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Will A.I. Help nVidia And AMD Dethrone Intel?

January 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

The move to AI could be the one catalyst which could help AMD and Nvidia carve up Intel’s mighty kingdom.

Last year saw Microsoft, Apple, Google develop more software for ARM based chips. During the year AMD and Nvidia saw their stock prices rise as shareholders started to think that they might succeed in taking Intel’s crown.

On of the reasons for this is AI which is fast becoming a bigger buzz world than Interent of Things – which is the basket Intel is putting its eggs into.

AMD and Nvidia are both making perfect AI processors in their graphics cards and now that AMD has released Polaris it is properly in a game dominated by Nvidia. AMD’s Radeon Instinct is specifically designed for the market.
Intel is doing ok in the market but it is not growing as fast as AMD or Nvidia.

According to the Verge, investors are buying up AMD stock because they know the processing challenges of the future are practically tailored for the massively parallel architecture of a GPU.

Nvidia and IBM have revealed their own agreement to provide “the world’s fastest” deep learning enterprise solution.

AMD and Nvidia should do well in the growing consumer interest in virtual reality although that might be a bubble waiting to burst. On paper at least, the most popular HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, both require tons of GPU power. However it is a moot point if these machines are the ones that will make AR work or if it will be something much cheaper and require less spec.

But if AR does take off then it will be yet another thing that Intel missed out on.

Courtesy-Fud

Will Apple’s Supposed Jump In AR Be A Game Changer?

January 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The super-cool and innovative tech power house Apple is rumored to have come up with some game-changing glasses which superimpose information and pictures onto reality.

Dubbed AR, no other technology company has come up with the idea before and it is believed to be the brain child of Tim Cook himself. Of course, it is all top secret because other companies will steal the idea before Apple gets it to market.

However, word on the street is that Apple is working with the German optics manufacturer Carl Zeiss on a pair of lightweight AR/mixed reality glasses.

The rumor comes from tech evangelist Robert Scoble who thinks the project could be announced as early as this year. Apparently it has been confirmed by a Zeiss employee, Scoble wrote in a Facebook post Monday.

Unlike virtual reality, which promises to immerse goggle-wearing users in new and exciting digital worlds, AR tends to overlay images and data atop the real world. This is the sort of idea which was shown with Pokemon Go.

To show how in advance Apple is over companies like Microsoft and Google Cook told ABC News that he saw bigger possibilities for AR than VR in September! That is long before anyone else came up with the idea and pours cold water on the idea that Apple has run out of ideas, can only update its ten-year-old smartphone technology and that it is always getting beaten to the punch issuing technology years after everyone else.

The company has filed several patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office that deal with augmented reality because, you know, no one else is doing AR.

Courtesy-Fud

Instagram Stories To Get Advertising

January 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Facebook Inc’s Instagram is adding more than 30 advertising partners to one of its fastest-growing features, Instagram Stories, in a bid to boost advertising revenue.

The social media company will become a more important player in maintaining Facebook’s growth in advertising revenue in 2017. During the last two earnings calls, Facebook executives said they may soon reach a limit on the amount of ads they can place before users, one of the factors that had driven ad revenue growth.

Instagram is expected to generate $3.64 billion in worldwide ad revenue this year, nearly double that of 2016, according to eMarketer. That would represent 12.3 percent of Facebook’s global ad business, up from 8.4 percent in 2016. In the United States, eMarketer said it expects Instagram to account for more than 20 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue.

eMarketer also found that 74 percent of U.S. companies plan to use Instagram this year, up from 53 percent in 2016. This level of use would allow Instagram to surpass Twitter.

Media buyers are optimistic about Instagram’s ability to maintain Facebook’s place, second only to Alphabet Inc’s Google, in the digital ad marketplace. “Instagram could end up being as strong a revenue component for Facebook as YouTube has been for Google,” said Noah Mallin, head of social for ad agency MEC Wavemaker.

