Cognitive Toolkit Model Evaluation in UWP

We are excited the share with you that Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) 2.1 has added support for model evaluation on UWP applications. This means you can harness the power of deep learning in your Windows apps delivered via the Windows Store! Read on to find out how can infuse your apps with the power of AI.
The Virtuous Intelligence Cycle
Cloud-connected devices can perform operations locally or delegate them to the cloud. The virtually unlimited compute power of the cloud makes it a good choice for running tasks that need significant compute power but don’t require low latency. In machine learning, model training is an example of such a task. It might require hours or days to train a model, but once the model is trained, deploying it closer to where the data is generated has some very useful properties. First, it reduces the roundtrip latency inherently unavoidable in cloud communication. This is critical for time-sensitive deep learning scenarios like self-driving cars and industrial equipment failure detection. Second, it can unlock insights from data that were previously discarded due to network transmission costs. And finally, it allows machine learning solutions in scenarios with intermittent network connectivity like search & rescue, agriculture and others.
We refer to devices with non-trivial compute power that are in closer proximity to the data source as “intelligent edge” devices. Intelligent edge devices can vary broadly depending on scenario as shown in the figure below.

In the virtuous intelligence cycle, deep learning models trained in the cloud are deployed and evaluated at the edge. Additionally, the edge feeds valuable data back to the cloud where the models are improved and redeployed to the edge, hence completing the virtuous cycle.
The improvements described in this post allow UWP applications to be part of the intelligent edge where deep learning models can be evaluated.
Image Classification Example
Let’s look at an example where an image classification machine learning model is built into an UWP application. The app allows you to pick a CNTK compatible model to perform image classification on an image. Several pre-trained models to use for this purpose are available at this link.
The code for the entire solution is available in the CNTK Github repo.
Currently, only C++ CNTK UWP bindings are supported. However, the sample demonstrates how a C# based UWP solution can perform model evaluation by referencing a WinRT library that wraps the UWP-compatible CNTK native components available on NuGet.

packages.config specifies the NuGet packages the library uses, and points to the UWP-compatible package:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<packages>
<package id="CNTK.UWP.CPUOnly" version="2.1.0" targetFramework="native" />
</packages>
 

This NuGet package provides UWP-compatible CNTK components, including the OpenBLAS math library, for CPU-based model evaluation. ImageRecognizerLib exposes Create and RecognizeObjectAsync methods used to load the pre-trained CNTK model and classify the specified image input as an array of bytes.
The rest of the solution is a few simple XAML UI elements to accept input from the user. Here is a quick animation of the app in action:

Now it’s your turn!
We’ve demonstrated how you can use the newly added UWP support in CNTK to bring the next level of intelligence to your Windows applications. We can’t wait to see the awesome apps you will build with this exciting new technology!

Wanted – Basic Gaming Laptop

Hi Guys N’ Girls. I have a Chromebook which does almost everything that I need outside of my tablet, the one thing I’m missing is some of my older Steam games, so I’m finding myself looking round for a cheap CHEAP laptop that will play some older games. I’m talking Civilisation type games and Bioshock rather than anything cutting edge, so I do NOT need a super computer, just something basic. My only other real hopes are that it has a reasonable, or one that can be replaced battery and also 5.8g wifi.

So, budget wise, I’d like to stick to approx £250, though I’ll put my Chromebook up for sale, so if anyone fancies a swap, let me know (with obvious money your way)……

Anyone help a Guy out??

Cheers,

Rich

Location: Stockton-on-Tees

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For Sale – 13″ Macbook Pro Retina (Early 2015) i5 8GB 128GB – 2yr Applecare

Full tech specs here: MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) – Technical Specifications

CPU: 2.7Ghz i5
Memory: 8GB
Storage: 128GB SSD
Battery Cycle Count: 87 (Condition Normal)

Purchased as a student on 04.08.2016 with 3 years of Apple Care (just over 2 remaining).

Selling due to my work now providing me with a laptop.

Has remained unused for the last 6 months.

