• Modern Portable Voice Activity Detector Released

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      Currently, there are hardly any high quality / modern / free / public voice activity detectors except for WebRTC Voice Activity Detector (link). WebRTC though starts to show its age and it suffers from many false positives.


      Also in some cases it is crucial to be able to anonymize large-scale spoken corpora (i.e. remove personal data). Typically personal data is considered to be private / sensitive if it contains (i) a name (ii) some private ID. Name recognition is a highly subjective matter and it depends on locale and business case, but Voice Activity and Number Detection are quite general tasks.


      Key features:


      • Modern, portable;
      • Low memory footprint;
      • Superior metrics to WebRTC;
      • Trained on huge spoken corpora and noise / sound libraries;
      • Slower than WebRTC, but fast enough for IOT / edge / mobile applications;
      • Unlike WebRTC (which mostly tells silence from voice), our VAD can tell voice from noise / music / silence;
      • PyTorch (JIT) and ONNX checkpoints;

      Typical use cases:


      • Spoken corpora anonymization;
      • Can be used together with WebRTC;
      • Voice activity detection for IOT / edge / mobile use cases;
      • Data cleaning and preparation, number and voice detection in general;
      • PyTorch and ONNX can be used with a wide variety of deployment options and backends in mind;
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    • 10(+) years in the Labs

        At the beginning of the year 2021, Qrator Labs is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. On January 19 our company marks the official passing of a formal 10 years longevity mark, entering its second decade of existence. 

        Everything started a little bit earlier - when at the age of 10 Alex saw the Robotron K 1820 - in 2008, when Alexander Lyamin - the founder and CEO of Qrator Labs, approached the Moscow State University superiors, where he worked as a NOC engineer at the time, with an idea of a DDoS-attack mitigation research project. The MSU's network was one of the largest in the country and, as we know now, it was the best place to hatch a future technology.

        That time MSU administration agreed, and Mr Lyamin took his own hardware to the university, simultaneously gathering a team. In two years, by summer 2010, the project turned out to be that successful. It courted the DDoS attack of a bandwidth exceeding the MSU's upstream bandwidth capability. And on June 22 MSU superiors gave Mr Lyamin a choice - to shut down or find money to incorporate.

        Alexander Lyamin chose to incorporate with his own means, which effectively meant that the needed infrastructure must be built from scratch. The initial design should be distributed instead of concentrated within one network, which resources were not enough for this specific task. And by September 1, 2010, those first server sites were ready and running.

        Flashback with us
      • Passcode Data Protection by Using FPGA and Verilog

          There are many situations when you need to protect your data, and different tools can be used to do that. For example, a safe. We develop a passcode data protection mechanism by using an FPGA board and Quartus Prime software. It allows demonstrating the basic concepts of a combination lock such as entering data, setting and checking a passcode, and displaying data.

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        • Robotic Floor Washer

          • Tutorial

          When we think about robots, the first thing that comes to mind are robotic vacuum cleaners. The reason is simple: they are the most "solid" demonstration of success of "consumer" robotics. So making one sounds like a good idea... at first.

          But isn't it a bit counter productive - to build something that popular, something we can buy in a store at a commodity (small) price? Should we build something similar, but NOT a vacuum cleaner? Something like... a floor washer, perhaps? Yes, a robotic floor washer.

          In this tutorial I am going to build a fully working prototype of a robotic floor washer. By "fully working" I mean that it is going to wash floor, instead of moving dirt around like most robotic "moppers" do. While by "prototype" I mean it is going to be the first step towards production-ready unit, but not a production-ready unit yet. Let me explain.

          First of all, it is not going to be THAT solid. You can grab a robotic vacuum cleaner that you got from the store by any part, including wheels and bumper and lift it. It will not fall apart. Ours probably will. The reason is, to make a device "mechanically solid" is a separate task, and if we focus on it, then "robotic" tasks will become more difficult to achieve. So we are going to do what engineers usually do: first they build C3PO without the outside body, wires everywhere and so on. And only then they put a gold-covered outfit on it.

