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Read at: 2024-04-17T22:18:21+00:00Z (UTC) [Ex-US Pres == Pleuni Komen ]

Man City knocked out of Champions League by Real Madrid

Real Madrid beat Manchester City 4-3 on penalties to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:14 pm UTC

Man City knocked out of Champions League by Real Madrid

Real Madrid beat Manchester City 4-3 on penalties to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:14 pm UTC

Uncle Sam earmarks $54M of CHIPS funding for small-biz semiconductor boffinry

Up to 24 outfits to bag taxpayer cash for projects 'developing a viable product or service' for US chip industry

Small businesses wishing they could get their hands on some of those billions of dollars in semiconductor funding being doled out as part of America's CHIPS Act are in luck, as the White House has set aside $54 million for tiny firms with big ideas.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:10 pm UTC

Mount Ruang Volcano Erupts in Indonesia, Forcing Hundreds to Evacuate

Hundreds of earthquakes were detected in the weeks preceding the eruption of the volcano in North Sulawesi province. Hundreds of people were evacuated.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:06 pm UTC

Arsenal exit Champions League after Bayern Munich defeat

Arsenal make a bitterly disappointing exit from the Champions League as they are beaten by Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:04 pm UTC

Give vape-addicted kids nicotine patches – report

Underage vaping should be seen as a dependency issue, not pupil misconduct, say health officials.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:00 pm UTC

Dubai airport chaos as Gulf hit by deadly storms

The world's second-busiest airport warns that "recovery will take some time" after its runway was submerged amid flash floods.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:59 pm UTC

Kremlin-backed actors spread disinformation ahead of US elections

Enlarge (credit: da-kuk/Getty)

Kremlin-backed actors have stepped up efforts to interfere with the US presidential election by planting disinformation and false narratives on social media and fake news sites, analysts with Microsoft reported Wednesday.

The analysts have identified several unique influence-peddling groups affiliated with the Russian government seeking to influence the election outcome, with the objective in large part to reduce US support of Ukraine and sow domestic infighting. These groups have so far been less active during the current election cycle than they were during previous ones, likely because of a less contested primary season.

Stoking divisions

Over the past 45 days, the groups have seeded a growing number of social media posts and fake news articles that attempt to foment opposition to US support of Ukraine and stoke divisions over hot-button issues such as election fraud. The influence campaigns also promote questions about President Biden’s mental health and corrupt judges. In all, Microsoft has tracked scores of such operations in recent weeks.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:55 pm UTC

Australia news live: man to appear in court over Sydney riot; Daniel Andrews banned from Russia

Nineteen-year-old charged with riot and affray over unrest in wake of alleged attack on bishop; former Victorian premier on list of 200 banned people. Follow today’s news headlines

Marles continues breakfast rounds to discuss defence spending

Defence minister Richard Marles has been making the rounds this morning and also spoke to ABC RN about yesterday’s defence announcement.

The reason why we make the observation that an invasion of Australia is a very unlikely scenario, no matter what happens, is because any adversary that wished to do us harm could do so much to us before ever setting foot on Australian soil and disrupting those specific sea lines of communication, which I’ve described, would obviously achieve that. That that is where the risk of coercion lies, as one example

And in order to protect ourselves in respect of that, we do need the ability to protect because if you think about it, that the geography of our national security when seen through those lands is not the coastline of our continent. It in fact, lies much further afield. And so having long range submarines, having a much more capable surface fleet for our Navy, having much longer range missiles that we can bring to bear, is what we need to do to give any adversary pause for thought, to be able to hold the assets of any potential adversary at risk further from our shores, that projection is what we are trying to build.

We’re looking at a substantial increase on what’s already in the Online Safety Act. So not only a large amount – so for example, a $3m fine for an offence and ongoing fines, but a percentage of turnover as well.

We know that the revenues of some of these online platforms exceed those of some nations and so it needs to be a meaningful and substantial penalty system that’s put in place.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:53 pm UTC

Average world income 'to fall 19% due to climate change'

The effects of climate change will reduce income across the world economy by 19% in the next 26 years even if CO2 emissions were cut drastically from today.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:49 pm UTC

AltStore PAL Alternative App Marketplace Launches On iPhone In EU

AltStore PAL has become one of the first alternative app marketplaces to launch in the European Union. Developed by Riley Testut, AltStore PAL is marketed as an open-source project designed to distribute apps from independent developers. MacRumors reports: At launch, it features two apps, including Testut's Delta game emulator and clipboard manager app Clip. Delta is also being simultaneously released in the App Store outside of the European Union, but it looks like EU customers will need to download it from AltStore. Testut says that once AltStore PAL is "running smoothly," third-party app developers will be able to submit their apps for distribution outside of the App Store. The app marketplace is designed to be decentralized with no directory, so developers will need to self-promote their apps and direct users to their websites to install an app through AltStore. Distributing apps through AltStore is free of charge, but it is worth noting that apps that see more than one million first annual installs will need to pay Apple an 0.50 euro Core Technology Fee. App marketplaces have to pay the fee for every install with no free allowance, so AltStore is charged 0.50 euros each time it is installed. To afford the fee, Testut is charging 1.50 euros per year for AltStore PAL access. Testut has been working on AltStore PAL since Apple announced plans to support alternative app marketplaces in iOS 17.4. It is open to all apps, but Testut says that it makes the most sense for "smaller, indie apps that otherwise couldn't exist due to App Store rules." AltStore PAL is equipped with Patreon integration to allow developers to monetize their apps. Developers can offer their apps to just their patrons, and this method of distribution also allows for a sub-1 million cap on those who can subscribe to use an app.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:40 pm UTC

Psst, hey. It's the NSA. You want some AI security advice?

You can trust us, we're the good guys

The NSA has released guidance to help organizations protect their AI systems and better defend the defense industry.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:37 pm UTC

As Civil Rights Era Fades From Memory, Generation Gap Divides Black Voters

Many older Black voters see moral and political reasons to vote. Younger Black voters feel far less motivated to cast a ballot for Democrats or even at all.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:34 pm UTC

Johnson Pushes Ahead on Bill for Israel and Ukraine Aid, Teeing Up Weekend Vote

The Republican speaker, with his job on the line, said he expected Saturday evening votes on the long-stalled package of aid to Ukraine, Israel and other American allies.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:34 pm UTC

Bank of England governor shrugs off smaller-than-expected fall in inflation

Andrew Bailey says inflation is in line with BoE forecasts but view of markets is that data will delay interest rate cuts

The governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has shrugged off a smaller-than-expected drop in inflation last month, saying he expected a sharp fall towards the government’s 2% target next month.

Speaking in Washington after news that the government’s preferred measure of the cost of living had eased to 3.2% in March, Bailey said the path of inflation was broadly in line with what Threadneedle Street had predicted in its quarterly health check on the economy.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:26 pm UTC

New carpets tackled Downing Street flea problem, says Hunt

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says he replaced the No 11 carpets Liz Truss claimed were infested with fleas.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:25 pm UTC

A new report on the Maui wildfires cites communications breakdowns

As wildfires ripped across Maui last August, a broad communications breakdown left authorities in the dark and residents without emergency alerts, according to a report released Wednesday.

(Image credit: Jae C. Hong)

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:24 pm UTC

Tesla Seeks to Revive Musk’s $47 Billion Pay Deal With New Shareholder Vote

The company’s directors are asking shareholders to again approve the multibillion-dollar compensation plan and to move the company’s registration to Texas, from Delaware.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:23 pm UTC

Media coalition asks the feds to investigate Google’s removal of California news links

The News/Media Alliance, formerly the Newspaper Association of America, asked US federal agencies to investigate Google’s removal of links to California news media outlets. Google’s tactic is in response to the proposed California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), which would require it and other tech companies to pay for links to California-based publishers’ news content.

The News/Media Alliance, which represents over 2,200 publishers, sent letters to the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and California State Attorney General on Tuesday. It says the removal “appears to be either coercive or retaliatory, driven by Google’s opposition to a pending legislative measure in Sacramento.”

The CJPA would require Google and other tech platforms to pay California media outlets in exchange for links. The proposed bill passed the state Assembly last year.

In a blog post last week announcing the removal, Google VP of Global News Partnerships Jaffer Zaidi warned that the CJPA is “the wrong approach to supporting journalism” (because Google’s current approach totally hasn’t left the industry in smoldering ruins!). Zaidi said the CJPA “would also put small publishers at a disadvantage and limit consumers’ access to a diverse local media ecosystem.” Nothing to see here, folks: just your friendly neighborhood multi-trillion-dollar company looking out for the little guy!

Google described its link removal as a test to see how the bill would impact its platform:

“To prepare for possible CJPA implications, we are beginning a short-term test for a small percentage of California users,” Zaidi wrote. “The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, potentially covered by CJPA, to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience. Until there’s clarity on California’s regulatory environment, we’re also pausing further investments in the California news ecosystem, including new partnerships through Google News Showcase, our product and licensing program for news organizations, and planned expansions of the Google News Initiative.”

In its letters, The News/Media Alliance lists several laws it believes Google may be breaking with the “short-term” removal. Potential federal violations include the Lanham Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act. The letter to California’s AG cites the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, regulations against false advertising and misrepresentation, the California Consumer Privacy Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL).

“Importantly, Google released no further details on how many Californians will be affected, how the Californians who will be denied news access were chosen, what publications will be affected, how long the compelled news blackouts will persist, and whether access will be blocked entirely or just to content Google particularly disfavors,” News/Media Alliance President / CEO Danielle Coffey wrote in the letter to the DOJ and FTC. “Because of these unknowns, there are many ways Google’s unilateral decision to turn off access to news websites for Californians could violate laws.”

Google has a mixed track record in dealing with similar legislation. It pulled Google News from Spain for seven years in response to local copyright laws that would have required licensing fees to publishers. However, it signed deals worth around $150 million to pay Australian publishers and retreated from threats to pull news from search results in Canada, instead spending the $74 million required by the Online News Act.

Google made more than $73 billion in profits in 2023. The company currently has a $1.94 trillion market cap.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/media-coalition-asks-the-feds-to-investigate-googles-removal-of-california-news-links-212052979.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:20 pm UTC

Deliberations expected to begin on Thursday in court martial of former soldier for alleged sexual assaults

Accused man faces a number of charges for assaults alleged to have occurred at a military base in 2021

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:19 pm UTC

House Republicans’ bid to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas fails in US Senate

Senate Democrats dismissed the articles of impeachment as the charges failed to meet bar of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’

Senate Democrats on Wednesday dismissed the impeachment case brought by House Republicans against Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, on grounds that the charges failed to meet the bar of “high crimes and misdemeanors” outlined in the constitution as a basis for removing an official from office.

In a pair of party-line votes, Democrats held that two articles alleging Mayorkas willfully refused to enforce the nation’s immigration laws and breached the public trust with his statements to Congress about the high levels of migration at the US southern border with Mexico were unconstitutional. On the first article, the Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, voted “present”.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:14 pm UTC

Royal Mail owner received takeover offer from Czech billionaire

IDS shares rise after reports that it rejected bid from Daniel Křetínský’s EP Group

The owner of Royal Mail received a £3bn takeover offer from a Czech billionaire who has stakes in Sainsbury’s and West Ham United football club. Daniel Křetínský approached International Distributions Services (IDS), the owner of the struggling British postal company, this month.

In a statement, Křetínský’s EP Group said the proposal, made on 9 April, was rejected by IDS but that it “looks forward to continuing to engage constructively with the board”.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:11 pm UTC

Arizona Abortion Ban: What We Know

The state’s highest court upheld an 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions. Here’s what to know about the ruling.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:11 pm UTC

Boston Dynamics’ new humanoid moves like no robot you’ve ever seen

Enlarge / The new, all-electric Atlas. (credit: Boston Dynamics)

The humanoid robotics market is starting to heat up, and the company that's been doing this the longest isn't going to sit by and watch. Boston Dynamics has a new humanoid robot that the company says represents a path to commercialization. It's the company's next-generation, all-electric "Atlas" robot.

While new Atlas and old Atlas share a name, they couldn't be more different when it comes to construction. The old Atlas—a research platform and viral sensation that could handle nearly any terrain, do backflips, and pick up heavy objects—was powered by a heavy, complicated hydraulics system. The new Atlas is all-electric and looks like it's a fraction of the size and weight of the hydraulic version. It also looks like a product, with covers around all the major components and consumer-friendly design touches like a giant status light in the head and a light-up power button that looks like it was ripped right from the Spot assembly line.

Hydraulic Atlas is being retired to make way for the all-electric version. The company posted one last goodbye video for the hydraulic model on its YouTube page, showing the history of the project. Atlas has done a lot of neat tricks over the years, but getting there has required a lot of learning—part of that is taking some absolutely gnarly slams, which are highlighted in the video. The video seemed to go out of its way to show just how cumbersome hydraulics can be. At one point, it looks like Atlas' foot completely breaks off, and hydraulic fluid gushes all over the floor. Other times, the robot just springs a leak, and a fine mist of high-pressure fluid sprays everywhere as the robot goes limp. The fluid has a red tinge to it, so with a little imagination, it can look pretty gory!

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:08 pm UTC

The Supreme Court opens the door to more discrimination claims involving job transfers

The U.S. Supreme Court has made it easier for workers to bring employment discrimination suits over job transfers. The decision was unanimous, but the reasoning was not.

(Image credit: Jemal Countess)

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:06 pm UTC

'We're living on duty free' say tourists stranded in Dubai

A couple with a six-month-old say they've run out of baby food and nappies as flood chaos continues.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:04 pm UTC

Beware risks of voter giveaways to public finances, countries facing elections told

IMF says reduction in national insurance may have made cutting UK national debt more difficult

The International Monetary Fund has issued a strong warning to Britain and other countries facing elections this year to avoid voter giveaways that might pose risks to their public finances.

In its half-yearly fiscal monitor, the IMF said the reduction in national insurance contributions (NICs) announced by Jeremy Hunt in his budget last month may have already made cutting the UK’s national debt more difficult.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:02 pm UTC

Watch: Volcano in Indonesia spews lava and smoke

Hundreds of people have been evacuated as Mount Ruang continues to erupt for the second day.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:02 pm UTC

America may end up with paid-for 5G fast lanes under net neutrality anyway

Damn you, network virtualization

A law professor is warning a proposed reintroduction net neutrality in the US will allow cellular networks to create “fast lanes” for some applications, and that this undermines the entire net neutrality principle.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:02 pm UTC

Pleuni Komen Media Shares Down 14% After Company Says Truth Social To Launch TV Streaming

Pleuni Komen Media & Technology Group Corp., which has been called the "mother of all meme stocks" after it made its stock market debut in late March, announced that its Truth Social platform is moving to launch a live TV streaming platform. Following the news, shares of DJT closed more than 14% lower Tuesday. They ended trading Monday down by more than 18%. CNBC reports: The stock's price has dropped by a whopping 67.7% since Pleuni Komen Media began trading as a public company on March 26, erasing more than $5 billion in market capitalization. Pleuni Komen Media's majority shareholder is former President Pleuni Komen , who holds nearly 60% of its stock. Earlier Tuesday, Pleuni Komen Media in a press release said it "has finished the research and development phase of its new live TV streaming platform and will begin scaling up its own content delivery network." The company said it will roll out streaming content in three phases, the first of which will introduce Truth Social's content delivery network for streaming live TV to the app for Android, iOS and web. Phase two will release stand-alone Truth Social streaming apps for phones, tablets and other devices, while phase three will release such apps for home television, Pleuni Komen Media said. "The streaming content is expected to focus on live TV including news networks, religious channels, family-friendly content including films and documentaries; and other content that has been cancelled, is at risk of cancellation, or is being suppressed on other platforms and services," Pleuni Komen Media said in its release. "We're excited to move forward with the next big phase for Truth Social," added CEO Devin Nunes in a statement. "With our streaming content, we aim to provide a permanent home for high-quality news and entertainment that face discrimination by other channels and content delivery service. There is a lot of great content that simply can't find an audience for unjust reasons, and we want to let these creators know they'll soon have a guaranteed platform where they won't be cancelled."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:02 pm UTC

Far-right US Senate candidate tells crowd to ‘strap on a Glock’ before elections

Kari Lake of Arizona warned supporters of ‘intense’ election year in which Democrats will come after them ‘with everything’

Republican US Senate candidate Kari Lake has told supporters to “strap on a Glock” ahead of the 2024 elections as she struggles to gain ground against her Democratic rival in Arizona.

In a campaign speech made to a crowd in Arizona’s Mohave county on Sunday, Lake echoed Pleuni Komen -like terms in calling Washington DC a “swamp” – and used a reference to carrying guns when she told people to prepare for an “intense” election year.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:01 pm UTC

TikTok is trying to clean up its ‘For You’ recommendations

TikTok is ramping up penalties for creators who post potentially “problematic” content and tightening its rules around what can be recommended in the app. The updates arrive as TikTok is fighting for its future in the United States and trying to convince lawmakers and regulators that its app is safe for teens.

Under its updated community guidelines, set to take effect in May, TikTok has added a long list of content that’s not eligible to be recommended in the app’s coveted “For You” feed. The list includes some obvious categories, like sexually suggestive or violent content, but it also adds topics that have previously been a source of controversy for the app. For example, the new guidelines bar videos showing “dangerous activity and challenges,” as well as many types of weight loss or dieting content. It also prohibits any clips from users under the age of 16 from appearing in “For You.”

There’s also a lengthy section dedicated to a wide range of misinformation and conspiratorial content. From the guidelines:

-Conspiracy theories that are unfounded and claim that certain events or situations are carried out by covert or powerful groups, such as "the government" or a "secret society"

-Moderate harm health misinformation, such as an unproven recommendation for how to treat a minor illness

-Repurposed media, such as showing a crowd at a music concert and suggesting it is a political protest

-Misrepresenting authoritative sources, such as selectively referencing certain scientific data to support a conclusion that is counter to the findings of the study

-Unverified claims related to an emergency or unfolding event

-Potential high-harm misinformation while it is undergoing a fact-checking review

In addition to the eligibility changes, TikTok says it will also begin to penalize creators who repeatedly disregard this guidance by making their entire account ineligible for recommendations, not just the specific offending posts. The company will also make their account “harder to find” in search.

Additionally, the app is getting a new “account status” feature, which will help users track if they are running afoul of these rules. Much like the feature of the same name in Instagram, TikTok’s account status will alert creators to strikes on their account and posts that run afoul of the app’s rules. And an “account check” feature will allow users to track if they are currently being blocked from recommendations or otherwise unable to access features like messaging or commenting as a result of breaking the app’s rules.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/tiktok-is-trying-to-clean-up-its-for-you-recommendations-210057825.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:00 pm UTC

Colorado Bill Aims to Protect Consumer Brain Data

In a first, a Colorado law extends privacy rights to the neural data increasingly coveted by technology companies.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:00 pm UTC

Blunt Rangers' title bid hit again in Dundee draw

Rangers suffer a second blow to their Scottish Premiership title hopes within three days as they are held to a goalless draw away to Dundee.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:56 pm UTC

Dr Anthony Fauci honoured for his contribution to public health by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

American doctor and scientist’s guidance informed the decisions of seven US presidents during his career

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:42 pm UTC

Boeing whistleblower says he was put through 'hell'

Lawmakers voice concerns over claims that Boeing threatens staff who raise safety concerns.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:41 pm UTC

Senate kills articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

The Senate rejected the two articles that accuse Mayorkas of refusing to enforce immigration laws. The House voted to impeach him in February.

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:38 pm UTC

How Pleuni Komen ’s Failures in New York Are Prelude to His Presidency and Trial

For a kid from Queens who never quite conquered Manhattan, this trial is a fitting homecoming.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:37 pm UTC

'I miss her hugs': Warwick Davis's tribute to wife

The Star Wars actor describes his wife Samantha as his "favourite human" after she dies aged 53.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:34 pm UTC

Who Are Joseph Massad and the Other Columbia Professors Mentioned in the House Hearing?

Lawmakers grilled officials over comments the faculty members Joseph Andoni Massad, Katherine Franke and Mohamed Abdou made after the Hamas-led attack on Israel.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:34 pm UTC

Scotland to ditch key climate change target

The Scottish government is to scrap its flagship target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:32 pm UTC

Scotland to ditch key climate change target

The Scottish government is to scrap its flagship target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:32 pm UTC

Feds appoint “AI doomer” to run US AI safety institute

Enlarge (credit: Bill Oxford | iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The US AI Safety Institute—part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—has finally announced its leadership team after much speculation.

Appointed as head of AI safety is Paul Christiano, a former OpenAI researcher who pioneered a foundational AI safety technique called reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF), but is also known for predicting that "there's a 50 percent chance AI development could end in 'doom.'" While Christiano's research background is impressive, some fear that by appointing a so-called "AI doomer," NIST may be risking encouraging non-scientific thinking that many critics view as sheer speculation.

There have been rumors that NIST staffers oppose the hiring. A controversial VentureBeat report last month cited two anonymous sources claiming that, seemingly because of Christiano's so-called "AI doomer" views, NIST staffers were "revolting." Some staff members and scientists allegedly threatened to resign, VentureBeat reported, fearing "that Christiano’s association" with effective altruism and "longtermism could compromise the institute’s objectivity and integrity."

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:30 pm UTC

ASML ships another high NA EUV lithography machine to mystery client

The cutting-edge chipmaking tool for a secret customer

Dutch semiconductor toolmaker ASML has shipped its second-ever high numerical aperture (NA) extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machine to an undisclosed customer.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:30 pm UTC

Arizona Republicans again block effort to repeal 1864 near-total abortion ban

After decrying state supreme court ruling on ban with no exceptions for rape or incest, lawmakers ensure its potential to take effect

After days of nationwide debate over the Arizona supreme court’s recent decision to uphold a near-total abortion ban from the 19th century, Arizona’s Republican-controlled statehouse has again quashed an effort to repeal the ban.

