Start up: Google’s health data grab, Intel’s mobile halt, satire wars, iPad Pro beats Surface Pro, and more


The ex-chief of Microsoft Windows has bought one, and he reckons it’s important. And IDC reckoned it outsold the Surface in the 1Q. Photo by matsuyuki on Flickr.

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A selection of 14 links for you. Yeah, I know, but I couldn’t stop. I’m charlesarthur on Twitter. Observations and links welcome.

How AI can predict heart failure before it’s diagnosed » NVIDIA Blog

»The last place you want to learn you have heart failure is where it often winds up being diagnosed: in the emergency room.

Researchers analyzing electronic health records are using  artificial intelligence and GPUs to get ahead of this curve. They’ve shown they can predict heart failure as much as nine months before doctors can now deliver the diagnosis.

A research team from Sutter Health, a Northern California not-for-profit health system, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, believe their method has the potential to reduce heart failure rates and possibly save lives.

“The earlier we can detect the disease, the more likely we can change health outcomes for people and improve their quality of life,” said Andy Schuetz, a senior data scientist at Sutter Health and an author of a paper describing one aspect of the research. “That’s what’s exciting to me – the potential to change the future.”

«

Fascinating (though what do you do with the knowledge that you’re probably going to have heart failure in the next nine months? How specific is the diagnosis? The results haven’t yet been published).

Nvidia’s interest is because it builds the graphics processing units (GPUs) which turn out to be ideally suited for machine learning.
link to this extract


Revealed: Google AI has access to huge haul of NHS patient data | New Scientist

Hal Hodson:

»It’s no secret that Google has broad ambitions in healthcare. But a document obtained by New Scientist reveals that the tech giant’s collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service goes far beyond what has been publicly announced.

The document – a data-sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Trust – gives the clearest picture yet of what the company is doing and what sensitive data it now has access to.

The agreement gives DeepMind access to a wide range of healthcare data on the 1.6 million patients who pass through three London hospitals run by the Royal Free NHS Trust – Barnet, Chase Farm and the Royal Free – each year. This will include information about people who are HIV-positive, for instance, as well as details of drug overdoses and abortions. The agreement also includes access to patient data from the last five years…

…This is the first we’ve heard of DeepMind getting access to historical medical records, says Sam Smith, who runs health data privacy group MedConfidential. “This is not just about kidney function. They’re getting the full data.”

The agreement clearly states that Google cannot use the data in any other part of its business. The data itself will be stored in the UK by a third party contracted by Google, not in DeepMind’s offices. DeepMind is also obliged to delete its copy of the data when the agreement expires at the end of September 2017.

«

From the document: “Data to be processed other than for the direct care of the patient must be pseudonymised in line with the NHS Act 2006″. (Emphasis in original.)
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The Internet of Things has a dirty little secret » Internet of Shit

»As the market eventually saturates and sales of internet-widgets top off, you can bet that everyone from the smallest to largest vendor will look to what’s next: the treasure trove that is everything it knows about you.

Many of the newest IoT devices are the types of household appliances you won’t replace for a decade. We’re talking about a thermostat, fridge, washing machine, kettle, TV or light — long term, there’s just no other way to be sustainable for the creators of these devices.

There is an alternative path that some could take: maybe Nest needs to increase its revenue, so it decides to charge a monthly subscription model for its thermostat. Now you need to pay $5 per month or it’ll lock you out.

The question then, is if you’d pay for it? Will you pay for a subscription for everything in your home?

Maybe: if the device comes for free, with that subscription, and guarantees your data will be kept private… but I suspect that many people prefer to own outright and simply won’t care about the privacy compromise.

The future of your most intimate data being sold to the highest bidder isn’t dystopian. It’s happening now.

«

link to this extract


My tablet has stickers » Learning By Shipping on Medium

Steve Sinofsky (you know, the ex-Windows chief) has moved from a Surface Pro to an iPad Pro for his work:

»Every (single) time the discussion comes up about moving from a laptop/desktop (by this I mean an x86 Windows or Mac) to a tablet (by this I mean one running a mobile OS such as Android or iOS) there are at least several visceral reactions or assertions:

• Tablets are for media consumption and lightweight social.
• Efficiency requires keyboard, mouse, multiple monitors, and customizations and utilities that don’t exist on tablets.
• Work requires software tools that don’t/can’t exist on tablet.

