Technology News

Hackers release more HBO episode shows: report

(6 days ago)
(Reuters) - Hackers have released more unaired episodes of popular HBO shows but the latest leak did not include anything on the hit series "Game of Thrones," the Associated Press reported on Sunday.

Why AI Won't Take Over The Earth

(6 days ago)
Law professor Ryan Calo -- sometimes called a robot-law scholar -- hosted the first White House workshop on AI policy, and has organized AI workshops for the National Science Foundation (as well as the Department of Homeland Security and the National Academy of Sciences). Now an anonymous reader shares a new 30-page essay where Calo "explains what policymakers should be worried about with respect to artificial intelligence. Includes a takedown of doomsayers like Musk and Gates." Professor Calo summarizes his sense of the current consensus on many issues, including the dangers of an existential threat from superintelligent AI: Claims of a pending AI apocalypse come almost exclusively from the ranks of individuals such as Musk, Hawking, and Bostrom who possess no formal training in the field... A number of prominent voices in artificial intelligence have convincingly challenged Superintelligence's thesis along several lines. First, they argue that there is simply no path toward machine intelligence that rivals our own across all contexts or domains... even if we were able eventually to create a superintelligence, there is no reason to believe it would be bent on world domination, unless this were for some reason programmed into the system. As Yann LeCun, deep learning pioneer and head of AI at Facebook colorfully puts it, computers don't have testosterone.... At best, investment in the study of AI's existential threat diverts millions of dollars (and billions of neurons) away[..]

Protocol Labs explains 24hr+ halt of now-resumed Filecoin ICO, which may be biggest ever if the $52M token presale is included, handily beating Tezos' $232M (Protocol Labs)

(6 days ago)
Protocol Labs:Protocol Labs explains 24hr+ halt of now-resumed Filecoin ICO, which may be biggest ever if the $52M token presale is included, handily beating Tezos' $232M  —  NOTICE: SALE REOPENS SAT, AUG 12 AT 11:00AM PDT Dear Filecoin Investors, and broader community, Wow!  We are deeply humbled and grateful for your tremendous support.

Some Retailers Criticize Amazon's Recall of Eclipse Glasses

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes Portland TV station KGW:Amazon issued a widespread recall for solar eclipse glasses early Saturday morning, one week before the August 21 eclipse. That move stunned some sellers who say their glasses are verified safe.... "We recommend that you DO NOT use this product to view the sun or the eclipse," Amazon wrote... "Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively reached out to customers and provided refunds for eclipse glasses that may not comply with industry standards." At least a dozen KGW viewers said they received recall notices from Amazon Saturday... KGW viewer Heather Andersen said she bought two separate sets of solar glasses and learned both were not verified. "I give up," she tweeted... Manish Panjwani's Los Angeles-based astronomy product business, AgenaAstro, has sold three times its average monthly revenue in the past month. Ninety-five percent is related to the solar eclipse... Panjwani's eclipse glasses come from two NASA-approved sellers: Thousand Oaks Optical in Arizona and Baader Planetarium in Germany. He said he provided documentation to Amazon proving the products' authenticity weeks ago, with no response from Amazon. On Saturday morning, he woke up to 100 emails from customers after Amazon issued a recall for his products. "People have some of the best glasses in the world in their hands right now and they don't believe in that product," he said. "They're out there looking for something inferior." Panjwani said Amazon[..]

Astrophysicist Believes Technologically-Advanced Species Extinguish Themselves

(6 days ago)
Why haven't we heard from intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? wisebabo writes:In the Science Daily article "Where is everybody? The Implications of Cosmic Silence," the retired astrophysicist Daniel Whitmire explains that using the principle of mediocracy (a statistical notion that says, in the absence of more data, that your one data point is likely to be "average"), that not only are we the first intelligent life on earth but that we will likely be the only (and thus the last) intelligent life on this planet... Unfortunately that isn't the worst of it. Coupled with the "Great Silence", it implies that the reason we haven't heard from anyone is that intelligent life, when it happens anywhere else in the universe, doesn't last and when it does it flames out quickly and takes the biosphere with it (preventing any other intelligent life from reappearing. Sorry dolphins!). While this is depressing in a very deep sense both cosmically (no Star Trek/Wars/Valerian universes filled with alien civilizations) and locally (we're going to wipe ourselves out, and soon) it is perhaps understandable given our current progress towards reproducing the conditions of the greatest extinction event in earth's history. That last link (reprinting a New York Times opinion piece) cites the "Great Dying" of 90% of all land-based life in 252 million B.C., which is believed to have been triggered by "gigantic emissions of carbon dioxide from volcanoes that erupted across a vast swath of[..]