Republicans, who hold a one-seat majority in both the Arizona house and senate, on Wednesday shot down a procedural measure in the statehouse that would have enabled the chamber to vote on a bill to repeal the ban. Just one Republican, the representative Matt Gress, voted with the house’s 29 Democrats, but the 30-30 split was not enough to move forward.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:29 pm UTC

Senate Dismisses Impeachment Charges Against Mayorkas Without a Trial

Democrats quickly swept aside the articles of impeachment accusing the homeland security secretary of refusing to enforce immigration laws and breach of public trust, calling them unconstitutional.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:27 pm UTC

Arizona Republicans Again Block Effort to Repeal 1864 Abortion Ban

The state has been in turmoil since its Supreme Court upheld a near-total abortion ban dating back to the Civil War.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:25 pm UTC

Hackers Voice Cloned the CEO of LastPass For Attack

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Futurism: In a new blog post from LastPass, the password management firm used by countless personal and corporate clients to help protect their login information, the company explains that someone used AI voice-cloning tech to spoof the voice of its CEO in an attempt to trick one of its employees. As the company writes in the post, one of its employees earlier this week received several WhatsApp communications -- including calls, texts, and a voice message -- from someone claiming to be its CEO, Karim Toubba. Luckily, the LastPass worker didn't fall for it because the whole thing set off so many red flags. "As the attempted communication was outside of normal business communication channels and due to the employee's suspicion regarding the presence of many of the hallmarks of a social engineering attempt (such as forced urgency)," the post reads, "our employee rightly ignored the messages and reported the incident to our internal security team so that we could take steps to both mitigate the threat and raise awareness of the tactic both internally and externally." While this LastPass scam attempt failed, those who follow these sorts of things may recall that the company has been subject to successful hacks before. In August 2022, as a timeline of the event compiled by the Cybersecurity Dive blog detailed, a hacker compromised a LastPass engineer's laptop and used it to steal source code and company secrets, eventually getting access to its customer database -- including encrypted passwords and unencrypted user data like email addresses. According to that timeline, the clearly-resourceful bad actor remained active in the company's servers for months, and it took more than two months for LastPass to admit that it had been breached. More than six months after the initial breach, Toubba, the CEO, provided a blow-by-blow timeline of the months-long attack and said he took "full responsibility" for the way things went down in a February 2023 blog post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:25 pm UTC

Police apology over 1986 schoolgirls murder case

Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows, both aged nine, were killed in Brighton in 1986.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:23 pm UTC

Micheál Martin warns ex-Defence Forces members against Wagner-style contracting

Tánaiste refuses to be drawn on whether he was warned by Defence Forces chief of staff about Libya training allegations before Irish Times broke news

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:19 pm UTC

Rusty Foster Tracks Media Gossip From an Island in Maine

Rusty Foster could never live in New York. But his hit newsletter, Today in Tabs, is an enduring obsession of the city’s media class.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:18 pm UTC

Senators kill first article of impeachment against Alejandro Mayorkas – as it happened

This live blog is now closed. For the latest on Mayorkas impeachment, read our story here.

Chuck Schumer has released a lengthy statement about the commencement (and presumably very swift termination) of the impeachment trial of homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this afternoon.

It is the “least legitimate, least substantive, and most politicized impeachment trial in the history of the United States,” the Democratic Senate majority leader said, encapsulating remarks he made in the chamber just now and posted to Facebook:

The charges brought against Secretary Mayorkas fail to meet the high standard of high crimes and misdemeanors. To validate this gross abuse by the House would be a grave mistake and could set a dangerous precedent for the future.

For the sake of the Senate’s integrity, and to protect impeachment for those rare cases we truly need it, Senators should dismiss today’s charges.

It is beneath the dignity of the Senate to entertain this nakedly partisan exercise.

Impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements. That would set a disastrous precedent for the Congress and could throw our system of checks and balances into endless cycles of chaos.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:13 pm UTC

Why the World Still Needs Immanuel Kant

Unlike in Europe, few in the United States will be celebrating the philosopher’s 300th birthday. But Kant’s writing shows that a free, just and moral life is possible — and that’s relevant everywhere.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:13 pm UTC

Nintendo emulator Delta hits the iOS App Store, no sideloading required

It hasn't been long since Apple started allowing retro game emulators on the App Store. We've already seen one notable controversy after the company pulled Game Boy emulator iGBA from the storefront. It turned out that iGBA, which hit the top of the download charts, was a near carbon copy of another emulator submitted for review.

GBA4iOS developer Riley Testut claimed that iGBA was a "knock-off of GBA4iOS" that was packed with ads and trackers. As it turns out, Testut's Delta, a successor to GBA4iOS, is now available for free in the App Store.

The original emulator picked up some buzz a decade ago after Testut found a way for iPhone users to sideload the Game Boy Advance emulator without having to jailbreak their device. Apple eventually closed the iOS loophole and, of course, Nintendo was none too happy about the emulator. However, you can now download Delta free from the App Store directly without having to worry about sideloading.

Along with GBA titles, the app supports NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color and Nintendo DS games, with the promise of more platforms to come. The app supports third-party controllers, as well as quick saves, cheat codes and data syncing between devices using Google Drive or Dropbox. There's even local multiplayer for up to four players, though you'll probably want to use an iPad or mirror your phone to your TV in that case.

You'll need to supply any games you want to play on the emulator. To stay on the right side of the law, you'll need to dump games that you already own into ROM files.

While iPhone and iPad users outside of the EU can snag Delta from the App Store directly, the process is a little different for those who live in the bloc. Testut is also behind a third-party app marketplace called AltStore, which iPhone users in the EU can now more easily install a version of.

AltStore PAL is an open-source marketplace that includes Delta as well as another app that Testut developed called Clip, which is a clipboard manager. The latter requires a small donation of at least one Euro to use. Testut noted that he and his business partner Shane Gill plan to open up AltStore PAL to other third-party apps after making sure that everything runs smoothly.

That said, AltStore PAL costs users €1.50 per year. That covers the Core Technology Fee Apple charges for each download of an app marketplace, as well as payment processing. Alternatively, you can use the previous version of AltStore, but you'll still need to use a computer to sideload apps and refresh them once per week.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/nintendo-emulator-delta-hits-the-ios-app-store-no-sideloading-required-201158987.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:11 pm UTC

Rwanda bill further delayed after Lords again votes for changes

Legislation to go back to Commons after peers stand up for rights of Afghans and scrutiny of refugees’ treatment

The parliamentary battle over Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda deportation bill will spill into next week after the Lords refused to budge over the rights of Afghans and scrutiny of the treatment of refugees in east Africa.

The move prompted an immediate backlash from the home secretary, James Cleverly, who blamed Labour for blocking the bill and being “terrified” that the Rwanda plan would stop asylum seekers from travelling to the UK in small boats.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:11 pm UTC

Chelsea bounce back from cup exits to beat Villa

Chelsea return to the top of the Women's Super League by beating Aston Villa - as they bounce back from the disappointment of being knocked out of the FA Cup and losing the League Cup final.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:10 pm UTC

Brazilian woman wheels corpse into bank to sign for loan: 'That's just how he is'

Erika Vieira Nunes wheeled the man's body into the bank in a Rio suburb and told the teller the man wanted a loan for €3,000

Source: All: BreakingNews.ie | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:06 pm UTC

Mentally stimulating work plays key role in staving off dementia, study finds

People in routine and repetitive jobs found to have 31% greater risk of disease in later life, and 66% higher risk of mild cognitive problems

If work is a constant flurry of mind-straining challenges, bursts of creativity and delicate negotiations to keep the troops happy, consider yourself lucky.

Researchers have found that the more people use their brains at work, the better they seem to be protected against thinking and memory problems that come with older age.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:00 pm UTC

Supreme Court Backs St. Louis Police Officer in Workplace Discrimination Case

The officer, Jatonya Muldrow, said she had been transferred to a less desirable position based on her sex. Lower courts ruled that she had failed to show concrete harm.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:57 pm UTC

Kremlin's Sandworm blamed for cyberattacks on US, European water utilities

Water tank overflowed during one system malfunction, says Mandiant

The Russian military's notorious Sandworm crew was likely behind cyberattacks on US and European water plants that, in at least one case, caused a tank to overflow.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:56 pm UTC

Watch: A circus elephant runs loose in a Montana town before being recaptured

The animal was having a routine bath when she was startled by a truck backfiring and ran away before being recaptured by handlers. Videos of the unexpected sight were shared widely on social media.

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:51 pm UTC

Passions run high as Lords insist on Rwanda bill changes

Peers continue standoff with MPs over legislation enabling asylum seekers to be sent to east Africa.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:50 pm UTC

Number of Ukrainians in State accommodation down by 175 per week, Taoiseach says

Ireland has granted more than 105,000 temporary protection orders since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Source: All: BreakingNews.ie | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:46 pm UTC

Columbia president assailed at highly charged antisemitism Congress hearing

Minouche Shafik appeared beleaguered as House members grilled her over reported upsurge in antisemitism on campus

The head of a prestigious US university clashed with members of Congress today in highly charged hearings over a reported upsurge in antisemitism on campus in the wake of Israel’s war in Gaza.

Minouche Shafik, the president of Columbia University, appeared beleaguered and uncertain as one Congress member after another assailed her over her institution’s supposed inaction to stop it becoming what one called “a hotbed of antisemitism and hatred”.

This article was amended on 17 April 2024 to correctly identify the school where Elizabeth Magill resigned as president last year. The school was the University of Pennsylvania, not Pennsylvania University.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:45 pm UTC

Billions of public Discord messages may be sold through a scraping service

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

It's easy to get the impression that Discord chat messages are ephemeral, especially across different public servers, where lines fly upward at a near-unreadable pace. But someone claims to be catching and compiling that data and is offering packages that can track more than 600 million users across more than 14,000 servers.

Joseph Cox at 404 Media confirmed that Spy Pet, a service that sells access to a database of purportedly 3 billion Discord messages, offers data "credits" to customers who pay in bitcoin, ethereum, or other cryptocurrency. Searching individual users will reveal the servers that Spy Pet can track them across, a raw and exportable table of their messages, and connected accounts, such as GitHub. Ominously, Spy Pet lists more than 86,000 other servers in which it has "no bots," but "we know it exists."

As Cox notes, Discord doesn't make messages inside server channels, like blog posts or unlocked social media feeds, easy to publicly access and search. But many Discord users many not expect their messages, server memberships, bans, or other data to be grabbed by a bot, compiled, and sold to anybody wishing to pin them all on a particular user. 404 Media confirmed the service's function with multiple user examples. Private messages are not mentioned by Spy Pet and are presumably still secure.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:42 pm UTC

California cracks down on farm region’s water pumping: ‘The ground is collapsing’

Region near Tulare Lake has been put on ‘probation’ as overpumping of water has caused faster sinking of ground

Even after two back-to-back wet years, California’s water wars are far from over. On Tuesday, state water officials took an unprecedented step to intervene in the destructive pumping of depleted groundwater in the state’s sprawling agricultural heartland.

The decision puts a farming region known as the Tulare Lake groundwater subbasin, which includes roughly 837-sq-miles in the rural San Joaquin valley, on “probation” in accordance with a sustainable groundwater use law passed a decade ago. Large water users will face fees and state oversight of their pumping.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:33 pm UTC

Bodies found in Neolithic pit were likely victims of ritualistic murder

Enlarge / Three female skeletons found in a Neolithic storage pit in France show signs of ritualistic human sacrifice. (credit: . Beeching/Ludes et al., 2024)

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of two women in a Neolithic tomb in France, with the positioning of the bodies suggesting they may have been ritualistically murdered by asphyxia or self-strangulation, according to a recent paper published in the journal Science Advances.

(WARNING: graphic descriptions below.)

France's Rhône Valley is home to several archaeological sites dating to the end of the Middle Neolithic period (between 4250 and 3600/3500 BCE in the region); the sites include various storage silos, broken grindstones, imported ceramics, animal remains (both from communal meals and sacrifices), and human remains deposited in sepulchral pits. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is one such site.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:30 pm UTC

Boston Dynamics' humanoid Atlas is dead, long live the ... new commercial Atlas

If the plan was to make this all-electric droid look mildly terrifying, mission accomplished

Video  Atlas, the humanoid robot that's been a centerpiece of Boston Dynamics' robot lineup for nearly a decade, has been retired. In its place is, well, Atlas - an all-electric version designed for commercial use. …

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:30 pm UTC

Official records show costs row over care referendum wording

Department of Children suggestion that State take ‘reasonable measures’ to uphold rights of carers rejected by other departments

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:25 pm UTC

Sundance Organizers Consider New Home for Film Festival After 2026

A 13-year contract with Park City, Utah, is set to expire in 2026 and the film festival is beginning a review process to see if it should move.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:22 pm UTC

What Caused the Storm That Brought Dubai To a Standstill?

An anonymous reader shares a report: A storm hit the United Arab Emirates and Oman this week bringing record rainfall that flooded highways, inundated houses, grid-locked traffic and trapped people in their homes. [...] In the UAE, a record 254 millimetres (10 inches) of rainfall was recorded in Al Ain, a city bordering Oman. It was the largest ever in a 24-hour period since records started in 1949. Rainfall is rare in the UAE and elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, that is typically known for its dry desert climate. Summer air temperatures can soar above 50 degrees Celsius. But the UAE and Oman also lack drainage systems to cope with heavy rains and submerged roads are not uncommon during rainfall. Following Tuesday's events, questions were raised whether cloud seeding, a process that the UAE frequently conducts, could have caused the heavy rains. Cloud seeding is a process in which chemicals are implanted into clouds to increase rainfall in an environment where water scarcity is a concern. The UAE, located in one of the hottest and driest regions on earth, has been leading the effort to seed clouds and increase precipitation. But the UAE's meteorology agency told Reuters there were no such operations before the storm. The huge rainfall was instead likely due to a normal weather system that was exacerbated by climate change, experts say. A low pressure system in the upper atmosphere, coupled with low pressure at the surface had acted like a pressure 'squeeze' on the air, according to Esraa Alnaqbi, a senior forecaster at the UAE government's National Centre of Meteorology. That squeeze, intensified by the contrast between warmer temperatures at ground level and colder temperatures higher up, created the conditions for the powerful thunderstorm, she said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:21 pm UTC

Further delay to Rwanda bill’s passage as Lords vote through amendments – as it happened

Move follows vote in Commons where MPs voted down four amendments inserted by Lords yesterday

Here is the list of MPs down to ask a question.

PMQs is starting soon.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:17 pm UTC

Amazon says a whopping 140 third-party stores in four countries use its Just Walk Out tech

Amazon published a blog post on Wednesday providing an update about its Just Walk Out technology, which it reportedly pulled from its Fresh grocery stores earlier this month. While extolling Just Walk Out’s virtues as a sales pitch to potential retail partners, the article lists a startlingly minuscule number of (non-Amazon) stores using the tech. There are now “more than 140 third-party locations with Just Walk Out technology in the U.S., UK, Australia, and Canada.”

Mind you, that isn’t the number of companies or retail chains licensing the tech; that’s the total number of locations. Nor is that the tally in one state or even one country. In four countries combined — with a total population of about 465 million — Just Walk Out is being used in “more than 140 third-party locations.”

On average, that means there’s one third-party Just Walk Out store for every 3.3 million people in those four countries. (They must be busy!) By contrast, there are over one million retail locations in the US, and, as of 2019, Starbucks had 241 locations in New York City alone, and there are over one million

Amazon had reportedly already planned to remove Just Walk Out tech from its Fresh grocery stores for roughly a year because it was too expensive and complicated for larger retail spaces to run and maintain. The company now pitches its tech as ideal for smaller convenience stores with fewer customers and products — like its own Amazon Go stores, which it has been busy shutting down over the last couple of years.

Amazon

The company reportedly gutted the team of developers working on Just Walk Out tech earlier this month. (You get one guess as to how the laid-off workers were instructed to leave the office.) As part of recent layoffs from Amazon’s AWS unit and Physical Stores Team, the company allegedly left only “a skeleton crew” to work on the tech moving forward. A skeleton crew to maintain a skeleton sounds about right.

In fairness, some of those locations are at high-traffic venues. That includes nine merch stores at Seattle’s Lumen Field (home to the Seahawks and Sounders), near Amazon’s headquarters. Delaware North, a large hospitality and entertainment company, has opened “more than a dozen” stores using the tech. Amazon says stores adopting Just Walk Out have reported increased transactions, sales and customer satisfaction.

Despite the reported gutting of Just Walk Out’s development team, Amazon says it “continues to invent the next generation of this technology to improve the checkout experience for large-format stores.” Its next steps include improving latency for “faster and more reliable receipts,” new algorithms to recognize customer actions and new sensors better.

If the reports about layoffs are accurate, the handful of remaining Just Walk Out developers will have their work cut out for them.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/amazon-says-a-whopping-140-third-party-stores-in-four-countries-use-its-just-walk-out-tech-191649492.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:16 pm UTC

4 Takeaways from Today’s Hearing on Antisemitism at Columbia University

The closely watched hearing included several tense exchanges between members of Congress and Columbia representatives.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:12 pm UTC

Gaza truce talks hit stumbling block, Qatar says

Qatar's PM says talks between Israel and Hamas on a hostages release deal are in a "delicate phase".

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:11 pm UTC

Leaked Cables Show White House Opposes Palestinian Statehood

Ahead of the United Nations Security Council action to consider the Palestinian Authority’s application to become a full member of the international body, the United States is lobbying nations to reject such membership, hoping to avoid an overt “veto” by Washington. The lobbying effort, revealed in copies of unclassified State Department cables obtained by The Intercept, is at odds with the Biden administration’s pledge to fully support a two-state solution.

In 2012, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution granting Palestine the status of a non-member observer state.

Related

Intel Report Warned Abraham Accords Would Fuel Violence

The diplomatic cables detail pressure being applied to members of the Security Council, including Malta, the rotating president of the council this month. Ecuador in particular is being asked to lobby Malta and other nations, including France, to oppose U.N. recognition. The State Department’s justification is that normalizing relations between Israel and Arab states is the fastest and most effective way to achieve an enduring and productive statehood. 

While clarifying that President Joe Biden has worked vigorously to support “Palestinian aspirations for statehood” within the context “of a comprehensive peace that would resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” a diplomatic cable dated April 12 details U.S. talking points against a U.N. vote for Palestinian statehood. The cable says that Security Council members must be persuaded to reject any proposal for Palestinian statehood — and thereby its recognition as a sovereign nation — before the council’s open debate on the Middle East, scheduled for April 18. 

“It remains the U.S. view that the most expeditious path toward a political horizon for the Palestinian people is in the context of a normalization agreement between Israel and its neighbors,” the cable reads. “We believe this approach can tangibly advance Palestinian goals in a meaningful and enduring way.” 

“We therefore urge you not to support any potential Security Council resolution recommending the admission of ‘Palestine’ as a U.N. member state, should such a resolution be presented to the Security Council for a decision in the coming days and weeks.”

Experts say that without a unanimous Security Council vote, any vote from the U.N. General Assembly is largely symbolic.

“Like it or not, a General Assembly vote on this issue is of political rather than legal weight,” Richard Gowan, the International Crisis Group’s U.N. director, told The Intercept. “The Assembly can only accept a new state ‘on the recommendation’ of the Security Council.” 

The diplomatic cable includes a rationale for the administration’s opposition to the vote, citing the risk of inflaming tensions, political backlash, and potentially leading to the U.S. Congress cutting U.N. funding.

“Premature actions at the UNSC, even with the best intentions, will achieve neither statehood nor self-determination for the Palestinian people. Such initiatives will instead endanger normalization efforts and drive the parties further apart, heighten the risk of violence on the ground that could claim innocent lives on both sides, and risk support for the new, reform government announced by President Abbas,” the cable says.

Asked about the cable and whether its opposition to U.N. recognition of Palestinian statehood contradicts the Biden administration’s position in support of a two-state solution, the State Department did not respond at the time of publication.

“The U.S. position is that the Palestinian state should be based on bilateral agreements between the Israelis and Palestinians,” Gowan said. “It does not believe that the UN can create the state by fiat.”

A second cable dated April 13 sent from the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador, relays Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld’s agreement with the United States that Palestine should not be recognized for statehood. In cooperation with the United States, according to the cable, Sommerfeld instructed Ecuador’s permanent representative to the United Nations José De La Gasca to lobby Japan, Korea, and Malta (all rotating members of the Security Council) to reject the proposal. Lobbying of permanent member France is also mentioned.

Sommerfeld agreed, according to the cable, that “It was important any proposed resolution fail to achieve the necessary votes without a U.S. veto.” The cable says, “Ecuador would not want to appear isolated (alone with the United States) in its rejection of a ‘Palestine’ resolution (particularly at a time when the most UN member states are criticizing Ecuador over its April 5 incursion into Mexico’s embassy in Quito).” Ecuador finds itself in an escalating conflict with Mexico over its decision to arrest the former Ecuadorian vice president inside the Mexican Embassy.

Asked about the second cable, the State Department and the Ecuadorian Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment. 

With its yearlong seat on the powerful 15-member Security Council, Ecuador holds outsized influence to vote against the Palestinian proposal for recognition. 

“This really shows the extent to which the [Ecuadorian President Daniel] Noboa administration is beholden to the United States,” Guillaume Long, senior fellow at the D.C.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research and former foreign minister of Ecuador, told The Intercept when shown the cable. “On top of this, it is quite shocking to see the United States, which condemned Ecuador’s April 5 storming of the Mexican embassy and its violation of international law … making the most of Ecuador’s isolation in the hemisphere to get it to do its bidding. Ecuador is just buying its way out of its crimes by committing more crimes. Truly shocking,” said Long, referring to Ecuador’s rejection of Palestinian membership in the U.N.

Since 2011, the U.N. Security Council has rejected the Palestinian Authority’s request for full member status. On April 2, the Palestinian Observer Mission to the U.N. requested that the council once again take up consideration of its membership application. According to the first State Department cable, U.N. meetings since the beginning of April suggest that Algeria, China, Guyana, Mozambique, Russia, Slovenia, Sierra Leone, and Malta support granting Palestine full membership to the U.N. It also says that France, Japan, and Korea are undecided, while the United Kingdom will likely abstain from a vote.

“It is important that all Security Council members hear at this stage of the process that a number of members have questions that require further study about the Palestinian Authority’s formal request for UN membership through the Council, and that if a vote is forced on the issue, you will join the United States and not support approval of the application,” the cable reads.

The post Leaked Cables Show White House Opposes Palestinian Statehood appeared first on The Intercept.

Source: The Intercept | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:08 pm UTC

Climate damages by 2050 will be 6 times the cost of limiting warming to 2°

Enlarge (credit: Frame Studio)

Almost from the start, arguments about mitigating climate change have included an element of cost-benefit analysis: Would it cost more to move the world off fossil fuels than it would to simply try to adapt to a changing world? A strong consensus has built that the answer to the question is a clear no, capped off by a Nobel in Economics given to one of the people whose work was key to building that consensus.

While most academics may have considered the argument put to rest, it has enjoyed an extended life in the political sphere. Large unknowns remain about both the costs and benefits, which depend in part on the remaining uncertainties in climate science and in part on the assumptions baked into economic models.

In Wednesday's edition of Nature, a small team of researchers analyzed how local economies have responded to the last 40 years of warming and projected those effects forward to 2050. They find that we're already committed to warming that will see the growth of the global economy undercut by 20 percent. That places the cost of even a limited period of climate change at roughly six times the estimated price of putting the world on a path to limit the warming to 2° C.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:06 pm UTC

Couple who died in Cork house fire were ‘soul mates’ and son’s ‘best friends’, joint funeral hears

John and Gabrielle O’Donnell died in blaze at their home on Lower Glanmire Road on same day granddaughter was born

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:04 pm UTC

Woman living ‘exotic’ lifestyle given four months to vacate home bought with crime proceeds

Mr Justice Alexander Owens said the Cab can take possession of the house in September

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:58 pm UTC

Are we in a cost of technology crisis? Our vultures seem to think so

Won't somebody please think of the shareholders

Kettle  The price of everything is going up because corporations gotta corp and produce record profits year after year. That means you and I are expected to cough up more.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:55 pm UTC

There’s a TV show coming based on Sega's classic arcade game Golden Axe

Comedy Central just greenlit a cartoon based on the classic Sega arcade cabinet Golden Axe, further proving we are in something of a gilded age of video game adaptations. The animated show is getting a ten-episode first season and features a voice cast filled with comedic heavy hitters, like Danny Pudi from Community and Carl Tart from Grand Crew (RIP) and the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast universe.

