Qualcomm Launches Smart Audio Platform that Makes Developing Smart Speakers Easier

Qualcomm has announced a reference “smart audio” platform for manufacturers that want to develop a smart home speaker like Google Home, Amazon Echo, or the newly announced Apple HomePod. The company says its new smart audio platform chipsets will reduce development time for manufacturers as they have the necessary hardware, software, and tools.

The chipmaker introduced the new audio platform at its Voice and Music Developers conference in Shenzhen, alongside the all-new Qualcomm DDFA audio amplifier technology and new USB Type-C audio SoCs. Qualcomm at the conference also talked about few of the trends in audio industry including streaming of music, removal of headphone jack, and emergence of smart assistants and speakers.

Under the company’s new Qualcomm smart audio platform, it will be offering the APQ8009 and APQ8017 chips; these SoCs will come with a range of software configurations designed to allow OEMs to create smart speakers across various product tiers and categories. The Qualcomm smart audio platform is planned to be available Q3 2017, though the company says that the timelinecan change. These new Qualcomm SoCs support capabilities like advanced far-field voice capture, wake-word detection, AllPlay multi-room audio streaming technology, and support for major voice ecosystems in a single solution.

The far-field voice capture will allow the smart speaker to pick up the user’s voice even from afar, while the wake-word detection will enable to wake up from sleep when the hotword, for example “Hello Google,” is said aloud by the user. Qualcomm’s AllPlay multi-room audio streaming technology will allow users to configure multiple speakers to play the same or different songs in each room of the home from streaming services, local playlists on their devices, or DLNA media servers; moreover, the open nature of the AllPlay ecosystem will enable users to link together speakers from different brands, such as Panasonic, Hitachi, House of Marley, Magnat etc, in their home using this platform.

The Qualcomm APQ8009 and APQ8017 chips also beamforming and echo cancellation; barge-in and voice capture in noisy environments; software supporting virtual assistants, and support for hands-free voice calls over both VoIP and HFP. Qualcomm has confirmed that the new smart audio platform will receive support for Amazon Alexa Voice Service and Google Assistant later this year, as well as Android Things and Google Cast for Audio.

Qualcomm’s Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Voice and Music, said, “This platform is ideal for traditional speaker manufacturers wanting to make the move to a connected platform as it is designed to bring together all the necessary hardware, software and tools needed to reduce development time. It also offers a great degree of flexibility for those manufacturers who want to push the boundaries when it comes to possible future applications for smart speakers.”

Qualcomm Launches Smart Audio Platform that Makes Developing Smart Speakers EasierAdditionally, the company at the event announced a new addition to its audio system-on-chip (SoCs) platform, namely CSRA68100, which is designed for premium wireless speakers and headphones. The company says it is “designed to provide OEMs with significantly more programming resources and freedom to develop use cases with unique and differentiating features.” A highly integrated platform, it also supports several connectivity, system processing, audio processing and power management resources.

Qualcomm also announced QCC3XXX series of entry-level, flash-programmable audio chipsets. These are aimed at developing entry-level products at competitive price points for Bluetooth headsets and speakers. There’s also the new WHS9420 and WHS9410 single chip USB audio SoC platforms, designed specifically for USB-C connected audio devices. With smartphone brands doing away with the 3.5mm headphone jack, this platform is aimed at users who want to continue to use wired headsets and speakers on their phones by means of transfer of audio via the USB Type-C port.

At the event, Qualcomm also revealed its next generation Qualcomm DDFA audio amplifier technology for audio devices like wireless speakers, soundbars, networked audio, and headphone amplifiers. The next-generation DDFA tech will be available on Qualcomm’s CSRA6620 SoC, and will include a DDFA controller with eight channel inputs, two channel outputs, microcontroller and configurable audio processor. Qualcomm says the chip will “help OEMs to integrate best-in-class amplifier performance in a lower complexity, more cost effective way than was previously possible.”

Meet Shimon, the Robot That Uses AI to Write and Play Its Own Music Compositions

In a first, researchers have developed a robot that can write and play its own music compositions using artificial intelligence and deep learning.

The robot – named Shimon – with four arms and eight sticks can play harmonies and chords on marimba. It also thinks much more like a human musician, focussing less on the next note, and more on the overall structure of the composition.

The researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology in the US fed the robot with nearly 5,000 complete songs – from Beethoven to the Beatles to Lady Gaga to Miles Davis – and more than two million motifs, riffs and licks of music.

