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Skype adds Snapchat-like AI photo effects to its mobile app

The Skype crew hasn’t been shy about wanting to emulate Snapchat and hang with the cool kids… and that’s truer than ever today. Skype has added a slew of decidedly Snapchatesque photo effects to its mobile messaging apps, including face stickers, filters, captions and handy info like the weather. You won’t necessarily have to dig them up yourself, though. The effects take advantage of Microsoft’s machine learning chops to detect your age and emotion, suggest text and even determine your celebrity doppelganger. The effects can vary by the day (including holidays), so you’re encouraged to check them often to see what’s new.

The effects should show up in the next few days if you don’t have them already. They’re not strictly new — Microsoft first introduced the AI-powered suggestions through its Sprinkles app. They should get considerably more use now that they’re in a major social app, mind you. The real question is whether or not this will improve Skype’s stature. This probably won’t lure you away from Snapchat (or Instagram, or Facebook). However, it might keep you using Skype if you thought it was falling behind the times.

Source: Skype Blog

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About Ms. A. C. Kennedy

Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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