Having debated this for 6+ years, now isn’t the time to win anyone over but allow me to share a perspective on each of these (some of which is also discussed in the podcast and detailed in the posts referenced above)…

…The fact that change takes time should not cause those of us that know the limitations of something new to dig our heels in. Importantly, if you are a maker then by definition you have to get ahead of the change or you will soon find yourself behind.

«

He asks developers, in particular, to butt out of the “but tablets can’t..” discussion.
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The death of Intel’s Atom casts a dark shadow over the rumored Surface Phone » PCWorld

Mark Hachman:

»Intel’s plans to discontinue its Atom chips for phones and some tablets may not have killed the dream of a Microsoft Surface phone—just the piece of it that made it so enticing.

In the wake of a restructuring that relegated the PC to just another connected device, Intel confirmed Friday that it has cancelled its upcoming SoFIA and Broxton chips. That leaves Intel with just one Atom chip, Apollo Lake, which it had slated for convertible tablets.

Microsoft has never formally commented on its future phone plans, save for a leaked email that suggests that Microsoft is committed to the Windows 10 Mobile platform and phones running ARM processors. But fans of the platform have long hoped for a phone that could run native Win32 legacy apps as well as the new UWP platform that Microsoft has made a central platform of Windows 10. The assumption was that this would require a phone running on an Intel Atom processor. Intel’s decision eliminates that option.

Unless Microsoft has some other trick up its sleeve, the most compelling justification for a Win32-based Surface phone appears to have died.«

Kinda big for Intel too; giving up on its mobile ambitions into which it has sunk billions. And for Acer and Lenovo, which has relied on Intel chips (and subsidies) for its mobile effort.
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What Happened to Google Maps? » Justin O’Beirne

Engrossing look at how Google Maps represents its content, and how it has changed:

»Let’s take a closer look at a couple of areas within the Bay Area.

First, the Pittsburg / Antioch area:

2010 – Cities, but No Roads. Pittsburg and Antioch are shown — but how to get there? No roads are shown that go to Pittsburg and Antioch.

2016 – Roads, but No Cities. Roads leading to Pittsburg and Antioch are shown — but Pittsburg and Antioch aren’t labeled. Why travel on those roads? Where do they go?

On the 2010 map, Pittsburg and Antioch are what cartographers call “Orphan Cities”. That is, they’re cities that lack connections to the rest of the road network.

A similar situation exists with Santa Cruz:

2010 – Santa Cruz, but No Roads. Santa Cruz is shown, but it’s orphaned (i.e., there are no roads going to it).

2016 – Roads, but No Santa Cruz. Four different roads leading into Santa Cruz are shown — but Santa Cruz isn’t.

On either map, it’s not immediately clear how to travel between San Francisco (or any other Bay Area city) and Santa Cruz.

See the problem?

Both maps, the one from 2010 and the one from 2016, have a similar issue: a lack of balance.

«

Would love to see a similar treatment for Apple Maps.
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Google faces first EU fine in 2016 with no deal on cards: sources » Reuters

Foo Yun Chee:

»Google is likely to face its first European Union antitrust sanction this year, with little prospect of it settling a test case with the bloc’s regulator over its shopping service, people familiar with the matter said.

There are few incentives left for either party to reach a deal in a six-year dispute that could set a precedent for Google searches for hotels, flights and other services and tests regulators’ ability to ensure diversity on the Web.

Alphabet Inc’s Google, which was hit by a second EU antitrust charge this month for using its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, shows little sign of backing down after years of wrangling with European authorities.

Several people familiar with the matter said they believe that after three failed compromise attempts since 2010, Google has no plan to try to settle allegations that its Web search results favor its own shopping service, unless the EU watchdog changes its stance.

«

The fines could be very big, up to 10% of global revenues – or just a slap on the wrist. How does Margrethe Vestager determine how big to make them?
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Journalism professor will go to war for free speech, as long as it doesn’t mock him » Gawker

JK Trotter:

»the ever-present possibility that certain people might mistake a satire for reality is the very thing that makes satire funny. As Ken White, [a] First Amendment lawyer, observed, “The joke is not only at the expense of Jeff Jarvis. The joke is, in part, at the expense of people who read carelessly.”