As bitcoin hovers around $4,000, a look at its previous boom and bust cycles, and thoughts about cryptoasset valuations (Chris Burniske/cburniske)

(6 days ago)
Chris Burniske / cburniske:As bitcoin hovers around $4,000, a look at its previous boom and bust cycles, and thoughts about cryptoasset valuations  —  As the cryptoasset markets develop we'll see many booms and busts as enthusiasm waxes and wanes.  Waxing and waning is all part of riding a rocket to the moon.

New 'Asciidots' Programming Language Uses Ascii Art (And Python)

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes Motherboard:If the esoteric programming language Asciidots looks like a mess, it is at least a very different-looking and even aesthetically pleasing mess. Simply, its mechanics and syntax are based on Ascii art... Asciidots is a unique sort of programming language known as a dataflow language. In this sort of language, we can imagine units of data (like our variable x) following a data go-kart track that's interrupted in different places with pit stops that change the value of the data go-kart that's following the track around. One pit stop might add 1 to the variable, while another might chop it in half. At some points, the track might even split, with the data go-kart picking one fork depending on its current value. If, say, it's greater than 2 it might go left; otherwise, it goes right... In Asciidots, the aforementioned go-kart track is represented by lines (|,-,/,\)... Most of the other non-line symbols are mathematical operators, but there are also symbols that direct the program to request input from the user, set values, print values, and change the direction of the unit of data... Under the hood, Asciidots is a Python program. An Asciidots program is just fed into that underlying program and digested into normal Python code, which is then executed. The article includes some examples, and argues that esoteric esolangs like Asciidots force programmers to consider fresh perspectives. And in addition, "it looks really cool."[..]

SpaceX Will Deliver The First Supercomputer To The ISS

(6 days ago)
Slashdot reader #16,185, Esther Schindler writes:"By NASA's rules, not just any computer can go into space. Their components must be radiation hardened, especially the CPUs," reports HPE Insights. "Otherwise, they tend to fail due to the effects of ionizing radiation. The customized processors undergo years of design work and then more years of testing before they are certified for spaceflight." As a result, the ISS runs the station using two sets of three Command and Control Multiplexer DeMultiplexer computers whose processors are 20MHz Intel 80386SX CPUs, right out of 1988. "The traditional way to radiation-harden a spacecraft computer is to add redundancy to its circuits or by using insulating substrates instead of the usual semiconductor wafers on chips. That's expensive and time consuming. HPE scientists believe that simply slowing down a system in adverse conditions can avoid glitches and keep the computer running." So, assuming the August 15 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch goes well, there will be a supercomputer headed into space -- using off-the-shelf hardware. Let's see if the idea pans out. "We may discover a set of parameters with which a supercomputer can successfully run for at least a year without errors," says Dr. Mark R. Fernandez, the mission's co-principal investigator for software and SGI's HPC technology officer. "Alternately, one or more components of the system will fail, in which case we will then do the typical failure analysis on Earth. That will let[..]

Saudi top prosecutor summons Twitter users for harming public order

(6 days ago)
RIYADH (Reuters) - A group of Twitter users will be indicted in Saudi Arabia on charges of harming public order for threatening the "safety and moderate ideology of society" through extremism, according to a statement on state news agency SPA.

Bitcoin Just Surged Past $4,000. TechCrunch Explains Why

(6 days ago)
Saturday night TechCrunch reported the following about Bitcoin:24 hours ago the cryptocurrency was trading below $3,700. About an hour ago it surged passed $4,000 and has no signs of stopping. It's now trading around $4,135.00. For reference, a week ago Bitcoin hit an all-time high as it passed $3,000 for the first time... So the million-bitcoin question is, why now...? Two weeks ago Bitcoin went through a hard fork, and came out essentially unscathed... A few days later Bitcoin locked in SegWit, a code modification that fixes malleability issues and frees up space in blocks, allowing for more transactions to be stored in each one. These two code-related developments have helped boost conference in Bitcoin's future. Another reason -- the ICO frenzy. The amount recently raised via initial coin offerings have now (at least temporally) topped amount raised via early stage venture capital. Just last week Filecoin raised $180 million in a few hours. Most investors have to convert fiat currency to bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to participate in ICOs, which could be driving up the price (and providing some investors with their first taste of bitcoin). Another reason -- Wall Street's new obsession is bitcoin. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Snap's "Other" revenue fell from $8.3M in Q1 to $5.3M in Q2, signalling a decline in Spectacles sales (Josh Constine/TechCrunch)

