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Engineering News

Announcing 360 Capture SDK | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code

Virtual reality is an immersive technology that lets you experience anything, anywhere. However, it’s been difficult to share these experiences with people who aren’t physically with you—until now. We’ve created an easy way for you to capture and share your PC VR experiences through 360 photos and videos. We solved the problem by rethinking the way 360 content is created. Typically, the process starts by capturing various photos, stitching them together, and then finally encoding them. Previously, we needed to…

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…

A Modest Proposal to Save California $200 Million

In order to forestall a lot of hate mail, the following blog is written in the tradition of eighteenth-century satirist Jonathan Swift’s essay, “A Modest Proposal.”  It is not meant to be taken seriously.  With that out of the way, I have a modest proposal to save the good citizens of California over $200 million.  That is the estimated cost of a suicide-deterrent net project that is going to be installed on the Golden Gate Bridge, according to a recent…

We are Not Us Without The Microbes Within Us » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog

We are Not Us Without The Microbes Within Us Posted on April 16, 2017  Comments (1) I Contain Multitudes is a wonderful book by Ed Young on the microbes within us. Time and again, bacteria and other microbes have allowed animals to transcend their basic animalness and wheedle their way into ecological nooks and crannies that would be otherwise inaccessible; to settle into lifestyles that would be otherwise intolerable; to eat what they could not otherwise stomach; to succeed against…

Introducing Texture, a new home for AsyncDisplayKit

Garrett Moon | Pinterest tech lead, iOS Open Source Frameworks Over the last two years Pinterest has been the primary developer of AsyncDisplayKit, an iOS framework for smooth and responsive interfaces. AsyncDisplayKit was created at Facebook, and our iOS team has significantly invested in the project, leading developments of new features and improvements made for the 2.0 launch, and contributing more than 70 percent of the commits to the AsyncDisplayKit repository. Pinterest is committed to investing in the future of…

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…

What Really Happened With Internet Privacy?

Anyone paying attention to U. S. headlines recently heard something about internet privacy.  But what you heard probably depends on where you heard it.  President Trump signed a bill on Monday, Apr. 3 that used a thing called the Congressional Review Act to reverse a pending FCC rule.  So whatever it was, the rule that was revoked hadn’t even gone into effect yet. If it hadn’t been shot down, the FCC’s proposed rule would have required internet service providers (ISPs)…

Solar Storm Could Do $2 Trillion in Damage » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog

Solar Storm Could Do $2 Trillion in Damage Posted on April 9, 2017  Comments (0) I read an interesting article from NASA recently, Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012 According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair. … By extrapolating the frequency of ordinary storms…

Deploying Brotli for static content

Most representations of data contain a lot of redundancy, which provides an opportunity for greater communication efficiency by compressing the content. Compression is either built-in into the data format — like in the case of images, fonts, and videos — or provided by the transportation medium, e.g. the HTTP protocol has the Accept-Encoding / Content-Encoding header pair that allows clients and servers to agree on a preferred compression method. In practice though, most servers today only support gzip. In this…