Aside from giving the machine a seed, or the first four measures to use as a starting point, no humans were involved in either the composition or the performance of the music.

“Once Shimon learns the four measures we provide, it creates its own sequence of concepts and composes its own piece,” Mason Bretan, doctoral student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said in a statement.

Meet Shimon, the Robot That Uses AI to Write and Play Its Own Music Compositions“Shimon’s compositions represent how music sounds and looks when a robot uses deep neural networks to learn everything it knows about music from millions of human-made segments,” he added.

As long as the researchers feed it a different seed, the robot produces something different each time — music that the researchers cannot predict.

In the first piece, Bretan fed Shimon a melody comprised of eighth notes. It received a sixteenth note melody the second time, which influenced it to generate faster note sequences.

This leap in Shimon’s musical quality is because it is using deep learning, which is enabling it to create a more structured and coherent composition, the researchers said.

Shimon’s debut as a solo composer was featured in a 30-minute video clip in the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) keynote and will have its first live performance at the Aspen Ideas Festival at the end of June, the researchers said.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns Under Investor Pressure

Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Travis Kalanick, co-founder of one of the most influential technology companies of its generation, resigned on Tuesday under pressure from investors after a string of setbacks.

Kalanick’s departure caps a tumultuous period for the world’s largest ride-services company that has revolutionized the taxi industry and challenged transportation regulations worldwide.

The resignation sent shockwaves through Silicon Valley and leaves Uber’s board of directors with the problem of finding a dynamic leader who also has a steady hand needed to heal Uber after a bruising six months.

“The person who still best personifies Uber’s potential is the person who left Tuesday night,” said Bradley Tusk, an Uber investor and adviser. “But it’s not like he really could stay without it being brutally bad for the company.”

Kalanick’s pugnacious style largely defined Uber’s approach and helped it become a transportation colossus valued at $68 billion (roughly Rs. 4,38,770 crores), the largest private firm backed by venture capitalists in the world.

But that brashness has also been blamed for a string of scandals this year, from the unearthing of a culture of sexism and bullying at Uber to a US Department of Justice federal investigation and a high-stakes lawsuit filed by Alphabet Inc’s autonomous car division, Waymo, that threatens Uber’s self-driving car ambitions.

“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight,” Kalanick said in an email to employees that was seen by Reuters.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns Under Investor PressureKalanick’s departure as CEO widens an already gaping hole at the top of Uber which has no chief financial officer, head of engineering or general counsel at the moment. For now, 14 people who reported to Kalanick are running Uber.

It is not clear who will be Uber’s new CEO, but the next leader will likely be tasked with making the company profitable and paving the way to an initial public offering, said executive recruiters.

“They need someone who is willing to walk into this mess, and be the single adult in this room for awhile until the rest of the executive team is in place,” said Steve Nilsen, a partner at executive search firm Boyden.

The pursuit of a CEO puts the more than three-months-old search for a chief operating officer on hold, according to a source close to the board. The CEO must be hired first, the person said, and he or she will be key to figuring out the remaining positions to fill. Uber declined comment.

Facebook Inc Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has been identified as a target in media reports, but a source close to Sandberg told Reuters she plans to stay at the online social media company.

“Toxic culture”
Kalanick, who will remain on Uber’s board, will likely have some sway over the new CEO. He still wields significant power in the board room, made possible by a dual-class share structure that gives him and key allies 10 votes per share.

Ultimately, it was some of Uber’s main investors who forced Kalanick out, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Venture capital firm Benchmark, whose partner Bill Gurley is one of Uber’s largest shareholders, plus investors First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo Ventures and Fidelity Investments, all pressed Kalanick to quit.

A source close to Menlo Ventures, which led one of Uber’s early financing rounds, told Reuters that the firm helped write a letter calling for Kalanick to step down.

The investors delivered the letter to Kalanick while he was in Chicago, the New York Times reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation.

Kalanick’s decision “was a surprise to everyone”, a second Uber spokesman said.

In a statement sent to Reuters, the Uber board of directors said Kalanick’s resignation “gives the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history.”

Gurley on Wednesday resigned from his influential board seat, a Benchmark spokeswoman said, signaling the departure of one of Kalanick’s closest confidants. He will be replaced by Benchmark general partner Matt Cohler.