(6 days ago)
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:Snap's “Other” revenue fell from $8.3M in Q1 to $5.3M in Q2, signalling a decline in Spectacles sales  —  Snap's Spectacles sunglasses may prove to be more of a fad than a must-have device.  Snap revealed during its call following weak Q2 earnings that it generated $5.4 million in …

Can 'No Man's Sky' Redeem Itself With Its Third Free Update?

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes Engadget's new article on No Man's Sky:Developer Hello Games has gone some way to giving the people what they've wanted Friday with the third major update since the title's launch. "Atlas Rises" (aka update 1.3) adds the beginnings of real-time multiplayer to the space exploration game, though admittedly, "interaction with others is currently very limited." Thanks to the update, up to 16 players can now exist together in the same space. Fellow pilots will appear as floating blue orbs moving about the terrain, and proximity-based voice chat will allow players to plan their next jump together. That's pretty much it, but Hello Games calls it "an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man's Sky." Meeting up with other explorers should be a bit easier with the new portal system, which allows players to travel between planets instantly, including to random worlds. Taking a leaf out of Stargate lore, activating a sequence of glyphs on portals can designate specific exit points. Hello Games hopes the community will band together to create something of a database of glyph sequences... There's 30 hours of new storyline gameplay and a new mission system that lets you pick up all kinds of different odd jobs from a forever-updating list. Star systems now are now graded with "wealth, economy and conflict levels," giving you more information on desirable destinations (depending on what you're after). There's a new class of ships, new[..]

Hundreds Of Smart Locks Get Bricked By A Buggy Firmware Update

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes BleepingComputer:On Tuesday, August 8, smart locks manufacturer LockState botched an over-the-air firmware update for its WiFi enabled [RemoteLock 6i] smart locks, causing the devices to lose connectivity to the vendor's servers and the ability to open doors for its users... The device costs $469 and is sold mainly to Airbnb hosts via an official partnership LockState has signed with the company. Hosts use the smart locks to configure custom access codes for each Airbnb renter without needing to give out a physical key to each one. The botched firmware bricked the device's smart code access mode. Physical keys continued to work. The botched firmware was a nuisance for private home owners, but it was a disaster for Airbnb hosts, who had to scramble to get customers physical keys so they could enter their rents. The post includes tweets from angry lock owners, one complaining about a two-week wait for a replacement. The company is also offering to fix the defective units within "5-7 days," promising that "Every employee and resource at LockState is focused on resolving this for you as quickly as possible." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Deserialization Issues Also Affect .NET, Not Just Java

(6 days ago)
"The .NET ecosystem is affected by a similar flaw that has wreaked havoc among Java apps and developers in 2016," reports BleepingComputer. An anonymous reader writes:The issue at hand is in how some .NET libraries deserialize JSON or XML data, doing it in a total unsecured way, but also how developers handle deserialization operations when working with libraries that offer optional secure systems to prevent deserialized data from accessing and running certain methods automatically. The issue is similar to a flaw known as Mad Gadget (or Java Apocalypse) that came to light in 2015 and 2016. The flaw rocked the Java ecosystem in 2016, as it affected the Java Commons Collection and 70 other Java libraries, and was even used to compromise PayPal's servers. Organizations such as Apache, Oracle, Cisco, Red Hat, Jenkins, VMWare, IBM, Intel, Adobe, HP, and SolarWinds , all issued security patches to fix their products. The Java deserialization flaw was so dangerous that Google engineers banded together in their free time to repair open-source Java libraries and limit the flaw's reach, patching over 2,600 projects.Now a similar issue was discovered in .NET. This research has been presented at the Black Hat and DEF CON security conferences. On page 5 [of this PDF], researchers included reviews for all the .NET and Java apps they analyzed, pointing out which ones are safe and how developers should use them to avoid deserialization attacks when working with JSON data.[..]