In Instagram Stories, users and businesses can post a string of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. It launched in August and now has 150 million daily active users, according to Jim Squires, director of market operations for Instagram.

The new ad product will show full-screen ads intermittently as users swipe through photos and videos on Instagram Stories. The company is testing it with major advertisers including General Motors Co, Nike Inc and Airbnb, which is using it to promote its product Trips on Airbnb.

Time Warner Inc’s Turner Sports will test ads for cable network TNT’s airing of the National Basketball Association’s All-Star Game in New Orleans next month.

Companies normally test new advertising products with a select group of advertisers before a wider roll out.

“It’s definitely gained importance,” said Ian Schafer, founder and chairman of ad agency Deep Focus, who said he plans to spend more money with Instagram.

Twitter Being Sued As ‘Powerful Weapon For Terrorism’

January 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The families of three Americans murdered in ISIS terror attacks have filed suit against Twitter for allegedly knowingly providing support for the terrorist group and acting as a “powerful weapon for terrorism.”

The suit was filed over the weekend in a federal court in New York City on behalf of the relatives of three U.S. nationals who were killed by ISIS in the March 22, 2016, terrorist attacks in Brussels and the Nov. 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris. At least 32 people died in the Brussels attack and about 130 in the attack in Paris.

The suit alleges that Twitter has violated, and continues to violate, the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and monetary damages to be determined at trial.

 Twitter did not reply to a request for comment.

“Twitter’s social media platform and services provide tremendous utility and value to ISIS as a tool to connect its members and to facilitate the terrorist group’s ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies,” the suit alleges. “ISIS has used Twitter to cultivate and maintain an image of brutality, to instill greater fear and intimidation, and to appear unstoppable …”

The lawsuit also contends that specifically for the Brussels and Paris attacks, ISIS used Twitter to issue threats, as well as to announce and celebrate the attacks.

The lawsuit was filed by the family of siblings Alexander Pinczowski and Sascha Pinczowski, who were killed in Brussels, and the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in Paris.

EU Tougher Privacy Controls To Impact Messaging Services, Email Providers

January 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Online messaging and email services such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Gmail  will go up against tougher regulations on how they can track users under a new proposal presented by the European Union executive on Tuesday.

The web players will have to guarantee the confidentiality of their customers’ conversations and ask for their consent before tracking them online to serve them personalized ads.

The proposal by the European Commission extends some rules that now only apply to telecom operators to web companies offering calls and messages using the internet, known as “Over-The-Top” (OTT) services, seeking to close a perceived regulatory gap between the telecoms industry and mainly U.S. Internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

 Tuesday’s proposal would allow telecom companies to use customer metadata – such as the duration and location of calls – to provide additional services and make more money, something they are barred from doing under the current rules.

The review of the so-called e-privacy law will also force web browsers to have their default setting as not allowing personalized online advertising based on browsing habits. Instead, users will be asked to opt in to allow websites to place cookies on their browsers.

“It’s up to our people to say yes or no,” said Andrus Ansip, Commission vice-president for the digital single market.

Cookies are placed on web surfers’ computers and contain bits of information about the user, such as what other sites they have visited or where they are logging in from. They are widely used by companies to deliver targeted ads to users.

Online adverstisers have warned that overly strict rules would undermine many websites’ ability to fund themselves and keep offering free services. They say the data they use can not identify the user and is therefore low risk, making asking for consent every time too onerous.

The proposal scraps the obligation on websites to ask visitors for permission to place cookies on their browsers via a banner every time they land on it if the user has already consented through the privacy settings of the web browser.

The “cookie banner” has been lambasted as ineffective because people tend to accept them without necessarily reading what that entails.

Companies falling foul of the new law will face fines of up to 4 percent of their global turnover, in line with a separate data protection law set to enter into force in 2018.

The proposal will need to be approved by the European Parliament and member states before becoming law.

Uber Technologies Offers Data From Trips To City Officials

January 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Uber Technologies making data from trips on its ride-hailing platform available to city officials, planners and policymakers to help them better understand traffic patterns and improve investments in infrastructure.

