AI Social and Contextual UC #419 – HashNewsGrams Named IQ Awards – Microsoft Teams with Amazon for Gluon Neural Net

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October 13 – 2017 – Issue #419

AI Forum – Exploring the Wild World of Artificial Intelligence and other Communications, Mobile, Contextual-Intelligence and other communications companies.
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 Twitter Users Never get stuck at 140 or 280 or … characters again!
 

 

HashNewsGram 2.5 breaks the Twitter 140 or 280 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings including pre-recorded music and audio from the HashNewsGram library, created freehand paintings or drawings using the drawing features and library, multimedia images called Acticons-Action Icons.

#HashNewsGram is a FREE Twitter #hashtag news gathering app for iPhone and iPad.

You can select your favorite #hashtag topics and put them in folders and subfolders and organize your Twitter news gathering and personal newsfeed. Then tap on the selected folder subfolder and see the posts in the categories selected. This is a great way to simplify your Twitter news feed.

 

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TECHtionary Named Finalist IQ Awards HashNewGrams

HashNewsGram

By TECHtionary.com

Click on IQ image for details.

This free app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.
Approved today is version 2.8 of HashNewsGrams which further expands features with a Twitter post Library and Log. You can post and save all Twitter posts to the Library each time you post. You can either Tweet or Tweet and Save each posts. Then you can easily repost each Twitter post or edit and then post them.
 The real key to HashNewsgrams is the multi-media features which allow you to post an essentially unlimited amount of text far beyond the 140 or 280 characters now available. You can add up to 4 images as you can with Twitter but also add a video, a custom free hand drawing, audio recording or Acticon(tm) which are “action-icons” to add emphasis to your Twitter posts. Background – Never get stuck at 140 or 280 or … characters again! HashNewsGram 2.5 breaks the Twitter 140 or 280 character limitation barrier. You can post essentially unlimited text, videos, pics, audio recordings including pre-recorded music and audio from the HashNewsGram library, created freehand paintings or drawings using the drawing features and library, multimedia images called Acticons-Action Icons. #HashNewsGram is a FREE Twitter #hashtag news gathering app for iPhone and iPad. You can select your favorite #hashtag topics and put them in folders and subfolders and organize your Twitter news gathering and personal newsfeed. Then tap on the selected folder subfolder and see the posts in the categories selected. This is a great way to simplify your Twitter news feed. HashNewsGram is one of the many apps such as ZoomLite, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, SleepTracs, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, BaseballFansClub, RewardsVIPClub, and others from TECHtionary.

Microsoft Teams Gluon Neural Net with Amazon 

Another deep learning attempt between two major “competitors” was revealed.  Notwithstanding yet another developers “honey pot” for pseduo AI, you wonder who is really going to provide the “deep learning” between Amazon and Microsoft.

 From GeekWire, comes this “Deep learning involves training a computer to recognize patterns or unlock insights based on a set of rules for parsing a massive pool of data. As you might expect, this is an extremely complicated and time-consuming process that requires a fair amount of skill. Cloud companies offer ways to speed up the process, but a fair amount of skill is required to get meaningful results.”  Click on the image for complete article.

It is hard to say that they are using the same platform Gluon to work together or what they are telling each other the goal will be.  I would have been more excited if there was a more specific goal focused on an vertical issue or use case or global issue.  Here are a few thoughts on what they should be done such as focus on reasoning.

Reasoning, in essence, discourages openness, surprise, or ambiguity. It is a process, mental or mechanical, that works through a series of pieces of evidence to new data until the problem is solved. In certain circumstances, reasoning is a process set against time: All answers are known; it is just that time eludes them. Reasoning is also a natural language issue because language is often the means on which the evidence is built. In the field of learning languages, the building process is often a history of ideas gathered together into stories. These stories are told in order to pass on information or reasoning processes. In stories, as in reasoning processes, clues are included or omitted to frustrate the process.