Near mint condition, only mark I could find was a small scuff on the underside near the bottom right foot (as pictured).

Don’t currently have the original box (left it with family as I moved recently), can get it if necessary.

Happy to answer any questions, can be flexible with delivery/collection and payment method.

Thanks :)
Details.png

bottom.jpg

charger.jpg

screen-off.jpg

screen-on.jpg

top.jpg

Price and currency: £800
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Paypal/BT/Cash
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Yes
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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For Sale – GTX 660 Direct CI II OC x 2

Asus 2gb GTX 660s Direct CU (Can’t update the title) II OC x Two. Consistent usage over a number of years, no major overclocking. Comes with free dust. Upgraded to 1080 as reason for selling.
Will not split. Will split if I find two buyers, priority goes to person buying both.
No accessories included (but I don’t think it came with any)
Sending via myHermes included in the cost and both cards will be packed into one box
No warranty remaining that I’m aware of.

Picture coming shortly.

Price and currency: 70 together, 40 each.
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Abergele, Wales
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Pair small Netgear AV500 gigabit Powerline (no lights on one)

These are nice and small.
The lights don’t work on one of them. This actually is quite nice if you have a room that you don’t want flashing lights in.
No boxes or manuals but you basically just plug them both in.

Price and currency: £20
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: ppg preferred
Location: stevenage
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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For Sale – Lenovo E73 Desktop Intel i5-4440s, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Win 8.1 Pro

Hi there,

Up for grabs my sons Lenovo E73 Desktop which he no longer uses, everything is in good working order. Comes from smoke and pet free house. Link to the full spec is here including drivers. I have wiped it and it’s good to go and find a new home.

Lenovo ThinkPad E73 SFF Desktop
Intel Core i5-4460S 4th Gen Processor
8GB RAM
500GB Hard Disk
Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600
RW DVD Rom Drive
Card Reader
VGA & Display Ports
6 x USB Ports (2x USB 3.0)
Parallel & Serial Ports
Front & Rear Audio Jacks
Windows 8.1 Pro (Pre-Installed and activated)

Any questions please ask.

Price and currency: 100
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG or BT
Location: Reading
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – Laptop, budget~£350

Discussion in ‘Laptop, Notebook & Macbook Classifieds’ started by DanTheUnit, Aug 29, 2017 at 8:43 PM.

  1. DanTheUnit

    Active Member


    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    113
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
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    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +11

    Hi I’m looking for a new laptop as my previous has just bit the dust.
    Originally I was going to buy an Dell Inspiron from the outlet but a decided to give the forums a roll first.
    Saw this thread recently and thought maybe someone else had something similar they’d be willing to let go:
    For Sale – HP ENVY 13-d061sa – i5 Ultrabook £300!

    Would ideally like an an SSD
    Must have a HDMI Port
    8gb ram
    No Acer’s

    Location: Twickenham

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

  2. gibbo52

    Active Member


    Joined:
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    Leicestershire
    Ratings:
    +3

    I’ve got a dell latitude e6430, has an i7 cpu, 8gb ram, hdmi port but no ssd, with windows 10 pro.
    It’s a business laptop with a few dints on the lid but still in decent condition, probably not what you’re after but will sell for £150 so leaving plenty for a ssd upgrade if you wanted.

  3. DanTheUnit

    Active Member


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    Too business like for my tastes. I appreciate the offer and the free bump though .


  4. CraigF1969

    CraigF1969

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    Sorry for hijacking thread but i might be interested in this.

  5. gibbo52

    Active Member


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    Ok I’ve started a for sale thread.

  6. DanTheUnit

    Active Member


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    Bump.