The board got a second new member on Wednesday in David Trujillo of TPG Capital, an Uber investor, according to a source familiar with the matter. Trujillo replaces David Bonderman, a co-founder of TPG who resigned from the board last week after making a sexist remark during an all-staff meeting called to discuss the results of an investigation into sexual harassment and discrimination at Uber.

US Attorney General Eric Holder led that investigation, which concluded that Kalanick’s authority should be reduced and that board oversight and independence should increase.

Uber hired Holder’s firm Covington and Burling to look into its culture and workplace practices after a female former employee, Susan Fowler, publicly accused the company of sexual harassment. In addition, Uber fired 20 employees for incidents involving discrimination, sexual harassment and other bad behavior earlier this month.

Uber “is the very definition of a toxic leadership culture” and Kalanick “set the tone”, said Jason Hanold, chief executive officer and managing partner at human resources executive recruitment firm Hanold Associates.

Sweeping power
Following the release of the Covington report, Kalanick said last week he would take a leave of absence to grieve for his mother, who died recently in a boating accident that also seriously injured his father, and to work on his leadership skills.

“Uber couldn’t make a credible claim that it was committed to the changes it has to make if he was hovering in the wings, waiting to return as CEO,” said Erik Gordon, a technology and entrepreneurship expert at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Kalanick and other executives were also criticised for the handling of a crisis in India after an Uber driver was arrested for raping a passenger. Though the driver was convicted in 2015, Kalanick and other executives became convinced the crime was a set up by a local rival, former employees said.

Eric Alexander, the head of Asian business for Uber, shared medical records internally, including with Kalanick. Alexander argued they showed the woman had been assaulted but not raped, people who spoke to him said. Alexander was fired earlier this month.

Even some of Kalanick’s staunchest allies have found fault with how Uber has been run. In a blog post on Medium published on Tuesday, Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, who has long aligned himself with Kalanick, called Uber’s problems serious.

“Over the years we have neglected parts of our culture as we have focused on growth. We have failed to build some of the systems that every company needs to scale successfully,” Camp wrote.

In March, following the start of the Holder investigation, Uber director Arianna Huffington said on a call with reporters the board had full confidence in Kalanick.

She repeated that position on Friday in an interview with Reuters by saying Kalanick’s leave of absence was solely his decision.

Benchmark’s Gurley praised the CEO on Twitter following his resignation.

“There will be many pages in the history books devoted to @travisk – very few entrepreneurs have had such a lasting impact on the world,” Gurley wrote.

JoSAA mock seat allocation 2017 released at josaa.nic.in

JoSAA 2017: JoSAA mock seat allotment has been published today at josaa.nic.in. The online registration facility and the choice filling was started on June 15. About 36000 seats are available in 23 Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), 31 National Institute of Technology (NITs), 23 Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs) and 20 government funded technical institutions (GFTIs) are offering admissions to the students this year.

The first round seat allocation will be out on June 28. Thereafter, the candidates will have to secure admission for their desired institute by July 3.

josaa, josaa.nic.in, JEE 2017, JEE admissions 2017, JEE first allotment, josaa seat allotment, jossa mock seat allocation 2017, admission news, education news, indian expressJoSAA Mock Seat Allotment 1: Here’s how to check

Step 1: Visit the official website mentioned above

Step 2: Enter the required details gender, state code of eligibility and nationality

Step 2: Remember to fill your choices of institutes and branches in decreasing order of preference.

Step 4: Once done, the candidate must ensure to lock their choices.

The Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) is set up by the HRD Ministry to regulate centralised admissions in premier engineering institutions will publish JoSAA 2017 mock allotment for the registered students. After the publication of JEE Main ranks, the students were asked to register themselves and provide choices of preferred institutes and courses at JoSAA website. Read | JEE Advanced 2017: This Ranchod will remind you of Aamir Khan’s role in 3 Idiots

WBJEEB JELET 2017: Results declared at wbjeeb.in, know how to download

WBJEEB JELET 2017: The West Bengal Joint Entrance Exam Board (WBJEEB) has declared the result for the joint entrance test for lateral entry courses (JELET) 2017 on Tuesday. Candidates who have appeared for the exam can check their result from the official website of the Board.

The exam was conducted on June 11 this year and those who clear the exam will gain lateral entry to 2nd year (3rd semester) in Bachelor of Engineering, Technology and Pharmacy courses. The rank cards will be available for download from July 3, 2017.

