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日本推出能和主人聊天的机器人手机For those who feel a bit lonely just talking on the phone, a Japanese company is offering a cellphone that turns into a robot buddy y to chat.Softbank Mobile Corp.'s new mobile line looks like a small humanoid with attachable arms and legs, with the screen showing various faces.The PhoneBraver will be released in April after a character in an upcoming television drama series entitled "Cellphone Investigator 7."The telephone comes with enough artificial intelligence to learn the user's habits.If the user calls a particular person many times, a text phrase such as "You're calling her often these days, aren't you?" might appear coming out of the face's mouth, according to Softbank Mobile spokesman Katsuhide Furuya.The user could carry on conversations with the phone by responding "yes" or "no" or with other simple replies."We haven't decided on specifics yet on the communication between the user and mobile, but your mobile would grow into a buddy different from others that is unique in the world," he said.The PhoneBraver does not move by itself but can strike a pose with movable joints. The price is not disclosed yet.Japan is known for its fondness for humanoids, which have been put to use as security guards, receptionists and for other functions in a country with a declining birth rate.Japan also has cutthroat competition in mobile telephones, with three main companies constantly trying to find new incentives to snare users.The number of cellphone subscriptions topped 100 million in Japan at the end of December against the nation's total population of 127 million, according to industry data. 觉得一个人打手机有点孤单的人现在不用发愁了,日本一家公司将推出一款能陪主人“聊天”的机器人手机。软银移动公司推出的这款新型手机外形像个小机器人,有胳膊有腿,屏幕上还能显示各种不同的面部表情。这款“PhoneBraver”手机将于四月份面世,它得名于即将播出的电视连续剧《手机调查者7号》中的一个角色。这款手机应用了大量的人工智能,能够了解用户的习惯。据软银移动公司发言人本木诚章介绍,如果用户多次呼叫某一特定对象,“机器人”的嘴里(显示在屏幕上)可能就会冒出“最近你是不是老给她打电话?”此类的话语。用户可以用“是”、“否”或其他一些简单的回答与手机交流。他说:“用户与手机交流的一些细节问题还未确定,但这款手机的与众不同之处在于,它可以成为你的伙伴,这在世界上是独一无二的。”PhoneBraver手机自己不能移动,但由于它的关节可以活动,所以能够摆出各种不同的姿势。目前,这款手机的价格还未公布。日本一直以对机器人情有独钟而闻名。日本的出生率持续下降,机器人已被应用于保安、接待及其他一些岗位。日本手机行业的竞争也很激烈,国内三大运营商为了吸引用户一直在努力寻求新的策略。日本共有1.27亿人口。据业内统计数据显示,截至去年12月底,日本的手机用户数量已超过1亿。 /200803/30366Data theft may be an increasingly common occurrence on the internet. 互联网上的数据窃取事件越来越常见。But even in these desensitised times, few breaches can match the one revealed by Yahoo on Thursday, when it announced the theft of personal information belonging to 500m users dating from 2014.但即便是在人们对此类事件日益麻木的时代,也几乎没有哪起事件能比得上雅虎(Yahoo!)上周四披露的个人数据失窃事件。该公司上周四宣布,5亿用户自2014年以来的个人数据被窃。The sheer scale of the infraction begs a host of questions about the company’s management and whether it took enough care of its customers’ personal data. 这么大规模的数据失窃引发一系列疑问,人们质疑该公司管理是否完善、其对客户个人数据的保管是否足够小心。It also raises questions about public disclosure and issues over the future, or at least the price, of Yahoo’s .8bn sale to Verizon.它还引发人们对另外两件事的疑问,一个是公开披露,另一个是雅虎以48亿美元将核心业务出售给Verizon的那笔交易的相关事宜——这笔交易未来命运如何、或者至少是还能否维持现在的价格。In recent years, there has been a rising number of cyber breaches affecting companies and millions of users. 近年来,影响企业和数百万用户的网络入侵事件数量日益增多。What is both striking and unnerving about the Yahoo case is that it went apparently undetected for two years. 雅虎事件令人感到震惊和不安的是,它似乎在两年的时间里都未被察觉。The company’s claim that no high-value information such as credit card data were extracted is a cold comfort, and one that does nothing to excuse Yahoo for its failure to notice the cyber incursion. 该公司宣称,没有信用卡数据等高价值信息泄露。Nor is it enough for the company to claim that the fact its attackers were state sponsored absolves them from spotting the tracks.这不能提供多少慰藉,并且这种说法免除不了雅虎未能察觉网络入侵的责任。该公司宣称黑客得到政府的资助,这也不足以免除它未能发现入侵行为的责任。The idea that the hackers were somehow invisible is anyway belied by Yahoo’s own account of how the breach was uncovered. 有人认为,黑客因这样或那样的原因是无法被察觉的。雅虎自己对这一入侵是如何被发现的所作的描述让这一说法不攻自破。It instigated deeper security checks after a quantity of data popped up for sale for ,800 on the so-called dark web and was reported by the technology publication, Vice Motherboard. 在所谓暗网上突然冒出大量以1800美元的价格出售的数据并被科技杂志《Vice Motherboard》报道之后,雅虎展开了更深层次的安全检查。