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Amazon starts shipping its $249 DeepLens AI camera for developers

Back at its re:Invent conference in November, AWS announced  its $249 DeepLens, a camera that’s specifically geared toward developers who want to build and prototype vision-centric machine learning models. The company started taking pre-orders for DeepLens a few months ago, but now the camera is actually shipping to developers. Ahead of today’s launch, I had a chance to attend a workshop in Seattle with DeepLens senior product manager Jyothi Nookula and Amazon’s VP for AI Swami Sivasubramanian to get some hands-on time with the hardware and the software services that make it tick. DeepLens is essentially a small Ubuntu- and Intel Atom-based computer with a built-in camera that’s powerful enough to easily run and evaluate visual machine learning models. In total, DeepLens offers about 106 GFLOPS of performance. The hardware has all of the usual I/O ports (think Micro HDMI, USB 2.0, Audio out, etc.) to let you create prototype applications, no matter whether those are simple toy apps that send you an alert when the camera detects a bear in your backyard or an industrial application that keeps an eye on a conveyor belt in your factory. The 4 megapixel camera isn’t going to win any prizes, but it’s perfectly adequate for most use cases. Unsurprisingly, DeepLens is deeply integrated with the rest of AWS’s services. Those include the AWS IoT service Greengrass, which you use to deploy models to DeepLens, for example, but also SageMaker, Amazon’s newest tool for building machine learning models. These integrations are also what makes getting started with the camera pretty easy. Indeed, if all you want to do is run one of the pre-built samples that AWS provides, it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to set up your DeepLens and deploy one of these models to the camera. Those project templates include an object detection model that can distinguish between 20 objects (though it had some issues with toy dogs, as you can see in the image above), a style transfer example to render the camera image in the style of van Gogh, a face detection model and a model that can distinguish between cats and dogs and one that can recognize about 30 different actions (like playing guitar, for example). The DeepLens team is also adding a model for tracking head poses.

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Apple rebrands iTunes Connect to App Store Connect and releases a new iOS app to help the process of uploading, submitting, and managing applications…

Chance Miller / 9to5Mac : Apple rebrands iTunes Connect to App Store Connect and releases a new iOS app to help the process of uploading, submitting, and managing applications   —  Apple today has officially announced the rebrand of iTunes Connect.  As we speculated earlier this week, Apple confirmed on its developer blog …

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Coinbase says it is acquiring securities dealer Keystone Capital in an effort to expand into the coin offerings market, pending regulatory approval…

Paul Vigna / Wall Street Journal : Coinbase says it is acquiring securities dealer Keystone Capital in an effort to expand into the coin offerings market, pending regulatory approval   —  Cryptocurrency business plans to use Keystone assets to move into fast-growing market for coin offerings  —  Coinbase, one of the leading …

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Sources: Instagram to launch Snapchat Discover-style video hub with scripted shows, music videos, and more; announcement tentatively slated for June…

Josh Constine / TechCrunch : Sources: Instagram to launch Snapchat Discover-style video hub with scripted shows, music videos, and more; announcement tentatively slated for June 20   —  Instagram is preparing to unveil a home for longer-form video — a YouTube competitor and its take on Snapchat Discover.

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Order-ahead meal app Ritual, which lets others add to a food order for a more social ordering experience, raises $70M Series C led by Georgian…

Matthew Lynley / TechCrunch : Order-ahead meal app Ritual, which lets others add to a food order for a more social ordering experience, raises $70M Series C led by Georgian Partners   —  While DoorDash, Postmates and other apps are looking to reimagine what the food delivery experience looks like, Ray Reddy says he wants …

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Comcast’s Xfinity landline phone service experienced widespread outages across the US on Wednesday; Comcast says service is restored for most…

Nick Statt / The Verge : Comcast's Xfinity landline phone service experienced widespread outages across the US on Wednesday; Comcast says service is restored for most customers   —  Affecting businesses and even 911 calls  —  Comcast's Xfinity phone service is apparently suffering a massive outage today …

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Facebook testing Marketplace ads in the US that let users promote their listings in the News Feed (Josh Constine/TechCrunch)

Josh Constine / TechCrunch : Facebook testing Marketplace ads in the US that let users promote their listings in the News Feed   —  Twenty months after launching its Craigslist competitor, Marketplace, and relentlessly promoting it with placement in the main navigation bar, Facebook will start earning money off its classifieds section.

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Google releases Android P Beta 2, with final APIs and 157 new emoji, including red hair, a llama, and two new gender-neutral designs (Emil…

Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat : Google releases Android P Beta 2, with final APIs and 157 new emoji, including red hair, a llama, and two new gender-neutral designs   —  Google today launched the second Android P beta with final APIs and 157 new emoji.  If you're a developer, this is your third Android P preview …

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