Esquire, of all magazines, should know this. It frequently traffics in satirical articles, and was even sued a few years ago over a piece mocking the notorious birther Joseph Farah. (The magazine fought the lawsuit, and won.) So it is particularly remarkable that the magazine’s executives, in complying with Jarvis’s demands, have effectively endorsed his misunderstanding of satire. It is far more hypocritical and troubling, however, that a person of Jarvis’s position and influence would ever demand the piece’s removal in the first place.

Jarvis is a public figure who has built his reputation in part on his aggressive advocacy for journalists’ First Amendment rights, as well as his strong belief that a culture of free speech is a necessary component of any functioning political system.

«

This is a terrific essay by Trotter, and it does point up the essential contradiction of someone who (among other things) insists that Google’s search results should be sacrosanct against “a European court’s insane and dangerous ruling [to] allow people to demand that links to content they don’t like about themselves be taken down” demanding that content they don’t like not about themselves be taken down.
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Apple beats Microsoft at their own game while Amazon primes the low end of the tablet market » IDC

»Slate tablets continued their decline while still accounting for 87.6% of all shipments. More importantly, the slate tablet segment has become synonymous with the low-end of the market. While this may bode well for vendors like Amazon that rely on hardware sales to increase their ecosystem size, it has not helped vendors who rely solely on greater margins for hardware sales. Meanwhile, detachables experienced triple-digit year-over-year growth on shipments of more than 4.9m units, an all-time high in the first quarter of a calendar year.

“Microsoft arguably created the market for detachable tablets with the launch of their Surface line of products,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. “With the PC industry in decline, the detachable market stands to benefit as consumers and enterprises seek to replace their aging PCs with detachables. Apple’s recent foray into this segment has garnered them an impressive lead in the short term, although continued long-term success may prove challenging as a higher entry price point staves off consumers and iOS has yet to prove its enterprise-readiness, leaving plenty of room for Microsoft and their hardware partners to reestablish themselves.”

«

The suggestion is that Apple sold more than 2m large iPad Pros (the 9.7in iPad Pro wasn’t released until the end of the quarter) and Microsoft fewer than 2m Surface Pros. And also that there’s no profit left in the low-end “slate” tablet market, if there was any before.
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The end of a mobile wave » Benedict Evans

Evans notes that we’ve hit the end of the “which ecosystem will win?” (answer: both) challenge, and now we have a free-for all among Android/AOSP offerings:

»coming from the other end of the spectrum, mobile operators are increasing buying in a selection of low-end smartphones than they sell (generally unsubsidised on prepay) under their own brand. Sometimes these have operator apps preloaded (if they’ve not given up on that yet), sometimes not. One could argue that the value being added here is really only distribution, and so one might see other companies with distribution getting into this, such as mass-market retailers. Some of these have already experimented with Android tablets, with mixed results (as of course they did with MVNOs).

This is all rather like the PC clone market of the 1980s – hundreds of undifferentiated companies fighting it out to sell commodity computers built with commodity components running a commodity operating system (though those companies mainly made the PCs themselves, where many phone brands do not). That world in due course led to companies like Dell – people who embraced the volume, low-margin commodity model and found an angle of their own. We’re starting to see equivalent model-creation now.

«

link to this extract


YouTube: ‘No other platform gives as much money back to creators’ » The Guardian

Christophe Müller of Youtube:

»Just this month, a funny video of a Ben Affleck interview helped propel Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence to the Top 10 Hot Rock Songs chart 50 years after it was released.

All of this is possible because our technology, Content ID, automates rights management. Only 0.5% of all music claims are issued manually; we handle the remaining 99.5% with 99.7% accuracy. And today, fan-uploaded content accounts for roughly 50% of the music industry’s revenue from YouTube.

The next claim we hear is that we underpay compared to subscription services such as Spotify. But that argument confuses two different services: music subscriptions that cost £10 a month versus ad-supported music videos. It’s like comparing what a black cab driver earns from fares to what they earn showing ads in their taxi.

So let’s try a fair comparison, one between YouTube and radio.