These procedures appear to have revealed the looting that the company now admits took place.雅虎现在承认发生了的数据盗窃活动,似乎就是这些检查揭露出来的。This sequence of events raises serious questions about Yahoo’s management and whether it took the security of its customer data sufficiently seriously. 这一系列事件令人严重质疑雅虎的管理以及该公司是否足够严肃地对待客户数据安全。Before 2014, security experts claim the company was still using outdated and vulnerable encryption systems. 在2014年以前,安全专家宣称,雅虎仍在使用过时而且易遭受攻击的加密系统。For a company which then had 1bn users on its network, this suggests an uncomfortably lax security culture. 对一家当时有10亿用户的公司来说,这暗示该公司的安全风气松懈得令人不安。Given the scale and wealth of the Yahoo organisation, lack of resources cannot be seen in any way as an excuse.鉴于雅虎组织庞大的规模和财富,它无论如何都不能把缺乏人力或物力作为借口。No less concerning is the company’s behaviour in the wake of the discovery of the breach. 同样令人担心的是该公司在发现黑客入侵之后的行为。Marissa Mayer, its chief executive, was made aware in July that a breach was being investigated but it is unclear precisely when Yahoo became aware of the scale of the problem. 雅虎首席执行官玛丽萨#8226;迈耶(Marissa Mayer)在今年7月被告知,雅虎正在调查一起黑客入侵事件,但目前并不清楚,雅虎是何时知晓问题的严重程度的。In early September, however, the company declared in a securities filing that it had no knowledge of any incidents of security breaches, unauthorised access or unauthorised use of its systems. 然而,今年9月初,该公司在一份券备案文件中宣布,它不知道存在任何(这样的)事件,即其系统的安全屏障被攻破、(系统)被未授权访问或使用。Its merger partner Verizon will no doubt be interested to learn more about what exactly the company knew when it delivered those words.正与雅虎商谈合并事宜的合作伙伴Verizon肯定有兴趣进一步了解,雅虎在发表上述言论时到底了解多少信息。This week’s disclosures do little for Yahoo’s aly diminished reputation. 上周披露的事件对雅虎已经下滑的声誉毫无帮助。Its future must now be in jeopardy, as could the Verizon deal.雅虎的前景现在肯定面临危险,与Verizon的交易可能也是如此。But the repercussions may well go beyond Yahoo. 然而,该事件的影响范围很可能远远超越雅虎。With many users having the same passwords on multiple platforms, consumers are justifiably worried that the data breach might lead to their accounts at other sites being compromised. 很多用户在多个平台的密码相同,消费者有理由担心,此次数据泄露可能导致他们在其他网站的帐户受到连累。If a company whose business is at the very heart of the world wide web has insufficient security, what other sites and services may be similarly vulnerable.如果一家其业务处于万维网最核心位置的公司都不能提供足够的安全保障,那么其他网站和务可能也容易受到攻击。Regulators need to stress both the importance of vigilance and of the speed with which companies disclose breaches so that systemic weaknesses can be avoided. 监管机构需要强调企业保持警惕以及及时披露数据泄露事件的重要性,这样才能避免系统性薄弱。Officials in the UK and Ireland, where Yahoo has its European headquarters, have aly asked the US technology group to supply more details about the cyber attack. 英国和爱尔兰的官员已要求这家美国科技集团提供此次黑客攻击的更多细节。雅虎的欧洲总部设在爱尔兰。Yahoo is the victim of a serious crime. 雅虎是一桩严重罪行的受害者。But the lessons will go far beyond the company.但这一事件带来的教训要远远超越该公司。 /201609/468740How much did LinkedIn make over the past three years? Sounds a simple enough question doesn’t it? But it is also one that is capable of being answered in multiple and very diverse ways.过去三年领英(LinkedIn)赚了多少钱?这问题听起来够简单,不是么?然而,这也是个能以多种极其不同的方式回答的问题。First, let’s look at the figure the US online networking site wants you to focus on. That’s a mouthful called adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda), and the total there between 2013 and 2015 came in at a positive .7bn.首先,让我们看看这家美国在线人脉网站希望你关注的数据。那是一个极其绕口的词:息税折旧及摊销前利润(Ebitda),2013年至2015年期间该数据的总额为17亿美元。Sounds pretty hunky dory? Well, now check out the operating profit line for the business — the one calculated according to the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that companies must present but often don’t emphasise. Over the same period, LinkedIn racked up a m loss.听起来相当不错?那么,再看看该企业的营运利润这一栏。这一数字是根据美国公认会计原则(GAAP)计算得出的,企业必须提供这一数字,但往往不会强调它。在同一时期内,领英累计录得6700万美元亏损。What explains the yawning .8bn difference between those two figures? It isn’t simply the depreciation and amortisation charges the company took against the value of its assets. Those, while pretty hefty, came to just 1m. No, the biggest single reason for the negative swing was the bn cost of the stock LinkedIn stuffed into its employees’ pay packets over those three years.两个数字间18亿美元的巨大差异该如何解释?其原因不能简单地认为是该公司对其资产价值的折旧和摊销所导致的。这两项虽然也很高,但总共才7.91亿美元。