Neural Networks
From the press release, click on image, “With the Gluon interface, developers can build machine learning models using a simple Python API and a range of pre-built, optimized neural networkcomponents. This makes it easier for developers of all skill levels to build neural networks using simple, concise code, without sacrificing performance. AWS and Microsoft published Gluon’s reference specification so other deep learning engines can be integrated with the interface.”   This is a lot of techno-babble saying they have no idea what they are doing or predict any results, if any.
What a Neural Network
The term neural networks, as proliferated by AI researchers, explains how the networks of the brain work together to allow thinking to take place. Examinations of people with low intelligence versus those with high intelligence do not biologically demonstrate any clear neurological distinction. Perhaps at some point, intelligence in humans might effectively be understood, and the development of machine intelligence might be a requirement for this understanding. The development of machine-based neural networks might also give rise to a greater understanding of human thinking processes.
To simplify the process look at the Figure which shows the following a library of books with hyperlinks or crosspoint between ideas, text, images and other content.
First, a cross/point (intersection point) is composed of different types of information, including text, graphics, or data.
Second, each grid of different types of information can be changed as necessary. Additions, deletions, and modifications can be easily incorporated into the cross/point grid.
Third, each grid of information can be expanded “to the nth degree.” The structure of the cross/point is n-dimensional. Its boundaries can be expanded.
Fourth, a cross/point idea network allows for n-dimensional linking by connecting any number of nodes together at any point, top-bottom and/or side-to-side.
Fifth, a cross/point can be represented in a simple expression.
Structurally, administration can be viewed as a configuration of thought patterns that relate individuals and collectives of varying sizes, shapes, and degrees of understanding, cohesion, and stability. Dynamically, administration appears as a patterned swirl and flow of ideas. Many of them channel through transactional circuits between persons and persons, persons and groups, and groups and other groups. For our purposes, communication patterns and flows are particularly important. Patterns relate communication to organization, and flow relates communication to decision-making. Thus, the concepts networking, thought processing, and decision making are inexorably interwoven.
In other words, this it is the same image from three different angles just like the way three different people would look at the same problem each from their own perspective.
Bottom-line – Really don’t expect anything because in reality, Amazon and Microsoft both want world domination.  However, neural networks do offer the means to bridge the man-machine interface, however, more “code” won’t help you solve what you want for lunch.

Not a Headset but an AI Personal Assistant 

In case you think Apple is asleep at the enterprise wheel, here is an exciting solution for any desktop phone, contact center agent, mobile/car route sales person or even factory floor.  Check out these specs to impress anyone –

Beats Solo3 Wireless delivers up to 40 hours of battery life driven by the efficiency of the Apple W1 chip. Or, with Fast Fuel, a quick 5-minute charge provides 3 hours of playback to quickly get you back on track. Integrated on-ear controls, coupled with dual beam-forming mics, allow you to take calls, play music, adjust volume and activate Siri while on the go.  Click on image for more.
In other words, you can integrate voice recognition into your voice conversation and then even add an app for that to listen and guide agents or sales or even the CEO in their conversation. Also, reports from users also said it has good noise cancellation. And, at $299 quite a bargain.
Bottom-line – Deskphones only have one ear speaker, Beats has two speakers, people have two ears, you can decide which one is better.

Google Carpet Bombs AI – American Fear AI

Google, Amazon, Apple and others are all “carpet bombing” their funny little boxes in order to capture customer mind share.  This is a long video but the first few minutes will give you a good idea of what is really going on.

If you need more ammo on what Americans really think there is a new Pew Research report that says “Americans are rather worried that computer (AI) algorithms will replace humans in choosing job candidates-even though researchers have shown clearly that algorithms do a better job than humans at choosing job candidates. Americans fear losing control if they’re forced to ride in autonomous vehicles. These same Americans fly in airplanes every day that largely are flown by computers, and impressively efficient ones at that.

Fretful respondents are unsurprisingly willing to engage in cognitive dissonance about coming automation. While 77% of Americans think robots will take over many jobs in coming decades, just 30% think robots will replace their jobs. That reminds me off all the old surveys about Americans thinking Congress was filled with a bunch of bums-but not their representatives.”
Bottom-line – Yes AI will replace many things, even more things you can’t understand or don’t need but AI is just another machine and machines break, get hacked, solve old problems not new ones and can’t really think about solving complex problems.

Top of Mind Keeps You First in Line 

This is a webinar presentation available for sales teams at a nominal fee.
Key points are:
1 – Know Thy Customer
2 – Be the Thought Leader
3 – Create Calls-To-Action often
4 – Decide Marketing Methods
5 – Build a Calendar & Commit
Are you really in the line at all or just think you are?
Click on image for the complete presentation and contact Tom Cross at cross@gocross.com for details and scheduling.

From UC to IC – Intelligent Communications

This is from MS Office 365 blog “customers can take advantage of the capabilities in Microsoft Teams starting today. We are committed to providing visibility into the Teams product roadmap, so our customers can assess when Teams is right for them. We intend to make an updated roadmap for Teams available in October.  Click on the image for the complete article.
We plan to continue to offer and support Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises. For customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.”
 
Nice doubletalk – buy what we want you to buy today or wait until late 2018 or never.

Via The Street Microsoft Just Made a Slew of Announcements — Here Are the 5 Most Important

If you don’t know about The Street, well it’s time you did because this may be the most important news service for the financial industry and CEO/CFO. So read what they read and here’s what they said about Microsoft’s announcements at Ignite.  Click on the image for the rest and signup for their newsletters.

