Windows 10 build 18242 heads out to Skip Ahead Insiders

It’s a triple threat of Windows Insider builds today, with a third now heading out to the Skip Ahead ring.

Now that the Fast and Slow rings have received Windows 10 preview updates of their own today, Microsoft is making it a triple threat with a new build for Skip Ahead Insiders.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/IXvC0kQ8qwo/windows-10-build-18242-heads-out-skip-ahead-insiders

Dead Rising studio Capcom Vancouver shuts down

Will we see Dead Rising again?

Capcom Vancouver, the studio behind the Dead Rising franchise, has been shut down by parent company Capcom. This came as a surprise to employees because it doesn’t seem like they were given any notice. Given the fact that Capcom has seen a lot of success in recent years with franchises like Monster Hunter and Resident Evil, it’s surprising that they would close Capcom Vancouver.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/dbJYMj9zgrQ/dead-rising-studio-capcom-vancouver-shuts-down

The Kindle Paperwhite is down to $80 during this Prime exclusive sale

Chapters on chapters.

Amazon has its Kindle Paperwhite on sale for only $79.99 right now. This deal is valid only for Prime members, so click here if you need a free trial. Usually this would run you $120, and the reviews are stellar. As an alternative, you could get the Kindle for $50, but that model lacks a backlight and it doesn’t have as good of a battery life either.

The Kindle Paperwhite is available in both black and white. Its touchscreen display is easy on the eyes with no screen glare and feels akin to reading words on actual paper, as opposed to regular mobile device screens which can cause eye fatigue after staring for some time. A single battery charge can last for weeks which is pretty awesome too. As a bonus, it doesn’t have the built-in distractions that a smartphone does, so you will actually get some reading done and not end up crushing candies or running through temples.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/J957BXAO0Ns/thrifter-deal-kindle-paperwhite-down-80-during-prime-exclusive-sale

Microsoft is putting HoloLens to work with new Dynamics 365 applications

Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality glasses have always been interesting technology, but it’s never been clear how the company would move from novelty device to actual viable business use cases. Today, it made a move toward the latter, announcing a couple of applications designed to put the HoloLens to work in Dynamics 365, giving it a real business purpose.
Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s one-stop shop for CRM and ERP, where a company can work on some of its key business software functions including field service in an integrated fashion. The company has been looking at for HoloLens to bring computing power to a group of field workers like repair technicians for whom even a tablet would be awkward because they have to work with both hands free.
For these people, having a fully functioning Windows 10 computer you can wear on your face could be a big advantage and that’s what Microsoft is hoping to provide with HoloLens. The problem was finding use cases where this would make sense. One idea is providing remote assistance for people out in the field to get help from subject experts back at the office, and today the company announced Dynamics 365 Remote Assist.
In this scenario, the worker is wearing a HoloLens either to understand the repair scenario before they go to the site or to get remote help from a subject expert while they are at the site. The expert  can virtually see what the technician is seeing through the HoloLens, and walk them through the repair without leaving the office, even circling parts and providing other annotations in real time.
Microsoft Remote Assist in action with expert walking the technician through the task. Photo: Microsoft
Microsoft is not the first company to create such a solution. ScopeAR announced RemoteAR 4 months ago, a similar product, but Microsoft has the advantage of building it natively into Windows 10 and all that entails including data integration to update the various repositories with information after the repair is complete.
The other business scenario the company is announcing today is called Dynamics 365 Layout. A designer can create a 3D representation of something like a store or factory layout in CAD software, view the design in 3D in HoloLens, and adjust it in real time before the design goes live. As Microsoft’s Lorraine Bardeen, who has the cool title of General Manager for Microsoft Mixed Reality says, instead of creating cardboard mockups and adjusting your 3D CAD drawing on your computer as you find issues in your design, you can put on your HoloLens and make adjustments in a virtual representation of the layout and it adjusts the CAD drawing for you as you make changes.
Laying out the pieces on a factory floor using Dynamics 365 Layout. Photo: Microsoft
Bardeen says the company has worked with customers to find real-world use cases that would save time, effort and money using mixed reality with HoloLens.  They cite companies like Chevron, Ford and ThyssenKrupp Elevators as organizations actively embracing this kind of technology, but it still not clear if HoloLens and mixed reality will become a central component of business in the future. These two solutions GA on October 1st and we will begin the process of finding out.