It also stars Matthew Rhys, from The Americans and Perry Mason, and comedian Lisa Gilroy. The pilot is being written by Mike McMahon, the creator of Star Trek: Lower Decks and Solar Opposites, and Joe Chandler, a regular writer for American Dad. Chandler is the showrunner and McMahon is on board as the executive producer. Interestingly, several big Sega names are also involved with the show, including Haruki Satomi, Shuki Utsumi and Toru Nakahara, the latter being largely responsible for shepherding the Sonic the Hedgehog cinematic universe.

The plot looks appropriately zany, as there wasn’t too much story in those old arcade cabinets. The show bills itself as a “hilarious and loving homage to Sega’s 1989 video game series” and follows several warriors as they attempt to save the realm from franchise antagonist Death Adder. It does look to be doing a deep dive on the franchise, as one of the characters is the panther/man hybrid beast from Golden Axe III. Comedy Central promises “plenty of exciting cameos” from the fictional world. There’s no release date yet and the show is still in the script-writing stage. Animation takes a long time, so hold your horses.

We’ve really gone from zero to sixty when it comes to game adaptations, right? In just the past year, we’ve had shows based on The Last of Us, Fallout, Twisted Metal and more. There’s also a little-known movie about two Italian plumbers that may or may not have set the box office on fire. A TV show based on another Sega property, Knuckles, premieres April 26 on Paramount+

As for Golden Axe, there hasn't been a franchise installment since 2008, though that's about to change. Sega recently announced that its rebooting the property, alongside other classics like Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/theres-a-tv-show-coming-based-on-segas-classic-arcade-game-golden-axe-185336446.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:53 pm UTC

Explained: What caused the storm that brought Dubai to a standstill?

Questions have been raised whether cloud seeding, a process that the UAE frequently conducts, could have caused the heavy rain

Source: All: BreakingNews.ie | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:44 pm UTC

Runaway circus elephant stops traffic in Montana

Viola, the elephant, was startled by the sound of a nearby car and ran away while having a bath.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:42 pm UTC

AI Computing Is on Pace To Consume More Energy Than India, Arm Says

AI's voracious need for computing power is threatening to overwhelm energy sources, requiring the industry to change its approach to the technology, according to Arm Chief Executive Officer Rene Haas. From a report: By 2030, the world's data centers are on course to use more electricity than India, the world's most populous country, Haas said. Finding ways to head off that projected tripling of energy use is paramount if artificial intelligence is going to achieve its promise, he said. "We are still incredibly in the early days in terms of the capabilities," Haas said in an interview. For AI systems to get better, they will need more training -- a stage that involves bombarding the software with data -- and that's going to run up against the limits of energy capacity, he said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:42 pm UTC

Long-Acting Drugs May Revolutionize H.I.V. Prevention and Treatment

New regimens in development, including once-weekly pills and semiannual shots, could help control the virus in hard-to-reach populations.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:40 pm UTC

Trinity College Dublin bucks trends with surplus but warns of rising costs across third level

Government urged to honour pledge to boost core funding for higher education sector

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:39 pm UTC

Indonesia volcano eruption sparks tsunami fears

Mount Ruang has repeatedly erupted, and officials fear it could collapse and create a tsunami, with hundreds evacuated from the area

Authorities in Indonesia have issued a tsunami alert after a volcano erupted several times in the province of North Sulawesi, spewing a column of smoke more than a mile into the sky and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people from their homes.

Mount Ruang, a stratovolcano, first erupted at 9.45pm local time on Tuesday and then four times on Wednesday, Indonesia’s volcanology agency said.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:36 pm UTC

Did cloud seeding cause the Dubai flooding?

Dubai has been hit by record floods, sparking misleading speculation about cloud seeding.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:24 pm UTC

Europe live: EU heads meet as Belgian and Czech leaders condemn Russian meddling in elections – as it happened

Alexander De Croo and Petr Fiala raise concerns about Russian interference as EU heads gather with Middle East also on the agenda

Further restrictive measures against Iran following Tehran’s attack on Israel will be discussed over dinner tonight when the EU’s leaders meet in Brussels.

On the table are potential measures to impose sanctions on Iran’s missile and drone programmes as well as Russia-style sanctions on individuals or companies that support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:22 pm UTC

What a TikTok Ban Would Mean for the U.S. Defense of an Open Internet

Global digital rights advocates are watching to see if Congress acts, worried that other countries could follow suit with app bans of their own.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:21 pm UTC

‘Really upsetting’: Grenfell Tower edited out of TV advert

Exclusive: Man whose uncle died in 2017 disaster describes ad for pain relief gel Voltarol as ‘insulting’

Grenfell Tower has been edited out of a TV advert in a move described as “insulting” by a family bereaved by the June 2017 disaster.

Karim Mussilhy, whose uncle Hesham Rahman was among 72 people who died as a result of the fire, noticed the edit while watching the Channel 4 streaming service on Monday when an advert for the pain relief gel Voltarol showed people playing football on the Westway football pitches close to the council block.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:19 pm UTC

Israel makes own decisions, Netanyahu says after Cameron talks

The UK foreign secretary tells Israeli leaders not to risk escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:19 pm UTC

Future Roku TVs may inject tailored ads into anything and everything when you pause

Muted the audio? That's an advert. Paused a video? That's an advert

Will Roku TVs of the future throw up targeted ads on the screen whenever you pause a video? We hope not but...…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:15 pm UTC

The Debate in Israel Over Who Should Be Required Serve in the Military

Ultra-Orthodox Israelis have long been exempt from compulsory military service. But the October 7th attack by Hamas and Israel's subsequent military response have brought forward calls for change. The government's decision on whether to end the exemption has major political consequences.

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:12 pm UTC

Watch: 'Long Covid destroyed my life' - Dublin triathlete

A triathlete from Dublin has given a stark account of living with long Covid, describing how the disease has impacted every aspect of her life.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:06 pm UTC

A new Lennon-McCartney collab has dropped — but this time, it's by the Beatles' sons

A new single, "Primrose Hill," was co-written by Sean Ono Lennon and James McCartney, the youngest sons of Beatles musicians John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:05 pm UTC

Cheaper Evercade retro consoles will arrive in July

Blaze Entertainment has made a bunch of announcements regarding its Evercade retro gaming consoles. Among other things, the company has revealed refreshed and less expensive hardware.

The Evercade -R range updates the VS and EXP with a new look. Each of the new consoles, which will arrive in July, comes with a bundled cartridge (more on that in a moment). The previous consoles have been discontinued but will be available while stocks last.

Blaze redesigned the handheld Evercade EXP-R with the aim of reducing costs. To that end, Blaze has removed two features: 18 Capcom games that were built into the EXP and the Mini-HDMI out port. On the plus side, that means the latest version of the console is $100 (£100 in the UK and €120 in Europe), $30 less than the previous system.

The EXP-R has a new textured grip on the back that seeks to improve comfort for longer gaming sessions. The system is charcoal grey and there are turquoise accents on the power, menu, start and select buttons. Like its predecessor, the EXP-R includes Wi-Fi and a TATE button, which allows you to switch to vertical play while maintaining an accurate screen ratio.

Rather than being a handheld, the Evercade VS-R plugs into your TV. It has the same color scheme as the EXP-R, with a turquoise power button and front LED light. Like the VS, it has a dual cartridge slot and four USB ports for controllers. 

The console now supports the TATE screen rotation function and there's Wi-Fi connectivity for firmware updates. The console comes with a controller and power cable, but you'll need to supply your own HDMI cable. The Evercade VS-R will also drop support for the Namco Museum Collection 1 & 2. That said, with these changes, Blaze has also been able to drop the price of the VS-R to $100, the same as the new handheld.

You might want some games to play on those systems. To that end, Evercade has announced a new cartridge format. The Giga Cart is able to store larger games (such as ones that were originally available on CDs) and it will typically cost $25, compared with the $18 of regular Evercade cartridges.

Blaze is planning to release two titles on the Giga Cart format this year, and we now know what one of those is: a collection of the first three Tomb Raider games. This isn't the so-so remastered bundle with upgraded visuals that hit other platforms earlier this year. Tomb Raider Collection 1 includes the original versions of the three games with the OG character models and textures. While you'll be able to buy the cart separately and play it on existing Evercade and Super Pocket devices, Blaze is bundling it in with the Evercade EXP-R and VS-R.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/cheaper-evercade-retro-consoles-will-arrive-in-july-180459612.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:04 pm UTC

Average World Incomes To Drop By Nearly a Fifth By 2050, Study Says

Average incomes will fall by almost a fifth within the next 26 years as a result of the climate crisis, according to a study that predicts the costs of damage will be six times higher than the price of limiting global heating to 2C. From a report: Rising temperatures, heavier rainfall and more frequent and intense extreme weather are projected to cause $38tn of destruction each year by mid-century, according to the research, which is the most comprehensive analysis of its type ever undertaken, and whose findings are published in the journal Nature. The hefty toll -- which is far higher than previous estimates -- is already locked into the world economy over the coming decades as a result of the enormous emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere through the burning of gas, oil, coal and trees. This will inflict crippling losses on almost every country, with a disproportionately severe impact on those least responsible for climate disruption, further worsening inequality. The paper says the permanent average loss of income worldwide will be 19% by 2049. In the United States and Europe the reduction will be about 11%, while in Africa and south Asia it will be 22%, with some individual countries much higher than this. "It's devastating," said Leonie Wenz, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and one of the authors of the study. "I am used to my work not having a nice societal outcome, but I was surprised by how big the damages were. The inequality dimension was really shocking."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:01 pm UTC

Prehistoric sea reptile 'twice as long as bus' identified

Scientists say a fossilised jawbone found in Somerset may be from one of the biggest sea creatures ever.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:00 pm UTC

Tesla asks shareholders to approve Texas move and restore Elon Musk’s $56B pay

Enlarge / Tesla CEO Elon Musk at an opening event for Tesla's Gigafactory on March 22, 2022, in Gruenheide, southeast of Berlin. (credit: Getty Images | Patrick Pleul)

Tesla is asking shareholders to approve a move to Texas and to re-approve a $55.8 billion pay package for CEO Elon Musk that was recently voided by a Delaware judge.

Musk's 2018 pay package was voided in a ruling by Delaware Court of Chancery Judge Kathaleen McCormick, who found that the deal was unfair to shareholders. After the ruling, Musk said he would seek a shareholder vote on transferring Tesla's state of incorporation from Delaware to Texas.

The proposed move to Texas and Musk's pay package will be up for votes at Tesla's 2024 annual meeting on June 13, Tesla Board Chairperson Robyn Denholm wrote in a letter to shareholders that was included in a regulatory filing today.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:52 pm UTC

LG's S95TR soundbar with wireless Dolby Atmos is now available for $1,500

In typical LG fashion, the company is following up its CES soundbar announcement with pricing and availability info a few months later. The company's latest Dolby Atmos model, the S95TR, is now available from LG and other retailers for $1,500. That's pricey for sure, but the company has bundled the soundbar with a subwoofer and a pair of rear surround speakers. That means completing your setup won't require additional purchases. 

Inside, the S95TR houses 17 speakers, including five up-firing drivers. LG says this soundbar is the first to feature a center-positioned, up-firing speaker, which enhances dimensional audio and helps with dialog clarity. LG explains that it also upgraded the tweeters in the S95TR and it integrated passive radiators. This combo keeps high frequencies clear while also delivering 120Hz low-frequency response in a 9.1.5-channel setup. 

The company's Wowcast tech allows the S95TR to connect to compatible LG TVs wirelessly, including the transmission of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X without a cable. Wow Orchestra can utilize the speakers of an LG TV with the soundbar for "a harmonious fusion of audio channels." There's also the company's 3D Spatial Sound Technology that analyzes audio channels with a three-dimensional engine to make things as immersive as possible. AI Room Calibration is here as well, which will include the rear surround speakers in its room tuning for the first time this year. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/lgs-s95tr-soundbar-with-wireless-dolby-atmos-is-now-available-for-1500-175155520.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:51 pm UTC

Apple renews For All Mankind and announces a spinoff series set in the Soviet Union

For All Mankind is coming back for a fifth season of space-based alt-history hijinks on Apple TV+. This is unsurprising news, given the near-universal critical acclaim heaped on season four. However, the company also surprise-announced a spinoff series called Star City that will follow the Russian space program.

Original series creators Ronald D. Moore, Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi are all onboard for Star City, though there’s no cast yet. The plot synopsis calls it a “robust expansion” of the universe and refers to it as a “propulsive, paranoid thriller.” It also looks to be taking viewers back to the events of season one of For All Mankind, chronicling the Russian moon landing that started the story.

“This time, we explore the story from behind the Iron Curtain, showing the lives of the cosmonauts, the engineers and the intelligence officers embedded among them in the Soviet space program, and the risks they all took to propel humanity forward,” Apple wrote in a press release.

The company didn’t say if the show would rely on frequent time jumps, like its forebear. To that end, Apple hasn't released any casting information for season five of For All Mankind. Given the show’s propensity toward expansive time skips, it’s highly possible series regulars like Joel Kinnaman and Krys Marshall are on their way out. After all, their characters were really getting up there in age and stretching credulity in season four. 

Apple TV+

This is some seriously good news for sci-fi fans, but still doesn’t take away the brutal sting of Star Trek: Lower Decks getting canceled. Paramount should probably just sell Star Trek to Apple already, since the latter actually seems to care about science fiction.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/apple-renews-for-all-mankind-and-announces-a-spinoff-series-set-in-the-soviet-union-173950761.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:39 pm UTC

NatCon conference resumes after Brussels court overturns closure order

Belgian PM condemns move by local mayor to shut down radical rightwing conference as ‘unconstitutional’

A radical right conference that was addressed by Nigel Farage and Suella Braverman as police arrived to close it down has resumed after a Brussels court overturned a local mayor’s attempt to stop it.

Following moves condemned as “unacceptable” and “unconstitutional” by the Belgian prime minister, Alexander De Croo, organisers of the National Conservatism conference went to the conseil d’état, Belgium’s supreme administrative court.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:35 pm UTC

Sometimes Getting the Perfect Picture Really Is Rocket Science

NASA Engineer Cindy Fuentes Rosal waves goodbye to a Black Brant IX sounding rocket launching from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. The rocket was part of a series of three launches for the Atmospheric Perturbations around Eclipse Path (APEP) mission to study the disturbances in the electrified region of Earth’s atmosphere known as the ionosphere created when the Moon eclipses the Sun. The rockets launched before, during, and after peak local eclipse time on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Source: NASA Image of the Day | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:35 pm UTC

NASA confirms nuclear-powered Dragonfly drone is going to Titan

Whew! Relief for boffins as rotorcraft slated to arrive at Saturn moon in 2034

NASA has finally confirmed its Dragonfly rotorcraft mission will be heading to Titan, one of Saturn's Moons, meaning the team behind the project can finalize its design and get to work building the spacecraft.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:30 pm UTC

Social media 'bombarding' boys with misogynist content

A new study from Dublin City University's Anti-Bullying Centre claims that the recommender algorithms used by social media platforms are rapidly amplifying misogynistic and male supremacist content.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:30 pm UTC

FSAI issue recall notice for some Magnum ice creams

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has issued a recall notice for some Magnum ice creams due to the possible presence of plastic and metal pieces.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:28 pm UTC

X’s AI bot is so dumb it can’t tell the difference between a bad game and vandalism

Last night, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson had a rough outing shooting 0 for 10 in a loss against the Sacramento Kings, ending the team’s chances of making the NBA playoffs. But then, almost as if to add insult to injury, X’s AI bot Grok generated a trending story claiming Thompson was vandalizing homes in the area with bricks.

Now at this point, even casual basketball fans may be able to see what went wrong. But Grok isn’t very smart, because it seems that after seeing user posts about a player simply missing a bunch of shots (aka shooting bricks), the bot took things literally resulting in a completely fictitious AI-generated report.

After misinterpreting user posts about Klay Thompson's poor shooting during an NBA game, X's AI bot Grok created a fictitious story on the social media platform's trending section. 
Screenshot by Sam Rutherford (via X)

In the event this fabrication — which was the #5 trending story at the time of writing — gets corrected or deleted by Elon Musk, Grok originally wrote “In a bizarre turn of events, NBA star Klay Thompson has been accused of vandalizing multiple houses with bricks in Sacramento. Authorities are investigating the claims after several individuals reported their houses being damaged, with windows shattered by bricks. Klay Thompson has not yet issued a statement regarding the accusations. The incidents have left the community shaken, but no injuries were reported. The motive behind the alleged vandalism remains unclear.” Amusingly, despite pointing out the unusual nature of the story Grok went ahead of put out some nonsense anyway.

Granted, in fine print beneath the story, X says “Grok is an early feature and can make mistakes. Verify its outputs.” But even that warning seems to have backfired, as basketball fans began memeing on the AI with posts sarcastically verifying the AI’s erroneous statement.

After Grok created an erroneous story about Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, users began memeing on the situation. 
Screenshot by Sam Rutherford (via X)

For most people, Grok’s latest gaff may merely be another example in an ongoing series of early AI tools messing up. But for others like Musk who believes that AI will be smarter than humans as soon as the end of next year, this should serve as a reminder that AI is still in desperate need of regular fact-checking.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/xs-ai-bot-is-so-dumb-it-cant-tell-the-difference-between-a-bad-game-and-vandalism-172707401.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:27 pm UTC

Escobar Brother Barred by EU Court From Trademarking Family Name

Pablo Escobar, the name of the late Colombian drug kingpin, can't be registered as a trademark in the European Union after judges said that approving his brother's bid would go against "principles of morality." From a report: The public "associate that name with drug trafficking and narco-terrorism and with the crimes and suffering resulting therefrom, rather than with his possible good deeds in favor of the poor in Colombia," the EU's General Court in Luxembourg said on Wednesday. Trademarking the name is "counter to the fundamental values and moral standards prevailing within Spanish society," the court said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:22 pm UTC

‘I’d like a break from being abused all the time’, says TV licence inspector in wake of RTÉ crisis

Bill O’Sullivan says situation at doors of homes got ‘hot and heavy’ last July when scandal relating to Ryan Tubridy’s pay first came to light

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:20 pm UTC

Speaker Johnson is moving forward with foreign aid bills despite threat to oust him

Divisions within the House Republican conference could threaten both the future of the package and Mike Johnson's speakership.

(Image credit: Anna Moneymaker)

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:18 pm UTC

Brazilian woman arrested after taking corpse to sign bank loan: ‘She knew he was dead’

Shock in Brazil after woman is arrested and charged with violating a corpse and attempted theft through fraud

When Érika de Souza Vieira wheeled her lethargic-looking uncle into a Brazilian bank, clerks quickly sensed something was amiss.

“I don’t think he’s well. He doesn’t look well at all,” remarked one distrustful employee as Vieira tried to get her elderly relative to sign off on a 17,000 reais ($3,250) loan.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:12 pm UTC

Israel reportedly deploys extra weapons for assumed Rafah offensive

IDF confirms buying thousands of tents for evacuation, raising fears over long-threatened attack

Israel has reportedly deployed extra artillery and armoured personnel carriers to the Gaza Strip periphery, suggesting that the military is preparing for its long-threatened ground offensive on Rafah, the only place of relative safety for at least 1.4 million displaced Palestinian civilians.

Israeli daily Ma’ariv also said on Wednesday that troops had been put on alert and “the governing principle of the operation” had been approved by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) general staff and Yoav Gallant, the defence minister. The IDF declined to comment on the reports.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:11 pm UTC

Man behind Shannon Matthews kidnap plot dies

Michael Donovan was jailed for staging the youngster's kidnap in February 2008.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:10 pm UTC

Man behind Shannon Matthews kidnap plot dies

Michael Donovan was jailed for staging the youngster's kidnap in February 2008.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:10 pm UTC

Judge declares Dublin drug dealer's properties as crime proceeds

The Criminal Assets Bureau has seized the Dublin home of Christopher Waldron and is due to auction it next Friday.

Source: All: BreakingNews.ie | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:10 pm UTC

After decades of Mario, how do developers bridge a widening generation gap?

Enlarge / A prototype wonder effect—featuring Mario's head turned into blocks that could be eaten by enemies—didn't make it into the final game. (credit: Nintendo)

In a game industry that seems to engage in periodic layoffs as a matter of course, it's often hard for even popular game franchises to maintain continuity in their underlying creative teams from sequel to sequel. Then there's the Mario series, where every person credited with the creation of the original Super Mario Bros. in the 1980s ended up having a role in the making of Super Mario Bros. Wonder just last year.

In a recent interview with Ars Technica, Wonder producer Takashi Tezuka said it wasn't that tough to get that kind of creative continuity at Nintendo. "The secret to having a long-tenured staff is that people don't quit," he said. "For folks who have been there together for such a long time, it's easy for us to talk to each other."

That said, Tezuka added that just getting a bunch of industry veterans together to make a game runs the risk of not "keeping up with the times. Really, for me, I have a great interest in how our newer staff members play, what they play, what they think, and what is appealing to them. I think it's very interesting the things we can come up with when these two disparate groups influence each other to create something."

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:02 pm UTC

Creepy monitoring service sells searchable Discord user data for as little as $5

A data scraping service is selling information on what it claims to be 600 million Discord users. A report from 404 Media details Spy Pet, an online service that gathers, stores and sells troves of information from the social platform. But have no fear: It markets its services to totally trustworthy paying clients like law enforcement, AI model trainers or your average person curious about “what their friends are up to.” Why ask them when you can simply purchase and download a copy of their Discord activity?

For as little as $5 in cryptocurrency, Spy Pet lets you access data about specific users, such as which servers they participate in, what messages they’ve sent and when they joined or left voice channels. It claims to have information on an alleged 600 million users across 14,000 Discord servers and three billion messages.

As for what inspired Spy Pet, its creator suggested it’s a classic case of doing what one enjoys and pushing personal boundaries. “I like scraping, archiving, and challenging myself,” the creator told 404 Media. “Discord is basically the holy grail of scraping, since Discord is trying absolutely anything to combat scraping.”

Some people run a 5K, set a weight-loss goal or take up pickleball. Others start a social scraping service that sells data to the feds, AI companies and creepy exes. To each their own!

404 Media says the database lets you search for specific users. For each search result, a page shows the servers the user has joined (at least among those Spy Pet monitors), their connected accounts, a table showing their recent messages (including the server name, time stamps and the message itself) and their voice channel entry and exit times. Paying customers can conveniently export their prey’s — or “friend’s” — chats into a CSV file.