The move will likely win Uber goodwill with city officials, even as the company has resisted other bids for data by some cities. New York, for example, wants to collect trip records from vehicles on hire to monitor adherence to driver fatigue regulations, which Uber has rejected, citing individual privacy issues.

Some of the data collected by Uber over 2 billion trips across 450 cities will be provided under the new program, called Movement. However, the data will be “anonymized and aggregated into the same types of geographic zones that transportation planners use to evaluate which parts of cities need expanded infrastructure, like Census Tracts and Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs),” Jordan Gilbertson, Uber’s product manager and Andrew Salzberg, head of transportation policy, wrote in a blog post Sunday.

Other ride-hailing companies have also offered data to planners. Cooperation with city planners could ensure that the ride-hailing concept gets more firmly entrenched in urban transport planning.

Easy Taxi, which started operations in Latin America, Grab in Southeast Asia and French operator Le.Taxi in December, joined a partnership with the World Bank and other organizations to make traffic data derived from their drivers’ GPS streams available under an open data license.

Uber has set up a website for providing the information. Access to the data on the website will be by invitation initially, though the company promises to make it available freely to the public soon. The insights on the Movement website are available under the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial license, which would restrict the use of the data for commercial purposes.

“Since Uber is available 24/7, we can compare travel conditions across different times of day, days of the week, or months of the year—and how travel times are impacted by big events, road closures or other things happening in a city,” the executives wrote.

The concept of sharing aggregated data with cities is already being tried by Uber in Australia, where it has worked with Infrastructure Partnerships Australia to measure the performance of transport systems. Data from Uber was also used to analyze the impact of the Metrorail outage in Washington, D.C., on March 16 last year, of congestion citywide during the evening commute hours, and was used to analyze travel conditions during the 2015 holiday season in Manila.

Uber’s provision of data to local authorities is likely to come under close scrutiny by consumer groups that have in the past complained about the company’s collection of user data.

Will Twitter Be Around For All Of 2017?

December 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

It has taken a while, but we are finally getting analysts to describe situations in the way we do. Trip Chowdhry, the managing director of equity research at Global Equities Research shocked the market when he described Twitter as being “toast.”

We would have liked it better had he added Twitter was now the Norwegian Blue of the tech world but we can’t have everything.

Chowdhry’s comment followed chief technology officer, Adam Messinger, tweeted that he would leave the company and “take some time off.” Meanwhile Josh McFarland, vice president of product at Twitter, also said he was exiting the company. Both exits were announced on the same day.

Last month, Adam Bain stepped down as chief operating officer last month to be replaced by chief financial officer Anthony Noto, who has yet to be replaced. Twitter has also lost leaders from business development, media and commerce, media partnerships, human resources, and engineering this year.

Chowdhry said that many Twitter investors were foolishly building an investment thesis based on complete stupidity. The company was toast and not worth $10 a share, he added.

A $10 price tag would represent a more than 44 percent decline in the U.S. technology company’s shares on Tuesday’s closing price.

He said Twitter’s data quality was “horrible.” Many pollsters used Twitter data to predict a Hillary Clinton win in the US election but the fact that Donald Trump won shows that data quality is poor. This was because Twitter allowed too many fake users on the platform, Chowdhry claims.

“If data quality is bad, ad targeting is bad, and if ad targeting is bad, advertisers are not happy, and hence monetisation will remain challenging for Twitter,” Chowdhry said.

Twitter’s average monthly active users for the third quarter increased to 317 million, up 4 million from its second quarter, while earnings beat market expectations. The US social media giant also announced plans to lay off about 350 people, or 9 percent of its global workforce.

Courtesy-Fud

Are Virtual Assistant Outpace Virtual Reality This Holiday?

December 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

v-assistantIn a new report from Reuters featuring interviews with nearly two dozen analysts, shipments of personal virtual assistants including Amazon Echo, Google Home, and other smart speaker devices featuring Microsoft’s Cortana are expected to outpace VR headset sales this holiday season.