As I don’t want to steal The Street’s thunder but wanted to focus on UC.  At least Skype made the Top-5 as #4. “Microsoft Teams might be replacing Skype for Business. Microsoft’s workplace chat app and Slack competitor, Microsoft Teams, is being integrated into Office 365. Teams will replace the Skype for Business plugin in Office 365, which marks a major transition for Microsoft, since Skype has been its flagship messaging app for a long time.

The company did say that it intends to release an updated Skype infrastructure next year that will be targeted to companies that aren’t using the cloud and have on-premises data centers.”
But if you read other stories and watch presentations which I did a lot of them, there is a huge gap in what is being said and what will likely happen.  Why because MS really doesn’t understand the UC business and buying Skype did not help.  If you remember Response Point their very cool but ill-fated answer to the SMB, they jump around like a hot potato without a single strategy much less one that fits with customers and the marketplace.  Hence the growth in Broadsoft, 8×8, RingCentral and many others such as Comcast.  Last count there were more than 500 (no typo) VoIP providers and an amazing list of international players who given high speed internet you can have your server in Antarctica and provide service to remote Kansas.  Clearly MS is looking through their telescopes at Slack worried more about that that the hundreds of VoIP players.
Bottom-line – For a decade, Microsoft throws darts at the UC dartboard hoping something will stick. Now this, they keep tossing the salad frankly making a mess of it causing no end of hair-pulling by partners. Sadly, few other players are left to pick up the slack (no pun intended).  But wait the Cisco UC system works, works well and from the customers I have spoken with they love it.

First Multi-Media Calendar Planner App for iPhone & iPad Approved

SleepTracsPro 3.4 is approved for iPhone and iPad.  Among the many benefits is an exciting new multi-media planner.  While planner and calendar apps abound, we added features that are not found in others.  We also will be adding even more features that in addition to support for iOS 11, here are the key features in SleepTracsPro 3.4 NOTE: due to Apple removing AppStore from iTunes you are now forced to get your apps from the AppStore app on your iPhone or App – it wasn’t our idea.
– Sleep Scheduling,
– Snooze Nap features,
– Snap Alert
– Actical – action calendar
– ZoomLite
– Dream Diary journal/log,

NEW – Multi-media Planner with multi-colored text, pics, videos, drawings, audio messages and acticons for iPhone and iPad.

Please visit http://sleeptracs.com/ for tips, applications and ideas.

Key features of SleepTracsPro are:

– Actical – Action calendar with Acticons-action icons and first calendar with drawings. Add drawings and images to your calendar to improve tracking and performance.

– Snooze – The Snooze feature is designed to let you get your “power nap” or “cat nap” anytime; you can select your snooze time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

– Snap – feature is a new feature not found in any sleep app we have found so far. Snap is really a “snap out of it” feature that you put in your shirt pocket and when no motion or limited motions are detected, it gives you a vibration or tune/tone. Designed to help you overcome falling asleep in class or on the job, it should not be used while driving.

Sleep – feature offers you a scheduling tool You can select your sleep time and a wakeup vibration or tone/tune or your own voice or that of a friend or child.

Weather – current weather is displayed when user awakes.

ZoomLite is an exciting weather center, camera, large format clock and 3-level magnifying flashlight app. You are able to see weather, large font clock, take a picture and easily read labels, meds bottles, check meds, cuts/sores, household issues and other fine print articles and other hard to read documents or any other reason to see something closeup with 3-step magnifying flashlight.

Dream Diary journal has unlimited notepads with multi-color drawing features, text notes, audio recording, backgrounds with pictures from camera or gallery and sharing features for email, social sites, gallery and other ways.

Planner – everyone needs to get organized and nothing is better than having it all in the same place. The new version 3.4 in the first to include all forms of multi-media including multi-colored text (you can choose what color text you like to indicate priorities or other personal notations), you can include pictures and videos from either camera or gallery, you can add freehand drawings, audio recordings like “Get organized” and our own proprietary Acticons™ which are “action icons and emojis” to emphasize an event or activity.

Independent Reviews

“Sleep apnea is a serious health issue and solutions are scarce often making sleep worse than better. SleepTracsPro journal/diary is a significant help where I can take pics, even videos and including detailed notes where I can track diet, temp, weather and other factors which I know impact sleep. I strongly recommend SleepTracsPro for any one with sleep apnea or just wants to better understand their sleep habits and patterns.” R.S. – Atlanta

“SleepTracsPro gives me great insights on my sleep habits as I am able to use the Dream Diary to write notes, even make drawings of my dreams as well as share them with others. SleepTracsPro is a must-have for any one struggling with all the challenges of getting better sleep.” S.C. – Seattle

SleepTracsPro is one of the many apps such as SleepTracs, ZoomLite, Baseball Fans Club, Basketball Fans, ReallyReal, Sports Fans Club, Football Fans Club, iSeekSugar, BiEyes, iFlipTips, iSeekSugar, MedsMinders, RewardsVIPClub, HashNewsGram and many others from TECHtionary.com.

