Pioneering social TV service Miso will shut down on October 23, according to an email sent to Miso users. The shut-down comes roughly 18 months after Miso’s assets had been acquired by Dijit, the company behind Netxguide.tv, which itself was subsequently acquired by Viggle. Miso’s users were encouraged in the good-bye email sent out this weekend to join Viggle’s service, which offers rewards for TV check-ins. However, not everyone was happy about this offer — some of Miso’s users from countries other than the U.S. have been complaining on Twitter that the Viggle app isn’t available in their market. This story was corrected at 5:25pm. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Miso would shut down this week.
Chinese search engine Baidu is trying to speed the performance of its deep learning models for image search using field programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs, made by Altera. Baidu has been experimenting with FPGAs for a while (including with Altera rival Xilinx’s gear) as a means of boosting performance on its convolutional neural networks without having to go whole hog down the GPU route. FPGAs are likely most applicable in production data centers where they can be paired with existing CPUs to serve queries, while GPUs can still power much behind-the-scenes training of deep learning models.
Apache Mesos co-creator and former Twitter lead engineer Benjamin Hindman is joining the startup Mesosphere, which provides commercial backing for the open-source Mesos resource management system. Hindman will help Mesosphere build out its first distributed operating system (OS) that will use Mesos as the OS kernel, which is essentially the part of the OS that’s responsible for managing system resources. Twitter, Airbnb, PayPal and Netflix are all companies that use Mesos to help manage their infrastructure. In June, Mesosphere announced a $10.5 million series A round.
Once you upgrade to the latest Microsoft-owned Skype client for iOS 8, you’ll be able to answer incoming voice or video calls much faster. The newest Skype version takes advantage of extensions in Apple’s mobile software, allowing Skype notifications to appear right on the lock screen of an iPhone. These are actionable notifications — both on the lock screen and though the regular drop-down notification method — so one tap picks up the call. The updated Skype client is available for free in the iTunes App Store.
The privacy-friendly search engine DuckDuckGo has been blocked in China, company CEO Gabriel Weinberg has told Tech in Asia. Weinberg said he was unsure when the blockade began, but Chinese censorship monitor Greatfire.org suggests it started early this month. In China, where local search operations like Baidu rule the roost, Google Search has also been blocked since May. Yahoo Search and Microsoft’s Bing are both allowed in China as both companies have local servers, but they have to heavily censor their results in the country. DuckDuckGo benefited from Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations, as it allows people to search for things without being tracked, though the fact that it is U.S.-based worries some privacy advocates.