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Category: Mechanical Engineering

Enhancing high-resolution 360 streaming with view prediction | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code

In January 2016, we first launched dynamic streaming, a 360 streaming technology that uses geometry-mapping techniques to stream the highest number of pixels to a person’s field of view. This shrinks the bit rate to a more manageable size that leads to better performance. It allows us to stream 360 video to mobile headset users at 6K — twice the pixels of the industry-standard 4K. Dynamic streaming delivers the highest-quality experience when it accurately predicts which scene a person will…

Creating a Modern OCR Pipeline Using Computer Vision and Deep Learning

In this post we will take you behind the scenes on how we built a state-of-the-art Optical Character Recognition (OCR) pipeline for our mobile document scanner. We used computer vision and deep learning advances such as bi-directional Long Short Term Memory (LSTMs), Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC), convolutional neural nets (CNNs), and more. In addition, we will also dive deep into what it took to actually make our OCR pipeline production-ready at Dropbox scale. In previous posts we have described how…

TypeScript at Slack – Several People Are Coding

When Brendan Eich created the very first version of JavaScript for Netscape Navigator 2.0 in merely ten days, it’s likely that he did not expect how far the Slack Desktop App would take his invention: We use one JavaScript code base to build a multi-threaded desktop application, routinely interacting with native code, targeting Windows, macOS, and Linux. Managing large JavaScript codebases is challenging — whenever we casually pass objects from Chrome’s JavaScript to Objective-C just to receive a callback on a different…

Engineering Ethics Blog: Atlanta Burns a Bridge

For several years—possibly since 2006, according to one report—construction crews working near an elevated section of Interstate 85 near Piedmont Road in northeast Atlanta had stored large quantities of bright-orange high-density-polyethylene (HDPE) pipe.  It’s used for a variety of things in public works, such as conduits for streetlight and traffic-signal cables, and comes in large reels two or three feet high each, that were stacked two high under a bridge span.  It’s not the kind of thing one could just…

Introducing Pixie, an advanced graph-based recommendation system

By: Pong Eksombatchai & Mark Ulrich | Pinterest engineers, Discovery At Pinterest, a primary engineering challenge is helping people discover and do things every day, which means serving the right idea to the right person at the right time. While most other recommender systems have a small pool of possible candidates, for instance 100,000 movies, Pinterest has to recommend from more than 100 billion ideas saved by 150 million people around the world in real-time. We set a performance goal…

Spotify’s Love/Hate Relationship with DNS

  Forward: This blog post accompanies our presentation given at SRECon 2017 in San Francisco. The recording of the talk can be viewed here, with the accompanying slides here.Spotify has a history of loving “boring” technologies. It’s not that often people talk about DNS; when they do, it’s usually to complain, or when a major outage happens. Otherwise, DNS is initially set up – probably with a 3rd party provider – and then mostly forgotten about. But it’s because DNS…

Accelerating Iteration Velocity on Dropbox’s Desktop Client, Part 1

Motivation Imagine you’re an engineer working on a new product feature that is going to have a high impact on the end user, like the Dropbox Badge. You want to get quick validation on the functionality and utility of the feature. Each individual change you make might be relatively simple, like a tweak to the CSS changing the size of a font, or more substantial, like enabling the Badge on a new file type. You could set up user studies,…

Introducing Similarity Search at Flickr

At Flickr, we understand that the value in our image corpus is only unlocked when our members can find photos and photographers that inspire them, so we strive to enable the discovery and appreciation of new photos. To further that effort, today we are introducing similarity search on Flickr. If you hover over a photo on a search result page, you will reveal a “…” button that exposes a menu that gives you the option to search for photos similar…

Engineering Ethics Blog: Telephone Museum, Anyone?

The spirit of modern science and technology is forward-looking, always reaching out for the next new discovery or invention and neglecting that which went before.  The creative destruction of the global technological economy means that every new technology is on a moving conveyor belt taking it to the dustbin of history, where its physical component parts are destroyed or recycled and knowledge of it largely vanishes.  But there is still value in understanding where we came from, what life was…

Open Sourcing TensorFlowOnSpark: Distributed Deep…

By Lee Yang, Jun Shi, Bobbie Chern, and Andy Feng (@afeng76), Yahoo Big ML team Introduction Today, we are pleased to offer TensorFlowOnSpark to the community, our latest open source framework for distributed deep learning on big-data clusters. Deep learning (DL) has evolved significantly in recent years. At Yahoo, we’ve found that in order to gain insight from massive amounts of data, we need to deploy distributed deep learning. Existing DL frameworks often require us to set up separate clusters…