该数据负面波动的最大原因,是那三年里领英塞到其员工工资袋里的股票所导致的10亿美元成本。LinkedIn is just one of a number of US tech companies that airbrush out such payments when presenting results to investors. It is part of a broader trend that has seen companies strain to put the best possible spin on their numbers, excluding inconvenient non-cash or supposedly non recurring items they claim obscure rather than elucidate the underlying performance of the business.领英只是向投资者陈述财报时掩饰这类成本的众多美国高科技企业之一。此举是更大范围趋势的一部分:企业以尽可能积极的方式呈现业绩,剔除不方便的非现金项目或非经常性项目,声称这类项目模糊而不是说明根本的业务表现。Mark Mahaney, an analyst at R Capital Markets, recently outed some of the large-cap tech groups that are the biggest payers of stock to their employees. Number one on the list was Twitter. Over the past two years the messaging platform has on average issued shares to employees with a value equivalent to 124 per cent of operating income.最近,加拿大皇家资本市场(R Capital Markets)分析师马克#8226;马哈尼(Mark Mahaney)揭露了向员工付股票规模最大的一些高市值高科技集团。名单上排在第一位的是Twitter。过去两年,这个即时消息平台向员工发行的股票价值平均相当于营业利润的1.24倍。Not that you would know this when looking at the company’s earnings releases. In its recently announced first-quarter figures, Twitter reported pro forma earnings of 15 cents a share. It is only when you dig out the GAAP number the company also supplies, but does not emphasise, that the uglier reality becomes apparent: it actually lost 12 cents a share.查看该公司发布的财报时,你是找不到这个事实的。在最近发布的第一季度财报数据中,Twitter报出备考盈利每股15美分。只有当你挖掘出该公司同时提供、却不强调的GAAP数据后,更丑陋的现实才会浮出水面:该公司实际上每股亏损12美分。It may seem odd that companies are still engaging in this less-than-innocent deception. After all, it is hard to find a convincing argument for excluding stock compensation from earnings.企业仍在搞这种不够厚道的欺骗手段,似乎有点不可思议。毕竟,对于把股票报酬排除在盈利数据以外的做法,很难找到有说力的理由。While no cash may change hands when a company issues equity to its employees, the firm denies itself the chance to sell those shares or options for value in the market. Failing to recognise that forgone cash effectively understates the cost the company has incurred in employing those individuals. That’s not only imprudent, it makes it harder to compare that business with other firms that take a more sensible approach.尽管当企业向员工发行股份时不会有现金上的交易,但企业这么做就失去了自己在市场上出售这些股份或期权以兑现价值的可能性。未能承认这些被放弃的现金,实际上低估了企业雇用这些人的成本。这么做不仅仅是不够谨慎,还令人更难将该公司与其他采取更明智做法的公司进行比较。Tech companies are not the only offenders, of course, and stock compensation isn’t the only cost that magically vanishes when companies present non-GAAP figures. Indeed, the practice is mushrooming. According to the Analyst’s Accounting Observer, 90 per cent of the constituents in the Standard amp; Poor’s 500 index produced non-GAAP figures last year, up from 72 per cent in 2009.当然,高科技企业并不是唯一这么做的企业,股票报酬也不是企业提供非GAAP数据时唯一魔术般消失的成本。的确,这类做法如雨后春笋般层出不穷。据《分析师会计观察》(Analyst#39;s Accounting Observer)介绍,标普500(Samp;P 500)指数90%的成分股公司去年报出的数据不符合美国公认会计准则,高于2009年的72%。All sorts of costs are being vaporised as companies present their results with increasing creativity. They range from such items as preferred dividends and even severance payments to the legal and restructuring costs that Valeant, an acquisitive pharmaceutical company, notoriously deducted from its expense lines.随着企业以越来越高的“创造性”展示其业绩,各种各样的成本蒸发了。这些成本从优先股息和遣散费,到法律和重组成本——收购意识较强的制药公司Valeant就以从开中移除法律和重组成本而留下坏名声。Inevitably, non-GAAP figures are diverging ever further from accounting reality. In a study of 380 Samp;P 500 companies, the Analyst’s Accounting Observer calculated that their “adjusted” net income rose 6.6 per cent to 4bn last year. It sounds great until you discover that under GAAP precisely the opposite was happening. Net income at those same companies actually declined almost 11 per cent to 2bn — a full 30 per cent less.不可避免的是,非GAAP数据与会计现实渐行渐远。在对380家标普500成分股企业的研究中,《分析师会计观察》计算得出,去年它们“调整后”的净利润增长了6.6%,达到8040亿美元。这个数字听起来相当好,然而按照GAAP原则计算一下,你会发现情况恰恰相反。同一批企业的净利润其实下滑了近11%,至5620亿美元——足足少了30%。Obsessed by top-line growth, shareholders seem happy to acquiesce in these practices. In the meantime, most analysts have loyally focused on adjusted numbers, perhaps feeling under pressure from company bosses to play along.纠结于顶线增长的股东,似乎乐于默许这类行为。与此同时,多数分析师忠实地关注调整后的数字,也许是因为他们受到了来自企业老板的压力,要求他们配合。