269 People Joined An Age Discrimination Class Action Suit Against Google

(6 days ago)
Slashdot reader #9,119 BrookHarty writes:"269 people have joined a class-action lawsuit against Google claiming they were discriminated against in the workplace based on their age..." reports BizJournals. "The lawsuit originated in 2015 with plaintiff Robert Heath and was certified as a class-action in 2016." Google has stated it has implemented policies to stop age discrimination but still has an average employee age of 29. In 2004 Larry Page fired Brian Reid nine days before IPO costing Reid 45 million in unvested stock options. Reid was fired for lack of "cultural fit". Reid has settled for an undisclosed amount. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Samsung opens up beta version its Android browser to all devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later (Joe Maring/9to5Google)

(6 days ago)
Joe Maring / 9to5Google:Samsung opens up beta version its Android browser to all devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later  —  Samsung's mobile browser has previously been available primarily for Samsung phones (with the exception of a few other devices like the Pixel and Pixel XL) and while the main version …

Danish police say no body found inside sunken submarine

(6 days ago)
Danish police: no body of missing Swedish journalist found inside sunk submarine

Amateur Drone Lands On British Air Carrier, Wired Reviews Anti-Drone Technology

(6 days ago)
Long-time Slashdot reader mi quotes the BBC:The Ministry of Defence is reviewing security after a tiny drone landed on the deck of Britain's biggest warship. The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier was docked at Invergordon in the Highlands when an amateur photographer flew the drone close to the giant ship. When the aircraft sensed a high wind risk, it landed itself on the £3bn warship. The pilot told BBC Scotland: "I could have carried two kilos of Semtex and left it on the deck... I would say my mistake should open their eyes to a glaring gap in security." Meanwhile, tastic007 shares Wired's footage of anti-drone products being tested (like net guns, air-to-air combat counter-drones, and drone net shotgun shells) -- part of the research presented at this year's DEFCON. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Latest: Trump backs Obama-era defense technology unit

(6 days ago)
President Donald Trump's administration is endorsing a Barack Obama-era effort enlisting startup companies to develop solutions for the military's toughest technology challenges

Crowdfunding Campaign Seeks a Libre Recording of a Newly-Completed Bach Work

(6 days ago)
Slashdot reader DevNull127 writes: Robert Douglass's Kickstarter campaigns have resulted in free fan-funded open source recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations and the 48 pieces in his Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1. "Even Richard Stallman found these recordings, and he promptly wrote an email encouraging us to drop the word 'Open' in favor of 'Free' or 'Libre'," Douglas tells BoingBoing (adding "when RMS writes you telling you to change the name of your music project, you change the name of your music project.") Now Douglass is crowdfunding a libre recording of Bach's last masterpiece, 20 fugues developed from a single theme called "the Art of the Fugue". "He wanted to culminate in a final fugue that literally spells his name, B-A-C-H, in musical notation," remembers Douglass, but "unfortunately, Bach died before completing that work, and it has remained a musical mystery (and tragedy) for hundreds of years." Fortunately Kimiko Ishizaka completed the work in 2016, "based on the music that Bach left us... This new composition will also be released under a Creative Commons license as part of the new OpenScore.cc project... Kimiko is eminently grateful to her fans and supporters of free culture for allowing her to focus all of her energies on growing the public domain and bringing the music of J.S. Bach to a far broader audience than ever imagined." They're also rewarding supporters with tickets to two live performances -- one at Carnegie Hall in New York City and one in[..]

Instagram feeds have become dominated by planned candids, dubbed "plandids", which are usually posed but are supposed to appear effortless (Taylor Lorenz/Mic)

(7 days ago)
Taylor Lorenz / Mic:Instagram feeds have become dominated by planned candids, dubbed “plandids”, which are usually posed but are supposed to appear effortless  —  Instagram used to be defined by its feed of stylized, perfectly posed images, but this summer a new trend has swept the platform: the “plandid.”

Bitcoin passes $4,000 mark amid ICO frenzy and a slowdown in momentum behind Bitcoin Cash (Fitz Tepper/TechCrunch)

(7 days ago)
Fitz Tepper / TechCrunch:Bitcoin passes $4,000 mark amid ICO frenzy and a slowdown in momentum behind Bitcoin Cash  —  What a day for Bitcoin.  —  24 hours ago the cryptocurrency was trading below $3,700.  About an hour ago it surged passed $4,000 and has no signs of stopping.  It's now trading around $4,135.00.

