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.
The Register - French minister says around two per cent of turnover sounds about right.
Bruno Le Maire, France's minister for the economy, has revealed that a plan to levy a special tax on Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon will soon be revealed by European authorities.
Le Maire told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche "A European directive will be unveiled in the coming weeks, the minister reveals, and it will mark a considerable step forward."
The minister told the paper that a tax of between two and six per cent has been considered, with the proposal to be "closer to two than six."
The proposed tax will be levied on the four companies' turnover, rather than profits. Taxing turnover is hoped to offer a simple way to tax the companies, as all use legal-but-cynical ways to minimise their taxable income. Le Maire added that a turnover tax is seen as being quick to implement and that the four companies know they're going to have to pay more tax in Europe, so may be amenable to such an arrangement.
If they are amenable, it will almost certainly be because the alternative is more expensive and/or less pleasant than a turnover tax. Signing up to such a tax would also have the attraction of allowing the four companies to keep their other tax arrangements in place, which would both keep their bills low and maintain the legitimacy of their claims that the real source of profit is outside Europe. ®