“The Board will not entertain any request to download rank card on behalf of any candidate,” WBJEEB said in a notice about JELET 2017 results, adding that it will “in due course of time” release a separate notice regarding counselling for these seats.

wbjee, jelet 2017, wbjeeb.in, wbjeeb jelet result, jelet 2017 result, wbjeeb results 2017, wbjeeb jelet 2017 result, education news, indian express, west bengal newsSteps to check WBJEEB JELET 2017 results:

Step 1: Go to the official website for WBJEEB (wbjeeb.in).

Step 2: Click on the tab for JELET 2017.

Step 3: Click on the link provided for “JELET-2017 Results”.

Step 4: Select any one of the five subjects provided (Agriculture Engineering, Basic Engineering and Technology, BSc, Pharmacy and Printing Technology).

Step 5: In the PDF that opens, scroll down the list to search for your name and roll number.

Step 6: Note down your total score, GMR and branch rank.

Step 7: Remember to keep a copy of your results for further reference.

Why do students prefer IIT over other engineering colleges?

It is not easy to gain admission at an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and every year, only two per cent of all applicants who attempt to crack the entrances manage to secure a seat in them. I have always wondered why selection to IITs is considered to be so precious until I joined IIT Gandhinagar.

What is it that makes them different from other colleges and universities? Why is it the dream of almost every Indian student to be educated in these institutions at some point of their lives? Why are the parents and teachers of these students sacrificing everything just to see them studying there? Certainly, the IITs must be offering ‘something’ so priceless and irresistible that it is worth all the pain and hard work.

These questions swam in my head as I filled out the GATE form during the last year of my bachelor’s program and managed to grab a seat for the Master of Technology course. That is when I realised what all the hype was about.

What makes IITs different from other institutions is that they pull our focus towards how we can apply what we have studied in the real world. The assignments encourage the technique of ‘brainstorming’ and there is a free sense of interaction between students and professors on the feasibility of projects. Adding to this, the laboratories contain world-class equipment and there are constant quizzes, competitions and exams to keep us on our toes.

We get our due of recognition with students winning trips to some of the world’s most precious universities for international conferences, global competitions and placements at world-class companies. Students also get an opportunity to meet eminent professors, scientists and Nobel laureates while also being made eligible for fellowships, scholarships and financial assistance on projects. Many even take part in student-exchange and internship programmes with the world’s best universities including MIT and Harvard.

iit, jee advanced 2017, jee, iit jee, iit, indian institute of technology, best iit, mit, education news, indian express, brain drain, study engineeringStudents are also encouraged to pursue their hobbies and extra-curricular activities in order to not miss out on overall development. In short, the students do not have to search for opportunities; the IITs present them with such breaks every other day.

The concept of IITs was initiated just before the independence of our country with the aim to produce successful technologists who would contribute towards the development of our nation. IIT Kharagpur was the first acknowledged IIT in 1956. Since then 16 such institutes have been established and 7 more are newly approved.

IT industrialist and co-founder of Infosys NR Narayana Murthy says students leave the country because our nation does not provide enough attractive opportunities for the brightest minds. The government in collaboration with IITs should take strict measures to stop this ‘brain-drain’ and encourage our talented engineers to work of our country by providing them with due remuneration, recognition and opportunity.

The author is MTech (Biological Engineering) student at IIT Gandhinagar

JoSAA 2017: Counselling begins, know to get registered and fill choice

JoSAA 2017: JEE Advanced 2017 result was announced on Sunday and from today, the centralised counselling and seat allotment process has begun. The qualified candidates have to now lock their choices to seek admission in 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), 31 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), 23 Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs) and 20 government funded technical institutions. Nearly 36000 seats are available in various B Tech courses for the academic session 2017-18.

The successful candidates can fill their choice by June 26 at 5 pm. All candidates who have appeared in JEE (Main) 2017 are eligible to register for seat allocation in NIT+ system (except IITs). JoSAA will conduct seven rounds of seat allocation.

josaa, josaa.nic.in, JEE first allotment, josaa seat allotment,JoSAA Seat Allotment 2017, here’s how to apply
Step 1: Log on to the official website josaa.nic.in
Step 2: On the homepage, enter ‘online registration and choice filling’
Step 3: Enter the required details gender, state code of eligibility and nationality
Step 4: Remember to fill your choices of institutes and branches in decreasing order of preference.
Step 5: Once done, the candidate must ensure to lock their choices.

There are no limitations on the number of institutes you wish to apply for. The seat allocation will be jointly conducted during June-July 2017 this year also.

