Friday, 6 March 2015

Microsoft Says Its New Computer Vision System Can Outperform Humans

Recently, the researchers of Microsoft claims in published paper that their team has developed the world’s first computer machine, which is capable to outperform humans on certain popular benchmark. According to estimation of experts, humans can identify or classify images at ImageNet dataset and in this process the error rate will be 5.1 per cent, whereas; in recent published paper team of researchers indicated that due to deep-learning based system, successfully they have achieved an error rate of 4.94 per cent, which is little less than human error rate.

Microsoft’s paper was published in less than a month after Baidu’s paper. It is well known thing that Baidu is most famous search engine in China as Google is ban in China. Baidu published its paper indicating its record-setting system that claimed an error rate of 5.98 per cent with the help of homemade supercomputing architecture. The performance was based on the competition on ImageNet, which belongs from the team of Google researchers, who have also built a deep learning system with an error rate of 6.66 in 2014.

The paper of Microsoft states, “As per our knowledge, we are the first who have published instance of surpassing humans with the help of visual recognition challenge, whereas; on the native side, our algorithms are still making mistakes in certain cases which are not so difficult for humans, especially then when it requires a high-level knowledge or context understanding”.

Whereas; our all algorithms have given a superior result with this specific dataset, which does not indicate that machine’s vision can outperforms the human vision on object recognition in general. At the end of research, we believe that our results are showcasing the tremendous potential of system algorithms to match the performance level with human for certain visual recognition tasks.

According to Jian Sun, who is researcher in Microsoft, the difference is plainer English in a blog post of Microsoft; “Humans can easily make the difference between a sheep and a cow or between other things whereas; computers are not perfect in these simple tasks. However, when it comes to differentiate between breeds of sheep’s than here outperform humans and it proves that computer can be trained to look at the certain details such as; size, shape, texture, and context of the image to identify the difference that can’t be observed by humans.

As human or researcher if you have curiosity to learn how deep learning works, why in these days it’s a hot area, how it can be used in commercial applications, then you should attend the Structure Data conference of Microsoft at New York between March 18 and 19. Speakers will be machine learning and deep learning experts from Microsoft, Facebook, Hampton Creek, Yahoo, Spotify, NASA and Stanford as well as also from startups such as; Enlitic, MetaMind, Blue River Technology and TeraDeep. Later in Structure Intelligence conference, which will be organized between Sept. 22 and 23 in San Francisco, we will dive even deeper into artificial intelligence, says spokesperson from Microsoft

Microsoft Will Support Biometric Password-Killers on Windows 10

Support Window 10 with FIDO

It was recently revealed by Microsoft at the Stanford Cybersecurity Summit, that the company wouldbe supporting Window 10 with the next version of the Fast Identification Online – FIDO spec enabling devices to work with plenty of third party biometric readers and also provide easy framework for any hardware developers wanting to build extra security in a laptop or a phone.

This could mean that companies designing useful things such as fingerprint readers as well as iris scanners could now rest assured with the thought that their technology will now work with an upgraded version of the most popular desktop operating system and users would probably be in a position to log in to Outlook with fingerprint or an eyes-can with this new development.

With regards to the prevailing fingerprint readers, FIDO has been designed to replace passwords completely by a faster and much more localized authentication system and unlike the traditional biometric security methods, FIDO could completely replace passwords and is designed in such a way that no biometric data gets leaked online with everything inclusive of the authentication done locally offline.

Designed to Protect Biometric Information

Biometric authentication is utilised in computer science for the purpose of identification as well as access control and is also used as identity of individuals in groups which are under surveillance. FIDO which has been designed as an open standard has been supported by some of the largest companies in banking and tech which include Microsoft, PayPal, Google and Bank of America where the system is created for the purpose of protecting biometric information through a zero knowledge proof, authenticating fingerprints or eye scans locally with any exposure to the web at large.