Microsoft is putting HoloLens to work with new Dynamics 365 applications

Microsoft launches new AI applications for customer service and sales

Like virtually every other major tech company, Microsoft is currently on a mission to bring machine learning to all of its applications. It’s no surprise then that it’s also bringing ‘AI’ to its highly profitable Dynamics 365 CRM products. A year ago, the company introduced its first Dynamics 365 AI solutions and today it’s expanding this portfolio with the launch of three new products: Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, Customer Service and Market Insights.
“Many people, when they talk about CRM, or ERP of old, they referred to them as systems of oppression, they captured data,” said Alysa Taylor, Microsoft corporate VP for business applications and industry. “But they didn’t provide any value back to the end user — and what that end user really needs is a system of empowerment, not oppression.”
It’s no secret that few people love their CRM systems (except for maybe a handful of Dreamforce attendees), but ‘system of oppression’ is far from the ideal choice of words here. Yet Taylor is right that early systems often kept data siloed. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft argues that Dynamics 365 does not do that, allowing it to now use all of this data to build machine learning-driven experiences for specific tasks.
Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, unsurprisingly, is meant to help sales teams get deeper insights into their prospects using sentiment analysis. That’s obviously among the most basic of machine learning applications these days, but AI for Sales also helps these salespeople understand what actions they should take next and which prospects to prioritize. It’ll also help managers coach their individual sellers on the actions they should take.
Similarly, the Customer Service app focuses on using natural language understanding to understand and predict customer service problems and leverage virtual agents to lower costs. Taylor used this part of the announcement to throw some shade at Microsoft’s competitor Salesforce. “Many, many vendors offer this, but they offer it in a way that is very cumbersome for organizations to adopt,” she said. “Again, it requires a large services engagement, Salesforce partners with IBM Watson to be able to deliver on this. We are now out of the box.”
Finally, Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights does just what the name implies: it provides teams with data about social sentiment, but this, too, goes a bit deeper. “This allows organizations to harness the vast amounts of social sentiment, be able to analyze it, and then take action on how to use these insights to increase brand loyalty, as well as understand what newsworthy events will help provide different brand affinities across an organization,” Taylor said. So the next time you see a company try to gin up some news, maybe it did so based on recommendations from Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights.

Microsoft is putting HoloLens to work with new Dynamics 365 applications

Microsoft launches new AI applications for customer service and sales

Answering its critics, Google loosens reins on AMP project

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, has been a controversial project since its debut. The need for the framework has been clear: the payloads of mobile pages can be just insane, what with layers and layers of images, Javascript, ad networks, and more slowing down page rendering time and costing users serious bandwidth on metered plans.
Yet, the framework has been aggressively foisted on the community by Google, which has backed the project not just with technical talent, but also by making algorithmic changes to its search results that have essentially mandated that pages comply with the AMP project’s terms — or else lose their ranking on mobile searches.
Even more controversially, as part of making pages faster, the AMP project uses caches of pages on CDNs — which are hosted by Google (and also Cloudflare now). That meant that Google’s search results would direct a user to an AMP page hosted by Google, effectively cutting out the owner of the content in the process.
The project has been led by Malte Ubl, a senior staff engineer working on Google’s Javascript infrastructure projects, who has until now held effective unilateral control over the project.
In the wake of all of this criticism, the AMP project announced today that it would reform its governance, replacing Ubl as the exclusive tech lead with a technical steering committee comprised of companies invested in the success in the project. Notably, the project’s intention has an “…end goal of not having any company sit on more than a third of the seats.” In addition, the project will create an advisory board and working groups to shepherd the project’s work.
The project is also expected to move to a foundation in the future. These days, there are a number of places such a project could potentially reside, including the Apache Software Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation.
While the project has clearly had its detractors, the performance improvements that AMP has been fighting for are certainly meritorious. With this more open governance model, the project may get deeper support from other browser makers like Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft, as well as the broader open source community.
And while Google has certainly been the major force behind the project, it has also been popular among open source software developers. Since the project’s launch, there have been 710 contributors to the project according to its statistics, and the project (attempting to empathize its non-Google monopoly) notes that more than three quarters of those contributors don’t work at Google.
Nonetheless, more transparency and community involvement should help to accelerate Accelerated Mobile Pages. The project will host its contributor summit next week at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, where these governance changes as well as the technical and design roadmaps for the project will be top of mind for attendees.

