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Football matches land on your table thanks to augmented reality

It’s World Cup season, so that means that even articles about machine learning have to have a football angle. Today’s concession to the beautiful game is a system that takes 2D videos of matches and recreates them in 3D so you can watch them on your coffee table (assuming you have some kind of augmented reality setup, which you almost certainly don’t). It’s not as good as being there, but it might be better than watching it on TV. The “Soccer On Your Tabletop” system takes as its input a video of a match and watches it carefully, tracking each player and their movements individually. The images of the players are then mapped onto 3D models “extracted from soccer video games,” and placed on a 3D representation of the field. Basically they cross FIFA 18 with real life and produce a sort of miniature hybrid. Considering the source data — two-dimensional, low-resolution and in motion — it’s a pretty serious accomplishment to reliably reconstruct a realistic and reasonably accurate 3D pose for each player. Now, it’s far from perfect. One might even say it’s a bit useless. The characters’ positions are estimated, so they jump around a bit, and the ball doesn’t really appear much, so everyone appears to just be dancing around on a field. (That’s on the to-do list.) But the idea is great, and this is a working if highly limited first shot at it. Assuming the system could ingest a whole game based on multiple angles (it could source the footage directly from the networks), you could have a 3D replay available just minutes after the actual match concluded. Not only that, but wouldn’t it be cool to be able to gather round a central location and watch the game from multiple angles?

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Symantec: a hacking campaign launched from China, with the likely intention of espionage, breached satellite and defense companies in the US and…

Joseph Menn / Reuters : Symantec: a hacking campaign launched from China, with the likely intention of espionage, breached satellite and defense companies in the US and Southeast Asia   —  SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A sophisticated hacking campaign launched from computers in China burrowed deeply into satellite operators …

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PayPal to buy Hyperwallet, which helps individuals and small firms receive payments for goods and services they sell on online marketplaces, for about…

Peter Rudegeair / Wall Street Journal : PayPal to buy Hyperwallet, which helps individuals and small firms receive payments for goods and services they sell on online marketplaces, for about $400M   —  Hyperwallet helps individuals and small firms receive payments for goods and services that they sell on online marketplaces

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Keepsafe launches a privacy-focused mobile browser

Keepsafe , the company behind the private photo app of the same name , is expanding its product lineup today with the release of a mobile web browser . Co-founder and CEO Zouhair Belkoura argued that all of Keepsafe’s products (which also include a VPN app and a private phone number generator) are united not just by a focus on privacy, but by a determination to make those features simple and easy-to-understand — in contrast to what Belkoura described as “how security is designed in techland,” with lots of jargon and complicated settings. Plus, when it comes to your online activity, Belkoura said there are different levels of privacy. There’s the question of the government and large tech companies accessing our personal data, which he argued people care about intellectually, but “they don’t really care about it emotionally.” Then there’s “the nosy neighbor problem,” which Belkoura suggested is something people feel more strongly about: “A billion people are using Gmail and it’s scanning all their email for advertising, but if I were to walk up to you and say, ‘Hey, can I read your email?’ you’d be like, ‘No, that’s kind of weird, go away.’ ” It looks like Keepsafe is trying to tackle both kinds of privacy with its browser. For one thing, you can lock the browser with a PIN (it also supports Touch ID, Face ID and Android Fingerprint). Then once you’re actually browsing, you can either do it in normal tabs, where social, advertising and analytics trackers are blocked (you can toggle which kinds of trackers are affected), but cookies and caching are still allowed — so you stay logged in to websites, and other session data is retained. But if you want an additional layer of privacy, you can open a private tab, where everything gets forgotten as soon as you close it. While you can get some of these protections just by turning on private/incognito mode in a regular browser, Belkoura said there’s a clarity for consumers when an app is designed specifically for privacy, and the app is part of a broader suite of privacy-focused products. In addition, he said he’s hoping to build meaningful integrations between the different Keepsafe products. Keepsafe Browser is available for free on iOS and Android. When asked about monetization, Belkoura said, “I don’t think that the private browser per se is a good place to directly monetize … I’m more interested in saying this is part of the Keepsafe suite and there are other parts of the Keepsafe Suite that we’ll charge you money for.”

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Facebook launches Brand Collabs search engine to connect brands and creators for sponsoring and product placement deals; Facebook is not currently…

Josh Constine / TechCrunch : Facebook launches Brand Collabs search engine to connect brands and creators for sponsoring and product placement deals; Facebook is not currently taking a cut   —  Facebook wants to help connect brands to creators so they can work out sponsored content and product placement deals, even if it won't be taking a cut.

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