Virtual assistants may reach 12 million shipments

While virtual reality has been expected to become the “next big theme” of the technology sector for the past year and a half, a new report from Piper Jaffray is now cutting shipment estimates by 65 percent for 2016, down to 2.2 million units. As a result, the virtual home assistant category is now expected to bring in higher shipments estimated at 10 to 12 million, according to Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz. “Personal assistants are going to blow VR out of the water,” he said.

The market for wearable devices including smart watches and fitness trackers is currently the leading contender next to virtual assistants, as the Consumer Technology Association estimates that 12.6 million devices will be sold over the holidays, due in part to the Apple Watch shipping close to 5.5 million units.

Another more low-key category on the list this year will be drone shipments, though the industry expects them to be around 1.2 million units, according to the CTA. This is still twice the number of units sold in 2015, though experts say the devices are currently still in a niche market.

Silicon Valley companies hire virtual assistant developers

Earlier this spring, several Silicon Valley companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook invited developers to build bots and find a way to improve upon their core virtual assistant technologies. This includes automotive, home, smartphone and office environments, but the main idea was to scale out the number of commands that can be offered by each assistant during a voice chat.

Amazon is allowing its Alexa SDK to be integrated not only inside its own Echo devices, but also in wheelchairs, home robots and even a can of pringles. Microsoft is allowing third parties to use its Cortana Skills Kit to develop more commands for its own virtual assistant. Facebook is using an intelligent assistant bot in its Messenger API called M suggestions, which will now offer replies based on the topic of conversation. Meanwhile, Google has recently launched Actions for Google Home to give developers a shot at adding more features to its assistant devices, with plans to release a full SDK sometime next year.

VR sales to reach 2.2 million before year’s end

A report last week from research firm Canalys puts the number of virtual reality headset shipments at 2 million units so far. However, the number excludes headsets without displays including Google’s Daydream View and Samsung’s Gear VR, which require smartphones to be attached for operation. The report also estimates that PlayStation VR shipments will reach 800,000, HTC Vive shipments will reach 500,000, and the Oculus Rift will hit 400,000.

The numbers are much more conservative than a previous estimate from industry sources published just a few weeks ago, which predicted the PlayStation VR reaching 1.5 million units, the HTC Vive at 650,000 units, and the Oculus Rift at 450,000 units.

Two weeks ago during the VRX conference in San Francisco, Nvidia General Manager Zvi Greenstein confirmed that system manufacturers have shipped 15 million VR-ready PCs equipped with Geforce graphics cards to date. He estimates that the number of Geforce-equipped VR systems is expected to rise to 30 million by the end of next year. This is only one fraction of the larger pie chart, however, as AMD has yet to give statistics on shipments of Radeon-equipped VR-ready PCs.

Courtesy-Fud

Twitter Suffers Another Loss

December 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

twitter-logo-4-150x150Twitter Inc’s Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger announced via a tweet on Tuesday he would be leaving the company, the latest in a string of high-profile executive departures.

Messinger had been working with Twitter for five years and became the CTO in March 2013. Prior to joining Twitter in 2011, he was vice president of development at Oracle Corp.

Engineering Vice President Ed Ho will now take over all product and engineering and report directly to Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, Recode reported, citing people familiar with the restructuring.

“We’re taking steps to streamline and flatten the organization by elevating our engineering, product and design functions, with each area now reporting directly to Jack,” a company spokesperson said in an email.

As chief technology officer, Messinger was responsible for engineering, product development, and design at the microblogging company, amid efforts to find new products and features to grow its user numbers.

San Francisco-based Twitter has faced a string of departures, including in its product team, which has had three heads in less than a year.

No one individual was essential, but the fact that they all left should be concerning, especially since Dorsey is splitting his time between Square Inc and Twitter, Wedbush Securities Inc analyst Michael Pachter said.

Twitter’s Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain left the company last month, handing over the reins to Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto.

