Tech News Feed

'Black box' technique may lead to more powerful AI

Engadget - 1 hour 46 min ago
It's not easy to train a neural network. Even if they're not difficult to implement, it can take hours to get them ready no matter how much computing power you can use. OpenAI researchers may have a better solution: forgetting many of the usual rules...

Still More Advertisers Pull Google Ads Over YouTube Hate Videos

SlashDot - 2 hours 40 min ago
"A week after Google apologized for running customers' advertisements alongside objectionable videos, triggering a change in policy, its YouTube site is still rife with examples that are angering more big advertisers and causing some to cut spending with the tech giant," reports the Dow Jones Newswire. Reporters from the Wall Street Journal spotted ads from Microsoft, Amazon, and Procter & Gamble appearing on hate videos -- and thus indirectly funding them. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Asked about the Journal's finding that their ads were still appearing with such content on YouTube as of Thursday night, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Dish Network Corp. said Friday they were suspending spending on all Google advertising except targeted search ads. Starbucks Corp. and General Motors Co. said they were pulling their ads from YouTube. FX Networks, part of 21st Century Fox Inc., said it was suspending all advertising spending on Google, including search ads and YouTube. Wal-Mart said: "The content with which we are being associated is appalling and completely against our company values." An executive at one of the affected companies complained that Google "had assured us over the past few days that our brands were safe from this type of content. Despite their assurances, it's clear they couldn't give assurance."

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Germany wants to regulate a 24-hour livestream as a broadcaster

Engadget - Sat, 2017-03-25 23:02
You might want to think twice about running a non-stop livestream just because you can -- at least in Germany, regulators will want to have a word with you. They've told the 24-hour let's play channel PietSmietTV that it has to apply for a broadcasti...

SAS Mocked For Recommending 60% Proprietary Software, 40% Open Source

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-03-25 21:34
This week SAS wrote that open source technology "has its own, often unexpected costs," recommending organizations maintain a balance of 60% proprietary software to 40% open software. An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: How they arrived at this bizarre conclusion is hard to fathom, except that SAS sells more than $1 billion worth of proprietary software every year and presumably would like to continue, despite a clear trend toward open-source-powered analytics... In a Burtch Works survey of over 1,100 quant pros, 61.3% prefer open source R or Python to SAS, and only 38.6% opting for SAS, with that percentage growing for open source options every year. Worse for SAS, a variety of open source data infrastructure and analytics tools threaten to encroach on its bastions in data management, business intelligence, and analytics... Nearly all innovation in data infrastructure is happening in open source, not proprietary software. That's a tide SAS can try to fight with white papers, but it would do better to join by embracing open source in its product suite. "In the paper, SAS correctly argues that open source versus proprietary software is not an either/or decision..." writes InfoWorld, but they note that the report also "put the percentage of open source adopters at a mere 25%, which is pathetically wrong." The article suggests a hope that the report "is the product of a rogue field marketing team, and not the company's official position." Adobe's vice president of mobile commented on Twitter, "I just wonder who in their marketing dept thought this was a good idea."

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Nokia's new Android phones will make their way Stateside

Engadget - Sat, 2017-03-25 21:30
Nokia's 3310 stole the show at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, but it wasn't the only device the brand announced at the event. It also debuted a trio of Android phones called the Nokia 6, 5 and 3. Now the company has revealed on Twitter that...

China says Apple isn't cloning a local phone maker

Engadget - Sat, 2017-03-25 20:01
Did it seem ridiculous to you that Beijing officials ordered a ban on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus over a dubious design patent claim? You're not the only one. A court has reversed the ban (which was suspended during a dispute process) and declared tha...