28 Years Later, Pioneering Tech Magazine 'Mondo 2000' Relaunches Online

(7 days ago)
In 1989 Mondo 2000 magazine ran an editorial promising they'd cover "the leading edge in hyperculture...the latest in human/technological interactive mutational forms as they happen." 28 years later, they're now heckling that editorial as they relaunch into a web site. Slashdot reader DevNull127 quotes Motherboard's interview with R.U. Sirius, the founder of Mondo 2000 (as well as its predecessors High Frontiers and Reality Hackers): "It was my idea to merge psychedelics and emerging technologies, and the culture around technology," Sirius said, citing Timothy Leary, writer Robert Anton Wilson and counterculture magazine The Whole Earth Catalog among his inspirations... "I kind of found my way into that particular stream of bohemian culture. It was probably a minority, but there had always been that idea of letting robots replace human work." Soon High Frontiers evolved into a glossy magazine, Reality Hackers ("Some distributors at the time thought it was about hacking people up, and put it on the shelf next to murder mystery magazines"), and later Mondo 2000, which ran from 1989 till 1998... "We really had to work to convince people that technology was defining the future. Nobody really got it. Doug Rushkoff wrote his book Cyberia, and his first book company cancelled its publication because they said the internet was a fad and that it would be over by the time the book came out"... While he uses Facebook and Twitter, Sirius is critical of their role in colonising what was[..]

Strong earthquake strikes off Indonesian island of Sumatra

(7 days ago)
A strong earthquake has struck off the coast of southern Sumatra in Indonesia

Behind the only formal net neutrality complaint, filed by one man, Alex Nguyen, whose 112-page document catalogs dozens of questionable actions from Verizon (Jacob Kastrenakes/The Verge)

(7 days ago)
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:Behind the only formal net neutrality complaint, filed by one man, Alex Nguyen, whose 112-page document catalogs dozens of questionable actions from Verizon  —  Alex Nguyen filed the only formal net neutrality complaint, and he's still waiting for an answer

A New Amiga Will Go On Sale In Late 2017

(7 days ago)
An anonymous reader quote the Register: The world's getting a new Amiga for Christmas. Yes, that Amiga -- the seminal Commodore microcomputers that brought mouse-driven GUIs plus slick and speedy graphics to the masses from 1985 to 1996... The platform died when Commodore went bankrupt, but enthusiasm for the Amiga persisted and various clones and efforts to preserve AmigaOS continue to this day. One such effort, from Apollo Accelerators, emerged last week: the company's forthcoming "Vampire V4" can work as a standalone Amiga or an accelerator for older Amigas... There's also 512MB of RAM, 40-and-44-pin FastIDE connectors, Ethernet, a pair of USB ports and MicroSD for storage [PDF]. Micro USB gets power to the board. A school in Michigan used the same Amiga for 30 years. Whenever it broke, they actually phoned up the high school student who original set it up in 1987 and had him come over to fix it. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

OpenSource.com Test-Drives Linux Distros From 1993 To 2003

(7 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes OpenSource.com:A unique trait of open source is that it's never truly EOL (End of Life). The disc images mostly remain online, and their licenses don't expire, so going back and installing an old version of Linux in a virtual machine and getting a precise picture of what progress Linux has made over the years is relatively simple... Whether you're new to Linux, or whether you're such an old hand that most of these screenshots have been more biographical than historical, it's good to be able to look back at how one of the largest open source projects in the world has developed. More importantly, it's exciting to think of where Linux is headed and how we can all be a part of that, starting now, and for years to come. The article looks at seven distros -- Slackware 1.01 (1993), Debian 0.91 (1994), Jurix/S.u.S.E. (1996), SUSE 5.1 (1998), Red Hat 6.0 (1999), Mandrake 8.0 (2001), and Fedora 1 (2003). Click through for some of the highlights. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