Dustin Ingall of Microsoft has commented in a blog post accompanying the announcement that moving beyond the password was `one of the top priorities for them at Microsoft’.He has also commented that `the current Technical Preview build enables a number of enterprise scenarios and it showcases their integration with Windows 10 sign in, Azure Active Directory and access to major SaaS services such as Office 365 Exchange Online, Salesforce, Citrix, Box, Concur, to mention a few’.

Window 10 – Big Release for Microsoft

Window 10 would also be including Active Directory integration for on-premise scenarios and Microsoft Account integration for consumer Microsoft services like, OneDrive and much more. Specification of version 1.0 had been released in January with companies such as Yubico making hardware with the use of FIDO in order to log into Google account.

Window 10 support is tied to the 2.0 release where Microsoft has been making its contribution in design inputs. Windows 10 being a big release for Microsoft, great efforts is being done with the OS that has already received positive feedback and is presently in the technical preview stage of development.

Even at the technical preview stage, Microsoft lays claims that Windows Insiders running one of the latest build of the Windows 10 technical preview could test the embedded FIDO 2.0 specification. With the OS comprising of several new features, Microsoft is making headway in more addition with its announcement of Window 10 supporting the next version of FIDO spec.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Scientists Track Parasites with Satellites

Satellite Data to Combat Parasitic Diseases 

Latest reports is that scientists are now developing a system of using satellite data to combat parasitic diseases such as malaria, hydatids and worms and this new project is an example of progress in the field of disease research, wherein updated tools like spatial statics are rendering support to developers in bringing together the earth observations as well as disease data in order to analyse and foreseen the pattern of disease.

We find several types of parasites; organisms which tend to live in a host and cause diseases in humans. While some parasitic diseases could be treated easily, there are others which are not easily treated such as malaria. Several of the parasitic diseases are mostly found in the tropics as well as in subtropics, where the burden tends to fall on the under developed countries affecting hundreds of millions of people annually.

At a recent AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, CA, professor and a leader of the new project at the Australian National University in Canberra, Archie Clements, informed delegates, on how a system like the one they were working on could be helpful for developing countries to target scarce resources to the greatest effect. Professor Clements is also a director of the University’s Research School of Population Health.

Geographical Information System – GIS 

Professor Clements states that some diseases could be highly sensitive to their environment especially parasitic diseases and with remote sensing; one can identify the areas where diseases could spread. He, together with his colleagues is on the project of developing a method of combining satellite data with health data in a computerized geographical information system – GIS. The purpose of utilising the GIS is that decision maker could locate the high risk location quickly and check for sufficient resources for these areas.

The satellite data comprises of information about the climate as well as land conditions like the temperature, vegetation, rainfall and land usage. Moreover, the team is also gathering on the knowledge of entomologist, software developers, epidemiologist, social scientists as well as health policy specialists in order to ensure that the GIS data is rich and useful to the maximum. He further explains that `the result is maps which are accessible to countries with limited capacity in managing disease data, tailored to their local needs’.

Meaningful Impact on the World 

The new system has been tried is areas like Bhutan, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands to track malaria and the team is now on the lookout for sponsorship in order to support them in applying the system, to larger countries. They are striving in the development of the GIS to predict worms as well as hydatids which is a kind of tapeworm that could be transmitted by dogs coming in contact with sheep in China, Philippines and the other countries in the of Asia Pacific countries.Prof. Clements is of the opinion that the research could help authorities in the developing countries to fight against parasitic diseases and by taking up this research they are provided with an opportunity in having a meaningful impact on the world thereby saving the lives of many.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Hacker Ring Stole $1B from Banks in 30 Countries, Says Report

Again a hacker group has stolen more than $1 billion from different banks in all over the world and till now it is one of the biggest banking breaches, as per the reports of cyber-security firm.

According to Kaspersky Lab, which is one of the Russian security companies, “One of the hackers ring is active from last quarter of 2013 and they have infiltrated more than 100 different banks in 30 countries, including four banks in Canada.

They are using phishing schemes and other techniques to gain access banks computer and after that they lurk form one month to two month, to learn the banks' systems and in taking the screen shots or video of employees using their computers, the report says. As soon hackers become familiar with the banks' operations than they use their knowledge to steal money without raising any kind of suspicious activity, by setting up their fake accounts and transferring a lot of cash into them or programming ATMs to dispense money at their choice of time and more, according to Kaspersky.