Comcast Launches New 24/7 Workplace Surveillance Service

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-03-25 19:34
America's largest ISP just rolled out a new service that allows small and medium-sized business owners "to oversee their organization" with continuous video surveillance footage that's stored in the cloud -- allowing them to "improve efficiency." An anonymous reader quotes the Philadelphia Inquirer: Inventory is disappearing. Workplace productivity is off. He said/she said office politics are driving people crazy. Who you gonna call...? Comcast Business hopes it will be the one, with the "SmartOffice" surveillance offering formally launched this week in Philadelphia and across "70 percent of our national [internet] service footprint," said Christian Nascimento, executive director of premise services for the Comcast division. Putting a "Smart Cities" (rather than "Big Brother is watching you") spin on "the growing trend for...connected devices across the private and public sectors," the SmartOffice solution "can provide video surveillance to organizations that want to monitor their locations more closely," Nascimento said... The surveillance cameras are equipped with zoom lenses, night-vision, motion detection, and wide-angle lenses, while an app allows remote access to the footage from smartphones and tablets (though the footage can also be downloaded, or stored online for up to a month). Last year Comcast was heavily involved in an effort to provide Detroit's police department with real-time video feeds from over 120 local businesses, which the mayor said wouldn't have been successful "Without the complete video technology system Comcast provides."

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First look at 'Twin Peaks' cast, plus more clues - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2017-03-25 19:11
Agent Cooper and the rest of the quirky cast return in David Lynch's unusual murder mystery series, which gets a revival on Showtime starting May 21.

Ubuntu Linux 17.04 'Zesty Zapus' Final Beta Now Available For Download

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-03-25 18:34
BrianFagioli writes: The final beta of Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus' became available for download Thursday. While it is never a good idea to run pre-release software on production machines, Canonical is claiming that it should be largely bug free at this point. In other words, if you understand the risks, it should be a fairly safe. Home users aside, this is a good opportunity for administrators to conduct testing prior to the official release next month. "The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of the Ubuntu 17.04 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products. Codenamed 'Zesty Zapus', 17.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution," says Adam Conrad, Canonical. "The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs."

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California's new car emission standards defy the White House

Engadget - Sat, 2017-03-25 18:31
The Trump administration may be rethinking car efficiency regulations, but that isn't stopping California from putting its foot down. The state's Air Resources Board has finalized car emissions standards for 2022-2025 that the White House still wants...

Apache Hadoop Has Failed Us, Tech Experts Say

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-03-25 17:34
It was the first widely-adopted open source distributed computing platform. But some geeks running it are telling Datanami that Hadoop "is great if you're a data scientist who knows how to code in MapReduce or Pig...but as you go higher up the stack, the abstraction layers have mostly failed to deliver on the promise of enabling business analysts to get at the data." Slashdot reader atcclears shares their report: "I can't find a happy Hadoop customer. It's sort of as simple as that," says Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake Computing, which develops and runs a cloud-based relational data warehouse offering. "It's very clear to me, technologically, that it's not the technology base the world will be built on going forward"... [T]hanks to better mousetraps like S3 (for storage) and Spark (for processing), Hadoop will be relegated to niche and legacy statuses going forward, Muglia says. "The number of customers who have actually successfully tamed Hadoop is probably less than 20 and it might be less than 10..." One of the companies that supposedly tamed Hadoop is Facebook...but according to Bobby Johnson, who helped run Facebook's Hadoop cluster before co-founding behavioral analytics company Interana, the fact that Hadoop is still around is a "historical glitch. That may be a little strong," Johnson says. "But there's a bunch of things that people have been trying to do with it for a long time that it's just not well suited for." Hadoop's strengths lie in serving as a cheap storage repository and for processing ETL batch workloads, Johnson says. But it's ill-suited for running interactive, user-facing applications... "After years of banging our heads against it at Facebook, it was never great at it," he says. "It's really hard to dig into and actually get real answers from... You really have to understand how this thing works to get what you want." Johnson recommends Apache Kafka instead for big data applications, arguing "there's a pipe of data and anything that wants to do something useful with it can tap into that thing. That feels like a better unifying principal..." And the creator of Kafka -- who ran Hadoop clusters at LinkedIn -- calls Hadoop "just a very complicated stack to build on."

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The first official 'Justice League' trailer, dissected shot by shot - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2017-03-25 17:05
Get an early look at the ultimate DC Comics superhero team-up with Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg. Warning: possible spoilers ahead!

