Building and training neural networks are no longer just for seasoned computer scientist and grad students. That change began with the release of a number of open-source machine learning frameworks like Theano, Spark ML, Microsoft’s CNTK, and the Google’s TensorFlow. One that stands out is TensorFlow for its powerful, yet handy, functionality, conjoined with the impressive gain of its user base. With the release of TensorFlow 1.0, Google has driven the frontiers of machine learning further in a number of directions.

In the production to making TensorFlow a more-general machine learning structure, Google has added both built-in Estimator functionality, and support for a number of more conventional machine learning algorithms including K-means, SVM (Support Vector Machines), and Random Forest. While there are surely other groundworks like SparkML that support those tools, having a solution that can combine them with neural networks makes TensorFlow a great option for hybrid problems. TensorFlow 1.0 also offers amazing performance improvements and scaling. In one measure, a training session running on a 64-processor machine ran nearly 60 times as fast as one running on a single processor.

One of the many impressive new potentials of Google TensorFlow is that its models can be run on many smartphones. TF1.0 even takes the convenience of the Hexagon DSP that is built into Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 CPU. Google is already using this to function applications like Translate and Word Lens even when your phone is completely offline. Before now, Sophisticated methods like those required for translation or speech perception required real-time access to the cloud and its compute servers.

As powerful as TensorFlow is, composing a complicated model directly in its API takes quite a bit of knowledge, and some precise programming. The Keras programming interface provides a more user-friendly layer on top of TensorFlow (and Theano) that make engineering high-end networks cleverly simple. Keras also includes a number of pre-trained models for easy instantiation. Given the intensive nature of assembling the large datasets needed to train models, and the processor-intensive nature of training, it helps creates a major benefit for developers.

Google TensorFlow 1.0 is now ready to download. Currently, Keras is a separate package that is easy to install using pip or your preferred package manager, but Google aims to have it built-in to the 1.2 release of TensorFlow. There are many adjustments but Google is even providing a helpful script that will try to update any existing codes, if needed. Which is typical of machine learning tools, you will get a better performance running on a support GPU, but now there are even options to spin your models up in the cloud. For example, Y combinator-backed startup


Read more »


Apple Inc. has acquired the rights to Faceshift, a start-up motion capture company that gained notoriety from their work in the Star Wars films.

The Zurich-based company was part of the character design process in the new film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Their specialty, as their name suggests, is creating realistic facial expressions for animated characters that can convey a wide array of emotions.

As is typical with Apple, they were very ambiguous with the reasons for their purchase.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” a spokesman said in a statement.

For now, any suggestions of what they will use the company for is pure speculation. Most guesses involve some sort of facial recognition purpose, for security or otherwise. What is known is that Faceshift employees are already working under the Apple name from their office in Switzerland.

Faceshift joins the ranks of augmented reality firm Mataio, facial recognition firm Polar Rose, and 3-D scanning house PrimeSense as small businesses that have recently been swept up by Apple. All have capabilities in augmented reality, and each could complement the others.

Faceshift was founded by Thibaut Weise, Brian Amberg, and Sofien Bouaziz as a spinoff from the Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. The school originally owned two of Faceshift’s facial animation patents but they were transferred to Faceshift at the end of August of this year, just ahead of the transition to Apple.

Faceshift later added offices on the West Coast and London, headed by film and gaming industry vet Doug Griffin and visual effects specialist Nico Scapel, respectively. Prior to Apple’s acquisition, Faceshift had a website that offered a demonstration of how it worked, along with some support documentation for developers using it.

Via our proprietary website ASAP IT Technology, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading distributor of Apple products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current parts at www.asap-ittechnology.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-ittechnology.com or +1-714-705-4780 for a quote.


Read more »


Action to reduce hurtful factors on the environment is rising throughout the United States. In a recent announcement, President Barack Obama is demanding that the Federal Government reduce greenhouse gases by at least forty percent. In his speech, President Obama also stressed the need for a worldwide joint effort, in which countries can work together to reduce overall climate changes. Through the use of renewable energy resources, the Federal Government should be able to save taxpayers more than USD$18 billion in electricity bills. However, the government needs the support of some of the top manufacturing companies in the U.S., including Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, General Electrics, IBM and Hewlett Packard.

