag of $75, or about $115 in today's dollars, the mouse was well received, as it eliminated the frustration that came from misbehaving mice as well as returned consistently smooth, predictable motion (important for digital artists, photo retouchers, or for gaming).
The IntelliMouse Explorer was based on tech from Hewlett-Packard, and though it wasn't the first optical mouse, it was the first to reach the masses. Competitors arrived on the scene shortly after and efforts have been underway for the past 20 years to perfect the tech. Adding wireless features to mice have been the most significant mouse upgrade since, but now mice are available for specific tasks, with scroll wheels, numerous buttons, and more.
Though a lowly peripheral for most, the computer mouse has been an important development for modern computing. Even if it could be sidelined by some fuzz at one point in its history.
This article was based on a April 26, 2019 Gizmodo story by Andrew Liszewski.
AI researchers from Facebook recently announced that they've developed a method to more finely cater video game characters to real-life people. This method, which relies on videos of people going through basic motions, uses AI to understand the nuances of a person's movement and then translate it to a 3D character in your game. Even though many modern video games offer highly customizable characters, none offer the ability to customize a character's movement.
Video footage has been used in the past to establish character movement - as is the case with Mortal Kombat's use of actors on a sound stage that were later digitized. However, it's not been used before to customize characters to a player's preference.
The AI system utilizes two different neural networks that each video a five to eight minute video of a person going through the motions involved in a game, say, playing tennis. The first neural network analyzes the human movement for the rendering engine while the second analyzes shadows and reflections to be rendered on a gameplay background. As the technology is still new, the result isn't as smooth as current 3D game characters, but continuing work will hopefully improve that in time.
The tech isn't ultimately limited to video games either - once all of the kinks are ironed out the possibilities for lifelike renderings of real people are limitless. Marketing, education, media...the possibilities are endless.
This article was based on an April 19, 2019 Gizmodo article by Andrew Liszewski
Pandora, the largest streaming audio service in the United States, recently selected OpenText Media Management as the storage solution for its audio and display advertising assets. Pandora, as many are familiar, is powered by the Music Genome Project and intelligently selects music based on a users' thumbs up or down of various streamed tracks. It also offers a great advertising opportunity with this detailed information on user preferences. With that information, Pandora can serve targeted, scalable ads to help advertisers hit their mark. OpenText Media Management will serve the entire enterprise by helping users "extend business processes with digital media workflows and digital asset management services."
OpenText Media Management will handle the production and management of over 35,000 advertisements per year. Pandora also utilizes Amazon Web Services for hosting via Risetime managed services, and Cyangate assists with implementation services.
“Pandora’s creative team helps thousands of advertisers bring their brands to life on our unique platform and maintaining the quality and accessibility of our digital assets in a streamlined fashion is key to scaling our success,” said Casey Baker, Pandora’s Director of Advertising Creative Operations.
“When evaluating our options, OpenText Media Management stood out as a solution to manage creative assets through the entire lifecycle. Its robust customization capabilities and seamless systems integrations were critical in our selection process,” Baker continued.
“Every customer touch point is critically important, including brand engagements and advertising,” said OpenText SVP and CMO Patricia Nagle. “OpenText Media Management solutions enable efficient creation, review and distribution of assets, which Pandora has done a great job leveraging to uplift its advertising operations. It’s a best-in-class solution for this demanding industry.”
The business of media streaming is an ever-evolving one. With a constantly-changing library of assets and more and more demands from users, streaming companies must always be on their toes to adapt to the next wave of change.
It's estimated that by 2022 the number of jobs in the artificial intelligence field will outnumber the number of qualified workers by 30%. Microsoft has taken notice and partnered with OpenClassrooms, a leading online educator and developed a collaboration to provide more students with masters-level education in AI tech.
“As AI is changing the way we work and the nature of jobs, we have a responsibility to ensure graduates are prepared for the workplace of tomorrow,” says Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft. “We are excited to partner with OpenClassrooms to help equip people with the skills and opportunities they need to thrive in the digital economy.”