'I'm a Teapot' Error Code Saved From Extinction By Public Outcry

(7 days ago)
Status Code 418 states that "Any attempt to brew coffee with a teapot should result in the error code '418 I'm a teapot'. The resulting entity body MAY be short and stout." An anonymous reader quotes Gizmodo: An anonymous reader quotes Gizmodo:It started back in 1998 as an April Fool's Day gag. Written up by Larry Masinter of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), error code 418 -- "I'm a teapot" -- was nothing more than a poke at the "many bad HTTP extensions that had been proposed". Despite its existence as a joke, a number of major software projects, including Node.js, ASP.NET and Google's Go language, implemented it as an Easter egg. A recent attempt to excise the fictitious code from these projects ended up doing the opposite, cementing it as a "reserved" error by the IETF... Australian programmer Mark Nottingham flagged the code's removal as an "issue" for Google's Go language, the Node.js Javascript runtime and Microsoft's ASP.NET... Nottingham's argument was that 418 was "polluting [the] core protocol" of these projects... It didn't take long for a "Save 418" website to go live and through the efforts of interested internet historians (and jokers), all three of the aforementioned projects have decided to keep the code as it is, though Google will "revisit" the situation with the next major version of Go. The Save 418 site argued that "the application of such an status code is boundless. Its utility, quite simply, is astonishingly unparalleled. It's a reminder[..]

Lawyer: Livestreamed, deadly crash caused by blown tire

(7 days ago)
The defense attorney for a teenage driver accused of driving drunk while livestreaming the crash that killed her younger sister says a mechanical problem may have caused the accident in California

After raising $232M in an ICO, Tezos says it'll commit $50M to fund new companies looking to build on the Tezos platform, via direct venture arm and VC partners (JD Alois/Crowdfund Insider)

(7 days ago)
JD Alois / Crowdfund Insider:After raising $232M in an ICO, Tezos says it'll commit $50M to fund new companies looking to build on the Tezos platform, via direct venture arm and VC partners  —  Tezos shot straight through the stratosphere in the blink of an eye with their Initial Coin Offering several weeks back.

Study Finds Vaccine Science Outreach Only Reinforced Myths

(7 days ago)
Ars Technica reports on a study suggesting that "Striking at a myth with facts may only shore it up." Applehu Akbar writes:Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied public attitudes toward vaccination in a group whose opinions on the subject were polled before and after being shown three different kinds of explanatory material that used settled scientific facts about vaccines to explain the pro-vaccination side of the debate. Not only was the anti-vax cohort not convinced by any of the three campaigns, but their attitudes hardened when another poll was taken a week later. What seems to have happened was that the pro-vax campaign was taken by anti-vaxers as just another attempt to lie to them, and as reinforcement for their already made-up minds on the subject. A previous study at Dartmouth College in 2014 used similar methodology and except for the 'hardening' effect elicited similar results. What's really scary about this is that while the Dartmouth subjects were taken from a large general population, the Edinburgh subjects were college students. "The researchers speculate that the mere repetition of a myth during the process of debunking may be enough to entrench the myth in a believerâ(TM)s mind," writes Ars Technica, with one of the study's authors attributing this to the "illusory truth" effect. "People tend to mistake repetition for truth."[..]

Elon Musk + AI + Microsoft = Awesome Dota 2 Player

(7 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes the Verge:Tonight during Valve's yearly Dota 2 tournament, a surprise segment introduced what could be the best new player in the world -- a bot from Elon Musk-backed startup OpenAI. Engineers from the nonprofit say the bot learned enough to beat Dota 2 pros in just two weeks of real-time learning, though in that training period they say it amassed "lifetimes" of experience, likely using a neural network judging by the company's prior efforts. Musk is hailing the achievement as the first time artificial intelligence has been able to beat pros in competitive e-sports... Elon Musk founded OpenAI as a nonprofit venture to prevent AI from destroying the world -- something Musk has been beating the drum about for years. "Nobody likes being regulated," Musk wrote on Twitter Friday, "but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that's a danger to the public is regulated. AI should be too." Musk also thanked Microsoft on Twitter "for use of their Azure cloud computing platform. This required massive processing power." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