The President is calling upon these businesses to reduce their carbon footprints. International Business Machines (IBM) is one of the first among these large corporations to support energy efficient measures. On March 19th, IBM announced a commitment to reduce energy consumption by over thirty-five percent by 2020, which includes a reduction of yearly electricity by twenty percent. During the years of 1990 to 2005, IBM reduced more than three million metric tons of CO2 consumption. They hope that this pledge will encourage their successful counterparts to follow in their direction. IBM representatives stated, “We intend to match our purchased renewable electricity directly to our operations as opposed to purchasing renewable energy certificates as offsets, making a clear connection between our purchases and our consumption.” Through reusing and recycling materials, as well as conserving energy, using renewable energy, and preventing air, water, and land pollution, IBM plans to incorporate these changes into their policy. They have asked all their employees to report any concerns regarding environment, health, and safety concerns. Since its founding date in 1911, IBM has expanded to more than 170 countries and employs 379,592 employees. This expansion may help spread environmental policies throughout the world.

Via our proprietary website ASAP IT Technology, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of IBM products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current IBM parts at www.asap-ittechnology.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-ittechnology.com or +1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

Read more »


Announced in March of 2015, computer technology giants Intel and Google will join Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer in a new project to design and manufacture a luxury smartwatch. The companies announced the collaboration in a press conference at the Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show in Basel, Switzerland. Anticipated for release in the latter end of 2015, the watch will use Intel chip technology and operate an Android Wear system.Intel has already ventured into smart wearables with a low power x86 processor, dubbed Quark, which is offered on bracelets by fashion house Opening Ceremony. These bracelets were named My Intelligent Communication Accessory, or MICA smart bracelets. Intel’s Quark, a tiny system-on-a-chip product is 32-bit and single-core.

The Quark was developed to align with the burgeoning “Internet of Things” trend, in which computing devices are prevalent in our entire environment – from clothes to cars to kitchen appliances. There are currently 2.2 billion x86-based products available as of 2014. The market for wearable computer technology has been steadily growing with 4.6 million smart wearables delivered in 2014. Prominent technology corporations, such as Apple, have gotten into the game with the Apple Watch – a smartwatch product announced last year and expected for availability in April of 2015. Although Google’s Android Wear system has operated on wearables before – with the Moto 360, Asus ZenWatch, and others – this occasion marks the first time the company will make a high-end, luxury offering in an effort to compete with Apple’s upscale line (which ranges from $350 up to $17,000 per unit).

Via our proprietary website ASAP IT Technology, ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Intel products. Prospective customers can browse our inclusive inventory of hard-to-find obsolete and current Intel parts at www.asap-ittechnology.com. If you are interested in a part, please feel free to contact our knowledgeable sales staff at sales@asap-ittechnology.com or +1-714-705-4780 for a quote.

Read more »


Christie Digital Systems is a group of companies which manufactures DLP projectors and a variety of digital cinema devices. The Christie group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ushio, Inc., a publicly traded Japanese company which happens to be the leading manufacturer of general and specialty illumination lighting solutions. Headquartered in Cypress, California, Christie Digital Systems has grown to employ over 1,500 employees all around the world.

With their highly trained workforce, Christie Digital Systems is able to provide diverse solutions for any customer, whether they are in the field of business, industry, or entertainment. Christie has installed more than 100,000 projection solutions worldwide as they are continuously developing innovative solutions such as laser projection, immersive audio, and advanced seamless presentation.

At Christie Digital Systems, they strive to ensure that their customers are able to participate in the world’s best shared experiences by offering a wide selection of audio, visual, and collaboration solutions. Their broad range of solutions include: LCD and DLP projectors, DLP Cinema projectors, rear screen projection modules, LED video walls and tiles, laser phosphor projectors, medical imaging, complete immersive audio solutions, 3D virtual reality and simulation projection technologies, and many more.

This vast offering of products and solutions allows Christie Digital Systems to be seen in a variety of different applications and industries. Regardless of the occasion, if you are searching for innovative, high quality, shared experiences, Christie Digital Systems is able to provide you with what you are looking for. Their expertise and knowledge allows them to provide solutions designed to meet even the most complex and unique audio, visual, and collaboration requirements.

Specializing in IT products, ASAP IT Technology supports and supplies a wide range of Christie Digital Systems products. ASAP IT Technology is a leading independent distributor of information technology hardware equipment, with the capability of providing you many of the products that you need. For inquiries regarding Christie Digital Systems products, please visit www.asap-ittechnology.com or contact us at sales@asap-ittechnology.com for more information or to submit a quote.


Read more »


Recent Twitter Posts