Diginomica - CIO Charles Ewen says linkages with technology providers will help the Met Office generate big value for the public purse.
Huge increases in the amount of data produced, stored and processed means public sector organisations must think now about how they will work with external providers to create benefits for the citizen and other partner organisations.
That is the view of Charles Ewen, CIO at the Met Office, who is helping the UK’s weather service manage an exponential growth in information. Ewen joined the Met Office eight years ago and moved into the CIO position five years ago. He has spent the past few years pushing a digital transformation initiative at the organisation, which has included the procurement of three Cray XC40 supercomputers.
These systems, which are three of the world’s 50 largest supercomputers, are capable of processing more than 14,000 trillion arithmetic operations per second. The supercomputing project is expected to enable £2bn of socio-economic benefits across the UK through enhanced resilience to severe weather and related hazards. Potential benefits include better forecasting at airports, more sophisticated modelling related to flooding, improved information for energy markets, and new climate impacts research.
Europa - The first Startup Europe Ambassadors group will be presented during the Startup Europe Campfire event to be held in Paris on 19 March. They represent a group of key influencers in the European startup ecosystems who will provide information and advice about the European Commission's Startup Europe initiative. The objective is to democratise the startup phenomenon so that every European citizen has a fair chance to become a successful entrepreneur. The ambassadors will also help startups in their growth phase to have access to all the opportunities offered at European level.
The European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative has become a key reference in the European startup field by supporting directly around 60 local ecosystems and over 750 startups to grow beyond borders. The mission of Startup Europe is to build a Startup Continent by connecting pools of talent. The initiative encourages entrepreneurship, startup creation and growth; and connects startups, investors, accelerators, corporates, universities and the media through an array of grassroots initiatives or networks.
In an ever-changing European startup ecosystem the Startup Europe initiative has designed the group of its Ambassadors to democratise the startup phenomenon so that every citizen has a fair chance to become a successful entrepreneurs wherever they are located in Europe. The role of the ambassadors is to provide information and advice about the European Commission's Startup Europe initiative. In addition, the ambassadors will also help startups in their growth phase to have access to all the opportunities offered at European level.
Engadget - You could see other apps using similar image detection tricks.
Of all the AI-related features inside the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the portrait mode is arguably the most impressive -- Google manages to produce dramatic-looking depth-of-field effects without relying on dual cameras or other exotic hardware. And now, it's sharing some of those secrets with the rest of the world. The company has opened up the source code for DeepLab-v3+, an AI-based image segmentation technology similar to that which helps Pixel 2 phones separate the foreground and background. It uses a neural network to detect the outlines of foreground objects, helping to classify the objects you care about in a scene while ignoring those you don't.
This doesn't guarantee that new phones or camera apps will take Pixel 2-quality portraits, although it does open that possibility. And really, phone photos aren't the point. Google researchers are hoping that both academics and industry figures will use the source code to not only improve on the technology, but find uses that Google hasn't anticipated. This could be used for object detection and many other tasks where spotting boundaries could come in handy.
Update: Google has since issued an update clarifying that this isn't the technology from the Pixel 2. It could, however, produce results similar to those of the Pixel 2. We've updated our story accordingly.
The Register - Social networks have too much power, says web daddy, and their profit motive means they won't act for the good of all.
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee has used the 29th anniversary of the publication of his proposal for an "information management" system that became the world-wide web to warn his creation is in peril.
"The web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today," Berners-Lee wrote in his regular birthday letter. "What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms. This concentration of power creates a new set of gatekeepers, allowing a handful of platforms to control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared."
"These dominant platforms are able to lock in their position by creating barriers for competitors. They acquire startup challengers, buy up new innovations and hire the industry's top talent. Add to this the competitive advantage that their user data gives them and we can expect the next 20 years to be far less innovative than the last."
The Register - Can't we just get along? At a sunny California inn with hors d'oeuvres, most definitely
At the Open Source Leadership Summit in Sonoma, California, on Tuesday, members of the open source community gathered under a big tent.
It was a tent with carpeting and chandeliers at a stylish wine country inn, but a tent nonetheless, and it served as a clear metaphor for the aspirations of the community: People from diverse backgrounds working together for the benefit of all concerned, while also allowing for the creation of value and return on investment, according to those there.
Open source software is at its core about code licensing, but making open source projects work in the context of companies and contributors is about people and process.
Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, opened the morning's festivities with the obligatory victory lap – open source software is everywhere and continues to become more ubiquitous every year.
Linux has 100 per cent of the supercomputer market, 82 per cent of the smartphone market (Android), 90 per cent of mainframe customers, 90 per cent of the public cloud, 62 per cent of embedded systems, and is the number one internet client (Android), according to figures Zemlin presented.