But these acts of self-deception carry real risks for investors. For instance, excluding the cost of stock grants can lead to inflated executive pay levels. There is also the problem of what happens when the share price falters. Then, to avoid losing its valuable employees, the company may have the unpalatable choice of either diluting investors further — or switching suddenly to cash compensation that it may struggle to afford.然而,这种自我欺骗的行为给投资者带来真切的风险。比如,将授予股份的成本排除在外,可能会导致虚高的高管薪资水平。此外,股价下跌时也会出现问题。到那时候,为避免有价值的员工流失,企业也许会面临一个不愉快的选择:要么进一步稀释投资者,要么突然转而采取它也许难以承担的现金薪酬。While keeping it real may make for a less inspiring income statement, it does at least proof figures against this sort of unpleasant eventuality. For now investors may be content to play along with companies’ accounting fantasies. Sooner or later, however, it is an indulgence they will come to regret.尽管老实的会计方法也许带来不那么鼓舞人心的报表,但它至少能让数字如实反映情况,免遭上述不愉快结局。眼下投资者也许会满足于附和企业的会计幻想。然而,他们迟早会为这种纵容后悔。 /201605/443203An extra hour between the sheets at night might be the key to shedding excess weight and fighting obesity, according to recent research. "More sleep could be the ideal way of stabilising weight or slimming," said neuro-scientist Karine Spiegel, of France's INSERM, a public organisation dedicated to biological, medical and public health research.While poor eating habits and lack of exercise clearly play a role in the global rise of obesity, recent data indicates that lack of sleep may also be a factor, and one that is often under-estimated.Around 30 surveys carried out on wide population samples in seven countries have underlined a link between lack of sleep and excess weight or obesity in both children and adults, Spiegel said.The first of the studies, carried out in 1992 in France, highlighted the problem in children and teenagers. Spiegel said the increase in obesity in the US in the second half of the 20th century corresponded with a mounting decrease in sleep.Two key hormones produced at night which help regulate appetite were at play, she said.Grehlin makes people hungry, slows metabolism and decreases the body's ability to burn body fat, and leptin, a protein hormone produced by fatty tissue, regulates fat storage."We have shown that less sleep (two four-hour nights) caused an 18 percent loss of appetite-cutting leptin and a 28 percent increase of appetite-causing grehlin," she said.Such hormonal changes made people hungry for foods heavy in fats and sugars such as chips, biscuits, cakes and peanuts, she added.The sleep loss caused a 23 to 24 percent increase in hunger, Spiegel said, translating into an extra 350 to 500 kilocalories a day, "which for a young sedentary adult of normal weight could lead to a major amount of added weight."It was unclear whether several years of sleep deprivation could lastingly harm the body's ability to restore a balance between the two hormones.A study released in Washington in February showed children lacking shut-eye faced a greater risk of becoming obese than kids who got a good night's sleep.Each extra hour of sleep cuts a child's risk of becoming overweight or obese by nine percent, according to an analysis of epidemiological studies by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.By contrast, children who got the least sleep had a 92 percent higher chance of being overweight or obese than children who slept enough, said the study published in the journal Obesity."Our analysis of the data shows a clear association between sleep duration and the risk for overweight or obesity in children. The risk declined with more sleep," said Youfa Wang, a senior author of the study."Desirable sleep behavior may be an important low cost means for preventing childhood obesity and should be considered in future intervention studies," Wang said in a news release.The researchers reviewed 17 published studies on sleep duration and childhood obesity.Some research recommends that children under five years old sleep 11 hours or more a day, while children age five to 10 should get 10 or more hours of sleep, and children older than 10 should sleep at least nine hours.(Agencies)Vocabulary:metabolism:新陈代谢 /200804/34778

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