Uber Bids $3 Billion for Nokia’s ‘Here Maps’

As Nokia is planning to sell its Here Maps, many companies are eager to get ahold of it for themselves. Uber has bid $3 Billion for Here, which is much less than the $8.1 Billion that Nokia paid for Navteq (original name of Here).

With Here being for sale, there are many companies that want to use the tech for their own projects, as well as the licensing fees that there will be. Uber will want the mapping tech since it is such a core part of its business and it can also cut down what it is paying for mapping tech that they currently use. The mapping may also come in very handy for Uber with their own self-driving car projects. This is the second mapping company that Uber is looking to obtain this year as it bought deCarta earlier in the year.

A few of the long list of other companies that will likely be bidding on Here are Apple, Amazon, Audi AG, BMW AG, Baidu, Facebook, Harman, Mercedes-Benz and Sirius XM. We will soon know who will have won the bidding war as The Times says that Nokia will decide what offer to go with later this month.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of andrewkarenwedding.

GitHub Gets Hit by the Biggest DDoS Attack in Site’s History

GitHub, the popular website used for projects spanning from game engines to security applications and even web app frameworks, is apparently suffering the biggest DDoS attack in the website’s history, which they believe to originate from China.

The attack appears to have started last Thursday and has all its staff working on mitigating the access problems since then. GitHub states that the attack “involves a wide combination of attack vectors,” which “includes every vector we’ve seen in previous attacks as well as some sophisticated new techniques that use the web browsers of unsuspecting, uninvolved people to flood github.com with high levels of traffic.”

“Based on reports we’ve received, we believe the intent of this attack is to convince us to remove a specific class of content,” GitHub says.

Wall Street Journal reports that GitHub’s traffic surge is based on visits intended for China’s largest search engine, Baidu. Security experts told the publication that the vast levels of traffic has paralysed GitHub over the DDoS attack’s duration.

The attack, which leads back to China, apparently targets two specific sections of GitHub. One of them is Greatfire.org, an anti-censorship organization dubbed the “Great Firewall of China”, which releases tools to help Chinese citizens bypass the county’s censorship controls, and the other links to copies of the New York Time’s Chinese language website and other banned domains.

Security specialist Anth@x from Insight Labs believes that the attack was due to HTTP hijacking by replacing some JavaScript files from Baidu with malicious ones, having Block Execution also used in order to prevent looping. The security specialist even goes further and states that non-Chinese users are now also being “weaponized” to target the country’s targets.

“In other words, even people outside China are being weaponized to target things the Chinese government does not like, for example, freedom of speech.” Anth@x posted on Insight Labs.

GitHub’s status updates twitter account has been keeping us updated with the attack’s status. While yesterday they reported that “all systems reporting at 100%. Attack traffic continues, so we remain on high alert.”, about an hour ago, they stated that “The DDoS attack has evolved and we are working to mitigate”.

Baidu apparently denies involvement in the attack and states that it “was not intentionally involved in any traffic redirection”.

Thank you ZDnet for providing us with this information

Baidu Show Speech Recognition at GTC 2015

NVIDIA GTC 15: Baidu gave a keynote based around the speech recognition technology that they are working on and showed us some examples of how successful their process is, especially in comparison to a third party API that is currently available from other sources.

Below is a video showing exactly how they have developed their algorithm to not only focus on speech recognition, but also how the process can cope when extra noise is added, which is a real stumbling block for most speec recognition services on the market.

It is worth noting that the presentation examples were being operated real-time through the use of a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics card.

Chinese Web Giant Baidu to Release SmartBike

Chinese web company Baidu are to release an innovative SmartBike, called the DuBike, before the end of the year. Baidu run China’s premier web search site – their equivalent of Google – and became the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index.

Baidu’s DuBike was designed in partnership with Tsinghua University’s design department, and has a plethora of high tech features, including monitors to track sports heart rate, pedal rate, and peddle pressure, all transmitted to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The app can then track health data, provide map directions, and recommend potential cycling routes. The bike is not motorised, but does feature regenerative electrics, charged by pedal power.

It is not yet known whether the DuBike will be released in Europe and the US, but Baidu, through its Institute of Deep Learning, are keen to share the tech it has developed for its SmartBike with other manufacturers.

Source: engadget

Chinese Search-Engine Baidu Announces Smart Chopsticks

China has been rocked with scandals in the recent years involving everything from toxic milk to glow-in-the-dark port, and even painted food, so it isn’t unlikely for anyone to eat in this area to worry about what they’re putting in their mouth.

The Chinese search-engine Baidu has the answer for this problem with their new smart chopsticks, or Kuaisou in Chinese that can detect harmful substances in your food. At the company’s annual technology conference, Baidu CEO Robin Li gave a brief introduction of the new product, which he called “a new way to sense the world.”

The smart chopsticks will be able to detect contaminated oil, for example the difference between fresh cooking oil and recycled cooking oil, also known as gutter oil.  It will also tell you about contaminations originating from water or other things, tell if something has gone bad or what sort of nutrition the food has.

The smart chopsticks are linked with a smartphone app that shows the results of the readouts. Other features said to be added were the ability to measure PH levels, temperature and calories.

So far a price tag hasn’t been announced for these new smart chopsticks, and the company said that it wasn’t ready for mass production yet. But it’s clear that there is a market for them, if priced correctly. Baidu has previously copied, or mimicked, Google projects like the car or glasses, but this is one of their own and one that is inspired by their Chinese origin.

Thank you Nextshark for providing us with this information.

Image and Video courtesy of Baidu.

Intel Partners With China’s Largest Search Engine, Baidu

Intel has signed up with China’s Baidu to make mobile apps. The company however that having a joint lab is a part of the agreement that both the companies have signed on Thursday.

Intel is focussing on developing many software catering to the Chinese users in the country. Intel will be able to sell their products as they’re getting a backing from the Chinese developers, whereas Baidu in return will be getting access to Intel- Powered hardware and devices- PCs, Tablets, Smartphones. Together they will be testing and porting software for Baidu and Intel powered devices.

Intel didn’t reveal how much amount was spent for the new lab, but both the company intend to limit the partnership agreement only to software and hardware integration, and not smartphone development. Intel will also be making newer software tool for the Chinese developers. Baidu intends to have mobile apps around its search engine and also have mapping technology, followed by products with voice-command feature and facial recognition. In 2011, the Chinese Search Giant made their own Android based mobile OS called Baidu Cloud which comes with many pre-loaded Baidu apps and services. However, the adoption of this OS is not yet widespread in the count and so far it comes pre-installed only on six smartphones so far.

Intel’s presence in the smartphone business in China has started growing ever since they’ve started delivering chips for the nation’s market. Chinese based company, Lenovo unveiled their K900 smartphone which uses Intel’s “Clovertrail+” processors, followed by ZTE called ZTE Geek.

Intel’s general manager for developer relations said,”If you are a developer, you will now have more choices of platform and more opportunities in business.”

Source: Info World