Answering its critics, Google loosens reins on AMP project

Ultimate.ai nabs $1.3M for a customer service AI focused on non-English markets

For customer service, Ultimate.ai‘s thesis is it’s not humans or AI but humans and AI. The Helsinki- and Berlin-based startup has built an AI-powered suggestion engine that, once trained on clients’ data-sets, is able to provide real-time help to (human) staff dealing with customer queries via chat, email and social channels. So the AI layer is intended to make the humans behind the screens smarter and faster at responding to customer needs — as well as freeing them up from handling basic queries to focus on more complex issues.
AI-fuelled chatbots have fast become a very crowded market, with hundreds of so-called ‘conversational AI’ startups all vying to serve the customer service cause.
Ultimate.ai stands out by merit of having focused on non-English language markets, says co-founder and CEO Reetu Kainulainen. This is a consequence of the business being founded in Finland, whose language belongs to a cluster of Eastern and Northern Eurasian languages that are plenty removed from English in sound and grammatical character.
“[We] started with one of the toughest languages in the world,” he tells TechCrunch. “With no available NLP [natural language processing] able to tackle Finnish, we had to build everything in house. To solve the problem, we leveraged state-of-the-art deep neural network technologies.
“Today, our proprietary deep learning algorithms enable us to learn the structure of any language by training on our clients’ customer service data. Core within this is our use of transfer learning, which we use to transfer knowledge between languages and customers, to provide a high-accuracy NLU engine. We grow more accurate the more clients we have and the more agents use our platform.”
Ultimate.ai was founded in November 2016 and launched its first product in summer 2017. It now has more than 25 enterprise clients, including the likes of Zalando, Telia and Finnair. It also touts partnerships with tech giants including SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce and Genesys — integrating with their Contact Center solutions.
“We partner with these players both technically (on client deployments) and commercially (via co-selling). We also list our solution on their Marketplaces,” he notes.
Up to taking in its first seed round now it had raised an angel round of €230k in March 2017, as well as relying on revenue generated by the product as soon as it launched.
The $1.3M seed round is co-led by Holtzbrinck Ventures and Maki.vc.
Kainulainen says one of the “key strengths” of Ultimate.ai’s approach to AI for text-based customer service touch-points is rapid set-up when it comes to ingesting a client’s historical customer logs to train the suggestion system.
“Our proprietary clustering algorithms automatically cluster our customer’s historical data (chat, email, knowledge base) to train our neural network. We can go from millions of lines of unstructured data into a trained deep neural network within a day,” he says.
“Alongside this, our state-of-the-art transfer learning algorithms can seed the AI with very limited data — we have deployed Contact Center automation for enterprise clients with as little as 500 lines of historical conversation.”
Ultimate.ai’s proprietary NLP achieves “state-of-the-art accuracy at 98.6%”, he claims.
It can also make use of what he dubs “semi-supervised learning” to further boost accuracy over time as agents use the tool.
“Finally, we leverage transfer learning to apply a single algorithmic model across all clients, scaling our learnings from client-to-client and constantly improving our solution,” he adds.
On the competitive front, it’s going up against the likes of IBM’s Watson AI. However Kainulainen argues that IBM’s manual tools — which he argues “require large onboarding projects and are limited in languages with no self-learning capabilities” — make that sort of manual approach to chatbot building “unsustainable in the long-term”.
He also contends that many rivals are saddled with “lengthy set-up and heavy maintenance requirements” which makes them “extortionately expensive”.
A closer competitor (in terms of approach) which he namechecks is TC Disrupt battlefield alum Digital Genius. But again they’ve got English language origins — so he flags that as a differentiating factor vs the proprietary NLP at the core of Ultimate.ai’s product (which he claims can handle any language).
“It is very difficult to scale out of English to other languages,” he argues. “It also uneconomical to rebuild your architecture to serve multi-language scenarios. Out of necessity, we have been language-agnostic since day one.”
“Our technology and team is tailored to the customer service problem; generic conversational AI tools cannot compete,” he adds. “Within this, we are a full package for enterprises. We provide a complete AI platform, from automation to augmentation, as well as omnichannel capabilities across Chat, Email and Social. Languages are also a key technical strength, enabling our clients to serve their customers wherever they may be.”
The multi-language architecture is not the only claimed differentiator, either.
Kainulainen points to the team’s mission as another key factor on that front, saying: “We want to transform how people work in customer service. It’s not about building a simple FAQ bot, it’s about deeply understanding how the division and the people work and building tools to empower them. For us, it’s not Superagent vs. Botman, it’s Superagent + Botman.”
So it’s not trying to suggest that AI should replace your entire customers service team but rather enhance your in house humans.
Asked what the AI can’t do well, he says this boils down to interactions that are transactional vs relational — with the former category meshing well with automation, but the latter (aka interactions that require emotional engagement and/or complex thought) definitely not something to attempt to automate away.
“Transactional cases are mechanical and AI is good at mechanical. The customer knows what they want (a specific query or action) and so can frame their request clearly. It’s a simple, in-and-out case. Full automation can be powerful here,” he says. “Relational cases are more frequent, more human and more complex. They can require empathy, persuasion and complex thought. Sometimes a customer doesn’t know what the problem is — “it’s just not working”.
“Other times are sales opportunities, which businesses definitely don’t want to automate away (AI isn’t great at persuasion). And some specific industries, e.g. emergency services, see the human response as so vital that they refuse automation entirely. In all of these situations, AI which augments people, rather than replaces, is most effective.
“We see work in customer service being transformed over the next decade. As automation of simple requests becomes the status-quo, businesses will increasingly differentiate through the quality of their human-touch. Customer service will become less labour intensive, higher skilled work. We try and imagine what tools will power this workforce of tomorrow and build them, today.”
On the ethics front, he says customers are always told when they are transferred to a human agent — though that agent will still be receiving AI support (i.e. in the form of suggested replies to help “bolster their speed and quality”) behind the scenes.
Ultimate.ai’s customers define cases they’d prefer an agent to handle — for instance where there may be a sales opportunity.
“In these cases, the AI may gather some pre-qualifying customer information to speed up the agent handle time. Human agents are also brought in for complex cases where the AI has had difficulty understanding the customer query, based on a set confidence threshold,” he adds.
Kainulainen says the seed funding will be used to enhance the scalability of the product, with investments going into its AI clustering system.
The team will also be targeting underserved language markets to chase scale — “focusing heavily on the Nordics and DACH [Germany, Austria, Switzerland]”.
“We are building out our teams across Berlin and Helsinki. We will be working closely with our partners – SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce and Genesys — to further this vision,” he adds.
Commenting on the funding in a statement, Jasper Masemann, investment manager at Holtzbrinck Ventures, added: “The customer service industry is a huge market and one of the world’s largest employers. Ultimate.ai addresses the main industry challenges of inefficiency, quality control and high people turnover with latest advancements in deep learning and human machine hybrid models. The results and customer feedback are the best I have seen, which makes me very confident the team can become a forerunner in this space.”