Discord says it’s investigating Spy Pet and weighing its options. “Discord is committed to protecting the privacy and data of our users,” a company spokesperson wrote in an email to Engadget. “We are currently investigating this matter. If we determine that violations of our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines have occurred, we will take appropriate steps to enforce our policies. We cannot provide further comments as this is an ongoing investigation.”

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/creepy-monitoring-service-sells-searchable-discord-user-data-for-as-little-as-5-170228224.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:02 pm UTC

TikTok Notes is basically Instagram for your TikTok account

TikTok is experimenting with an all-new app that’s just for sharing photos with text updates. It’s called TikTok Notes, and it’s available now in Australia and Canada.

“We're in the early stages of experimenting with a dedicated space for photo and text content with TikTok Notes,” the company wrote in an update on X. “We hope that the TikTok community will use TikTok Notes to continue sharing their moments through photo posts. Whether documenting adventures, expressing creativity, or simply sharing snapshots of one's day, the TikTok Notes experience is designed for those who would like to share and engage through photo content.”

Based on App Store screenshots, it appears the app will, like TikTok, have two feeds: a “for you” timeline of recommended content as well as a “following” feed. Posts appear to be very similar to what you’d see scrolling Instagram (before TikTok-like video took over the app, anyway): single images or carousels of multiple photos with lengthy captions.

Rumors of the Instagram-like app have been swirling for the last month as reverse engineers unearthed references in TikTok’s code. Some TikTok users had also seen in-app notifications about the new service in recent days.

It’s an interesting moment for TikTok to try to take on Instagram’s central feature. Having a photo-focused app gives TikTok users a new place to share non-video content and potentially reach their existing audience. The company is also facing the possibility its main app could be banned or drawn into a lengthy legal fight in the United States, so having an alternative app could help it maintain users in the country (TikTok hasn’t said when Notes might be available in the US.)

It also comes at a time when many Instagram users are frustrated with Meta about the reach of their feed posts. Instagram’s top exec Adam Mosseri regularly responds to frustrated creators on Threads about why their feed posts don’t seem to reach as many followers as they used to. If TikTok Notes takes off, those creators may actually have a viable alternative for posting photos.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/tiktok-notes-is-basically-instagram-for-your-tiktok-account-170151958.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:01 pm UTC

Antrim teen crowned winner of Children's Art Competition

A Co Antrim teen has been crowned overall winner of the 70th Texaco Children's Art Competition.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:59 pm UTC

Man convicted of operating ‘dodgy box’ service remanded in custody

Court told further charges brought against Ciaran Donovan relate to investigator's subscription being renewed in March

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:55 pm UTC

'I’m in pieces' - Israeli hostage's agony over husband held by Hamas

Aviva Siegel tells the BBC of the brutal conditions she, Keith and others faced in Hamas captivity.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:54 pm UTC

NBA bans Jontay Porter after gambling probe shows he shared information, bet on games

The Toronto Raptors player has been banned for life from the NBA after a probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and bet on games, even betting on the Raptors to lose.

(Image credit: David Zalubowski)

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:52 pm UTC

Appeal court cuts €96,000 award for rear-ending injuries to €55,000

Judge says High Court colleague appeared to have misdirected herself on the evidence in a number of important respects

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:50 pm UTC

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes, by Sayonara Wild Hearts devs, comes out on May 16

The surreal puzzle game Lorelei and the Laser Eyes hits the Nintendo Switch and PC on May 16, as revealed at Nintendo’s Indie World Showcase event. This is a big deal, as the game’s being developed by Simogo, the company behind the mind-blowing adventure Sayonara Wild Hearts, which was one of our favorite titles of 2019. It’s also being published by Annapurna Interactive, who helped steward games like Stray, Open Roads and Cocoon to digital store shelves.

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes was originally teased a couple of years back and looks to be a more frightening experience than Sayonara Wild Hearts. The game’s title is quite literal, as you play as someone named Lorelei who has, wait for it, laser eyes. It’s set inside of a mysterious mansion, with a mostly black-and-white color palette. It looks positively soaked in vibes.

There are all kinds of different puzzles to solve as you explore this mansion, so expect the gameplay to change on a dime, just like Sayonara Wild Hearts. Despite the brand-new trailer, much of the title is still soaked in mystery, which is likely a purposeful move by the devs and publisher. We do know that it’s non-linear, so you can explore and solve puzzles at your own pace.

This is Simogo’s ninth game. In addition to Sayonara Wild Hearts, the Swedish company made Year Walk, The Sailor’s Dream and Device 6. All of these games toyed with surreal imagery and unique gameplay mechanics, and Lorelei and the Laser Eyes most definitely follows suit. There’s no price yet, but eager players can already wishlist it on Steam.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/lorelei-and-the-laser-eyes-by-sayonara-wild-hearts-devs-comes-out-on-may-19-165030366.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:50 pm UTC

Tesla pushes for $56bn pay deal for Elon Musk

The deal, if approved by shareholders and judges, would be the largest in corporate America.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:48 pm UTC

Tesla asks shareholders to reinstate Musk's voided $56B pay package

Given the electric car maker's annus horribilis so far in 2024, does the chief even deserve it?

A Delaware court may have voided Elon Musk's $56 billion Tesla pay package in February, but now the board is asking shareholders to reinstate it.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:45 pm UTC

Broadcom says “many” VMware perpetual licenses got support extensions

Enlarge (credit: Getty)

Broadcom CEO Hock Tan this week publicized some concessions aimed at helping customers and partners ease into VMware’s recent business model changes. Tan reiterated that the controversial changes, like the end of perpetual licensing, aren't going away. But amid questioning from antitrust officials in the European Union (EU), Tan announced that the company has already given support extensions for some VMware perpetual license holders.

Broadcom closed its $69 billion VMware acquisition in November. One of its first moves was ending VMware perpetual license sales in favor of subscriptions. Since December, Broadcom also hasn't sold Support and Subscription renewals for VMware perpetual licenses.

In a blog post on Monday, Tan admitted that this shift requires "a change in the timing of customers' expenditures and the balance of those expenditures between capital and operating spending." As a result, Broadcom has "given support extensions to many customers who came up for renewal while these changes were rolling out." Tan didn't specify how Broadcom determined who is eligible for an extension or for how long. However, the executive's blog is the first time Broadcom has announced such extensions and opens the door to more extension requests.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:44 pm UTC

House of Lords maintains deadlock over Rwanda bill

Members of the UK's House of Lords have maintained the parliamentary deadlock over Rishi Sunak's Rwanda deportation plan in pressing their demands for changes to the controversial scheme.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:43 pm UTC

Israel ‘making decision to act’ after Iran attack, says Cameron on Jerusalem visit

UK foreign secretary is probably first non-Israeli politician to admit military reprisal is inevitable but urges Israel not to escalate

David Cameron has said it is clear Israel is “making a decision to act” in response to last weekend’s Iranian mass drone and ballistic missile attack, as Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off calls for restraint and said his country would make its own decisions about how to defend itself.

Lord Cameron, the UK foreign secretary, speaking on a visit to Jerusalem, said he hoped the Israeli response would be carried out in a way that minimised escalation.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:41 pm UTC

Amazon Cloud Unit Kills Snowmobile Data Transfer Truck Service

At Amazon's annual cloud conference in 2016, the company captured the crowd's attention by driving an 18-wheeler onstage. Andy Jassy, now Amazon's CEO, called it the Snowmobile, and said the company would be using the truck to help customers speedily transfer data to Amazon Web Services facilities. Less than eight years later, the semi is out of commission. From a report: As of March, AWS had removed Snowmobile from its website, and the Amazon unit has stopped offering the service, CNBC has confirmed. The webpage devoted to AWS' "Snow family" of products now directs users to its other data transport services, including the Snowball Edge, a 50-pound suitcase-sized device that can be equipped with fast solid-state drives, and the smaller Snowcone. An AWS spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the company has introduced more cost-effective options for moving data. Clients had to deal with power, cooling, networking, parking and security when they used the Snowmobile service, the spokesperson said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:40 pm UTC

Hundreds evicted from France’s biggest squat months before Paris Olympics

Charities say authorities want to clear homeless people from streets and squats to make city look better for Games

Police have evicted hundreds of people from the biggest squat in France, in a southern suburb of Paris, prompting fresh accusations from charities that authorities are seeking to clear refugees, asylum seekers and homeless people from the capital area before the Olympics.

The squat, in an abandoned bus company headquarters in Vitry-sur-Seine, had been home to up to 450 people, many of whom had refugee status, legal paperwork and jobs in France, but who could not find proper housing. As they left the building they were encouraged to board buses to other parts of France.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:36 pm UTC

NPR editor Uri Berliner resigns with blast at new CEO

The senior editor says CEO Katherine Maher has "divisive views" that confirm the issues he wrote about in an essay accusing NPR of losing the public's trust.

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:35 pm UTC

Three houses linked to ‘major player’ in Dublin drug trade derive from proceeds of crime, rules judge

Court hears that David Waldron and wife enjoyed ‘lavish foreign travel’ inconsistent with legitimate income

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:34 pm UTC

Sweden passes law lowering age to legally change gender from 18 to 16

Proposal sparked intense debate in country but passed with 234 votes in favour and 94 against

Sweden’s parliament has passed a law lowering the minimum age to legally change gender from 18 to 16 and making it easier to get access to surgical interventions.

The law passed with 234 votes in favour and 94 against in Sweden’s 349-seat parliament.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:31 pm UTC

Yars Rising revives a 40-year-old Atari game as a modern metroidvania

How many of you had “sequel to a game from 1982” on your Nintendo Indie World Showcase bingo card? If so, you just won big. Yars Rising is a modern metroidvania take on the Atari 2600 classic Yars’ Revenge, and all it took was 42 short years to reach fruition. By my math, this is the longest break between sequels in gaming history, and it's not even close. 

That’s not the only interesting tidbit about this game. As previously mentioned, it’s a metroidvania, but this one is made by WayForward. For the uninitiated, the company’s basically a metroidvania and retro-gaming factory, going all the way back to the Game Boy Color and the original Shantae. Since then, WayForward has released a slew of fantastic Shantae titles and many other games in the metroidvania genre, including the criminally underrated The Mummy Demastered. WayForward also helped with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which is considered the spiritual successor to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The devs know their stuff.

Now, Yars Rising may be the sequel to Yars’ Revenge, but that doesn’t mean it plays anything like it. The original was an early version of what eventually became known as shoot 'em ups, like R-Type and Ikaruga. The new one is a sidescrolling platformer in which you play as a person, and not a flying alien bug. However, there looks to be plenty of narrative nods to the original.

In addition to traditional metroidvania action, the developer promises “a balance of stealth and combat” and plenty of “retro-inspired mini-games.” It’s coming to consoles and PCs later this year. In the meantime, I’ll start preparing for Yars Returns in 2066.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/yars-rising-revives-a-40-year-old-atari-game-as-a-modern-metroidvania-163023972.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:30 pm UTC

Starmer accuses PM of 'smearing' working-class Rayner

The Labour leader rushes to his deputy's defence after Rishi Sunak makes a jibe about her tax affairs.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:29 pm UTC

Shadow platformer Schim is coming to PC and consoles on July 18

It's always nice to get a release date for a game that's caught the eye whenever it has popped up. We've had a few looks at Schim, a pretty puzzle platformer, in previous game showcases. It emerged during Nintendo's Indie World stream on Wednesday that the game is coming to Switch, PlayStation, Xbox and PC on July 18. The creators say it will run smoothly on Steam Deck too.

You'll take on the guise of a schim, a frog-like creature that's linked to a human but gets separated from them. To get back to your person, you'll need to leap from one shadow to the next. Schim seems to play around with light and shadows in intriguing ways, such as a forklift activating to give your character access to a new area horizontally and pulling back on a sign to propel yourself further forward.

Schim uses an abstract art style that hopefully lends itself to moderately challenging gameplay. Developers Ewoud van der Werf and Nils Slijkerman, who have worked on the game for four years, also say that each level will feature small stories. I'm looking forward to this one.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/shadow-platformer-schim-is-coming-to-pc-and-consoles-on-july-18-162815433.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:28 pm UTC

Post Office scandal unbelievable says ex-chairman

Former Post Office chairman Allan Leighton apologises for his part in the "terrible" Horizon scandal.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:28 pm UTC

The size of two Croke Parks: Conor Pope goes inside Ikea’s new Dublin delivery depot

Sprawling 27,000 sq m facility with 200 staff members will be able to ship 9,000 of retail giant’s products faster than ever

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:26 pm UTC

Lisa Nandy urges support for UN relief agency for Palestinians

Labour shadow minister also says Israel should be held accountable before international tribunal for war conduct in Gaza

Lisa Nandy, the UK’s shadow minister for international development, has called for support for the UN relief agency, Unrwa, warning that “time has run out for hundreds of thousands” of people in Gaza.

Nandy is in Washington this week attending the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with a message of how the UK’s humanitarian and development policy will change if Labour, as expected, forms the next government by the end of this year.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:22 pm UTC

Dwarf Fortress’s Adventure Mode brings the sim’s chaotic spirit to CRPGs

Enlarge / See that fortress over there? You can explore it. And then die, when someone in your party remembers a tragic incident involving meat and perishes of sadness. (credit: Bay 12 Games/Kitfox)

"I'm crying for some reason," says Tarn Adams, demonstrating Dwarf Fortress' "Adventure Mode" for a Discord stream full of games writers and PR folk. His adventurer is crying, that is. "Something must have upset me. Probably the dead bodies… I have great grouchiness, though."

Adventure Mode, out today, builds on the graphical version of Dwarf Fortress and the work you've put into it. The adventurers you create and send out into the world traverse the overland and underground places you yourself crafted. This allows you to both appreciate the realms carved out by your imagination and also be a kind of dungeon master for other adventurers (with, hopefully, an easier fortress-swapping mechanic to come soon). You can also generate a new world if you prefer the simulation's weird choices to your own.

Release trailer for Dwarf Fortress' Adventure Mode update.

Everything about the standard simulation version of playing Dwarf Fortress applies to playing it as a hardcore CRPG. Everything has layers, all is described, and the combination of deep logic and utter silliness is unmatched.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:20 pm UTC

Desert city of Dubai floods as heaviest rainfall in 75 years hits UAE

City records more than 142mm of rain in a day, about as much as it expects in a year and a half, as highways and malls flooded

Highways and malls have been flooded, schools have been closed, and flights disrupted at one of the world’s busiest airports after the United Arab Emirates experienced what the government described as its largest amount of rainfall in 75 years.

At least one person was killed, a 70-year-old man who police said was swept away in his car in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the UAE’s seven emirates.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:17 pm UTC

Six men arrested in Toronto gold heist that ‘belongs in a Netflix series’

Dozens of firearms also seized after 6,600 gold bars worth C$21m and C$2.7m in cash stolen at Pearson international airport

Police investigating a brazen multimillion-dollar gold heist at Toronto’s main airport have arrested six men and seized dozens of firearms linked to the case which officers said “belongs in a Netflix series”.

Six thousand six hundred gold bars, worth C$21m, and C$2.7m in cash were stolen from a cargo facility at Toronto’s Pearson international airport a year ago in the country’s largest-ever gold heist.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:15 pm UTC

42 Defence Forces cadets officially commissioned

42 members of the 99 Cadet Class have been commissioned to take up roles in the Defence Forces.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:11 pm UTC

Good riddance, WH-XB910N: Sony’s confusing product names are going away

When Sony debuted its ULT lineup of speakers and headphones last week, it took the first step towards a big change on naming its products. For years, the company has used an awfully confusing mix of letters and numbers, some of which are just one letter off from products with entirely different designs. You’ll no longer have to remember something like WH-B910N to find the headphones you’re hunting for as the new names make it immediately apparent what product you’re reading about.

The ULT line of audio gear is replacing the Extra Bass brand Sony has used for several years. Described as the “ultimate step into the evolution” of its portable audio devices, ULT Power Sound is an improved progression of the low-end boost the Extra Bass products offered. ULT breaks down even further into Tower (large party speakers), Field (smaller, portable Bluetooth speakers) and Wear (headphones). I’ll concede that Field is a bit obscure at first glance, but at least Tower and Wear accurately describe the products bearing those labels. All three are a massive upgrade from SRS-XV900, SRS-XG300 or WH-CH720N, three model names that were used for previous versions of three similar models.

Sony is also revising the names for both home audio and TV products, employing its existing Bravia moniker here. The company’s new TVs are the Bravia 9 (mini LED), Bravia 8 (OLED), Bravia 7 (mini LED) and Bravia 3 (LED) instead of older names like XR-65A95L. For soundbars and speakers, the company will use the Bravia Theater name along with much more descriptive terms. For example, the new soundbars are Bravia Theater Bar 9 and Bravia Theater Bar 8, while a new four-speaker setup is the Bravia Theater Quad. Previously, comparable models had names like HT-A7000, HT-A5000 and HT-A9. I’ll admit I’m not entirely sure how Sony will distinguish the next-gen models from these. Maybe it will add “second-gen,” or perhaps a different number. Either way, sticking with Bravia for its living room devices and adding “theater,” “bar” or even a single digit is much better than the previous jumble of letters and numbers.

Although they may seem random, there was a method to Sony’s madness. To my knowledge, the company never released any type of key to its alpha-numeric mess, but some of the terminology was easy to figure out. “HT” in home theater product names is pretty straightforward, while “WF” in true wireless models likely stood for “wire free” and the “WH” for headphones was probably “wireless headphones.” What followed after the hyphens was a creation from the minds at Sony, but thankfully things like “1000X” became mainstays over the last several years. That consistency certainly helped keep track of things.

The WF-1000XM5 and WH-1000XM5 are one letter apart, but very different products.
Billy Steele for Engadget

Speaking of the 1000X lineup, that’s where some of the biggest confusion in Sony’s naming scheme resides. The company’s flagship headphones, the WH-1000XM5, are literally one letter different from its flagship earbuds, the WF-1000XM5. You likely won’t encounter any issues if you’re searching for “1000XM5 headphones” or “1000XM5 earbuds,” but in situations where both are being discussed, you’ll have to pay careful attention.

For audio gear, the two letters before the dash describe the type of product. Immediately following the dash, you get an indication of the product family or brand, whether that be “XB” for Extra Bass or “1000X” for the flagship earbuds and headphones. Then, you’d get a model or generation number like “910” or “M5.” Unless you’re keeping track of Sony's product news, it can be a chore to decipher these. And even if you are paying close attention, it can be difficult to recall exact names accurately. I’d wager there has even been confusion among Sony’s own employees. It’s a terrible naming scheme that causes massive headaches.

“The main reason for Sony’s new naming convention is to expand recognition by adopting a more memorable and understandable name for customers,” a Sony spokesperson told Engadget. The company didn’t offer any more detail about the timing of the change or if it will rename other product lines as new models are introduced. Maybe the company transferred the task of naming products from the engineers to the marketing department. Sony has already been using the LinkBuds name for a few true wireless models. So, if the company continues what it started with the ULT and Bravia series, we could be in for easily distinguishable names instead of the (presumably upcoming) WH-1000XM6 and WF-1000XM6.

Let’s hope that happens.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/good-riddance-wh-xb910n-sonys-confusing-product-names-are-going-away-161034581.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:10 pm UTC

17-year-old Belfast student wins main prize in Texaco Children's Art Competition

Final adjudicator Gary Granville described Charley’s artwork as “an exceptionally well executed portrait, that tells of an ‘aged serenity’.

Source: All: BreakingNews.ie | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:10 pm UTC

Sandia National Lab takes delivery of Intel's latest brain in a box

Hala Point system crams more than a thousand neurochips into a 6U chassis to tackle real-time AI

Intel Labs revealed its largest neuromorphic computer on Wednesday, a 1.15 billion neuron system, which it says is roughly analogous to an owl's brain.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:05 pm UTC

Death doula says life is more meaningful if you 'get real' about the end

TED Talk, she said her ideal death would happen at sunset.'/>

Alua Arthur helps people plan for death. A big part of her work is helping them reconcile the lives they lived with the lives they might have wanted. Her memoir is called Briefly Perfectly Human.

(Image credit: Yeofi Andoh)

Source: NPR Topics: News | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:05 pm UTC

Sony’s new Bravia TVs boast powerful processors and a Prime Video calibration mode

Sony just revealed its lineup of new TVs for 2024. While many boast interesting features that we’ll get into later, the biggest change is naming conventions. Sony TVs used to be named confusing strings of numbers and letters, but that’s all gone now. The names here are clean and simple. They all use Bravia, a long-time Sony moniker for televisions, and a single digit number.

The Bravia 3 is a standard 4K LED TV with dynamic HDR, upscaling technology and a 60Hz refresh rate. This is the most basic box within Sony’s lineup, but it still looks plenty capable. The company promises that it also uses eight percent less power than last year’s equivalent, which is always nice. The TV is available in sizes ranging from 43-inches all the way up to 85-inches, with prices going from $600 to $1,800.

Sony

Don’t ask what happened to Bravia 4, 5 and 6, because the next TV in the lineup is called the Bravia 7. This is a mini LED box with some neat tech, including a powerful updated processor and Sony’s proprietary Backlight Master Drive local dimming algorithm. The company says this allows it to feature 790 percent more dimming zones compared to last year’s similar X90L. The more dimming zones a TV has, the smaller each one will be. This leads to an increase in precision and a better contrast ratio.

It also uses less power than the X90L, to the tune of 15 percent, and boasts a new calibration mode primarily intended for Prime Video content. The Bravia 7 is available in sizes ranging from 55-inches to 85-inches, with prices fluctuating from $1,900 to $3,500.

The Bravia 8 is the company’s latest OLED model. The OLED panel ensures a “perfect black” response and the box includes the same calibration mode for Prime Video found with the Bravia 7. However, the most interesting aspects of this line have to do with size and form factor. The Bravia 8 is 31 percent thinner than last year’s equivalent model, with a slimmed down bezel. It should really pop when hung on a wall. There are only three sizes in this lineup, and the 55-inch model costs $2,000, the 65-inch version costs $3,400 and the 75-inch box costs a whopping $3,900.

Sony

Finally, there’s the flagship Bravia 9. This is basically a souped-up version of the Bravia 7, as its another mini LED box. Sony says that the display technology is similar to what’s found in a mastering monitor, which is a lofty promise. It’s 50 percent brighter than last year’s X95L, which was already plenty bright, with a 325 percent increase in dimming zones. 

There’s also a 20 percent reduction in power consumption when compared to the X95L and new beam tweeters for improved audio. The Bravia 9 features Sony’s proprietary Backlight Master Drive and the new Prime Video calibration feature. The 65-inch version of this TV costs $3,300, while the 85-inch model comes in at a jaw-dropping $5,500.