«

It’s all radio’s fault!
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How to use Workflow for iOS when you don’t know where to start » iMore

Federico Viticci:

»Workflow is the most powerful app on my iPhone and iPad. I wouldn’t be able to work without it, and, almost two years after its release, I’m still discovering its infinite potential.

Whether it’s sending a message to a group of people or organizing documents, you’ve likely come across a task on your iPhone or iPad that you’d like to speed up. Our iOS devices have evolved into powerful modern computers, but there are still some areas where we can be slowed down by app limitations, or, more simply, by the tedious process of performing the same task over and over.

Thankfully, we have a solution to this: automation. And when it comes to automating tasks on iOS, Workflow is the undisputed king. Learning to master Workflow is the first step to living an efficient, productive life on iOS, and it’s how I’ve been working on my iPad for years now.

«

Viticci isn’t just saying that; he runs macstories.net, and he really does use his iPad for absolutely everything except podcasting. I’ve had Workflow for ages, but struggled with its lack of declarative structure; Viticci’s explanation is great. (It would be great to be able to simulate Workflow tasks on OSX and then export them to iOS.)
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No time to panic as one quarter shows minor dip in smartphone sales » Communities Dominate Brands

Tomi Ahonen on why talk of “peak smartphone” after stalled growth in Q1 is wrong, wrong, wrong:

»it is a superficial view of the industry without understanding two aspects of it. The first was the pent-up demand of the 6 series of iPhone that created a one-off surge of phablet-screen-size iPhone sales – last year. Because iPhone owners had seen rival smartphones issue phablets for years, they waited and finally when Apple did the iPhone 6 and 6+ that created a one-time surge in iPhone sales pushing Apple in 2014 Q4 Christmas sales and 2015 Q1 January-March sales of the total smartphone market to an exceptionally high level. It was a surge, a peak in iPhone sales which is not normal (there is a normal level of iPhone jump in sales any other year at that time).

That means, that last year Q1, January-March 2015, was at an artificially high level – see how much higher Apple’s iPhone market share was Q1 of last year (was 16% in Q1 of 2014, surged to 18% in 2015 and returned to 15% now). That was not normal market wars where one brand gains and another loses. It was Apple loyalists buying the long-awaited phablet-screen size iPhone 6 and 6+ which created that surge. Because of Q1 of last year being so high, thus the normal [sequential from Q4] decline of Q1 meant, that it now produced that one-off dip in the Year-on-Year smartphone market size. Also note, that ‘loss’ of 2% now is exactly the rise of 2% that Apple gained for 2015 that same quarter, when their phablet surge happened.

«

Yup, that makes perfect sense. China stuttered, as did the US and Europe, but smartphones replacing featurephones is a train running down a hill. (Side note: I’ve replaced the words that Ahonen put IN CAPITALS with lowercase, as it makes no difference to the sense, and a lot to whether he’s YELLING in your EAR.)
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LG Electronics profit growth powered by TV business » WSJ

Min-Jeong Lee:

»LG executives are banking on a turnaround at the company’s mobile business after three straight quarters of operating losses, spurred by sales of its new G5 smartphone.

LG introduced the G5 phone, which comes with a modular body that allows users to easily swap in accessories, to a warm reception in February, fueling expectations the new smartphone will be a hit.

LG expects to ship three million units of the G5 in the second quarter. Executives say the phone is on track to outpace the G3 model, released two years ago, which has been one of the company’s best-sellers. LG has shipped 1.6 million units of the G5, compared with 900,000 units during the first month of the G3’s release.

But the new phone comes at one of the toughest times in the smartphone market, which is facing waning global demand. Total smartphone shipments fell 3% to 335 million units in the first quarter from a year ago, which was the first ever decline in shipments since the advent of smartphones, research firm Strategy Analytics said Thursday.

“There’s no promise the [strong] profits will stay where they are given the dent in overall demand and stiff competition,” Greg Roh, an analyst with HMC Investment Securities in Seoul, said in a recent note to clients.

«

LG executives have been banking on a turnaround at the company’s mobile business for ages. It keeps not happening. Shipments, of course, aren’t the same as sales. And LG’s mobile business has actually made a loss for four straight quarters, not three.
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Errata, corrigenda and ai no corrida: none notified.

One thought on “Start up: Google’s health data grab, Intel’s mobile halt, satire wars, iPad Pro beats Surface Pro, and more

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