This report was prepared to present in a security conference at Cancun, Mexico, but it was first reported by The New York Times.

It seems that hackers limit their theft $10 million before moving to another bank and this is why their fraud was not detected earlier, Vicente Diaz, Principal security researcher of Kaspersky said to The Associated Press in a telephone interview. These attacks were unusual because this time hackers target the banks rather than targeting any individual customers.

It seems that their goal is financial gain rather than espionage, Diaz said. This time hackers are not interested in any kind of personal information, they are only interested in financial gain. These hackers are flexible and quite aggressive as well because they have special tool for doing whatever they want to do. The most targeted countries are the U.S., Germany, Russia, Ukraine and China as attackers are expanding throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, Kaspersky says.

One of the bank lost more than $7.3 million through ATM fraud, whereas; in another case one of the financial institution lost $10 million because attackers exploit the bank’s online banking platform. Till now the name of banks are not clear and still Kaspersky is working with law-enforcement agencies to investigate these attacks.

These days, White House is putting a lot of focus on cyber-security due to many data breaches in national security agencies and companies, which are ranging from mass retailers to financial institutions such as; Home Depot and Target to Sony Pictures Entertainment and other insurance companies.

Now U.S. administration wants Congress to replace the all existing patchwork of national and state laws by giving a 30 days’ notice to companies that consumer’s personal information has been compromised. “As a officials at this point of time we cannot disclose the actions of individuals, but we believe that our officials are taking an appropriate actions to prevent these attacks and minimize any effects on customers”, one of the national security agency of U.S. said in a statement.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Gene-Altered Apples Get U.S. Approval

U.S. government has approved the commercial planting of Apples, which are genetically engineered to develop the resistant against turning brown, when bruised or sliced. The researcher of Okanagan Specialty Fruits said that it seems that non-browning feature will be popular among both consumers and food service companies as it has ability to make sliced apples more appealing than normal apple.

But many other executives in the apple industry stated that we are worry that the biotech apples are safe to eat or not or will consumers accept it or not? They also express their concern that exports of apples from other countries will like genetically modified foods or not?

The Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the approval of genetically engineered apples said, that they have considered these issues, however this approval was based on whether; a genetically modified crop poses a threat to other plants or not and the Department of Agriculture confirmed that these apples posed no such risk.

These Arctic apples will be available in the Golden Delicious and Granny Smith varieties as they are genetically engineered with a technique to suppress the production of an enzyme, which causes browning when cells in the apple get injured from slice. The non-browning effect is not comes in existence by putting genes from another species into the apple’s DNA, which is widely used method with most of the genetically altered crops.

In this process, apple’s own genes are manipulated in a way to turn down the browning mechanism. Before that in November 2014, the Agriculture Department has approved a genetically engineered potato, which was developed by the J.R. Simplot Company, which has used similar technique to prevent browning. Now apple will join the community of other genetically modified fruits and vegetables such as; sweet corn and papaya.

A representative of the Agriculture Department said that it will take a time to analyze the issues and all comments, which we have received as in two different public comment periods we have received more than 175,000 comments and it is clear indication that majority have opposed the approval.

While majority in the apple industry had opposed the approval as some of them are saying that they will work to ensure that customers and clients know most apples are not modified and when modified apple’s comes in market so they will be safe. This approval was unusual in Okanagan, which is in Summerland, British Columbia. Most of the genetically modified crops are developed through large chemical and seed companies such as; DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.

It is expected that Arctic apples will be available in few years because trees have to first be planted and then they will get mature enough to bear fruit. In a recent conversation with press Mr. Carter said that in this spring four growers will plant a total of 20,000 trees within the covering of 20 acres or more and it is expected that by fall of 2016, from 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of apples would come in market, which will be great amount to provide samples to food service companies and for other potential buyers, whereas; in stores product will reach in very small amount.