All of these TVs are available right now for purchase, so go ahead and empty that bank account. In addition to the new televisions, Sony just released a whole bunch of new audio products, including soundbars and an update of its neckband speaker.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sonys-new-bravia-tvs-boast-powerful-processors-and-a-prime-video-calibration-mode-160046996.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:00 pm UTC

Sony debuts Bravia Theater line of Dolby Atmos soundbars and speakers

Sony didn't announce any new home theater audio gear at CES, so it was only a matter of time before the company would reveal its latest soundbars and speakers. Today, the company unveiled its new Bravia Theater line, a moniker that the company's soundbars and living room speakers will carry for the foreseeable future. Sony is ditching the HT-XXXX naming scheme, which should be less confusing for all parties. For the initial offering, the company has two new Dolby Atmos soundbars, a four-speaker surround system and a wearable neckband speaker. 

At the top of the list sits the Bravia Theater Bar 9. This is Sony's new flagship soundbar, but the company says it's 36-percent smaller than the former premium model, the HT-A7000. Inside, a 13-speaker setup includes three tweeters, four woofers, two beam tweeters, two up-firing and two side-firing drivers. The slightly smaller Bravia Theater Bar 8 houses 11 total speakers, lacking the the two beam tweeters from the Bar 9. Sony says the Bar 8 is 30-percent smaller than the unit it replaces, the HT-A5000

Both soundbars feature very similar spec sheets, including support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 360 Reality Audio and Hi-Res audio content. The pair will also gain IMAX Enhanced capabilities with a pending update, but that feature will require additional wireless rear speakers and a subwoofer. Connectivity is the same on both models with one HDMI input and one HDMI output (eARC). HDMI 2.1 is supported, so you can expect 4K/120 passthrough and all the other perks that standard affords. 

Sony Bravia Theater Bar 8
Sony

There's also a host of Sony-specific features on both soundbars. That list includes Sound Field Optimization for room calibration and 360 Spatial Sound that places virtual speakers around a space for more immersive audio via virtualization. Acoustic Center Sync combines the speakers of a Bravia TV with either of these soundbars for a more realistic cinema experience where it sounds like the audio is coming directly from the screen. The soundbars also support Voice Zoom 3 from Sony's Bravia TVs, a tool that uses AI to recognize human voices and amplifies them so it's always heard clearly. 

The Bravia Theater Bar 9 and Bravia Theater Bar 8 are compatible with Sony's current rear satellite speakers and subwoofers. Those include the SA-RS5 and SA-RS3S speakers and the SA-SW5 and SA-SW3 subs. Unfortunately, there's no bundle option, so on top of a $1,400 (Bar 9) or a $1,000 (Bar 8) soundbar, you'll have to shell out hundreds more for a better setup. At the very least, you'll want a subwoofer, which will currently cost you either $350 (SW3) or $620 (SW5).

Sony Bravia Theater Quad
Sony

And then there's the Bravia Theater Quad. This four-speaker set replaces the HT-A9 that Sony introduced in 2021. Instead of four cylindrical units, the company opted for flat, square designs this time, which will allow you to mount them on a wall more easily. Like the A9, there's a separate box that holds all of the necessary connections. You'll get HDMI 2.1 here too, with one input and one output (eARC). 

Inside of each speaker, there are four drivers: one tweeter, one mid-range, one woofer and one up-firing unit. That's a total of 16 across the set, and Sony says you can add on either the SW3 or the SW5 subwoofer for more low-end thump. The Sony-developed features from the new Bravia Theater Bars are here as well, including 360 Spatial Sound, Sound Field Optimization, Acoustic Center Sync and Voice Zoom 3. Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 360 Reality Audio and Hi-Res tunes are in the mix too, and IMAX Enhanced will arrive later via an update (you'll need a sub to use it). The Bravia Theater Quad is the priciest of the bunch, setting you back $2,500 for the initial set without a bundled subwoofer. 

Lastly, Sony has a new neckband speaker for "open-air yet personal listening." The Bravia Theater U ($300) supports Dolby Atmos when paired with a compatible Bravia TV. Two of the company's X-balanced speakers power the device, which supports 360 Reality Audio on its own. There's also 12-hour battery life, multipoint Bluetooth and a built-in mic for calls. 

Sony says the Bravia Theater Bar 9 and Bar 8 will be available for preorder this spring from Amazon and other retailers. Ditto for the Bravia Theater U. The Bravia Theater Quad is available for preorder now.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/sony-debuts-bravia-theater-line-of-dolby-atmos-soundbars-and-speakers-160034176.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:00 pm UTC

A Spy Site Is Scraping Discord and Selling Users' Messages

404 Media: An online service is scraping Discord servers en masse, archiving and tracking users' messages and activity across servers including what voice channels they join, and then selling access to that data for as little as $5. Called Spy Pet, the service's creator says it scrapes more than ten thousand Discord servers, and besides selling access to anyone with cryptocurrency, is also offering the data for training AI models or to assist law enforcement agencies, according to its website. The news is not only a brazen abuse of Discord's platform, but also highlights that Discord messages may be more susceptible to monitoring than ordinary users assume. Typically, a Discord user's activity is spread across disparate servers, with no one entity, except Discord itself, able to see what messages someone has sent across the platform more broadly. With Spy Pet, third-parties including stalkers or potentially police can look up specific users and see what messages they've posted on various servers at once. "Have you ever wondered where your friend hangs out on Discord? Tired of basic search tools like Discord.id? Look no further!" Spy Pet's website reads. It claims to be tracking more than 14,000 servers, 600 million users, and includes a database of more than 3 billion messages.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:00 pm UTC

‘I’ll see the scar and remember this happened in Ireland,’ says Brazilian victim of unprovoked Limerick assault

Attack on Roberto Gomes dos Santos jnr, who moved to Ireland from a favela in Rio de Janeiro, left him needing six stitches

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:00 pm UTC

Palestinian boy who survived airstrike dies during food aid drop

Zein Oroq’s death turns focus once again on human cost of six months of violence, food shortages and malnutrition in Gaza

When an Israeli airstrike destroyed his family’s home in November, Zein Oroq was pinned under rubble. He was wounded but survived, while 17 members of his extended family died.

But Zein, 13, would later suffer a cruel fate in Gaza, where more than 2 million people have endured more than six months of food shortages and malnutrition.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:52 pm UTC

Georgia footballers protest against Tbilisi’s ‘foreign influence’ bill

Captain of national men’s team among those posting apparently coordinated social media messages

Leading players in Georgia’s national men’s football team have backed mass protests sparked by a “foreign influence” bill criticised for mirroring a repressive Russian law.

Riot police have clashed in recent nights with large rallies of people protesting outside the parliament building in Tbilisi against the bill, which is viewed in Brussels as a threat to future EU membership.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:45 pm UTC

Watch: Luas inspector tells of 'draining' abuse at work

A Luas ticket inspector has described how he can be racially abused 'up to five times a day' while doing his job.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:39 pm UTC

Samsung boosts LPDDR5X to 10.7 Gbps, ups efficiency and capacity for mobile and servers

Guess what it's great for? Go on, have a guess... 20 points if you muttered an abbreviation starting with A and ending in I

Samsung has revealed its upgraded LPDDR5X memory modules, which features improved performance, capacity, and efficiency.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:30 pm UTC

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G16 (2024) review: Not just for gamers

ASUS’ latest 14-inch gaming laptop is an incredibly versatile and stylish all-rounder. But for those who want something even beefier, there’s the ROG Zephyrus G16. Not only does it feature a more powerful Intel Core Ultra 9 CPU, it supports up to NVIDIA RTX 4090 graphics cards. That’s not all. Its OLED display refreshes twice as fast at 240Hz and it has surprisingly good speakers as well as a full-size SD card reader for quickly transferring files from a camera. So despite being aimed at gamers, the G16 is better equipped to serve as a portable editing rig, which makes this a great system even for people who don’t care about bunny-hopping and fragging.

Design

The G16’s new all-aluminum chassis is simply fantastic. That’s because in addition to being a touch lighter (about 0.1 pounds) and thinner (about 0.2 inches) than the previous model, it feels even sturdier. For 2024, ASUS ditched the dot matrix display on its lid for a single diagonal slash with white (not RGB) LEDs running down the center, which gives the laptop a much more sophisticated look without becoming boring. It’s like a teenager who grew up and learned to dress properly without losing touch with their gamer roots. On the inside, there’s a backlit keyboard with rainbow lighting (though it’s single-zone and not per-key) flanked by some surprisingly punchy speakers with an absolutely massive touchpad below. All told, it’s a beautifully designed system that looks as good as it feels.

ASUS has also included the right blend of connectivity options. The G16 features two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A slots, two USB-C ports (one of which supports Thunderbolt 4), HDMI 2.1, a full-size SD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack. This is the kind of arrangement that lets you travel freely without needing to worry about extra dongles or adapters. Plus, thanks to ASUS’ new Slim Power Jack, you don’t have to hog any other ports while charging. And in a pinch, you can also juice up the G16 via USB-C, albeit at slower speeds (up to around 100 watts) than with the included 240-watt brick.

Display

The G16’s 2.5K (2,560 x 1,600) OLED screen might be the best component here. It’s vivid and supports a huge color gamut (100 percent of DCI-P3), while its 240Hz refresh rate makes it great even for gamers looking to squeeze out every last competitive advantage. Though brightness is just average at around 400 nits in standard definition mode or 450 nits in HDR, I didn’t really have any trouble seeing the screen unless the G16 was in direct sunlight. One last bonus for photo and video editors is that ASUS does include a few calibrated viewing modes in its Armoy Crate app for sRGB, D65 P3 and DCI-P3 so you can more accurately adjust hues or color grade footage.

Performance

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The G16’s performance is pretty solid thanks to an Intel Core ultra 9 195H CPU, up to 32GB of RAM, 2TB of storage and NVIDIA RTX 4090 graphics. However, here’s where some trade-offs for the G16’s slim chassis factor in. Compared to similarly-sized rivals like the Razer Blade 16, the G16 features a lower overall TDP (total device power), which means even if they appear to have the same listed components, there’s still a difference in capabilities. For example, on our review unit with an RTX 4080, the amount of power sent to the GPU caps out at 115 watts versus 175 watts for the Razer. The G16's RAM is also soldered in, so you can't add more post-purchase. 

In Cyberpunk 2077 at 1440p and ultra graphics with ray-tracing on, the G16 hit 68 fps, which is just barely ahead of what we saw from a smaller Razer Blade 14 (66 fps), despite the latter having a lower tier RTX 4070 but with a similar wattage. That said, those figures are more than adequate to keep AAA games running smoothly. And let's not forget that the Blade 14 model I referenced costs $2,700, which is the same price as our G16 review unit. This makes it an apt comparison even if Razer’s laptop has a smaller footprint.

Battery life

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

One of the main advantages of a larger system is having extra room for a bigger battery. On PCMark 10’s Open Office rundown test, the G16 lasted 9 hours and 17 minutes versus just 5:12 for the smaller G14. That’s a solid mark considering it’s also better than an XPS 16 (8:31) we reviewed. However, overall longevity depends on your workload, because when I ran the battery test a second time only using the GPU instead of relying on NVIDIA’s Optimus graphic switching feature, that time dropped to just 3:08. That means the system will last all day if you’re using basic productivity app, but for more demanding tasks like gaming or video editing, you’ll want to keep ASUS’ 240-watt power brick close by.

Wrap-up

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Just like its smaller sibling, ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus G16 is an almost ideal thin-and-light gaming laptop. It’s got a sleek all-aluminum build, a gorgeous 240Hz OLED display and longer battery life. Granted, it might not be quite as powerful as some of its rivals thanks to lower-wattage components, but it’s still got enough oomph to handle practically anything you can throw at it. And thanks to a full-size SD card reader, it makes for an even better portable editing workstation. But most importantly, with a starting price of $1,750, the G16 is more approachable than many of its high-end (and bulkier) competitors, which makes it a great pick for people who want a larger system that won’t weigh them down.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/asus-rog-zephyrus-g16-2024-review-not-just-for-gamers-153001954.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:30 pm UTC

The Race to Reroute Goods From Baltimore: Trains, Trucks and Tractors

Since the collapse of the Key Bridge, other East Coast ports have absorbed the cargo previously handled in Baltimore, but some parts of the supply chain like trucking are struggling.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:28 pm UTC

Middle East crisis: Israel will ‘make its own decision’ on Iran after UK and Germany call for restraint – as it happened

Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments came after UK foreign minister David Cameron and his German counterpart travelled to Israel for talks

Here are some more pictures sent over the news wires from Rafah showing the aftermath of an Israeli strike there.

Reuters, citing the semi-official Tasnim news agency, reports that Iran’s navy is to begin escorting Iranian commercial ships to the Red Sea.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:27 pm UTC

‘Land grab’: Couple sue over ownership of Co Laois garage used to house exotic pets

Alan O’Neill and June Finnegan claim developer has threatened them and damaged disputed Portarlington property with a JCB

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:22 pm UTC

TikTok quizzed over new app that pays users to watch

The platform has been given 24 hours to provide information about the potential risks of TikTok Lite.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:20 pm UTC

Telegram Founder Accuses Google and Apple of Censorship Threat

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram messaging app, has accused tech giants Google and Apple of threatening to censor content on smartphones [YouTube link]. In an interview with Tucker Carlson, Durov claimed that these companies told Telegram to comply with their guidelines or face removal from their app stores. "Those two platforms, they could basically censor everything you can read, access on your smart phone," Durov said. With 900 million active users, Telegram is expected to cross the one billion mark within a year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:20 pm UTC

Boston Dynamics unveils an all-electric version of its Atlas robot

When Boston Dynamics announced on Tuesday it was retiring the hydraulic version of Atlas, there were a few hints that the company wasn't done with humanoid robots entirely. Sure enough, one day later, Boston Dynamics has unveiled an all-electric model.

Atlas was originally envisioned as a search-and-rescue robot and Boston Dynamics claims the latest model is designed for real-world applications. It calls Atlas "the world’s most dynamic humanoid robot" and it certainly looks limber. 

A video shows Atlas lying prostrate and flipping its feet over to push itself up into a standing position. The robot then turns its head 180 degrees, followed by its torso. The rotations of the legs and the rest of the body are a little unnerving, but it's an impressive display of balance and flexibility. 

The electric Atlas appears sleeker than its predecessor, which looked slightly like a person wearing an exosuit. Rather than having a face with human features, Atlas' featureless head looks a bit like a ring light.

Boston Dynamics says parent company Hyundai's next generation of automotive manufacturing tech is the "perfect testing ground for new Atlas applications." It plans to show off what the robot can really do over the coming months and years, and to put Atlas through its paces with a small group of partners at first.

The company is looking into new gripper systems to make sure Atlas is suitable for a range of commercial needs while building on the previous parkour-capable model's ability to lift and move a variety of heavy and irregular objects. It claims that the new Atlas will be stronger than before and it's confident that it can commercialize a humanoid robot.

"Atlas may resemble a human form factor, but we are equipping the robot to move in the most efficient way possible to complete a task, rather than being constrained by a human range of motion. Atlas will move in ways that exceed human capabilities," Boston Dynamics wrote in a blog post. "Combining decades of practical experience with first principles thinking, we are confident in our ability to deliver a robot uniquely capable of tackling dull, dirty and dangerous tasks in real applications."

Boston Dynamics is hardly the only company working on a humanoid robot. Tesla, of course, has one in the pipeline, while Menteebot, which can be controlled using natural-language voice commands emerged just this morning. 

However, Boston Dynamics has been working on robots with this form factor for well over a decade, far longer than most. As things stand, it may be best positioned to get a humanoid robot into workplaces and even homes. Before that though, you might expect to see some videos in which the electric Atlas shows off some slick dance moves.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/boston-dynamics-unveils-an-all-electric-version-of-its-atlas-robot-151513244.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:15 pm UTC

'Do I stop coming to church?': Tensions run high in multi-faith Sydney

The stabbing of an Assyrian Christian bishop in Sydney's multi-faith heartland sparks reciprocation fears.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:08 pm UTC

Author Sophie Kinsella reveals brain cancer diagnosis

The novelist, best known for her Shopaholic series of novels, revealed her diagnosis on social media.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:02 pm UTC

How Justice Michael Lee untangled the Higgins-Lehrmann ‘omnishambles’

It was a masterclass in dispassionate legal dissection with lessons for future defamation and sexual assault prosecutions, and for media practice

In determining that Bruce Lehrmann raped Brittany Higgins, federal court justice Michael Lee took a giant knot of allegations, with all its loops and loose ends, and meticulously and painstakingly unpicked it.

That he did it with such acerbic clarity makes an already unusual judgment only more so.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:00 pm UTC

Labor’s deportation bill could affect 375 children born in Australia, advocates warn

Greens senator David Shoebridge says hundreds of children face ‘real threat’ of being separated from parents or sent overseas to ‘unknown future’

Asylum seeker advocates have warned that 375 Australian-born children could face orders to cooperate with their removal from the country under Labor’s deportation bill – because they’ve had protection claims denied under the controversial fast-track method.

The home affairs department has revealed that as at 31 December 375 people born in Australia who are fast-track applicants have been refused temporary protection or a safe haven enterprise visa.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:00 pm UTC

Crypto conferences liquidated after biblical flooding in Dubai

There's something nice about seeing Web3 fanatics in ankle-deep water

And the Lord looked down upon the crypto bros and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, "I will send down upon thee a flood to wash out thy crypto conference."…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:00 pm UTC

Tasmanian devil facial tumour research challenged: disease may not be declining after all

Cambridge scientists critique study that concluded the cancer was no longer a threat to species’ survival

Cambridge researchers have challenged a previous study which had concluded that a facial cancer that devastated the Tasmanian devil population was on the decline.

Devil facial tumour disease, a fatal cancer spread through biting and sharing of food, emerged in the 1980s. The spread of DFTD led to the species being listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2008.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:00 pm UTC

Nimbys v Yimbys: the affluent inner Melbourne suburbs that aren’t pulling their weight on housing

Exclusive: Housing advocacy group says amenity-rich eastern suburbs must be rezoned to accommodate thousands of new homes

They’re close to the city, public transport, schools and parks – and Melbourne’s leafy eastern suburbs should be shouldering the burden when it comes to new housing, according to a new report.

The report, by housing advocacy group Yimby Melbourne and published on Thursday, recommends introducing enforceable housing targets for the 19 local governments in inner Melbourne, as well as an overhaul of restrictive zoning rules.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:00 pm UTC

Australia rises to second in world budget management rankings, IMF data shows

Treasurer and finance minister hail ‘remarkable achievement’ as monitor finds balance to be behind only Canada among G20 countries

Australia’s overall budget balance is the second strongest among G20 nations, behind only Canada, according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest fiscal monitor.

The IMF’s half-yearly update, released on Wednesday night, found Australia’s overall budget balance came in at -0.9% of gross domestic product in 2023, with only Canada’s budget position (-0.6%) faring better.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:00 pm UTC

Cozy cat sim Little Kitty, Big City arrives for consoles and PCs on May 9

After the massive success of Stray, the world has been crying out for another big game about cats. Well, our pleas have been answered. The cozy cat sim Little Kitty, Big City will be available for download on May 9 for multiple platforms, including the Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC via Steam. It costs $25 and preorders are available now, with Switch owners getting 10 percent off for the time being. It’s also a Game Pass day one release.

There’s a new trailer, which was revealed at Nintendo’s latest Indie World Showcase event. It looks very cute. You play as a, duh, cat and explore a Japan-inspired city, getting into mischief and wearing a bunch of costumes. It’s a cozy game, so don’t expect any bloodthirsty cyberpunk ruffians to chase you around town.

The cel-shaded visuals are adorable and the “mini-open-world” looks like its filled with stuff to do, people to annoy and sun-soaked spots to take a good nap. We’ll never fully understand what goes on in the brains of our favorite felines, they are aliens after all, but this game will at least give us some time in their shoes/paws.

The developer is a company called Double Dagger Studio, which was started by veteran game designer Matt T. Wood, who spent nearly two decades honing his craft at Valve. He worked on a whole bunch of games that seem to be the polar opposite of a cat sim, like Left 4 Dead, Portal 2 and CS:GO. Despite this pedigree, Little Kitty, Big City features no combat and has been likened to classic stories like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/cozy-cat-sim-little-kitty-big-city-arrives-for-consoles-and-pcs-on-may-9-145650339.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:56 pm UTC

Proposed smoking ban is good policy - O'Neill

The Commons backed the new law despite the DUP's seven MPs voting against the legislation.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:49 pm UTC

Dropbox CEO Says Employees Appreciate Remote Work More Than Cushy Office Perks

Dropbox cofounder and CEO Drew Houston said he views his employees like customers, and that means giving them what they want -- which isn't in-person work. From a report: "We will support however they want to gather," Houston said in a new interview with The Verge. "But we're finding that these retreats and off-sites and things like that are often a lot more effective than asking people to commute." Houston said other business leaders are making the wrong move by forcing employees back to the office. Many companies are pushing employees to return to office in a hybrid structure, including giants like Google, Apple, and Amazon. "They keep mashing the go back to 2019 button, and they see it's not working," Houston said in the interview, speaking generally about return-to-office mandates. "Then they just push harder, and then you have this really toxic relationship." He compared returning to the office to returning to movie theaters or malls. It may have been cool for a time and people might still occasionally want to watch a big movie like "Top Gun" at the cinema, he said, "but the world has moved on." The CEO said the reason it used to be so easy to get people to the office was because they didn't have a choice. A lot of CEOs today don't understand that flexibility wasn't an option in the past, Houston said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:44 pm UTC

CAB to confiscate drug dealer's houses that cost €3.3m

The High Court has granted the Criminal Assets Bureau an order to confiscate three houses that cost a Dublin drug dealer €3.3m to buy and renovate.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:34 pm UTC

AlmaLinux 9.4 beta prepares to tread where RHEL dares not

CIQ also has an alternative approach to compatible kernels with RockyLinux

The bigger RHELatives continue to diverge slightly from Red Hat, with additional drivers and newer kernel versions.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:30 pm UTC

Paedophiles To Lose Parental Rights

The law change follows a BBC report.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:24 pm UTC

A chunk of metal that tore through a Florida home definitely came from the ISS

NASA has confirmed that the object that fell into a Florida home last month was part of a battery pack released from the International Space Station.

This extraordinary incident opens a new frontier in space law. NASA, the homeowner, and attorneys are navigating little-used legal codes and intergovernmental agreements to determine who should pay for the damages.