3D-printed cartilage cell implants thrive in baby mice

Engadget - Sat, 2017-03-25 16:59
Somewhere in Sweden, a few lab mice have human cartilage cells living and growing within their bodies. A team of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska Academy used a CELLINK 3D bioprinter to make hydrogel out of human-der...

'Why The US Senate's Vote To Throw Out ISP Privacy Laws Isn't All Bad'

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-03-25 16:34
"Nobody wants their data spread far and wide," write two associate editors at MIT Technology Review, "but the FCC's rules were an inconsistent solution to a much larger problem." An anonymous reader writes: They point out the rules passed in October "weren't even yet in effect," but more importantly -- they only would've applied to ISPs. "[T]he reality is that the U.S. doesn't have a baseline law that governs online privacy," and the truth is, it never did. "The FCC's new privacy rules would have been dramatic, to be sure -- but they would only have addressed one piece of the problem, leaving companies like Facebook and Google free to continue doing much the same thing. While the repeal still needs approval in the U.S. House of Representatives and the president's signature, their article argues that what's really needed is "a more consistent approach to privacy."

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Uber crash causes firm to pause self-driving car program - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2017-03-25 16:06
A collision in Arizona between one of the company's robocars and a human-driven vehicle prompts Uber to halt the autonomous program while it investigates.

Uber Halts Self-Driving Car Tests in Arizona After Friday Night Collision

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-03-25 15:34
"Given that the Uber vehicle has flipped onto its side it looks to be a high speed crash," writes TechCrunch, though Business Insider reports that no one was seriously injured. An anonymous reader quotes their report: A self-driving Uber car was involved in an accident on Friday night in Tempe, Arizona, in one of the most serious incidents to date involving the growing fleet of autonomous vehicles being tested on U.S. roads... Uber has halted its self-driving-car pilot in Arizona and is investigating what caused the incident... A Tempe police spokesperson told Bloomberg that the Uber was not at fault in the accident and was hit by another car which failed to yield. Still, the collision will likely to turn up the temperature on the heated debate about the safety of self-driving cars.

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Uber pauses its self-driving efforts following Arizona crash

Engadget - Sat, 2017-03-25 15:28
Uber isn't taking any chances in the wake of its self-driving car accident in Tempe, Arizona. The company has suspended both its Arizona testing and its Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania operations while it investigates what happened. The company has confirme...

Anti-Virus Vendors Scramble To Patch Hijacking Exploit Involving Microsoft Tool

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-03-25 14:34
"A zero-day attack called Double Agent can take over antivirus software on Windows machines," Network World reported Wednesday. wiredmikey writes: The attack involves the Microsoft Application Verifier, a runtime verification tool for unmanaged code that helps developers find subtle programming errors in their applications... [The exploit] allows a piece of malware executed by a privileged user to register a malicious DLL for a process associated with an antivirus or other endpoint security product, and hijack its agent. Patches were released by Malwarebytes, AVG, and Trend Micro, the security researchers told BleepingComputer earlier this week. Kaspersky Lab told ZDNet "that measures to detect and block the malicious scenario have now been added to all its products," while Norton downplayed the exploit, saying the attack "would require physical access to the machine and admin privileges to be successful," with their spokesperson "adding that it has deployed additional detection and blocking protections in the unlikely event users are targeted." BetaNews reports that the researchers "say that it is very easy for antivirus producers to implement a method of protection against this zero-day, but it is simply not being done. 'Microsoft has provided a new design concept for antivirus vendors called Protected Processes...specially designed for antivirus services...the protected process infrastructure only allows trusted, signed code to load and has built-in defense against code injection attacks.'"

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AMC's streaming service would still need a cable subscription

Engadget - Sat, 2017-03-25 13:57
Just because a TV channel wants to offer an online video service doesn't mean it's forward thinking. Case in point: AMC. Reuters sources claim that the network is prepping a paid streaming option (tentatively $5-7 per month) that would require a co...

Florida beats Wisconsin at the buzzer and Twitter's still buzzing - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2017-03-25 13:43
Chris Chiozza sinks one to send the Gators into the Elite Eight, and fans are either overjoyed or destroyed.

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