19 New Gecko Species Uncovered in Tiny Section of Myanmar

first_img Scientists have found a whopping 15 new gecko species in Myanmar’s karst landscapes.Well, 19 if you count the four that biologist L. Lee Grismer is still detailing.Uncovered during a two-week excursion to Southeast Asia in October 2016, the whole set was found in a measly 55-by-30-mile section of isolated limestone, previously cut off due to civil conflict.“That’s the really amazing thing about it—they all come from such a small area,” Grismer told New Scientist this week.The Hemiphyllodactylus montawaensis gecko (via L. Lee Grismer)Though common among invertebrates like snails or insects, it’s basically unheard of for backboned animals to live in that close proximity. In this case, it seems the sticky-footed lizards were likely hiding from predators on surrounding plains.“It’s like you’re the only one who occupies a 7-Eleven,” Grismer explained to the magazine. “It may not be a Wal-Mart, but it’s all yours.”With support from charity Fauna & Flora International, the discovery was led by La Sierra University professor Grismer, the senior author of three upcoming papers.A new Cyrtodactylus gecko (via L. Lee Grismer)He was joined by karst conservationists from Fauna & Flora’s Myanmar team, scientists from the Universiti Sains Malaysia and Brigham Young University, and researchers from the Myanmar Forest Department.Read more about the team’s findings in a trio of journal articles: First up, the Journal of Natural History, which describes three new dwarf geckos; the second paper, published today in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, covers 12 bent-toed lizards.A third, based on discovered in May 2017, is currently being written, and details four more species of bent-toed geckos.A new Cyrtodactylus gecko (via L. Lee Grismer)One of the adorable critters, Hemiphyllodactylus tonywhitteni, is named after FFI senior adviser Tony Whitten—a far cry from the famous titles given to 15 new species of “smiley-faced” spiders.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend Stay on targetlast_img read more

Google Reveals Raspberry PiCompatible Edge TPU Hardware

first_imgStay on target Google this week unveiled two new devices with built-in machine learning capabilities.Aimed at professional engineers, the AIY Edge TPU Dev Board and AIY Edge TPU Accelerator are powered by Google’s Edge Tensor Processing Units (TPUs)—specialized chips that facilitate AI assignments.Two years, ago, Google introduced its cloud TPU (a third version of which is coming soon), optimized for training machine-learning models. The tech titan’s latest additions will run inference, i.e., actually carry out tasks like speech or image recognition.Considered a speedier, more efficient way of interpreting data, this sort of on-device machine learning was designed for enterprise jobs. So don’t expect to find these chips embedded in your next smartphone.“To jump-start development and testing with the Edge TPU, we’ve built a development kit,” Injong Rhee, Google Cloud’s vice president of IoT, explained in a blog announcement.That includes the AIY dev board and accelerator, both set to hit digital shelves in the US this October, before rolling out to more countries. Engineers can request early access online.The all-in-one AIY dev board—a Raspberry Pi-esque baseboard with all the peripheral connections you need for prototyping—features a removable system-on-module (SOM) daughter board for future project scaling.Google’s AIY accelerator, meanwhile, comes in a small USB-C-stick package, ready to connect to any Linux-based system. The casing includes mounting holes for attachment to host boards like the Pi Zero.“On-device ML is still in its early days, and we’re excited to see how these two products can be applied to solve real-world problems,” AIY project director Billy Rutledge wrote in a separate blog.Google also revealed Cloud IoT Edge, a software stack that extends the cloud’s “powerful AI capability” to gateways and connected devices.“This lets you build and train ML models in the cloud, then run those models on the Cloud IoT Edge device through the power of the Edge TPU hardware accelerator,” Rhee boasted.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. 50 Attorneys General Launch Bipartisan Probe Into GoogleYouTube Fined $170M For Alleged Child Privacy Law Violation last_img read more