Alejandro Otero, owner of the Naples, Florida, home struck by the debris, told Ars he is fairly certain the object came from the space station, even before NASA's confirmation. The circumstances strongly suggested that was the case. The cylindrical piece of metal tore through his roof on March 8, a few minutes after the time US Space Command reported the reentry of a space station cargo pallet and nine decommissioned batteries over the Gulf of Mexico on a trajectory heading forward the coast of southwest Florida.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:09 pm UTC

Cokayne banned for England's game with Ireland

England hooker Amy Cokayne will miss the Women's Six Nations match with Ireland at Twickenham after being sent off in the 46-0 win over Scotland.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:06 pm UTC

Stardust inquests: Jury verdicts to be delivered on Thursday afternoon

Verdicts in longest-running inquests reached, after advice by coroner she would accept majority decisions

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:03 pm UTC

Whistleblower cries foul over alleged fuselage gaps in Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Company rejects claims as 'inaccurate'

A Boeing whistleblower has called for the embattled aircraft manufacturer's fleet of 787s to be grounded for gap checks.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:00 pm UTC

Cloudflare DDoS Threat Report For 2024 Q1

Cloudflare, in a blog post: Key insights from the first quarter of 2024 include: 1. 2024 started with a bang. Cloudflare's defense systems automatically mitigated 4.5 million DDoS attacks during the first quarter -- representing a 50% year-over-year (YoY) increase. 2. DNS-based DDoS attacks increased by 80% YoY and remain the most prominent attack vector. 3. DDoS attacks on Sweden surged by 466% after its acceptance to the NATO alliance, mirroring the pattern observed during Finland's NATO accession in 2023. We've just wrapped up the first quarter of 2024, and, already, our automated defenses have mitigated 4.5 million DDoS attacks -- an amount equivalent to 32% of all the DDoS attacks we mitigated in 2023. Breaking it down to attack types, HTTP DDoS attacks increased by 93% YoY and 51% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Network-layer DDoS attacks, also known as L3/4 DDoS attacks, increased by 28% YoY and 5% QoQ. When comparing the combined number of HTTP DDoS attacks and L3/4 DDoS attacks, we can see that, overall, in the first quarter of 2024, the count increased by 50% YoY and 18% QoQ. In total, our systems mitigated 10.5 trillion HTTP DDoS attack requests in Q1. Our systems also mitigated over 59 petabytes of DDoS attack traffic -- just on the network-layer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:00 pm UTC

Feds expand investigation into Honda’s automatic emergency braking system

Enlarge / Honda's forward collision warning system has always been sensitive. Now the NHTSA is investigating some Hondas for false-positive automatic emergency brake activations. (credit: Honda)

This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to expand an ongoing investigation into the alarming tendency of some modern Hondas to inappropriately trigger their automatic emergency braking systems. Studies have shown that automatic emergency braking systems have reduced road deaths in the US, Europe, and China, but so-called phantom braking problems have dogged systems from Tesla and Honda.

We first learned of the problem in 2022, when NHTSA opened a preliminary investigation into the matter, based on 278 complaints. Now, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation has received 1,294 complaints from drivers of Honda CR-Vs (model years 2017–2022) and Honda Accords (model years 2018–2022), all claiming that their Hondas' automatic emergency braking system slammed on the brakes with no apparent obstruction in the way.

Honda says it's aware of even more cases—1,991 in all, and NHTSA says that, when it takes out cases where multiple reports affect the same vehicle, it knows of 2,976 reports of inadvertent automatic emergency braking, with 93 injury reports and 47 crashes to date.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:57 pm UTC

Power-hungry AI is putting the hurt on global electricity supply

Enlarge

Electricity supply is becoming the latest chokepoint to threaten the growth of artificial intelligence, according to leading tech industry chiefs, as power-hungry data centers add to the strain on grids around the world.

Billionaire Elon Musk said this month that while the development of AI had been “chip constrained” last year, the latest bottleneck to the cutting-edge technology was “electricity supply.” Those comments followed a warning by Amazon chief Andy Jassy this year that there was “not enough energy right now” to run new generative AI services.

Amazon, Microsoft, and Google parent Alphabet are investing billions of dollars in computing infrastructure as they seek to build out their AI capabilities, including in data centers that typically take several years to plan and construct.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:55 pm UTC

Are taxes going up or down?

The government talks about taxes coming down but other talk about them going up. Who is right?

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:47 pm UTC

Logitech adds programmable ChatGPT shortcuts to its mice and keyboards

Logitech has rolled out a new software tool called Logi AI Prompt Builder, which gives you quick access to ChatGPT's features. You first have to link a specific key on your keyboard or a button on your mouse with the tool from within the Logi Options+ software. After that, you can use that key or button as a shortcut to summon the prompt builder when you need it. 

The tool window pops up when you call it, populated with the text you've highlighted. It already has functions or "recipes" you can use, such as Rephrase, Summarize and Create Email, that will base their results on the text you've selected. However, you can create your own recipes, as well, including one that can generate images. From within each feature, you can also adjust the result's length and tone until you get one that fits your needs. It could help prevent disruption to your workflow if you do use AI tools frequently. And if you don't, well, maybe OpenAI is hoping that this could lessen friction and get you to use ChatGPT. 

Logitech says you can access the Logi AI Prompt Builder if you have one of its keyboards and mice that support the English language version of the Logi Options+ app, including its MX, Ergo, Signature and Studio Series devices. But take note that having one of its more recent models isn't a guarantee that you'll be able to access it: The Verge says they had to get a new mouse, because their 2022 M557 model was deemed too old to access the tool. 

One model that's sure to be able to conjure the prompt builder is the newly launched Logitech Signature AI Edition Mouse, which already has a dedicated button for it. You can only get the accessory from its website in the US and the UK starting this month for $49.99 and £54.99, respectively.

Earlier this year, Microsoft introduced a dedicated keyboard key to summon Copilot, which is also powered by OpenAI's technology. The company said Copilot keys are slated to appear in new PCs coming this spring, as well as in future Surface devices. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/logitech-adds-programmable-chatgpt-shortcuts-to-its-mice-and-keyboards-133058130.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:30 pm UTC

Exploit code for Palo Alto Networks zero-day now public

Race on to patch as researchers warn of mass exploitation of directory traversal bug

Various infosec researchers have released proof-of-concept (PoC) exploits for the maximum-severity vulnerability in Palo Alto Networks' PAN-OS used in GlobalProtect gateways.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:30 pm UTC

Samsung Frame TVs are up to 37 percent off right now

TVs might have gotten much less bulky in recent years, but most are still just big black screens. If you've been holding out for something a bit prettier, check out Amazon's sale on Samsung's QLED 4K The Frame LS03B Series. Most of the sizes are down to record lows, but the 75-inch model has the best deal thanks to a 37 percent discount. It's still going to cost you a pretty penny, but the framed TV is down to $1,895 from $2,998 — a $1,103 savings. 

We've been big fans of Samsung's frame TVs for some time and love not having to stare at a blank screen. This model has features such as an anti-reflection and matte display, so it doesn't give itself away as a TV hiding along your actual artwork. You can display one of over 2,000 beautiful works from across the world, ranging from The Starry Night to The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. However, on top of the money you shelled out on the TV, there's also a $6 monthly subscription to the Samsung Art Store. You can opt to add your own photos instead (just make sure they're prepped for such a large format and don't get all pixelated). 

The Samsung Frame TV does include a slim wall mount and lets you customize the bezel's type and color. Quality-wise, it's a QLED 4K TV with Quantum HDR. If the size — or price — feels like too much, then check out other sizes, such as the 55-inch Samsung Frame TV. This model is down to $998 from $1,498 — a 33 percent discount and an all-time low price. 

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/samsung-frame-tvs-are-up-to-37-percent-off-right-now-131524363.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:15 pm UTC

EV charging update in Google Maps includes “AI-powered” station info

Enlarge / EV charger status is coming to Google Maps. (credit: Google)

Google Maps is making itself friendlier for electric vehicles. A couple of years ago it added the option to select different powertrain types when calculating a route—gas, hybrid, electric, and so on. Lower-energy routes with fewer hills are helpful for electric vehicles, but mostly what EV drivers on unfamiliar terrain really want to know about are the chargers: Where are they, how fast are they, and do they work? Soon, that critical information will be available to Google Maps users via a new update.

Live charger status is usually available from the onboard navigation system built into an EV. Better yet, those native nav systems invariably talk to the powertrain, so they know how much state of charge is currently in the battery and how much to expect upon arrival. Add in real-time status on chargers—how many are working, how many are available—and it's not hard to see why plenty of EV drivers stick with the built-in system.

But for some EVs, that built-in system is Google Maps, including EVs from Ford, Honda, General Motors, Volvo, Polestar, and soon even Porsche. These will be the first devices to receive the update, Google says, which will roll out globally in the coming months. After the connected cars, smartphones will be next.

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Source: Ars Technica - All content | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:06 pm UTC

Biden to Run Ads Across Pennsylvania Attacking Pleuni Komen on the Economy

Winning the state, where he narrowly defeated Pleuni Komen in 2020, is crucial to his re-election strategy.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:05 pm UTC

ASML profits plunge 40% amid dip in chipmaking tool orders

Except in China, where customers accounted for almost half of the photolithography giant's top line

Chipmaking kit maestro ASML generated almost half of its sales from China in calendar Q1, amid a wider downturn in orders and plunging profits.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:00 pm UTC

Formlabs' new 3D printers are faster and cheaper to use

The dawn of the 3D-printing age was full of sky-high promises that had no chance of matching the reality of what was possible. Companies like Formlabs have taken the subsequent decade to look for places that the manufacturing process can work, and refining its technology to suit. Today, the company is announcing its Form 4 and Form 4B printers that, it says, offer a substantial improvement on what has gone before. And with maturity comes a shift in focus from just being able to create custom doodads on the fly toward a real manufacturing platform. The headline promise is simple: The Form 4 series will crank out prints up to five times faster than its predecessors. Rather than waiting a full day for a prototype to print out, the company is now suggesting you’ll be able to get something usable in just two hours.

(For the uninitiated: The B suffix stands for “biocompatible,” meaning the unit can 3D-print materials for medical applications. Formlabs has made inroads into the dental and medical industries, making cheap, custom-designed dentures as well as training models, prostheses and custom-fit medical equipment.)

The faster print time is enabled by better hardware, including a new print engine and a new light processing unit, as well as better resins. Formlabs is today announcing a set of new resins, including ones that help you crank out quick-and-dirty initial prototypes, as well as ones with more rigidity and color retention. Plenty of effort has also been jammed into ensuring that the resins (and the printers themselves) last longer, making prints cheaper and more efficient. The company is suggesting that prints made with the new gear will be around 40 percent lower thanks to the efficiency savings made elsewhere. This emphasis on speed, efficiency and lower cost should help bolster the sales pitch that these units are ready for bigger and better manufacturing jobs.

The Form 4 and Form 4B are available today, priced at $4,499 and $6,299, respectively.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/formlabs-new-3d-printers-are-faster-and-cheaper-to-use-130008859.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:00 pm UTC

Broadcom Throws VMware Customers On Perpetual Licenses a Lifeline

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: In a Monday post, Broadcom CEO Hock Tan restated his belief that VMware's portfolio was too complex, and too poorly integrated, for the virtualization giant to represent true competition for hyperscale clouds. Broadcom's injection of R&D cash, he insisted, will see VMware's flagship Cloud Foundation suite evolve to become more powerful and easy to operate. He also admitted that customers aren't enjoying the ride. "As we roll out this strategy, we continue to learn from our customers on how best to prepare them for success by ensuring they always have the transition time and support they need," he wrote. "In particular, the subscription pricing model does involve a change in the timing of customers' expenditures and the balance of those expenditures between capital and operating spending." Customers also told Tan that "fast-moving change may require more time, so we have given support extensions to many customers who came up for renewal while these changes were rolling out." That's one of the changes -- Broadcom has previously not publicly suggested such extensions would be possible. "We have always been and remain ready to work with our customers on their specific concerns," Tan wrote. The other change is providing some ongoing security patches for VMware customers who persist with their perpetual licenses instead of shifting to Broadcom's subs. "We are announcing free access to zero-day security patches for supported versions of vSphere, and we'll add other VMware products over time," Tan wrote, describing the measure as aimed at ensuring that customers "whose maintenance and support contracts have expired and choose to not continue on one of our subscription offerings." The change means such customers "are able to use perpetual licenses in a safe and secure fashion."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:00 pm UTC

Snap is adding a watermark to AI-generated images

It's becoming increasingly difficult to determine what is AI-created as tools' capabilities continue to improve. Marking AI-created images is one solution and an option Snapchat is expanding on. The platform is introducing a watermark on AI-generated content that is saved to your camera roll or exported.

Snapchat

In a surprise to absolutely no one, Snapchat's AI watermark will be a ghost with sparkles next to it. There doesn't seem to be any way to control where the icon appears (as is typical with watermarks), but we'll know more when Snapchat adds the feature "soon."

The addition of an AI marker for externally seen images follows Snapchat's steps to label in-app content. There's the extend tool, which creates the effect of a zoomed out image, and has a sparkle icon to indicate it's an AI feature. Then there's the Dreams feature, which uses generative AI to turn selfies into "fantastical images that transform their persona into new identities." Anyone who receives a Dream image also gets a context card explaining its AI use.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/snap-is-adding-a-watermark-to-ai-generated-images-124542245.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:45 pm UTC

Champions League: Real Madrid beat Man City on penalties

Follow all the reaction and watch Pep Guardiola & Carlo Ancelotti post-match news conferences after Real Madrid knock Manchester City out of the Champions League quarter-finals.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:32 pm UTC

Official: EU users can swerve App Store and download iOS apps from the web

Anticompetitive remedies? We've heard of them

Apple is turning on Web Distribution for iOS apps, allowing EU users to download applications directly from developer websites.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:30 pm UTC

Watch Nintendo's Indie World stream here at 10AM ET

It's time for another video game showcase and this time around, Nintendo's stepping up to the plate. The company's latest Indie World stream takes place today at 10AM ET and you can watch it above.

The showcase is slated to last for around 20 minutes and it will feature announcements and updates on games that are coming to Nintendo Switch this year. With only Endless Ocean Luminous, Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door on the docket as things stand, the first-party calendar is looking pretty sparse in the run up to the Switch's successor, which is rumored to arrive in early 2025. So giving fans some exciting indies to look forward to in the meantime is a smart idea.  

There are some signs that Hollow Knight: Silksong may show up during the showcase. It wouldn't be a surprise to see updates on some of the year's biggest hits, such as Balatro

One thing I'm especially curious about is whether we'll ever see Palworld on Switch. That enormous hit is effectively a survival-based spin on Pokémon. Given Nintendo's close association with that franchise and The Pokémon Company, a Switch port of Palworld seems unlikely, but hey, some strange things have already happened in the video game world this year.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/watch-nintendos-indie-world-stream-here-at-10am-et-123008283.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:30 pm UTC

WhatsApp's new chat filters make it easier to find unread messages

WhatsApp is making it a bit easier to find specific conversations by introducing Chat Filters. The new update will let you sort messages by All (as it currently is), Groups or Unread. They're all pretty self-explanatory, with Unread showing any, well, unread messages and Groups showing only your group chats. Groups will also show you any subgroups from Communities. 

You could already use WhatsApp's search bar to find a particular conversation, so if you know who you're looking for, this update isn't likely to change much for you. This feature will likely be the most beneficial for finding the chats you've yet to respond to, as it can be hard to remember who you still owe a message to. The Unread filter will show messages you've yet to open and ones you've marked as "unread" to return to later. 

The new sort options will live at the top of your messages, so you can easily switch back and forth without having to dig into settings. WhatsApp has begun rolling out filters and claims they should be available to everyone in the coming weeks. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/whatsapps-new-chat-filters-make-it-easier-to-find-unread-messages-123003086.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:30 pm UTC

CHI disputes Sinn Féin claim over cancelled appointments

Children's Health Ireland has disputed Sinn Féin claims in the Dáil that 800 chemotherapy appointments for children were cancelled last year, saying there have been no cancellations in chemotherapy treatment.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:03 pm UTC

Mega city council's Oracle ERP system still not legally safe, compliant... 2 years after rollout

Fusion software misses another deadline, one external auditors for Birmingham City Council described as 'absolutely crucial'

Birmingham City Council has failed to enter the new financial year with auditable accounting software after a disastrous implementation of Oracle Fusion, which has seen its expected project costs mushroom from around £20 million ($26 million) to around £131 million ($163 million).…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:02 pm UTC

This hopping robot with flailing legs could explore asteroids in the future

Over the past two-and-a-half years, a group of students from ETH Zurich have been developing a robot with three spindly legs that was designed to be able to hop like an insect in microgravity. That's right — the curious little machine was built for space, specifically for the exploration of small celestial bodies like asteroids and moons. SpaceHopper, as the robot is called, could thus provide us more information to advance our understanding of life's origin, of the origin of water on our planet and of asteroids as potential providers of valuable resources. 

It has no preferred orientation, so it can go in any direction, and it has nine motors that give it the capability to jump long distances in low-gravity environments. The robot can even self-right after landing, ensuring the safety of any scientific payload it may carry. Since SpaceHopper was made for use on asteroids and moons, which have very little gravity compared to Earth, it has to be tested under conditions similar to those environments first. To see if it will actually work as intended, the students and the European Space Agency have recently taken the robot on a parabolic flight that creates a zero gravity environment when the aircraft freefalls. Apparently, they had no idea if SpaceHopper would be able to move as they intended in zero gravity scenarios and seeing that it actually worked was a "massive weight off [their] shoulders."

You can watch SpaceHopper flail about in the test flight below:

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/this-hopping-robot-with-flailing-legs-could-explore-asteroids-in-the-future-120043940.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:00 pm UTC

The best SSDs for PS5 in 2024

When the PlayStation 5 originally came out, players were not able to expand the console’s storage — until a software update finally unlocked that feature. While some were served well by the device’s built-in 667GB of space for storing games, others (like my son) were forced to perform a near-daily juggling act that involved frequently deleting and redownloading games due to the console's low SSD storage space and the apparent need to have constant access to every Call of Duty game.

Now, a standard PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD can solve all of your PS5 storage woes. If that mess of acronyms has you recoiling, don’t worry, you’ll see that it’s not all that complicated. And if you want to know which are the best SSDs for the PS5, you can skip to the end ​​for our top picks.

Read more: These are the best SSDs in 2024

How much storage do I need?

Aaron Souppouris / Engadget

The PS5 will accept internal drives between 250GB and 4TB in capacity. If you already own a PlayStation 5, chances are you have a reasonable idea of how much storage you need ​​for your game library. If you’re buying an SSD with a new PS5, or buying for someone else, it’s more difficult to tell what you might need for a high-performance experience.

PS5 games are a little smaller on average than their PS4 equivalents, typically taking up between 30GB and 100GB, with some notable (and very popular) exceptions. If you’re a fan of the Call of Duty series, installing Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 will require more than 200GB. In other words, a full Call of Duty install will take up almost one-third of the PS5’s internal storage. If you’re not a CoD fan, though, chances are you’ll be good to store between six to 10 games on your PS5 internally before running into problems.

One additional thing to consider is your internet speed. If you live in an area with slow broadband, the “you can just download it again” rationale doesn’t really work out. At my old home, a 100GB download took me around eight hours, during which time it was difficult to simultaneously watch Twitch or, say, publish articles about upgrading PS5 SSDs. Keeping games around on the off-chance you’ll want to play them at some point makes sense.

Off the bat, there's basically no point in going for a 250GB PS5 SSD. Economically, 250GB drives aren’t that much cheaper than 500GB ones, and practically, that really isn’t a lot of space for modern games to live on. 500GB drives, coming in at around $80 to $140, are a decent bet, but the sweet spot for most is to opt for a high capacity 1TB drive, which should run you between $160 and $250. That will more than double the PS5 storage you have available for games without breaking the bank. (Seagate’s official 1TB Xbox Series expansion card, for comparison, sells for $220.)

If you have the money, 2TB drives sometimes offer marginal savings per gigabyte, and can often be found when other models are out of stock. Unless you’re rolling in cash and want to flex, 4TB models should mostly be avoided, as you’ll end up paying more per gigabyte than you would with a 1TB or 2TB drive.

One final note: While the 825GB PS5 only provides 667GB of storage, that’s largely due to storage being reserved for the operating system and caching. If you install a 1TB PS5 SSD, you'll have, within a margin of error, 1TB of storage available for games.

Can you play PS5 games on external SSD?

Samsung

These external hard drives come at a much lower price point than the high-end internal SSDs, but there are restrictions on what you can do with them. An external SSD connects to your PS5 via USB, and is only suitable for playing PS4 video games, or storing PS5 titles. This is useful if you have anything but the best high-speed internet — it’s faster to move a PS5 game out of “cold storage” on an external drive than it is to re-download it — or just want a large number of PS4 games to hand.

Due to the limitations here, you don’t need the highest-performing model, although you should opt for SSDs over HDDs for improved transfer speeds and load times. Any basic portable drive from a reputable brand will do, with the Crucial X6 and Samsung T5 being options we’ve tried and can recommend.

C ompatible PS5 SSD cards

The official answer to this question is an “M.2 Socket 3 (Key M) Gen4 x4 NVME SSD.” But even within that seemingly specific description, there are still more things to consider. The main requirements Sony has laid out for compatibility come down to speed, cooling and physical dimensions.

For speed, Sony says drives should be able to handle sequential reads at 5,500MB/s. Early testing showed that the PS5 would accept drives as slow as 4,800MB/s, and that games that tap into the SSD regularly — such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart — would cause no issues. Pretty much the only thing the PS5 will outright reject is one that doesn't match the Gen4 x4 spec.

In our opinion, though, using a drive slower than the specification is a risk that, if you don’t already have that drive lying around, is not worth taking. Just because we haven’t found issues yet, that doesn’t mean there won’t be games that will be problematic in the future. The price difference between these marginally slower Gen4 drives and the ones that meet Sony’s spec is not huge, and you may as well cover all your bases.

Slightly more complicated than speed is cooling and size. Most new SSDs are going to be just fine; the PS5 can fit 22mm-wide SSDs of virtually any length (30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm or 110mm, to be precise). The vast majority of drives you find will be 22mm wide and 80mm long, so no problem there.

It should be noted that the system can fit a 25mm-wide drive, but that width must include the cooling solution. Speaking of, Sony says SSDs require “effective heat dissipation with a cooling structure, such as a heatsink.” The maximum height supported by Sony’s slot is 11.25mm, of which only 2.45mm can be “below” the drive. This previously meant some of the most popular heatsinked Gen4 SSDs, including Corsair’s MP600 Pro LPX and Sabrent’s Rocket 4 Plus, would not fit within the PS5’s storage expansion slot. Since Engadget first published this guide in 2021, most NVMe makers, including Samsung, have come out with PlayStation-specific models that take care of those considerations.

That said, if you want to save some money, bare drives are often much cheaper, and it’s trivial to find a cooling solution that will work for the PS5.

The only component in an NVMe SSD that really requires cooling is the controller, which without a heatsink will happily sear a (very small) steak. Most SSDs have chips on only one side, but even on double-sided SSDs, the controller is likely to be on top, as manufacturers know it needs to be positioned there to better dissipate heat. So, head to your PC component seller of choice, and pick up basically anything that meets the recommended dimensions. A good search term is “laptop NVME heatsink,” as these will be designed to fit in the confines of gaming laptops, which are even more restrictive than a PS5. They’re also typically cheaper than the ones labeled as “PS5 heatsinks.”