This year, an aspirant has to secure 75 per cent marks to be eligible for seat allocation. As there is a significant variation in the percentage marks of toppers among boards, the category-wise top 20 percentile score of successful candidates of each board is used as an alternative for the benefit of the candidates.

IITs launch portal to help women aspirants through admission process

Aspirants who have cleared the Joint Entrance Exam (Advanced) can now log on to a special web portal launched to help women get through the IIT admission process. The web portal, launched earlier this week, is aimed at improving the gender ratio at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

Currently, women make up only 8 percent of the total population at IITs. The portal was launched as a measure to achieve the target of increasing the ratio to 20% by 2020.

The JEE Council has observed that of the total women who cleared the JEE (Advanced) last year, only 38 percent actually accepted a seat, pointing to a gap in the counselling process. The council figured that the ratio was skewed as women had opted for limited choices during the counselling and parents, often worried for their daughter’s safety, were reluctant to seek admission in colleges far from home.

It was to bridge this gap that web portal — students.iitmandi.ac.in was launched. The helpdesk was set up by IIT, Mandi, and is operated by more than 100 women faculty, students and alumni. 

It helps candidates get in touch with women faculty members and students at each IIT, and also guides them through the process of selecting the ideal IIT for them. Timothy A Gonsalves, director of IIT Mandi, has written a letter to all women candidates who have cleared JEE (Advanced), congratulating them and informing them of the portal. IIT Delhi, too, will host an Open House exclusively for women candidates on Saturday.

STEM courses in Germany: Scholarships, job opportunities; all you need to know

In the past decade, India has witnessed a rise in number of students aspiring to fulfil their higher education in overseas study destinations. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses have gained popularity all over the world and among Indian students studying abroad.

Lucrative job opportunities play a big role in this attraction. Be it in Accounting, Computer programming, Life sciences, Statistics, or Engineering, STEM students can look forward to a rich and fulfilling career in multifarious industries.

While US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have been ranked among the top five destinations for international students, Germany is quickly picking up the pace with a 14 per cent increase in its number of international students. The number has jumped from 2,82,201 to 3,21,569 in two years since 2013. In fact, Indian students make up 4.9 per cent of the total population of international students in the country.

1. Universities:

This European nation is home to 396 recognised education institutions of which there are 181 universities and 215 specialised universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen).

As per the QS world university rankings, the top 7 German education institutions in the fields of engineering & technology in 2017 are Technical University of Munich, RWTH Aachen University, TU Berlin, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, University of Stuttgart, Darmstadt University of Technology, and TU Dresden.

2. Fees:

Public higher education in Germany is free and inexpensive for both native and international students. Some tuition-free universities in Germany are: University of Hamburg, University of Bremen, University of Cologne, and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

study abroad, study abroad germany, study in germany, study abroad, germany education, germany colleges, stem, stem courses germany, stem courses, education news, indian express3. Languages:

The courses at these universities are taught in German and English although most universities offer master’s degree programs in English exclusively for international students, especially in the fields of engineering technology.

4. Scholarships:

Engineering students from India take the benefit of numerous scholarships including Bilateral Exchange of Academics, DLR-DAAD Research Fellowship Programme and Leibniz-DAAD Research Fellowships.

As a country that is primarily focused and driven by its manufacturing capabilities, Germany offers lots of job opportunities for engineers. It actively invests in advanced research and applied technology and the demand for experts in the STEM field is expected to remain high here for years to come.

The average salary for engineering experts could be up to 46,126 EUR per year. For international students, such opportunities can become a dream come true as Germany allows such students to work 120 full or 240 half days per year after they gain a permit from the “Agentur für Arbeit” (Federal Employment Agency).

DU admissions 2017: Registration for admissions to entrance-based UG courses begins

Delhi University will begin the registration process for admissions to its entrance-based undergraduate programmes from today.

The entrance will be conducted online in 18 cities across the country, according to a release. Entrance will be for courses – BA (Hons) Business Economics, Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), Bachelor of Business Administration (Financial Investment Analysis) (BBA (FIA)), BA (Hons) Humanities and Social du, du admissions 2017, delhi university, du.ac.in, Sciences, B Tech (Information Technology and Mathematical Innovation), Bachelor of Elementary Education, BSc Physical Education, Health Education and Sports, BA (Hons) Multimedia and Mass Communication and BA (Hons) Music.

“For B A (Hons) Music, entrance examination will based on practical admission entrance test, which will be held in the Department of Music in the varsity,” the release said.