NFC Forum Adds NFC Tag Certification to Certification Program 

For anyone who sells anything, connects to anything including customers NFC-near-field communications is a must-have.  With iOS 11, the NFC Forum announced today the addition of Near Field Communication (NFC) tag and reader certification to its global certification program. This means that tag/inlay, NFC reader and handset manufacturers for the first time will be able to test and verify the performance and interoperability of all the key components in the NFC eco-system.

With the release of iOS 11 this week from Apple, two billion smartphones in the world will be NFC-enabled – this means that a third of the population on Earth will have the ability to interact with NFC tags. To be sure that these tags are enabled seamlessly, the NFC Forum Tag Certification Program will allow for tags to interoperate, and work the way consumers want, when they want it.

Wireless Charging Vase – No Flowers !
 
“Wireless charging as a concept has been around since Nikola Tesla, a Croatian inventor, first suggested in the 19th century that you could transfer power between two objects via an electromagnetic field.”  Soon wireless charging will be available in almost any concept — who knows what happens to your brain with all that electronic magnetism in the air.

 

Personal Speakerphone
 
One of the many things I really don’t like is webinar speakers using a speakerphone.  They really don’t care how much room echo there is and sounds like they are speaking in a warehouse.  Polycom may have a solution for this with a personal speakerphone.  While no speakerphone can eliminate room echo, road noise, HVAC noise and other noises, this may help.
  • Polycom HD Voice and industry-leading full duplex, echo cancellation
  • Polycom NoiseBlock technology automatically eliminates non-speech background noise
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • 4 microphones and 10-foot (3-meters) microphone range – 2 to 3 times more coverage than most personal speakerphones
  • Rugged and stylish cast aluminum case – won’t break like plastic speakerphones if dropped
  • Spill resistant – IP64 dust and water-resistance rated
  • Security cable included for fixed meeting room and huddle room deployments

It is waterproof too, rather coffee proof.

I asked for pricing and they said it will be released in 4Q.

 

iOS Game Platform 

Who knew that Jim Cramer is a gameboy.  Indeed he is and thinks that iPhone X is the next game platform.  Take a listen.
And, when you are really ready to get serious check this out.  As an Apple app developer, we are excited about new platforms for new realities.  However, the really real limitation is that we just converted to Swift4 and iOS11 and not matter how large your development team is – it is nearly impossible to keep UP much less DO more.
Bottom-line – Apple is a seriously great platform for nearly everything and as other devices and platforms may still have some presence. it is not realistic that developers will have any excess capacity other than to just develop them.

Gartner on UCaaS – Eye Test
Never been a big fan of research reports because I used to research and publish them. Research reports like Gartner, IDC, Frost and all the others are written by people who do not have to “do it.”  They sit in nice rooms and gather information and then write stuff that really doesn’t help people really implement anything.  It is amazing to me that CIOs look to Gartner and the reason is they do not trust their own staff to tell them the truth or frankly know what they are doing.  Sad but true.  The idea of some “pin chart”  will help anyone figure out why SIP trunk has only one-way audio is a farce.  Here for example is what they are saying about Microsoft:

CAUTIONS

  • The SfBO telephony capabilities lag behind most competing UCaaS offers, and Microsoft has been slow to advance this element of its portfolio. While there has been progress in the last year, Microsoft has also been slow to overcome some critical limitations, including limitations in the CCE product and SfBO APIs.
  • Microsoft’s advancement in the market has been hindered by its changing marketing messages to customers and partners about the roadmap for Skype. For instance, while the hybrid option can be more effective for many enterprise requirements, it may not be adequately promoted by Microsoft partners, which may instead recommend a rapid migration to a complete online solution.
  • Connecting users to a UCaaS solution via the public internet may result in poor performance for audio and video for some users and locations. To mitigate risk, customers should execute a network assessment as part of their SOF process.
  • Microsoft recently introduced its Teams workstream collaboration product that has overlapping communications functionality redundant to Skype. While integrating communications into Teams is part of Microsoft’s workstream collaboration strategy, this redundancy can create confusion with customers trying to understand the roles of Skype and Teams.
Click on the image to get the chart via 8×8 who I like because of all their technical expertise but there is much more on ATT, Google, Fuze, Mitel and others.  Interesting Vonage and ShoreTel were dropped – go figure.
Bottom-line – There must be a large enough market to support all these companies.  However, I know of another 20 that are not on this list and still seem to be thriving.  Clearly there is a nice road but running out of road always comes at the worst time even if it doesn’t curve and you run completely off it.

Facebook Business UC 

Building for People, and Now Businesses

This is from the WhatsApp blog, “Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with their family and friends, and over time, more people are using the app to communicate with businesses they care about too.

In fact, many c