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        • 9 Reasons Why Students Don’t Want You as a Teacher

            Teaching is hard! Finding a way to explain ideas and concepts, finding an approach to each individual among your students, each having a unique mind and learning capabilities. Being patient and creative, friendly but respective, kind but fair. You have to understand complex stuff and be able to present them in the simplest of ways. There are so many things that you must balance and consider in your work. Teachers, you are heroes, the every-day heroes! With this heroic work comes a responsibility. A responsibility of keeping yourself accountable for your student’s education. Some teachers forget about that and stay oblivious to the mistakes they are making. We’ve compiled a list of 9 Reasons Why Students Don’t Want You as a Teacher. We sincerely hope that it will help you to self-reflect, better connect with your students and achieve better results during your lessons.
          • Playing with Nvidia's New Ampere GPUs and Trying MIG


              Every time when the essential question arises, whether to upgrade the cards in the server room or not, I look through similar articles and watch such videos.


              Channel with the aforementioned video is very underestimated, but the author does not deal with ML. In general, when analyzing comparisons of accelerators for ML, several things usually catch your eye:


              • The authors usually take into account only the "adequacy" for the market of new cards in the United States;
              • The ratings are far from the people and are made on very standard networks (which is probably good overall) without details;
              • The popular mantra to train more and more gigantic models makes its own adjustments to the comparison;

              The answer to the question "which card is better?" is not rocket science: Cards of the 20* series didn't get much popularity, while the 1080 Ti from Avito (Russian craigslist) still are very attractive (and, oddly enough, don't get cheaper, probably for this reason).


              All this is fine and dandy and the standard benchmarks are unlikely to lie too much, but recently I learned about the existence of Multi-Instance-GPU technology for A100 video cards and native support for TF32 for Ampere devices and I got the idea to share my experience of the real testing cards on the Ampere architecture (3090 and A100). In this short note, I will try to answer the questions:


              • Is the upgrade to Ampere worth it? (spoiler for the impatient — yes);
              • Are the A100 worth the money (spoiler — in general — no);
              • Are there any cases when the A100 is still interesting (spoiler — yes);
              • Is MIG technology useful (spoiler — yes, but for inference and for very specific cases for training);
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            • Russian AI Cup 2020 — a new strategy game for developers



                This year, many processes transformed, with traditions and habits being modified. The rhythm of life has changed, and there's more uncertainty and strain. But IT person's soul wants diversity, and many developers have asked us if annual Russian AI Cup will be held this year. Is there going to be an announcement? What is the main theme of the upcoming championship? Should I take a vacation?

                Though some changes are expected, it will be held in keeping with the best traditions. In the run-up, we will announce one of today's largest online AI programming championships — Russian AI Cup. We invite you to make history!
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              • Active Termination Drivers

                • Tutorial


                The easiest way to build a driver with specified output impedance is to use an amplifier with high load compatibility and add a resistor to its output. The penalty is voltage drop across this resistor, so there is power loss and we need a higher supply voltage. If our driver is able to deliver the same voltage and current to the same load, but the extra resistor will have a lower value, our device will be able to deliver the same output power at a lower supply voltage. Less power losses, less heat, and longer working time when a battery is used.
                There is an idea how to solve this problem: active termination. We can synthesize the output impedance!

                Now when we know what we want, go to design our drivers!
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              • Female gamers in China

                  The latest forecast by Niko Partners shows promise that gender equality in gaming is on track to reach 50/50 by the end of 2020, as figures show a consistent rise of 4% year on year: “Female gamers are rising, making up 42% of total gamers in 2018, 46% in 2019, and forecast to be 50% in 2020, primarily on the mobile platform.” This forecast follows a report by the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association last year that identified growth potential and calls for more quality games targeted at female players.

                  2019 saw the number of female gamers reach 300 million, contributing RMB 52.7 billion (USD 7.5 billion) or 22.8% of total actual sales revenue of the gaming industry in China. The Association’s report also identified low cost leisure games as most popular among females. Furthermore, the Gamma Data report gives China’s female game market revenue a forecast of RMB 56.8 billion for 2020, with 70% (RMB 40.1 million) of revenue deriving from mobile games.

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                • Linux Switchdev the Mellanox way

                    This is a transcription of a talk that was presented at CSNOG 2020 — video is at the end of the page



                    Greetings! My name is Alexander Zubkov. I work at Qrator Labs, where we protect our customers against DDoS attacks and provide BGP analytics.

                    We started using Mellanox switches around 2 or 3 years ago. At the time we got acquainted with Switchdev in Linux and today I want to share with you our experience.
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                  • The Different RPG styles between East and West

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                    The Chinese Mobile RPG: the Genre of Giants.