Josh McFarland, vice president of product at Twitter, also said on Tuesday that he would leave the company to join Silicon Valley venture firm Greylock Partners.

Twitter said in October it would lay off 9 percent of its employees and shut down video app Vine to keep its costs down.

LinkedIn’s Lynda.com Reports Hacking

December 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

lynda-150x150Lynda.com, the online learning subsidiary of LinkedIn, has reset passwords for some of its subscribers after it discovered recently that an unauthorized external party had accessed a database containing user data.

The passwords of close to 55,000 affected users were reset as a precautionary measure and they have been notified of the issue, LinkedIn said in a statement over the weekend.

The professional network is also notifying about 9.5 million Lynda.com users who “had learner data, but no protected password information,” in the breached database. “We have no evidence that any of this data has been made publicly available and we have taken additional steps to secure Lynda.com accounts,” according to the statement.

In a notice to users, Lynda.com said that the database breach could have included some of the users’ Lynda.com learning data, such as contact information and courses viewed. It added that it was warning users out of an abundance of caution.

The company said in a reply on Twitter that it was taking the issue very seriously and was working with law enforcement.

Lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn for $1.5 billion in a cash and stock deal. The parent was in turn acquired by Microsoft this month after meeting regulatory approval from the European Union for the all-cash transaction worth US$26.2 billion.

 

Turner Broadcasting To Create Shows Exclusively For Snapchat

December 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

snapchat-150x150Turner Broadcasting System Inc will develop additional video content for mobile app Snapchat and team up with the social media company on advertising, Turner announced, as they expand a partnership to broaden their reach among millennials.

TV networks of the Time Warner Inc unit, including TBS and Adult Swim, will create original series exclusively for the unit of Snap, Inc, the broadcaster said in a statement.

The companies also renewed their March agreement for Snapchat to create Live Stories, collections of user-submitted photos and videos centered around a specific event, with sports shows from Turner. The shows include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAAA) Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Championship.

Turner will lead sales efforts for Live Stories and shows, while Snapchat will take the lead for sponsorships on the Discovery channels.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Turner formed the partnership with Snap in 2015, and forged links with other digital media companies, to court younger viewers who prefer mobile gadgets to television. Turner said its networks reach more than 75 percent of millennials each month, the same audience that Snapchat targets.

The partnership began with the launch of Snapchat’s Discover feature which allows companies to offer and manage their own content. The original channels included Turner’s CNN and Bleacher Report, a San Francisco-based sports news website.

Bleacher Report, which had been available worldwide except in the United States, France and Australia, will launch a U.S. Discovery channel on Jan. 4. CNN will increase its content on Discovery.

Snap has partnered with multiple traditional U.S. media companies, including Viacom Inc and Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal, as it prepares to go public early next year.

This year Turner has also invested in digital media companies Mashable and Refinery29, and launched a digital video startup within CNN called Great Big Story.

Will Facebook Get Acquired By Evil Google?

December 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The word on the information street is that Google wants to buy Facebook. It is entirely speculative, but could have legs.

Information leaked suggests that talks are well advanced between the two companies.

Anecdotal evidence from many Facebook users suggests that talks are well advanced and the companies are already sharing experimental data, between themselves, of user data. Other sources suggest that Microsoft (Vole) is also interested in Facebook and, conversely, that Facebook is interested in buying Microsoft.

None of the companies cared enough to comment to Fudzilla at press time. 

Courtesy-Fud

Facebook Developing Artificial Intelligence To Patrol Live Videos

December 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

fb-logo-3-150x150Facebook Inc is developing a way to automatically flag offensive material in live video streams, building on a growing effort to use artificial intelligence to monitor content, said Joaquin Candela, the company’s director of applied machine learning.

The social media company has been embroiled in a number of content moderation controversies this year, from facing international outcry after removing an iconic Vietnam War photo due to nudity, to allowing the spread of fake news on its site.

Facebook has historically relied mostly on users to report offensive posts, which are then checked by Facebook employees against company “community standards.” Decisions on especially thorny content issues that might require policy changes are made by top executives at the company.