Using Microsoft tech, OpenClassrooms will develop curriculum that includes project-based tasks tailored to up-to-date AI knowledge. In addition, OpenClassrooms has connections to leading employers in the industry and makes those connections available to students who complete the course. As a bonus, OpenClassrooms guarantees that graduates will find a job within six months or their course fees will be refunded.
The course will be held online and is accredited in Europe - US and UK accreditation is in the works.
Currently, the curriculum is only available in Fran
This article was based on an April 3, 2019 Microsoft Press Release
PaperFree partner OpenText recently announced a new project with Canadian pharmaceutical firm Pharmascience. Pharmascience produces over 2,000 products with worldwide distribution.
The project, centering around the OpenText ContentSuite solution, works to manage the firm's complex document management needs. They were in need of a scalable enterprise content management solutiion to "manage and secure its document lifestyle and help respond to increasing regulatory demands." The solution provides this by way of document governance tools, workflow management, version control, and audit trails. Pharmascience's valuable documentation is now stored in a central repository for easy access across its enterprise.
“Operating with the highest standards for quality and regulatory compliance leaves us no room for error and we needed a partner that could operate at our level,” said Denis Beauchemin, head of IT, Pharmascience. “Our work is high-stakes and highly-regulated, but we need to continue to move quickly and innovate. The solution from OpenText provides us with a single source of truth for our most critical set of documents and ensures our team can access the information they need in the lab, the shop floor, or the boardroom.”
Visit our Lifesciences & Pharmaceuticals page to learn more about how PaperFree can revolutionize your content management strategy too.
This article was based on a March 28, 2019 OpenText press release
Facial recognition implementations have been appearing at more and more airports in recent years, with seventeen US airports now sporting the tech. This approach to security promises faster airport procedures, greater security, and no need to carry (or lose) a passport. At this time, the system consists of a face matching procedure at departure gates, but there are plans to expand it to check-in, security, and at the gate, where your facial scan is checked against your registered passport photo in a cloud database to confirm your identity. It's quite possible you could make it from the curb to your seat on the plane without taking to anyone. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aim to have the system scan 97% of outbound international travelers by 2021.
However, security experts aren't impressed. They worry that turning one's face into travel documents creates a privacy nightmare. Research into facial recognition software has shown that it's not 100% accurate and that it doesn't work consistently for all races - leading to the possibility of mistaken identities and secondary security measures. They also worry about travelers' movements being tracked indefinitely, as well as what the data is used for once a trip is over. In fact, other government agencies have expressed interest in the data. However, US citizens can opt out and travel with paper documents.
For the time being, the system exists in a bit of a legal gray area. Public comment was not requested before the seventeen US airports installed their systems, and there's currently no specific laws saying that CBP can't gather the data. However, the ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other organizations point out that there's no laws saying that they can. But, there's been legal efforts to gather biometric traveler data on the books since at least 1996, though facial recognition wasn't as advanced then.
Facial recognition measures do serve to help to ensure safety and security, though at what cost remains to be seen.
This article was based on a March 21, 2019 CNet article by Laura Hautala
Ask any American about their last trip to a government office and it's nearly guaranteed that you'd hear about long waits, inefficient processes, slow computers, and unpleasant staff. These issues are so prevalent that they're often satirized in our media. While some individual states have made strides by investing in better training and moving some services online, the problem is far from solved. Now, California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris wants to improve government tech system-wide with her new Digital Service Act bill. This bill is aimed to provide funding for state and local governments to hire the necessary talent to overhaul and improve their systems.
"Americans deserve a government that works for them and that just plain works," Harris, a Democrat from California, said in a release. "We must do more to empower our state and local governments to tap into the power of technology to provide seamless, cost-effective services for the 21st century. The Digital Service Act will help harness top talent for the government, save taxpayer dollars and put the power of technology to work on behalf of the American people."
Specifically, this bill would provide $50m a year for these efforts, plus an additional $15m would fund grants for government agencies to upgrade systems by September 2022. Agencies would be required to report on their progress at that time, and that data would be compiled into a report to be presented to Congress. The grants come with the caveat that at least half of the funds be used to hire talent, not purchase products.
Perhaps with the improvements this bill could bring about your next trip to the DMV might not be so bad after all.
This article was based on a March 14, 2019 CNet article by Marrian Zhou