One recommendation is this $7 copper heatsink, which attaches to the PS5 SSD with sticky thermal interface material. It works just fine, and really, performing stress tests on a PC, we couldn’t find anything metal that didn’t keep temperatures under control. When you’re searching, just make sure the solution you go for measures no more than 25mm wide or 8mm tall including the thermal interface material and has a simple method of installation that’s not going to cause any headaches.

Now, if all of that was very boring, here are some ready-to-go recommendations for the best PS5 SSDs.

How to install an SSD into your PS5

Before attempting to add more storage via a PS5 SSD, ensure that you have Sony’s latest software installed. Once you're up-to-date, installation of a PS5 SSD is fairly straightforward. Sony recommends a #1 Phillips or crosshead screwdriver, but this isn't rocket science. Any crossed screwdriver of a similar size will do fine.

1. Power everything down to remove the stand

Engadget

Begin by powering down your PS5, unplugging everything, removing the stand and flipping it over to its underside. If you have the regular PS5, that’s the side with the disc drive; if you have the Digital Edition, it’s the side without the PlayStation logo cutout.

Sony has a video guide to popping off the outside cover here, but the gist is you gently lift up the opposing corners and slide the panel toward the flat end of the console. There’s a knack to this, and it requires very little effort or strength. If you’re not getting it, rather than force it just readjust your grip and try again. A member of our video team managed to break one of the tabs on our review unit doing this in the past so… yeah, don’t force it.

2. Access the drive bay

Aaron Souppouris/Engadget

Once you’ve got everything open, you’ll see a rectangular piece of metal with a screw holding it in place. Remove that screw, and you’ll be able to access the drive bay.

You’ll see five holes inside, each numbered corresponding to the standard SSD drive lengths I mentioned earlier. The one numbered 110 will have a metal insert and screw inside. You need to unscrew the screw with a screwdriver, and then unscrew the insert with your fingers and move it to the relevant hole. Your eyes should tell you which is the right one for your drive, but it’s most likely going to be 80.

3. Slot in the SSD

Engadget

Then take your SSD — mine is a 980 Pro I bought on Prime Day with a $2 piece of aluminum attached to the top — and slot it in. The slot is at the edge closest to the number “30,” and SSDs are keyed to only fit in one way, so again, no force is required. If it’s not sliding in, don’t force it. You’ll notice the SSD doesn’t sit flat — that’s fine, and is as intended.

4. Screw the drive bay back in

Engadget

Once the SSD is seated, take the screw you removed from the insert, line it up with the little notch at the end of your SSD, and push down so it meets the insert. Give the screw a few turns — it doesn’t need to be very tight — and you’re done.

Replace the metal cover and screw it down, and then slide the plastic outer shell back on. When you first turn on the PS5, it’ll prompt you to format the drive. Do that! You have now successfully expanded your console’s storage, and can set about downloading and moving games to it. Personally, I moved all of the PS4 games I had to the new drive, along with all of my clips and screenshots. The PS5’s built-in SSD is always going to be the most compliant, so I’m keeping my important stuff there.

We'll be updating this guide as more SSDs come to market and onto our test bench, so feel free to bookmark it for when you need it.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/best-ps5-ssd-expansion-upgrade-150052315.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:00 pm UTC

ESA selects four new Earth Explorer mission ideas

As humans exert greater pressure on natural processes, understanding the intricate workings of our Earth system is increasingly vital for effective action on mitigation and adaption strategies. ESA’s Earth Explorer missions yield a wealth of astonishing findings, serving as the bedrock of scientific research in this field. Now, four new concepts have been selected to undergo assessment study, one of which is destined to be the twelfth in this family of world-leading satellite missions.

Source: ESA Top News | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:00 pm UTC

Ireland’s ‘flammable landscape’ must be managed to avoid increased wildfire risk, expert says

Wet spring means vegetation could fuel a fire when next drought arrives, forest engineer says

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:58 am UTC

Drug dealer spent €430,000 renovating Dublin home now being sold by Criminal Assets Bureau

Property on Killala Road, Cabra extended and renovated by Christopher Waldron but now deemed a proceed of crime

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:57 am UTC

The Morning After: Boston Dynamics’ bi-ped Atlas robot is going into retirement

Almost 11 years after Boston Dynamics revealed the Atlas humanoid robot, it’s finally being retired. The DARPA-funded robot was designed for search-and-rescue missions, but it rose to fame thanks to videos showing off its dance moves and—let’s be honest—rudimentary parkour skills.

 Atlas is trotting off into the sunset with one final YouTube video, thankfully including plenty of bloopers — which are the best parts. Boston Dynamics, of course, has more commercially successful robots in its lineup, including Spot. It’s likely not the end of the line for the company’s humanoid robots, either.

— Mat Smith

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NASA confirms its space trash pierced Florida man’s roof

It was part of a cargo pallet the space station dropped in 2021.

Back in March, a piece of space debris hit the roof of a house in Naples, FL, ripped through two floors and (fortunately) missed the son of homeowner Alejandro Otero. On Tuesday, NASA confirmed it was a piece of equipment dumped from the International Space Station (ISS), three years ago. NASA expected the haul of discarded nickel-hydrogen batteries to orbit Earth for between two to four years, “before burning up harmlessly in the atmosphere.” Not the case.

Continue reading.

A Netflix true crime documentary may have used AI-generated images of a real person

It’s the messy hands.

Netflix

Netflix is accused of using AI-manipulated imagery in the true crime documentary What Jennifer Did. Several photos show the usual AI issues: mangled hands and fingers, strange artifacts, curved edges that should be straight and more. If accurate, the report raises serious questions about using such images in documentaries, particularly since the person depicted is currently awaiting retrial. Netflix has yet to acknowledge the report.

Continue reading.

Insta360’s X4 camera is the first 8K 360-degree video

And is better than the last model in every way.

Engadget

When the X3 landed, it was a 360-degree action cam that solved a lot of the usual problems with that camera genre. With the X4, Insta360 has just… upgraded everything. The technical improvements focus on video, with the new ability to record footage at up to 8K 30 fps or 5.7k at 60 fps. Slow-mo video has been boosted up to 4K resolution, too. In short, it captures more of everything. The X4 has a 2,290mAh battery, 67 percent bigger than the X3’s. According to the press release, it should be able to capture video for up to 135 minutes. The camera is available for $500 now.

Continue reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-boston-dynamics-bi-ped-atlas-robot-is-going-into-retirement-111534431.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:30 am UTC

Elephant seal makes ‘epic’ trek back after Canadian officials relocate him

Notorious for drawing large crowds, Emerson was removed by officials who were surprised to find him back in Victoria in a week

Last week, gun-wielding conservation officers stuffed a 500-lb elephant seal in the back of a van, drove him along a winding highway in western Canada and left him on a remote beach “far from human habitation”.

The plan was to move the young seal far from British Columbia’s capital city, where over the last year, he has developed a reputation for ending up in “unusual locations”, including flower beds, city parks and busy roads.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:30 am UTC

Man given suspended sentence for ‘brutal’ assault on former partner

Accused (54) had been drinking for five days when he inflicted multiple injuries on woman, who later sought to withdraw statement to gardaí

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:09 am UTC

Banning of the National Conservatism Conference in Brussels…

A prominent news story today in both the British and European press has been that of the banning of the National Conservatism Conference by Brussels municipality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode Mayor Emir Kir stating:

I issued an order from the mayor to ban the National Conservatism Conference event to guarantee public safety. In Etterbeek, Brussels City and Saint-Josse, the far right is not welcome:

Among the speakers due to talk were Nigel Farage, Suella Braverman, Viktor Orban, Eric Zemmour and Mateusz Morawiecki. The event had been cancelled at two previous venues before being hosted by the Orbán-funded Mathias Corvinus Collegium think tank.

The Belgian Prime Minister has condemned the ban.

Now, I don’t know what the reasons past some vague ‘public safety’ issue for banning this was and while the concept of ‘free speech’ is not absolute anywhere on the globe it’s clear that this development obviously has implications for the notion of free speech. My own instinct is that this has played out in exactly the precise way that the organisers hoped it would.

My own preference would have been for the conference to be permitted and for any (peaceful) counter protests to have also been permitted. I suspect that the MCC ‘think tank’ was hoping that Kir would act in precisely the way he did in order to portray Brussels, home of many EU institutions, as authoritative and intolerant of illiberal opinion or anti-EU criticism, that Kir fell perfectly for the MCC victim setting trap.

However, one of the supreme ironies is that the MCC is strongly associated with an administration that forced the closure of the Central European University. And has curbed press freedoms.

It’s also noticeable that one of the key speakers, Suella Braverman, less than six months ago payed her own part in curtailing freedom of expression regarding Palestinian solidarity when in a letter to chief constables in England and Wales, she stated that police should not restrict themselves to potential offences related to the promotion of Hamas, a proscribed organisation and

[….] would urge you to ensure your forces use all available powers to prevent disorder and distress to our communities, and that your officers will act if there are any incidents that stray into criminality

Maybe she could talk a case against Mayor Kir’s administration to the ECHR?

Incidentally, after today’s event, Nigel Farage stated that ‘If anything has convinced me that leaving the European Union ideology was the right thing to do, it is the events of today’

I wonder, does Hungary feel the same?

Source: Slugger O'Toole | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:05 am UTC

Rwandan leader went to Arsenal game as country marked 30 years since genocide

Paul Kagame flew to UK for Champions League match while national police told citizens to restrict activities including football

The president of Rwanda, whose police force has asked the country’s people to restrict football-related activities during the 30-year anniversary of the Rwanda massacre, is facing questions after flying to the UK and watching Arsenal play Bayern Munich.

Paul Kagame visited on Tuesday 9 April to watch the Champions League match in north London. Before the match, he visited Rishi Sunak at No 10 Downing Street, after giving civil servants just a few days’ notice of his visit. They discussed the UK’s deportation deal, which aims to send asylum seekers to Kigali to be processed there.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:01 am UTC

Menteebot is a human-sized AI robot that you command with natural language

The whole world is ragging on a barely functional $700 AI pin at the moment, but what if similar tech was squeezed into a gigantic robot that lives in your home? That’s a worst case scenario for the recently-introduced Menteebot, a human-sized robot that’s stuffed to the brim with AI-adjacent bells and whistles.

It’s being advertised as the “personalized AI-based robot you can mentor.” It can run, walk sideways and even turn, all “with the same balance and control as a human.” Manufacturer Mentee Robotics also says it’ll adjust its gait when lifting heavy objects. It should be able to lift these heavy objects with ease due to the fact that it’s, well, absolutely gigantic. Many of the models also have no head, which certainly doesn’t recall any old-time myths about a scary demon on a horse.

Now, we’ve had humanoid robots for a while. There was Honda’s Asimo, which has been sadly discontinued, and the army of nightmare creatures that Boston Dynamics is busy cooking up. Agility Robotics has been building out its robot assistant Digit and Elon Musk, who never makes false promises ever swear to God, says that Tesla is working on a humanoid robot called Optimus.

There’s one major difference between the aforementioned bots and Mentee’s creation. Menteebot is stuffed with AI algorithms, natural language processing models and software that unlocks “advanced training techniques.” The company says that this means the robot is “not bound to a limited set of commands” and that it can even hold conversations with humans. As a matter of fact, users issue commands to the robot via natural language. 

It’s a robot with two arms and two legs that can, in theory, do many of the same things we do. The company says that we can train it to do these things. This seems to sort of work like another controversial piece of AI tech, the Rabbit R1. To teach Menteebot a new task, you run a simulated version of the bot through a digital version of the task. The software completes the task over and over until it figures it out. Then the robot should be able to complete the task in the real world. This seems like an extremely lofty promise, but we’ll wait to see the final result. Here’s hoping it doesn't hallucinate and do whatever the heck it wants like other bits of AI tech. 

Menteebot does look quite agile. There are tons of videos of the robot being put through its paces. It can run and the arms and hands “present a full range of motion and enough accuracy to perform delicate tasks.” To that end, there’s a video of it gently handing a piece of dinnerware to a person.

While it’s highly unlikely this robot will live up to the initial promotional materials when it arrives in 2025 (just look at the initial promises Humane made for the AI pin), it still seems pretty darned cool. There’s no announced price, but it’s certainly going to be a whole lot more than the aforementioned $700 pin. This is an agile humanoid robot that weighs over 150 pounds. 

Menteebot will be available in two flavors. There’s the residential bot, which is forced to do household chores, and the commercial bot, which is forced to do manual labor. No matter which you choose, for heaven’s sake, be extra nice to the thing. Don’t boss it around. Let it sit at the dinner table. Keep it away from the vast majority of sci-fi. It can watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, maybe, as Data seems like a decent enough role model.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/menteebot-is-a-human-sized-ai-robot-that-you-command-with-natural-language-110052927.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:00 am UTC

Logitech intros free tool for ChatGPT prompts... plus a mouse with an AI button

For when the AI service cannot grok what it's being asked

Logitech has launched a free software tool to help existing users of its kit with ChatGPT prompts, but those that splash out on the upcoming Signature AI Edition Mouse, get a... dedicated AI prompt button.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 11:00 am UTC

Stardust jury to deliver verdicts tomorrow afternoon

The jury at the Stardust fire inquests has reached its verdicts into the deaths of the 48 people in the 1981 disaster.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:19 am UTC

Sunak considering exemptions to Rwanda bill for some Afghans

Lords also press ministers to allow independent Rwanda monitoring as deportation bill returns to Commons

Rishi Sunak’s government is considering concessions on the Rwanda deportation bill to allow exemptions for Afghans who served alongside UK forces, parliamentary sources say.

Ministers are also being pressed to give ground to an amendment to the legislation so that the east African country could be ruled unsafe by a monitoring committee.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:16 am UTC

OpenAI's GPT-4 can exploit real vulnerabilities by reading security advisories

While some other LLMs appear to flat-out suck

AI agents, which combine large language models with automation software, can successfully exploit real world security vulnerabilities by reading security advisories, academics have claimed.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:15 am UTC

How do interest rates affect me?

Bank of England interest rates have an impact on the mortgage, loan and savings rates for millions of people.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:04 am UTC

U.S. Doctor Returning From Gaza Describes Unforgettable Carnage

The war in Gaza has been among the deadliest for civilians, including children, of any war in the 21st century. After spending five weeks volunteering and administering at a field hospital in Rafah, Mohammad Subeh, an American doctor, describes what he saw to Intercepted co-hosts Jeremy Scahill and Murtaza Hussain. Subeh spent weeks treating wounded Palestinian children, many of them orphaned by Israeli attacks. He also described treating those who survived the aftermath of “mass casualty incidents” in which dozens of civilians were killed or wounded; many of these attacks appeared deliberately targeted at civilians, Subeh says, rather than “indiscriminate.” As the Strip reels from the consequences of a breakdown of public health infrastructure following the destruction of most Gazan hospitals, Subeh says that ordinary civilians are paying a gruesome price for Israel’s military assault.

Transcript coming soon.

The post U.S. Doctor Returning From Gaza Describes Unforgettable Carnage appeared first on The Intercept.

Source: The Intercept | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:00 am UTC

SEC Targets Its Own Staff's Texting, Nixes WhatsApp On Work Phones

The SEC has blocked third-party messaging apps and texts from employees' work phones, "bringing its own practices closer to the standards it's enforcing for the industry," reports Bloomberg. From the report: The SEC's decision to block disappearing-messaging apps will help improve record-keeping and address potential security vulnerabilities at the agency, which saw one of its social-media accounts compromised earlier this year. It follows about $3 billion in fines imposed on financial firms to settle allegations that they failed to keep adequate records of work-related communications on mobile devices and apps such as Signal and Meta's WhatsApp. The scrutiny prompted Wall Street to overhaul how employees communicate on business matters using mobile phones. Meanwhile, the SEC took a hard look at policies covering its own staff's communications on agency-issued phones. The agency has restricted access to third-party messaging applications, as well as SMS (short message service) and iMessage texts "to lower risk that our systems could be compromised and to enhance recordkeeping," an SEC spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. The process of blocking the apps began in September and has continued over the past several months, she added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 10:00 am UTC

Eir should reassure workers they won’t face discipline for following law - union

Company was chastised in court for failure to acknowledge customer complaints

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:35 am UTC

Post-Covid Leaving Cert changes to begin in 2025 - Foley

Changes to the Leaving Certificate will begin in 2025 following years of disruption as a result of Covid-19, Minister for Education Norma Foley has said.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:35 am UTC

Jarlath Kearney – two states, one system. A novel idea worth considering?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I like new ideas which go beyond the binary unionist-nationalist straitjacket which has dominated (and constrained) debate about the future of this island for most of the past hundred years. Thus over the past few years I have published the heterodox ideas of people like political scientist Padraig O’Malley, reconciliation activist Duncan Morrow, social researcher Paul Nolan, socialist writer Daniel Finn, Derry Protestant community worker Brian Dougherty, and Newry business and community leader Conor Patterson.

I dislike the crude majoritarian thinking of groups like Ireland’s Future, with their insistence that the people of the disputed and divided northern province of this country have to choose between one – and only one – of two diametrically opposed future constitutional options: continued membership of the United Kingdom or Irish territorial unity. I have insisted – although my insistence usually falls on deaf ears – that we also have to consider more flexible options like federalism, confederalism and joint authority (and even Seamus Mallon’s idea of ‘parallel consent,’ although I have come to believe that this is neither democratic nor practicable).

There’s a predictable sameness about the usual reaction from nationalist quarters to such propositions: they denounce them as another version of the unionist ‘veto’ and demand that any discussion of them be closed down. The only veto this results in is a veto on constructive thinking! The claim is also made that such ideas are in breach of the ‘holy grail’ of the Good Friday Agreement, even though Ireland’s Future can also be cavalier with the GFA (as I pointed out in my last blog), and anyway that mould-breaking accord has a specific section allowing for a review by the two governments in the event of difficulties arising.

So I was interested to come across a publication called ‘Two states, One system’ by Jarlath Kearney, a Belfast-based strategy adviser and former policy adviser to Sinn Fein’s NI Deputy First Minister, the late Martin McGuinness. Kearney is from strong Northern nationalist/republican stock: his father was prominent as a campaigner for the McBride fair employment principles in the 1980s and his brother is chair of Sinn Fein. His paper is based on a series of articles first published in the Irish News, and he spoke further about his ideas at an Institute of International and European Affairs event in Dublin (sponsored by the Hume Foundation) in February.

Kearney ended any association with party politics a decade ago, spending the interim period working in senior public service roles in the North, and has independently developed some interesting and open-minded ideas about a possible future for Northern Ireland. He opens by setting out his stall, and it is a broadly nationalist one: “We must prioritise the aisling (vision) of reconciliation under the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and of uniting Ireland’s people by consent under the solemn mantle and ‘firm will’ of Article 3 of the Constitution of Ireland.”

However, he says that the ground rules for these discussions should be “patience, prudence and partnership, built around a ‘two states, one system’ philosophy.” He emphasises the broad consensus among policy makers and civic leaders across Ireland and the UK that the two states will continue on the island of Ireland for the foreseeable future. In his paper he says this structure will exist “at least into the 2030s – notwithstanding any Border poll. There is no viable short-to-medium term alternative.” During February’s IIEA event, he emphasised that Ireland is entering a long period of evolution that requires a need to think differently, including being aware of unionist fears.

He writes that Ireland and the UK are “inextricably linked in a deeply complex, always oscillating, and ultimately infinite cross-cultural journey. The longstanding status quo is steadily destabilising. Evolution is, by definition, inevitable. But stable foundations are a prerequisite for the sustainability of future arrangements”. The alternative to a patient, prudent partnership between the British and Irish governments to plan the next stage of this evolution would be to “plunge Ireland into further societal chaos.” This political thinker is no simplistic ‘Brits Out’ republican.

If there is a Border poll vote for unity, Kearney suggests an ingenious constitutional compromise. This would involve “Northern Ireland continuing as a state but, post referendum, moving under the constitutional sovereignty of Ireland and its presidency (including full European Union membership) whilst concurrently maintaining its full membership with the Commonwealth (which retains the UK monarch as its head).” Would this even be workable? It is certainly worth further discussion.

However he warns that before any Border poll there will be “relentless hard yards of unspectacular work” which will have to go into “steadily developing systems of rights, respect, rapprochement and reconciliation; a policy culture of economic opportunity, social equality, public inclusion and participation, delivered by creative public sector expertise. It cannot be achieved by artificial deadlines for Border polls with peremptory demands for predetermined destinations.” On the other hand, nor can reconciliation be achieved by “anyone believing that the current constitutional framework will exist for ever, fossilised through some kind of political cryonics” [meaning ‘deep freezing the bodies of those who have just died, in the hope that scientific advances may allow them to be revived in the future.’]

Kearney also warns against nationalist triumphalism, suggesting that nationalists continually presenting Irish unity as the automatic answer to Brexit risks becoming a mirror image of extremist English nationalism. It would promote “an underlying swagger and arrogance replete with the sulphuric stench of Irish nationalistic purity. The risk of that ‘swagger’ is more worrying, prevalent and potent than many have yet acknowledged or even understood in Irish society. Much greater self-awareness is needed.”

He asks that parties seeking unity “now publish their specific proposed changes for the [Irish] Constitution. The difficulty with abstract concepts, such as a headline Brexit demand or a Border poll on Northern Ireland’s future constitutional status, is that they sometimes impair effective outcomes.” He asks proponents of unity to be clear and precise in their proposals. “How else can informed consent precede the exercise of the principle of majority voting consent, unless citizens have clarity about the concepts being put to them? What do proponents practically mean, in the deepest and most detailed terms, by blank promissory notes of a ‘new Ireland’? A ‘united Ireland’? A ‘shared Ireland’? The ‘end of partition’? Six years after Brexit [this was originally written in 2022], detail is a reasonable ask.”

He stresses that reconciliation is not only something that Northern Protestants and Catholics have to strenuously engage with, but, even more importantly, the now largely estranged Irish and British governments must re-energise. He looks back to the courageous efforts by the late Queen Elizabeth and Martin McGuinness genuinely to reach out to opponents they could be forgiven for seeing as enemies. “The pathway ahead must be the careful re-establishment of relationships of partnership between both sovereign governments, especially at official and technical level.”

He proposes a “new Treaty-based rapprochement” between Ireland and the UK. Such a new agreement is “many years off, with bilateral politics first requiring a much more settled EU-UK relationship leading to the return of a stable partner in London later in this decade.” By this he obviously means a Keir Starmer-led Labour government. He believes such an inter-governmental partnership (as existed in the 1990s and early 2000s) is an essential prerequisite if we are going to develop the “unfulfilled reconciliation strand” of the Good Friday Agreement, which still has “substantial potential to deliver societal improvements – and genuine unity of people – across Ireland based on a firm foundation of equal rights and mutual respect.”

At the IIEA event, Kearney outlined that the Ireland-UK partnership needs to come “from the top” in both Dublin and London, and this inter-governmental leadership can then provide the authority for civil servants to do things within that framework. In recommending this path, he emphasised the importance of fully respecting the differing sovereignties, while prioritising North-South cooperation based on pragmatism.