                    Chinese RPGs make up 56% of the top 500 grossing iOS games in China. According to data gathered in 2019 by Game Refinery’s Joel Julkunen. Let’s take a look at the genre and some important points for game developers and RPG enthusiasts to consider Chinese Mobile RPGs.


                    RPG or role-playing game is a game where the player plays as a character, often the main character, in a fictional game world.

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                  • Toxic Comments Detection in Russian


                      Currently, social network sites tend to be one of the major communication platforms in both offline and online space. Freedom of expression of various points of view, including toxic, aggressive, and abusive comments, might have a long-term negative impact on people’s opinions and social cohesion. As a consequence, the ability to automatically identify and moderate toxic content on the Internet to eliminate the negative consequences is one of the necessary tasks for modern society. This paper aims at the automatic detection of toxic comments in the Russian language. As a source of data, we utilized anonymously published Kaggle dataset and additionally validated its annotation quality. To build a classification model, we performed fine-tuning of two versions of Multilingual Universal Sentence Encoder, Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, and ruBERT. Finetuned ruBERT achieved F1 = 92.20%, demonstrating the best classification score. We made trained models and code samples publicly available to the research community.
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                    • SIEM Solutions Overview (Security Information and Event Management)


                      Modern corporate IT infrastructure consists of many systems and components. And monitoring their work individually can be quite difficult — the larger the enterprise is, the more burdensome these tasks are. But there are the tools, which collect reports on the work of the entire corporate infrastructure — SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) system in one place. Read the best of such products according to Gartner experts in our review, and learn about the main features from our comparison table.
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                    • Technical Challenges of VuzeCamera (iOS) — First-ever 3D VR Movie Shot in Space

                        VuzeCamera is the first consumer 360° 3D camera and a new dual-camera that gives anyone the power to create and share immersive experiences in 360° or VR180° (3D) Photo and Video.


                        This device is regularly ranked in the top selections of the best cameras, it’s been praised by numerous reviews, and a couple of years ago the Vuze camera went to the International Space Station to shoot the first-ever 3D VR movie shot in space.
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                      • 5 Most Popular IT Outsourcing Software Development Companies in India

                          The global IT outsourcing market generated a revenue of $520.74 billion in 2019 and it is expected to surge at a CAGR of 7.7% during the 2020-2027 period. The immense growth of the market is due to the growing popularity of outsourcing software development companies across the globe. 

                          In fact, in 2018, India dominated the global IT outsourcing market with a 67.0% share and the Indian IT sector generated a revenue of more than $150.0 billion with a CAGR of 10-15.0% per year. 

                          The majority of small businesses, start-ups, and enterprises are inclined towards IT outsourcing companies for managing and handling their business. There are hundreds and thousands of outsourcing software development companies available on the internet but choosing the top-notch IT outsourcing company is a tough call because you might fall into the wrong trap

                          So, for that, I am going to shortlist the top 5 software development outsourcing companies in India that not only add value to your business but also help you to expand your business across the globe. 

                          I am going to prepare a list of parameters that will back the shortlisting of these top 5 IT outsourcing companies in India- 

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                        • 5 Thought-Provoking Use Cases Of Blockchain In Diverse Industries

                            Blockchain is a decentralized technology that maintains a record of all transactions occurring over a peer-to-peer network. Due to Blockchain's several different high-level use cases, numerous industries described Blockchain as the 'magic beans.' 

                            Blockchains store the record in a decentralized system that is interconnected. This technology lessens vulnerability and enhances transparency in all industrial sectors as information is stored digitally, and it does not have any centralized point to carry out the transactions.

                            Do You Know?

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                          • How To Build a Password Management Software Using JAVA?

                              In this digital world, people prefer to work remotely. There are numerous tasks that each of us goes through every day. If I talk about an application's usage, then it has been predicted that there will be a 25% increase in global app downloads between 2018 and 2022

                              But it can be quite challenging for organizations to maintain and create multiple passwords. Hence, a password management software can be a great choice to manage this effectively. It is like your bank locker, where one can store numerous passwords. The users only need a master password to access the software.

                              Do You Know? 

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                            • Brainless Platform for a Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

                                More on robotics.snowcron.com

                                First of all, this is just an exercise, useful as is, but the result is going to be far from an industrial level robots. Why doing it then?

                                For the same reasons we do all exercise: to get an experience. After all, when we write a character recognition «MNIST classifier» neural network, we know that the problem is solved long time ago. But we need to become familiar with tools and approaches. Same here.

                                Now, why is it called «brainless»?
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