Siddharth Saraf

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The Best Biographies, Memoirs, and History Books of 2014

After the year’s best reads in science, children’s books, psychology and philosophy, and art, design, and photography, here come the finest memoirs, biographies, and history books of the year — our most inviting bridge between past and present, personal and universal.<p>1. A LIFE WORTH LIVING<p><i>“To</i> …

Unbroken: what makes some people more resilient than others? | David Cox

The resilience of people like Louis Zamperini in the face of extraordinary trauma, as depicted in the film Unbroken, has lessons for psychiatrists treating post-traumatic stress disorder<p>“We hit the water nose down. The plane exploded. I felt like someone hit me in the forehead with a sledgehammer. …

How 21 Big Tech Companies Got Their Names

Tech company names<p>The expression ‘what’s in a name’ – or the slightly more poetic ‘a rose by any other name’ – means, essentially, that a name doesn’t matter. It suggests that it’s the attributes of a person or object that will dictate what it truly is and how it is seen by the world.<p>However, in …

4 Strategies For Remembering Everything You Learn

• knowledge about the subject at hand, like math, history, or programming<p>• knowledge about how learning actually works<p>The bad news: Our education system kinda skips one of them, which is terrifying, given that your ability to learn is such a huge predictor of success in life, from achieving in …

The most exclusive club in the tech startup world is expanding

The instant messaging app Snapchat may soon be a part of an exclusive Silicon Valley club: startups commanding valuations of $5 billion or better.<p>The tech company most noted for an app that makes message files disappear within seconds after being viewed could soon fetch financing from the China …

Venture Capital

Twitter acquires Madbits for 'deep learning' skills

Twitter has acquired deep learning and dynamic computing startup Madbits.<p>The startup's co-founders Clement Farabet and Louis-Alexandre Etezad-Heydari -- former students of Facebook AI Lab Director Yann LeCun -- revealed Monday that Twitter had acquired the firm for an undisclosed amount. Gigaom …

Harold Edgerton: The man who froze time

Harold Edgerton invented the electronic flash – which allowed him to capture things the human eye cannot see. Stephen Dowling looks at his legacy.<p>Every time you use the flash on your smartphone or camera, you should give silent praise to Harold Eugene Edgerton. In the era of vacuum tubes and radios …

How DreamWorks reinvented animation software to make How to Train Your Dragon 2

Before it could make this summer’s blockbuster movie <i>How to Train Your Dragon 2</i>, DreamWorks had to build a whole new animation tool. Here’s the story of how the studio built software that lets animators work faster and more organically than ever before.<p>In the past, animation artists had to go …

Google Voice Search to Get Multiple Language Detection

Google is developing a new feature for Voice Search that will allow you to ask a question in one of multiple languages – without manually reconfiguring your ‘mother tongue’ each time.<p>At the moment, the company translates Voice Search queries based on the default language you have set for other …

Microsoft explains quantum computing so even you can understand

Microsoft is offering a quick quantum computing primer that makes the esoteric subject almost understandable.<p>Quantum computing promises to solve unimaginably large and complex computer problems that classical computing could never crack. That is, if it can ever be made to work in anything like a …

The best writing of the week, June 8

Your Sunday reading<p>We all know the feeling. You're sleepless in the sad hours of the night or stumbling around early on a hazy weekend morning in need of something to read, and that pile of unread books just isn't cutting it. Why not take a break from the fire hose of Twitter and RSS and check out …

3 High-Tech Eyeglasses That Do Things Google Glass Can't

In the 1988 sci-fi flick <i>They Live</i>, a local drifter named John Nada stumbles upon a magic pair of sunglasses that give him the ability to see aliens. …

These Harvard And MIT Kids Say They've Made NSA-Proof Email

Those who worry that Gmail or the National Security Agency may be rifling through their emails now have a new alternative: ProtonMail, a super-secure email service created by students from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.<p>"It was the Snowden leaks that got us started," …

Hacker who helped feds gets no more time in prison

NEW YORK (AP) — A computer hacker who helped the government disrupt hundreds of cyberattacks on Congress, NASA and other sensitive targets and …

How to master Android Voice Commands, beyond Google Now

When Apple first introduced Siri with the iPhone 4S, it was not the first time the world had seen voice control, but it did mark the first time a major company was releasing it to the world simultaneously on millions of mobile devices as their most prominent feature.<p>Despite its innumerable flaws …

Intel Pays Up To $30M For A Personal Assistant Platform From Ginger Software

Apple has Siri, and now Intel has Ginger. The chipmaker has made one more acquisition to bolster its advanced computing and artificial intelligence holdings: it has purchased selected assets, and hired talent, from Israel’s Ginger Software in the area of natural language processing tools and …

On the hunt for Google's Easter eggs

Google is renowned for creating Easter eggs, which in the tech world mean coding or features on the Web that either shouldn't be there or that you don't expect to find.<p>Our colleagues at ZDNet gathered up some of Google's Easter eggs currently in circulation. There are more, so happy hunting. Here's …

The World's Richest Ex-Hackers

Long before he was the two-hundred-and-second richest person on the planet, Jan Koum was just another curious kid with a wardialer.<p>Koum, whose net worth suddenly jumped to $6.8 billion last month when his startup WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook, began his tech career as a teenage immigrant from …