iOS 10 Quietly Deprecated A Crucial API For VoIP and Communication Apps

(7 days ago)
neutrino38 warns that iOS 10 includes a significant change "overlooked by the general public":It deprecates an API that is crucial for VoIP and other instant messaging applications that enable keeping one socket active despite the fact that the application would run in the background. As a replacement, developers need to use PushKit: when an incoming call is to be forwarded to an iOS VoIP client, the VoIP infrastructure needs to: - withold the call- contact Apple push infrastructure using a proprietary protocol to wake up the client app remotely - wait for the application to reconnect to the infrastructure and release the call when it is readyThis "I know better than you" approach is meant to further optimize battery life on iOS devices by avoiding the use of resources by apps running in background. It has also the positive effect of forcing developers to switch to a push model and remove all periodic pollings that ultimately use mobile data and clog the Internet. However, the decision to use an Apple infrastructure has many consequences for VoIP providers: - the reliability of serving incoming calls is directly bound to Apple service- Apple may revoke the PushKit certificate. It thus has life and death decision power over third-party communication infrastructures- organizations wanting to setup IPBX and use iOS client have no option but to open access for the push services of Apple in their firewall- It is not possible to have iOS VoIP or communication clients in network[..]

FCC extends the comment response period for its net neutrality proposal by two weeks, with deadline now August 30 (Jacob Kastrenakes/The Verge)

(7 days ago)
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:FCC extends the comment response period for its net neutrality proposal by two weeks, with deadline now August 30  —  It now ends August 30th  —  You'll have two extra weeks to file your thoughts with the FCC on its plan to get rid of net neutrality.  The proposal's comment period …

The 2017 Hugo Awards

(7 days ago)
Dave Knott writes: The Hugo Awards, the most prestigious awards in science fiction, had their 2017 ceremony today, at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finland.The winners are: Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin Best Novella: "Every Heart a Doorway" by Seanan McGuire Best Novelette: "The Tomato Thief" by Ursula Vernon Best Short Story: "Seasons of Glass and Iron", by Amal El-Mohtar Best Related Work: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K Le Guin Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening , written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana TakedaBest Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Arrival , screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis VilleneuveBest Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): The Expanse: Leviathan Wakes , written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonoughBest Series: The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada PalmerThis year's slate of nominees, unlike the drama surrounding the 2016 and 2015 Hugos, was less impacted by the ballot-stuffing tactics of the "Rabid Puppies", thanks to a change in the way nominees were voted for this year (including the fact no work could appear in more than one category) in an attempt to avoid tactical slate picks.[..]

Snapchat's not-growing pains are a boom for Instagram

(7 days ago)
Snap Inc. should be very worried about Facebook's Instagram Stories, which now has more users than Snapchat itself

Venezuelans lead UK firm that disputes Venezuela election

(7 days ago)
The allegation of electoral fraud in Venezuela was brought by an electronic voting company headquartered in England that counts the Latin American country as one of its oldest clients and promotes its technology as a way to ensure legitimate elections

LA deputies' private body cams raise transparency questions

(7 days ago)
The largest sheriff's department in the U.S. doesn't have a policy for body cameras after years of studying the issue

Intel Unveils One-Petabyte Storage Servers For Data Centers

(7 days ago)
Slashdot reader #9,219 Guy Smiley shared this report on a new breed of high-density flash storage. The Inquirer reports:Intel has unveiled a brand new form factor for solid state disc drives (SSDs)... Intel Optane's new "ruler" format will allow up to a petabyte of storage on a single 1U server rack... By using 3D-NAND, the ruler crams in even more data and will provide more stability with less chance of catastrophic failure with data loss. The company has promised that the Ruler will have more bandwidth, input/output operations per second and lower latency than SAS... As part of the announcement, Intel also announced a range of "hard drive replacement" SSDs -- the S4500 and S4600 0 which are said to have the highest density 32-layer 3D NAND on the market, and are specifically aimed at data centres that want to move to solid state simply and if necessary, in stages. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Should Workplaces Be Re-Defined To Retain Older Tech Workers?

(7 days ago)
rgh02 submitted this article from Backchannel which argues companies "need to work harder and more persistently to attract, retain, and recognize talent" -- especially older talent:We "elders" know perfectly well that our workplaces are by and large not about us. We don't drive how roles, functions, advancement, and success are seen. Career development options and the hierarchical career ladders everyone is expected to climb are designed for the majority: younger workers. What can be done? There has to be a systems overhaul... The article suggests restructuring workplaces with "individual contributor tracks" which reward people who don't go on to become managers, as well as things like paid mentoring positions and "phased retirement" programs that create part-time positions to allow a more gradual transition into retirement. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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