Friday News: Teslas says no to patents, how Netflix uses data, RIP Ruby Dee, and July Jane Austen Festival
All Our Patent Are Belong To You – So Tesla has removed the “wall of patents” in its headquarters in the spirit of open source, and will not longer legally pursue anyone who uses its technology. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, believes that a “common, rapidly-evolving technology platform” will do more for the electric car business than isolating technology via patent protection. If only companies like Adobe were this enlightened.
At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales. –Tesla Motors Blog
Netflix uses data for a lot more than just recommendations – So along with their well-known use of algorithms to recommended programs to viewers, Netflix also uses data for actual quality-related purposes, especially when it comes to playback issues. This is especially interesting, because Netflix has to mine tons of user comments to find relevant ones, using “deep learning” to do so.
However, the most interesting use of data Govind discussed might be how Netflix is using natural-language processing and text analysis to improve the actual quality of the movies and shows it streams. Audio and video quality may be paramount, but the accuracy of closed captions and subtitles is becoming a bigger problem as Netflix expands globally. Some of these issues are identified via Netflix’s own quality checks, but others are peppered throughout scores of member comments and feedback. –Gigaom
Ruby Dee, Acclaimed Actress and Activist, Dies at 91 – Although Ruby Dee may be most well-known for her marriage to Ozzie Davis, inclusive of the many collaborations they undertook over the years, she was a multi-talented actress and writer, as well as a civil rights activist who participated in the March on Washington and eulogized both Malcom X and his wife.
Dee graduated from Hunter College with a degree in romance languages. And although she was more famous for her acting, Dee wrote two children’s books, Two Ways to Count to Ten and Tower to Heaven, winning a Literary Guild Award in 1989.
Ms. Dee also performed on TV and film frequently, making her big-screen debut with a prominent role in the all-black musical “That Man of Mine” in 1946. She came to prominence with her role in 1950’s “The Jackie Robinson Story,” with the first African-American in Major League Baseball playing himself and Ms. Dee playing his wife. During the 1960s she had recurring roles on “Peyton Place” and the daytime soap “Guiding Light” while guesting on other programs. She starred as Mary Tyrone in an Ace Award-winning television production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night. She received her first Academy Award nomination in 2008, for her performance in “American Gangster.” –Playbill
7th Annual Jane Austen Festival – Calling all Jane Austen lovers. This year’s festival in Louisville, Kentucky, will take place from July 18th to 20th, and this year’s festivities include Jo Baker, author of Longbourn. –Jane Austen Society of Louisville