Candela told reporters that Facebook increasingly was using artificial intelligence to find offensive material. It is “an algorithm that detects nudity, violence, or any of the things that are not according to our policies,” he said.

The company already had been working on using automation to flag extremist video content, as Reuters reported in June.

Now the automated system also is being tested on Facebook Live, the streaming video service for users to broadcast live video.

Using artificial intelligence to flag live video is still at the research stage, and has two challenges, Candela said. “One, your computer vision algorithm has to be fast, and I think we can push there, and the other one is you need to prioritize things in the right way so that a human looks at it, an expert who understands our policies, and takes it down.”

Facebook said it also uses automation to process the tens of millions of reports it gets each week, to recognize duplicate reports and route the flagged content to reviewers with the appropriate subject matter expertise.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in November said Facebook would turn to automation as part of a plan to identify fake news. Ahead of the Nov. 8 U.S. election, Facebook users saw fake news reports erroneously alleging that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump and that a federal agent who had been investigating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was found dead.

However, determining whether a particular comment is hateful or bullying, for example, requires context, the company said.

Facebook Adds Popular Games To Messenger App

December 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

fb-messenger-app-150x150For users who enjoy the popular Facebook Messenger app, it’s game time.

The social network has rolled out a feature that allows users to play hugely popular games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders, the company’s latest attempt to get users spend more time on its messaging app.

The new feature, initially rolled out in 30 countries with 17 games, will be available on the latest versions of iOS and Android operating systems.

A user, in the midst of a conversation, can tap on a game controller icon to choose a game and start playing. The feature also allows user to challenge their friends for a game.

Facebook made Messenger a standalone app in 2014, a move that initially irked many users. The app, however, gained popularity after the company added a host of features to it.

The social network has also added instant video and payment facilities to the app.

Facebook boasts of having more than one billion users for its messaging app, making it one top three apps in the world.

Its main Facebook app is the most popular, followed by Messenger and WhatsApp, the messaging service it bought in 2014.

Researchers Working On App To Prevent Death During Dangerous Selfies

November 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Mobile

dangerous-selfie-150x150Researchers are attempting to design an app that could prevent people from being killed while taking dangerous selfies.

Carnegie Mellon University announced that researchers there are working with colleagues at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, India to take on the issue of deadly selfies.

People around the globe have been putting themselves in reckless situations – on railroad tracks, on cliff edges — to grab a memorable selfie. Researchers found that individuals died falling from high places, while the most group deaths happened around water, with some dying in capsized boats.

“In India, a number of deaths occurred when friends or lovers posed on railroad tracks, which is widely regarded as a symbol of long-term commitment in that culture,” Carnegie Mellon reported. “Gun-related deaths in selfies occurred only in the U.S. and Russia. Road- and vehicle-related selfies and animal-related selfies also were associated with deaths.”

“In India, a number of deaths occurred when friends or lovers posed on railroad tracks, which is widely regarded as a symbol of long-term commitment in that culture,” Carnegie Mellon reported. “Gun-related deaths in selfies occurred only in the U.S. and Russia. Road- and vehicle-related selfies and animal-related selfies also were associated with deaths.”

According to Carnegie Mellon, the system was able to tell the difference between a dangerous selfie and one that is not risky 73% of the time.

That technology will be critical to developing an app that could be used to decrease the number of selfie deaths.

An app, which has not yet been developed, could be designed to warn a user or even disable the phone if a selfie is being taken in a dangerous situation. The problem, though, is that some people might use a warning as bragging rights that they’re brave enough to put themselves in a dangerous situation.

“There can be no app for stupidity,” Hemank Lamba, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Software Research, said in a statement.

The app also could be used to pinpoint areas where people are routinely taking dangerous selfies so they could be marked as “no selfie” zones.

Carnegie Mellon also noted that an app could be used for augmented reality games, like Pokemon Go, to keep users from putting themselves in risky situations while playing.

 

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