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Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16353 for PC (Skip Ahead)

Hello Windows Insiders!
Today we are releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16353 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring who have opted in to Skip Ahead only. As we mentioned in last week, Insiders who joined Skip Ahead will continue to receive builds from the RS_PRERELEASE branch which has transitioned to RS4 which is the release that will come after the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (RS3). Insiders will notice that the build numbers have jumped ahead to 1635x. Previously, we jumped ahead with build numbers at the beginning of development for RS3. Because we are just beginning development for RS4, Insiders shouldn’t expect to see a lot of big changes or new features just yet. Our focus remains getting the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update ready for release!
More on Skip Ahead
We have had some Insiders ask us some questions about Skip Ahead and to clarify what it is. Back in July, we announced Windows Insiders in the Fast ring could opt-in and “skip ahead” to builds that would be part of the next feature update for Windows 10. There was a limit on how many Insiders in the Fast ring we would allow to skip ahead and that limit had been reached several weeks ago. Insiders can no longer opt-in their PCs to Skip Ahead.
Up until last week, we had been releasing identical builds to Insiders who didn’t opt in to Skip Ahead and to those who did. As of today, the builds are no longer the same as mentioned above.
The following graphic breaks down the essentials of Skip Ahead:

To summarize:
If you DIDN’T opt in to Skip Ahead, you’re receiving the latest builds of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (RS3). You will eventually start receiving builds for the next feature update of Windows 10 (RS4) once we release the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
If you DID opt in to Skip Ahead, you’re receiving early builds for the next feature update of Windows 10 (RS4).
We recognize this might seem a bit confusing to some Insiders but with Skip Ahead, we are able to test our ability to release builds from two different branches at the same time. Once the Windows 10 Fall Creators, Skip Ahead goes away and everyone in the Fast ring will be on RS4 builds.
General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC
When the Action Center is black (the default option) the “clear all”, “expand”/”collapse”, and “see more” link text will now all use your accent color – making them pop more and improving discoverability.
We’ve updated the Action Center to now support a two finger touch gesture to dismiss all notifications. Place two fingers vertically within the Action Center near the edge opposite to the side of your screen. Then slide these fingers towards the side of the screen. You will notice all notification groups following your fingers and then dismissing as you slide your fingers off the side of the screen.
We fixed an issue in XAML resulting in text animations appearing slightly blurry in the last flight until the animation had stopped (for example, when loading the main page of Settings).
We fixed an issue resulting in the taskbar being unexpectedly thick if you booted up the PC while plugged in to an external monitor with a different DPI.
We fixed an issue that caused minimized per-monitor DPI aware windows to miss DPI changes and end up with a mix of DPI scaling upon restoring.
We fixed an issue from recent flights where when Slideshow was enabled resuming from sleep a second time might place the Lock screen in a state where it couldn’t be dismissed without pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del.
We fixed an issue resulting in an unexpected change in mouse sensitivity in the last flight for PCs using non-default display scaling.
We fixed an issue resulting in Asphalt 8 not accepting input in recent flights.
We fixed an issue resulting in progress wheels on certain websites in Microsoft Edge unexpectedly moving out of place during their rotation.
We fixed an issue where the Windows Hello strings would appear on top of the page when performing a pin reset from the login screen.
No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,
Dona

This Week on Windows: IFA 2017, Wonder Woman and more

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of This Week on Windows! In case you missed it, catch up on the news coming out of IFA this week, check out our Windows 10 Tip on five ways to personalize notifications on your PC – or, keep reading for what’s new in the Windows Store.
In case you missed it:

Here’s what’s new in the Windows Store this week:
Race to the finish line in the Forza Motorsport 7 Garage

In the final week of the “Forza Motorsport 7” Garage, you can check out cars that span more than 50 years of racing history, all of which you’ll be able to explore, customize and drive in “Forza Motorsport 7.” From the early days of racing history to modern high-tech marvels, this lineup is drawn from nearly every major racing series in the world.
The game includes classic racers like the 1966 Ford #2 GT40 Mk II Le Mans and the 1991 Mazda #18 Mazdaspeed 787B, among many others legendary race cars. Fans will also experience the latest technology and designs from Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, Aussie V8 Supercars and Formula E.
Head over to Xbox Wire to check out the cars unveiled during the last week of “Forza Motorsport 7” Garage and an infographic that encapsulates the diversity and breadth of the game’s more than 700 car lineup, and, as always, stay tuned to ForzaMotorsport.net for the full list of announced cars that you will find in Forza Motorsport 7 when it becomes available on Sept. 29 for Ultimate Edition, and Oct. 3 for Standard and Deluxe Editions.
ReCore Definitive Edition

