The Switchboard: IBM says it’s made a chip that can mimic the human brain

IBM announced that it's created a chip that it says can simulate functions of the human brain.  REUTERS/Nir Elias/Files

Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of hand-picked stories from the Switch team.

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IBM unveils chip simulating brain functions. IBM is "claiming a major advance in emulating the brain in silicon," reports the Wall Street Journal's Don Clark. "The technology company has developed a microchip that simulates functions of neurons, synapses and other features of the brain to perform calculations." The project has "received $53 million in funding since 2008 from the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency," Clark said.

Yahoo to roll out end-to-end encryption option for all Yahoo Mail users in 2015. "Yahoo will be rolling out end-to-end encryption capabilities for all Yahoo Mail users in 2015, the company's chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, announced during a talk at the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas Thursday," reported The Washington Post's Andrea Peterson."Electronic Frontier Foundation technologist Yan Zhu, who worked on the HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger browser add-ons and served as a core developer for the anonymous digital leaking tool SecureDrop, was announced as the first hire for the project."

U.S. Patent Office rejects Apple autocomplete patent used against Samsung. "The Apple v. Samsung patent-battle may have ended overseas, but it's still going strong in the US," reported CNET's Shara Tibken. "The US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected several claims of one of the patents Apple wielded against Samsung in the most recent patent-infringement trial, saying in a preliminary ruling that certain aspects aren't valid. The patent, No. 8,074,172, covers 'autocomplete' features that automatically generate word suggestions based on what the user is typing." The decision is not final; Apple may present more information to support its patent, the report said.

Hey, Uber! Republicans have your back. "Like Uber? So does the Republican National Committee! So much so that it has posted a a petition in support of the app-based ridesharing service on its Web site," reports The Washington Post's Sean Sullivan. The petition collects signers' names, e-mail addresses and zip codes, which Sullivan said could help the RNC collect the information of urban twenty-somethings -- Uber's core users -- who "aren't exactly the GOP's sweet spot right now."

Netflix passes HBO in subscriber revenue. Netflix chief executive officer Reed Hastings wrote in a Facebook post that "last quarter we passed HBO in subscriber revenue ($1.146B vs $1.141B)." Hastings said the channel still handily beats Netflix in "profits and Emmys" but that Netflix is making progress. He also added that he was a fan of the HBO show "Silicon Valley" and that it "hit a little close to home."

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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Hayley Tsukayama · August 7, 2014

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