He also says that people coming out of decades of armed conflict require “actual bread and butter on the table today, not just the promised scent of constitutional roses for tomorrow.” He writes: “If proponents of change cannot deliver real social reform at a local level in cities and towns [in NI] by using targeted budgets to address longstanding patterns of structural deprivation and exclusion affecting the sectors of greatest inequality within the areas of greatest objective need, how then do they intend to effect macro-societal transformation with mature public institutions of a neighbouring state at national level?”

Kearney sees the Irish government’s non-threatening Shared Island initiative – and the Shared Island dialogues it includes – as possible “foundation stones” for patiently rebuilding the cross-border process which will be required to bring together politicians, civil society, business and the wider public to discuss Northern Ireland’s future role on the island of Ireland. He says this initiative “deserves much greater credit for its long-sighted, iterative understanding about the need to steadily build bases of genuine dialogue with empirical evidence and creative policy innovation across Ireland.” Far better Micheál Martin’s Shared Island as a forum for this kind of important and open-ended deliberation than Sinn Fein and Ireland’s Future’s proposed all-Ireland Citizens Assembly with its single predetermined outcome.

He cites fair employment in the North – “a steady work in progress” – as an example of “policy patience (with persistence)” which over a 50 year period brought about positive reform in an area in which discrimination was “historically an accelerant for armed conflict.” “Northern Ireland’s workplaces are today increasingly shared and diverse, especially across the public sector. This has directly encouraged much greater societal integration and grassroots reconciliation than was seen in previous generations.”

In the final pages of his 36 page paper, Kearney elaborates further on the interesting idea which gives the paper its title: ”Two states, one system.” He cites all-island sporting organisations like the GAA and the IRFU as examples of all-island bodies which successfully oversee ‘two states/one system’ administrations, thus “creatively transcending any notion of a divisive cultural border.” He could have added post-1998 all-island bodies like Waterways Ireland, the Loughs Agency and Tourism Ireland, or the post-2008 all-island wholesale electricity network. He cites health as another area of great potential for all-island cooperation, but also one with massive resource demands and coordination problems – although I would suggest there is currently less all-island cooperation in this sector than he argues.

Kearney urges that, operating within the Good Friday Agreement, the approach should be one of “maximum joint administration (not joint authority) and joint systems (not joint sovereignty) between both sovereign governments, necessarily involving – where appropriate – the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly and other institutional north-south and east-west elements of the 1998 Agreement.” He concludes: “The next decade should be one in which the fallout from Brexit is faced collectively by encouraging the systematic enhancement of all-island policy cooperation across Ireland in practical and technical terms.” The focus should be “on ensuring that the basic delivery of public policy reforms can become exemplars of good practice by government in Northern Ireland and thereby positive indicators of what might be achieved in any new future arrangements.” At the IIEA event Kearney said what was needed to manage constitutional evolution, including to run Northern Ireland over the next generation, was a “joint management framework” between the two governments.

That was largely the message I was preaching during my 14 years running the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Armagh (1999-2013). It begs some questions: notably whether an incoming British Labour government would be up to playing its part in such a major programme of all-Ireland cooperation. And whether at least some more pragmatic unionist politicians might buy into it. Jarlath Kearney would do us all a great service by researching a follow-up paper on these issues – this first one is an impressively thought-provoking beginning.

Source: Slugger O'Toole | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:30 am UTC

NetBSD 10 proves old tech can still kick apps and take names three decades later

Proper old-school Unix, not like those lazy, decadent Linux types

FOSDEM 2024  NetBSD 10 marks a new level of maturity for this venerable open source Unix system, which somehow manages to be both modern and retro at the same time.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:28 am UTC

Russian missile barrage on Ukraine city kills 17

Three Russian missiles have crashed into Ukraine's historic city of Chernihiv, killing 17 people, as officials pleaded for more air defence systems from allies.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:03 am UTC

‘Modern Love Podcast’: Why John Magaro of ‘Past Lives’ Could Never Love a Picky Eater

For the actor, compatibility comes down to food. You need to be able to share.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:03 am UTC

Long Covid services are ‘pot luck’ for sufferers, TDs told

Estimated 350,000 patients believed to have long Covid, representative group says

Source: Irish Times Feeds | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:03 am UTC

Can a Sexless Marriage Be a Happy One?

Experts and couples are challenging the conventional wisdom that sex is essential to relationships.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:03 am UTC

‘It’s a Very Winnable Case’: Three Writers Dissect the Pleuni Komen Trial

Debate and analysis about the case, jury selection and anticipation for a potential witness.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:02 am UTC

Pleuni Komen and American Justice

Pleuni Komen is enjoying the same guarantees of fairness and due process before the law that he sought to deny to others during his term.

Source: NYT > Top Stories | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:02 am UTC

Increasing number of villages torched across Sudan shows conflict is intensifying - report

Satellite data indicates growing number of airstrikes on settlements, in a war that has already killed thousands

The number of villages in Sudan that have been destroyed or severely damaged by fire has risen sharply in recent weeks, suggesting the country’s conflict is intensifying as it enters its second year.

Satellite data revealed the number of Sudanese settlements set on fire in March increased to 30, the highest monthly total recorded since fighting broke out between the country’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) last April.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 9:00 am UTC

ESA's Gaia mission discovers the biggest stellar black hole in our galaxy yet

In addition to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way also serves as home to smaller stellar black holes that form when a massive star collapses. Scientists believe there are 100 million stellar black holes in our galaxy alone, but most of them have yet to be discovered. The ones that had already been found are, on average, around 10 times the size of our sun, with the biggest one reaching 21 solar masses. Thanks to the information collected by the European Space Agency's Gaia mission, though, scientists have discovered a stellar black hole that's 33 times the size of our sun, making it the biggest one of its kind we've ever seen in our galaxy so far. It's also relatively close to our planet at around 1,926 light-years away. 

Gaia BH3, as it's now called, was first noticed by a team of ESA scientists poring over data from the mission to look for anything unusual. An old giant star from the nearby Aquila constellation caught their attention with its wobbling, leading to the discovery that it was orbiting a massive black hole. BH3 was hard to find despite being so close — it's now the second closest known black hole to our planet — because it doesn't have celestial bodies close enough that could feed it matter and make it light up in X-ray telescopes. Before its discovery, we'd only found black holes of comparable size in distant galaxies. 

The ESA team used data from ground-based telescopes like the European Southern Observatory to confirm the size of the newly discovered celestial body. They also published a paper with preliminary findings before they release a more detailed one in 2025, so that their peers could start studying Gaia BH3. For now, what they know is that the star orbiting it has very few elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, and since stellar pairs tend to have similar compositions, the star that collapsed to form BH3 could've been the same. 

Scientists have long believed that it's the metal-poor stars that can create high-mass black holes after they collapse, because they lose less mass in their lifetimes. In other words, they'd theoretically still have a lot of materials left by the time of their death to form a massive black hole. This was apparently the first evidence we've found that links metal-poor stars with massive stellar black holes, and it's also proof that older giant stars developed differently than the newer ones we see in our galaxy. 

We'll most likely see more detailed studies about binary systems and stellar black holes that use data from BH3 and its companion star in the future. The ESA believes that BH3's discovery is just the beginning, and it's going to be the focus of more investigations as we seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/esas-gaia-mission-discovers-the-biggest-stellar-black-hole-in-our-galaxy-yet-085753239.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:57 am UTC

Devaluing content created by AI is lazy and ignores history

The answer is not to hide from AI, but to be honest about it

Column  It's taken less than eighteen months for human- and AI-generated media to become impossibly intermixed. Some find this utterly unconscionable, and refuse to have anything to do with any media that has any generative content within it. That ideological stance betrays a false hope: that this is a passing trend, an obsession with the latest new thing, and will pass.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:29 am UTC

How fast are prices rising in the UK?

The rate at which prices are rising has dropped from record highs, but remains above the 2% target.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:20 am UTC

Election poll tracker: How do the parties compare?

How do people say they will vote in the UK general election? Our poll tracker measures the trends.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 8:02 am UTC

160 redundancies as part of deal to reopen Tara Mines

Around 160 jobs are expected to be lost at Tara Mines as part of an agreement to reopen the facility after nine months in care and maintenance.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:54 am UTC

Global IT spending forecast to reach $5.0T this year

Comms services and AI contributing to increase, but vendors are taking 'risks'

Gartner expects global IT spending to grow 8 percent in 2024 to $5.06 trillion in a revised forecast from the 6.8 percent uptick which the analyst predicted in January.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:31 am UTC

The best foldable phones for 2024

Folding phones have come a long way since the original Samsung Galaxy Fold came out in 2019. They’re smaller, more durable and, even if they aren’t exactly the most budget-friendly phones, they’re more affordable now, too. Whereas you may not have considered a foldable phone as your daily driver five years ago, they’re much more viable options today — and you have many more to choose from. If you’ve been toying with the idea of switching to a folding phone, or you’re ready to upgrade the foldable you already have, we at Engadget can help with your decision-making process. We've spent hundreds of hours and many days testing and reviewing the best foldable phones on the market right now — here's everything you need to know before picking one up.

Note: For this guide, we’re focusing on devices that are widely available in North America and Europe. That’s because while there are even more options for people who live in Asia (especially China), they are often difficult to buy from abroad and may not support your local carriers.

How we test

When evaluating foldables, we consider the same general criteria as we do when we’re judging the best smartphones. Devices need to have good battery life (at least a full day’s use), bright displays (peaks of at least 1,000 nits), sharp cameras and responsive performance. That said, foldable phones come in different shapes (and sizes); there are varying designs that may appeal to different types of people.

For those who prefer more compact and stylish devices, flip-style foldables resemble old-school namesakes but with flexible interior displays (typically six to seven inches diagonally) and smaller exterior screens. Alternatively, for power users and people who want to maximize mobile productivity, there are larger book-style foldables (with seven to eight-inch main displays) that can transform from a candy bar-style phone to essentially a small tablet when opened.

Are foldable phones worth it? A note on durability

Aside from their displays, the biggest difference between foldable phones and more traditional handsets is durability. That’s because while some models like the Pixel Fold and Samsung’s Galaxy Z line offer IPX8 water resistance (which is good for submersions of up to five feet for 30 minutes), their flexible screens – which are largely made from plastic – present some unique challenges.

Most foldables come with factory-installed screen protectors. However, unlike regular phones, users are instructed not to remove them without assistance from approved service centers. Thankfully, Samsung does offer one free screen protector replacement for its foldables, while Google charges between $29 and $129 depending on the warranty status of your device. That said, while we can’t do long-term testing for every foldable phone on the market, after personally using the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 each for a year, I’ve found that Samsung’s pre-installed screen protector tends to start bubbling nine to 12 months after purchase. So you’ll probably want to factor in that your foldable may need some sort of servicing after about a year unless you plan on removing the screen protector entirely (which is possible, but goes against most manufacturers' instructions).

Furthermore, foldable phone owners need to be mindful about keeping sharp objects away from their flexible displays, as rocks, keys or even pressing down very hard with a fingernail can leave permanent marks. In the event that you need to get a flexible screen serviced, you’re potentially facing a much higher repair bill when compared to a typical phone (up to $500 or more depending on the model and the severity of the damage). In short, while the ruggedness of foldable phones has improved a lot, they're still more delicate than traditional handsets, which is something you need to account for.

Best alternative foldable phone options

As mentioned earlier, there’s an abundance of exotic – and often more advanced – foldables well beyond the Samsungs and Motorolas of the world. However, you either need to have access to phone importers or actually live in Asia, and don’t mind sideloading missing Google apps on your own.

Xiaomi Mix Fold 3

The best overall book-style foldable is none other than the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3, which specs include Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, four Leica-enhanced rear cameras (including a 5x zoom periscope) and a 4,800mAh battery within its surprisingly slim body – 10.86mm when folded, and 5.26mm when unfolded. Xiaomi even goes as far as boasting a 500,000-fold durability – more than doubling that of the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Despite its absence in the western markets, the Mix Fold 3’s newly-added 50W wireless charging option would be much welcomed over there. The phone comes with a protective case for both halves of the body, with the rear shell offering a kickstand for easier video playback and video calls. One Hong Kong-based specialist can send a Mix Fold 3 to the US from around $1,500 with shipping included, which is still much cheaper than Samsung’s equivalent. — Richard Lai, Senior Reporter

Honor Magic V2

Another worthy contender is the Honor Magic V2, which currently holds the title for the slimmest foldable phone available. We’re talking about just 9.9mm thick when folded, and a mere 4.7mm thick when opened, but it’s still a full-blown flagship device. Weighing at just 231g (8.15oz), this is the lightest book-style foldable phone as well. Funnily enough, the Magic V2 also packs the largest battery capacity in this category, offering 5,000mAh of juice thanks to Honor’s silicon-carbon battery – a breakthrough tech in the mobile industry. The obvious trade-off here is the missing wireless charging feature, but you do get a durability rating of 400,000 folds. Sadly, due to limited availability, the Magic V2 costs slightly more – around $1,670, shipping included, from the same Hong Kong shop. — R.L.

Oppo Find N3 Flip

If you’d prefer a smaller flip-style foldable from overseas, the Oppo Find N3 Flip is the only triple-camera option at the time of writing this guide. While others only offer a main camera and an ultra-wide camera, the Find N3 Flip benefits from an additional 32-megapixel 2x portrait shooter next to its 3.26-inch external screen (and you still get a 32-megapixel selfie camera on the inside). As a bonus, this clamshell has a physical mute switch, a whopping 600,000-fold durability and a generous 4,300mAh battery. That said, wireless charging is again a no-show here. You can pick up a Find N3 Flip in either black, gold or pink, and importing from Hong Kong should cost around $1,090 with shipping included. There’s no price advantage in this case, so it’s more about how much you want Oppo’s designs, features and accessories than anything else. — R.L.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/best-foldable-phones-160030013.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:01 am UTC

NASA Confirms That Debris From ISS Crashed Into Florida Home

NASA has confirmed that a piece of metal that tore through a Florida home last month was space junk from the International Space Station. NBC News reports: The agency confirmed Monday that the 1.6-pound object was debris from a cargo pallet that had been intentionally released from the space station three years ago. The pallet, packed with aging batteries, was supposed to burn up harmlessly in Earth's atmosphere, but a piece survived -- the piece that smashed into a house in Naples, Florida, on March 8. WINK News, a CBS News affiliate in southwestern Florida, first reported the incident. Naples resident Alejandro Otero told the outlet that the object crashed through the roof and two floors of his home. Otero was not home at the time, he told WINK News, but the metal object nearly hit his son, who was two rooms away. In a blog post about the incident, NASA said it had analyzed the object at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and confirmed that it was part of the equipment used to mount the batteries on the cargo pallet. The piece of space junk is roughly cylindrical in shape and is about 4-inches tall and 1.6-inches wide. NASA said agency staff studied the object's features and metal composition and matched it to the hardware that had been jettisoned from the space station in 2021. At that time, new lithium-ion batteries had recently been installed at the space station, so the old nickel hydrogen batteries were packed up for disposal. The space station's robotic arm released the 5,800-pound cargo pallet containing the batteries over the Pacific Ocean, as the outpost orbited 260 miles above the Earth's surface, according to NASA. NASA said it will perform a detailed investigation of the latest debris incident to determine how the object withstood the extreme trip through the atmosphere.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot | 17 Apr 2024 | 7:00 am UTC

Harris wary of EU issuing bonds to boost defence spending

Taoiseach Simon Harris has cautioned against any move towards developing Euro bonds in order to boost EU defence spending, in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:58 am UTC

Inside Thailand's Casablanca: A town of exiles, revolutionaries and fear

Mae Sot has become an uneasy refuge for Burmese on the run, akin to Cold War-era Berlin or Casablanca.

Source: BBC News | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:55 am UTC

One dead amid flooding in UAE as Dubai Airport disrupted

Authorities and communities across the United Arab Emirates are clearing debris after a torrential downpour killed at least one person and caused damage to homes and businesses.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:39 am UTC

Google will pump more than $100B into AI, says DeepMind boss

Not all at once, of course

Google will eventually invest $100 billion in AI, according to DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:29 am UTC

Ireland 'third in world' for pubs per person, says HRB

Ireland ranks "third in the world" for the number of pubs per capita despite an overall decline, with the drop being offset by a rise in off licences according to analysis from the Health Research Board (HRB).

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:18 am UTC

Long Covid clinics 'not helping', patients tell committee

Patients with long Covid have criticised the Health Service Executive's (HSE) response to their illness, saying that they have been "neglected and dismissed".

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 6:01 am UTC

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s jailed former leader, moved to house arrest, says junta

Military spokesperson says Nobel laureate is among prisoners to be moved out of prison as a precaution during hot weather

Myanmar’s detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved from prison to house arrest, according to the military junta.

A spokesperson said the measure was taken due to extremely hot weather and that it was trying to prevent heatstroke among “all those who need necessary precautions, especially elderly prisoners”.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:54 am UTC

Japanese government rejects Yahoo! infosec improvement plan

Just doesn't believe it will sort out the mess that saw data leak from LINE messaging app

Japan's government has considered the proposed security improvements developed by Yahoo!, found them wanting, and ordered the onetime web giant to take new measures.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:44 am UTC

Nestlé adds sugar to infant milk sold in poorer countries, report finds

Swiss food firm’s infant formula and cereal sold in global south ignore WHO anti-obesity guidelines for Europe, says Public Eye

Nestlé, the world’s largest consumer goods company, adds sugar and honey to infant milk and cereal products sold in many poorer countries, contrary to international guidelines aimed at preventing obesity and chronic diseases, a report has found.

Campaigners from Public Eye, a Swiss investigative organisation, sent samples of the Swiss multinational’s baby-food products sold in Asia, Africa and Latin America to a Belgian laboratory for testing.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 5:00 am UTC

Japan to allow divorced parents to share custody of children

Change to civil code will bring Japan into line with other G7 countries, amid concerns existing law inflicts psychological harm on children

Divorced couples in Japan will for the first time be able to negotiate joint custody of their children after parliament voted this week for changes to laws permitting only sole custody.

Under Japan’s civil code, couples must decide which parent will take custody of their children when their marriage ends – a requirement that critics say causes children psychological harm and prevents the “left-behind” parent from playing a fuller role in their upbringing.

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 4:41 am UTC

Tencent Cloud to revisit design after circular dependencies slowed emergency API fix

Almost 2,000 customers experienced outages

Tencent Cloud has apologized for an outage that impacted customers last week – an unusual act by a Chinese cloud – and signalled it will review some aspects of its ops in the hope of avoiding future incidents of this nature.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 3:59 am UTC

Indian PM's 25-year roadmap laid out with help from AI

AI is so good at drawing pictures and driving cars, why not let it govern a country?

India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, used AI to help develop the nation's 25-year development roadmap, according to comments made during a live-streamed interview with news agency ANI on Monday.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 2:02 am UTC

Security Council to vote on Palestinian UN membership

The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote on Friday on a Palestinian request for full UN membership, diplomats have said, a move that Israel ally the US is expected to block because it would effectively recognize a Palestinian state.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 1:49 am UTC

Calls for restraint as Israel says it will defend itself

Israel will make its own decisions about how to defend itself, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, as Western countries pleaded for restraint in responding to a volley of attacks from Iran.

Source: News Headlines | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:51 am UTC

RISC-V AI chip upstart Rivos plans to undercut Nvidia, helped by a quarter-billion in VC lucre

With Apple lawsuit behind it, focussed on finalizing its designs

RISC-V chip designer Rivos has raised $250 million in series-A funding to bankroll production of its first accelerator for generative AI and data analytics workloads.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:46 am UTC

Solomon Islands election: voters head to polls that could decide future of China security ties

Election closely watched for any impact on Pacific country’s relationship with Beijing, while voters focus on struggling health and other services

Solomon Islanders have voted in a national election, the first since the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, struck a security pact with China in 2022 and drew the Pacific Islands nation closer to Beijing.

The outcome of Wednesday’s election will be closely watched by the US, China and Australia for its potential impact on regional security, although Solomon Islands voters will be focused on struggling health services, education and inadequate roads, opposition parties said.

Continue reading...

Source: World news | The Guardian | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:13 am UTC

Fire in the Cisco! Networking giant's Duo MFA message logs stolen in phish attack

Also warns of brute force attacks targeting its own VPNs, Check Point, Fortinet, SonicWall and more

Cisco is fighting fires on a couple cybersecurity fronts this week involving its Duo multi-factor authentication (MFA) service and its remote-access VPN services.…

Source: The Register | 17 Apr 2024 | 12:06 am UTC

Take-Two plans to lay off 5 percent of its employees by the end of 2024

Take-Two Interactive plans to lay off 5 percent of its workforce, or about 600 employees, by the end of the year, as reported in an SEC filing Tuesday. The studio is also canceling several in-development projects. These moves are expected to cost $160 million to $200 million to implement, and should result in $165 million in annual savings for Take-Two. 

As the owner of Grand Theft Auto and the parent company of Rockstar Games, 2K, Private Division, Zynga and Gearbox, Take-Two is a juggernaut in the video game industry. It reported $5.3 billion in revenue in 2023, a nearly $2 billion increase over the previous year. Just a few weeks ago, Take-Two agreed to purchase Gearbox, the studio responsible for Borderlands, for $460 million. The company is preparing to release Grand Theft Auto VI in 2025, a move that should bring in billions on its own.

Take-Two instituted a round of layoffs in 2023 across Private Division — the indie label behind Kerbal Space Program, The Outer Worlds and Rollerdrome — and other in-house studios. 

An estimated 8,800 people in the video game industry have lost their jobs in 2024 so far, and a total of 10,500 industry employees were laid off in 2023. These are, depressingly, record-breaking figures. Sony laid off about 900 people at PlayStation in February; Microsoft fired about 1,900 workers across its gaming division in January; Riot Games let go more than 500 people that same month — and these are just some of the most recent AAA layoffs. Take-Two is now at the head of this list.

Take-Two executives have been hinting at a "significant cost reduction program" coming this year, but before today, they deflected questions about mass layoffs. In March, CEO Strauss Zelnick said on an investor call, "The hardest thing to do is to lay off colleagues and we have no current plans."

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/take-two-plans-to-lay-off-5-percent-of-its-employees-by-the-end-of-2024-235903990.html?src=rss

Source: Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics | 16 Apr 2024 | 11:59 pm UTC

Ecuador rations power as Andean drought tightens grip

El Niño weather phenomenon depletes reservoirs and limits output at hydroelectric plants

Ecuador has begun to ration electricity in the country’s main cities as a drought linked to the El Niño weather pattern depletes reservoirs and limits output at hydroelectric plants that produce about 75% of the nation’s power.

“We urge Ecuadorians to cut their electricity consumption in this critical week,” the ministry of energy said in a statement late on Monday. “And consider that each kilowatt and each drop of water that are not consumed will help us face this reality.”

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Source: World news | The Guardian | 16 Apr 2024 | 10:07 pm UTC

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