ReCore Definitive Edition ($19.99) launched this week, adding enhanced visuals (increased resolution and HDR support), a brand-new adventure, “Eye of Obsidian”, new weapon modes for Joule, new gear for all Corebots, more enemy types, the long-awaited T8-NK Corebot (“Tank”) and many other gameplay and performance enhancements. New players get the entire package as either part of Xbox Game Pass or for $19.99 from the Microsoft Store or your favorite retailer, while owners of the existing ReCore game will receive the “Eye of Obsidian” adventure, the T8-NK Corebot, and all the other enhancements, for free, as an online update.  Read more about today’s news over at Xbox Wire!
Wonder Woman
 
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, Amazon princess. Raised in a secluded paradise as a fierce warrior, Diana receives news of a terrible war in the outside world and leaves her home behind to join the fight. Wonder Woman ($29.99 UHD, $19.99 HD, $14.99 SD) is available in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store three weeks before Blu-ray – watch Patty Jenkins’ highly acclaimed blockbuster today!
Labor Day Sale

Summer may be ending, but these deals are heating up with the Labor Day Sale! Save up to 65% on hit new releases, movie bundles, and TV season passes. Don’t miss amazing deals on titles like Kong: Skull Island, Logan, and Fear the Walking Dead. Shop the Labor Day Sale now through Sept. 4 in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store.
Groove Music Labor Day Deal
 
Get the Groove Music Labor Day Deal through Sept. 4! Buy 1 month for $9.99, get 2 FREE 3-month promo codes. Give a code a to a friend or keep for yourself and start listening to your favorite end of summer hits.
Have a great weekend!

Best practices for using video ads in Windows apps

Interstitial videos are a highly engaging ad format that, if used right, have much higher monetization potential as compared to more traditional ad formats. Interstitial videos are typically 15-60 seconds long and take up the full screen space, getting the user engaged in the brand or app being advertised and result in much better conversions compared to standard ad formats.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for using interstitial videos in your app for maximum yield:
DO’s
Have a clear user experience defined in the app or game to the point where the video ad is shown – Since the video ad overlays the app screen completely, it must be used with caution and should never disrupt the user during game play or app usage. Typical examples of usage of interstitial ads are in between game levels or switching to a new tab in a content app.
Set the ad unit mediation configuration to ‘Automatic’ – This allows Microsoft to determine the best waterfall order of ad units for every incoming ad request, giving developers maximum revenue potential from their apps.
Maintain good viewability of the video ad – The Media Ratings Council defines video viewability as, “At least 50% of the pixels in the ad are on an in-focus browser tab on the viewable space of the browser page; the pixel requirement is met for at least two continuous seconds or more at any point in the ad.” Many advertisers only pay when the impression is viewable, for better yield and to avoid fraud. Make sure that when you display the video ad in your app, it plays fully and is not hidden under any other screen in the app.
DON’Ts
Pre-caching for long time periods – Video ad demand is transient by nature. An ad that is available at a given moment may not be available to play a few seconds later from the same ad provider. Given this, app developers should minimize the ad pre-fetch to less than 8 seconds before they are ready to display the ad in the app.
Fire multiple requests repeatedly – In case of a No Ad response, it is recommended that the developer should not fire multiple ad requests constantly. By firing multiple requests and not showing an ad when available, the ad unit becomes more likely to get marked as low quality, further decreasing the chances of getting an ad in the future. Make the next ad request only when it is aligned with the user flow in the app or game and you are ready to show an ad again.
We are working closely with our partner ad networks to bring the best demand to Windows apps and improve fill rates and monetization for our publishers. To know more about adding video ads in your apps, read the article here. Stay tuned for more announcements in this space!