Ultimate.ai nabs $1.3M for a customer service AI focused on non-English markets

Is the TP-Link Archer C7 better than Google Wifi?

We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. We live and breathe Windows PCs and the accessories around them, including routers, and use and test plenty to find the best picks for you.

TP-Link Archer C7

Standard router

$74 at Amazon

Pros

More throughput (AC1750) than Google Wifi
Two year warranty, 24/7 support
Price is lower
Enough range for most average homes
Easy setup and management
Cons

Won’t cover as much space as three-node Google Wifi
The Archer C7 is a popular budget router for a reason. It can cover a standard home in reliable Wi-Fi, it’s cheaper than a lot of similar options, and it’s suitable for a wide variety of tasks, including gaming and streaming.

Google Wifi

Mesh networking

From $100 at Amazon

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/dVc_VyXp3Ss/tp-link-archer-c7-ac1750-wi-fi-router-vs-google-wifi-which-should-you-buy

How to solve the Howling Caves tomb in Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Don’t let the Howling Caves get the best of you.

This is the only tomb in the Kuwaq Yaku region. Upon entering the tomb, you’ll notice an unbreakable barrier unless you have the rope ascender. You do not need to worry about this as this section isn’t needed to complete the tomb.

See at Amazon

See at Microsoft

How to complete the Howling Caves Challenge Tomb

The following steps will guide you through the aforementioned Challenge Tomb in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Go toward the path left of the unbreakable barrier.
Jump down into the water below, swimming to the ground ahead.
You’ll enter a dark cave and immediately see a large pit with spears strewn across the bottom and sides. Do not try to jump this. You cannot.
Instead, climb the ledge to your left to make your way around the spears.

Making your way down the path, you’ll come to an area where Lara begins to slide down a muddy slope.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/p7sr8camHJs/shadow-tomb-raider-howling-caves-challenge-tomb-guide