Geeky Stuff

Earth-Size 'Pi Planet' Rocks a 3.14-Day Orbit

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 21:22
An anonymous reader shares a report: Everyone's favorite mathematical constant has received an inadvertent tribute from the universe. A team led by MIT researchers discovered a distant planet that orbits its star every 3.14 days, mirroring the famous first three digits of pi. MIT described the rocky Earth-sized planet K2-315b as "baking hot" and "likely not habitable" in a statement on Monday. "The planet moves like clockwork," said MIT graduate student Prajwal Niraula, lead author of a paper on the planet published in the Astronomical Journal this week. The team found the exoplanet (a planet located outside our solar system) in data gathered in 2017 by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope K2 mission. The planet-finding telescope was put into a permanent sleep mode in 2018. The researchers confirmed the planet's existence by taking another look with the ground-based Speculoos telescope network. "Speculoos" stands for "Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars." It's also a fun reference to a type of spiced cookie.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

WHO Says No Change To COVID-19 Transmission Guidance After US Draft Change

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 20:45
The World Health Organization has not changed its policy on aerosol transmission of the coronavirus, it said on Monday after U.S. health officials published draft new guidance by mistake warning that it can spread through airborne particles. From a report: Mike Ryan, executive director of the UN agency's emergencies programme, said he would follow up with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the next 24 hours after it said COVID-19 could spread through airborne particles that can remain suspended in the air and travel beyond six feet. "Certainly we haven't seen any new evidence and our position on this remains the same," he said in a briefing. The CDC said a draft version of changes to its recommendations were posted in error on its website while it was in the process of updating its guidance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Mozilla WebThings IoT Platform Spun Out As an Independent Open Source Project

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 20:05
tola writes: Following a round of layoffs at Mozilla, their WebThings IoT platform is being spun out as an independent open source project by former employees, with a new commercial sponsor. WebThings is an open platform for monitoring and controlling devices over the web, built on W3C Web of Things standards. It includes WebThings Gateway which is a software distribution for smart home gateways focused on privacy, security and interoperability and the WebThings Framework which is a collection of re-usable software components to help developers build their own web things. The project will be renamed from "Mozilla WebThings" to "WebThings" and will move to a new home at https://webthings.io/ Users will be able to opt-in to receive software updates from the new community run update servers and be offered the opportunity to transition to a replacement remote tunnelling service before Mozilla servers are shut down at the end of the year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

GNOME Gets New Versioning Scheme

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 19:21
AmiMoJo writes: The GNOME 3 desktop environment was officially released in 2011, and in 2020 we are still on version 3.x. Yeah, despite many massive changes over the last (almost) decade, we have been stuck with point releases for GNOME 3. For instance, just last week, GNOME 3.38 was released. Historically, the stable releases all ended in even numbers, with pre-release versions ending in odd. For fans of the DE, such as yours truly, we have simply learned to live with this odd versioning scheme. Well, folks, with the next version of GNOME, the developers have finally decided to move on from version 3.x. You are probably thinking the new version will be 4.0, but you'd be very wrong. Actually, following GNOME3.38 will be GNOME 40. "After nearly 10 years of 3.x releases, the minor version number is getting unwieldy. It is also exceedingly clear that we're not going to bump the major version because of technological changes in the core platform, like we did for GNOME 2 and 3, and then piling on a major UX change on top of that. Radical technological and design changes are too disruptive for maintainers, users, and developers; we have become pretty good at iterating design and technologies, to the point that the current GNOME platform, UI, and UX are fairly different from what was released with GNOME 3.0, while still following the same design tenets," says Emmanuele Bassi, The GNOME Foundation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Apparent Racial Bias Found in Twitter Photo Algorithm

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 18:42
An algorithm Twitter uses to decide how photos are cropped in people's timelines appears to be automatically electing to display the faces of white people over people with darker skin pigmentation. From a report: The apparent bias was discovered in recent days by Twitter users posting photos on the social media platform. A Twitter spokesperson said the company plans to reevaluate the algorithm and make the results available for others to review or replicate. Twitter scrapped its face detection algorithm in 2017 for a saliency detection algorithm, which is made to predict the most important part of an image. A Twitter spokesperson said today that no race or gender bias was found in evaluation of the algorithm before it was deployed "but it's clear we have more analysis to do." Twitter engineer Zehan Wang tweeted that bias was detected in 2017 before the algorithm was deployed but not at "significant" levels.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Trump Says ByteDance Can't Keep Control of TikTok in Oracle Deal

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 18:01
President Donald Trump said he might rescind his tentative blessing for a deal between Oracle and ByteDance to create a new U.S.-based TikTok service, casting doubt on the agreement as Chinese state media signaled reluctance in Beijing. From a report: Speaking in an interview on Fox News on Monday, Trump said he wouldn't approve the deal if the Chinese company retains control of TikTok. However, he also indicated that he expected Chinese influence to be diluted by a future public offering of the new company. "They will have nothing to do with it, and if they do, we just won't make the deal," Trump said, referring to ByteDance, which owns TikTok. "It's going to be controlled, totally controlled by Oracle, and I guess they're going public and they're buying out the rest of it -- they're buying out a lot, and if we find that they don't have total control then we're not going to approve the deal." Shortly after Trump's comments, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the China state-affiliated Global Times, tweeted that Beijing would likely reject the deal "because the agreement would endanger China's national security, interests and dignity."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Facebook Threatens To Pull Out of Europe If It Doesn't Get Its Way

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 17:21
Facebook has threatened to pack up its toys and go home if European regulators don't back down and let the social network get its own way. From a report: In a court filing in Dublin, Facebook said that a decision by Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) would force the company to pull up stakes and leave the 410 million people who use Facebook and photo-sharing service Instagram in the lurch. If the decision is upheld, "it is not clear to [Facebook] how, in those circumstances, it could continue to provide the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU," Yvonne Cunnane, who is Facebook Ireland's head of data protection and associate general counsel, wrote in a sworn affidavit. The decision Facebook's referring to is a preliminary order handed down last month to stop the transfer of data about European customers to servers in the U.S., over concerns about U.S. government surveillance of the data. Facebook hit back by filing a lawsuit challenging the Irish DPC's ban, and in a sworn affidavit filed this week, the company leveled some very serious accusations about the Irish data-protection commissioner, including a lack of fairness and apparent bias in singling out Facebook. Cunnane points out that Facebook was given only three weeks to respond to the decision, a period that is "manifestly inadequate," adding that Facebook wasn't contacted about the inquiry prior to judgment being handed down. She also raises concerns about the decision being made "solely" by Helen Dixon, Ireland's data protection commissioner.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

'Huang's Law Is the New Moore's Law'

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 16:40
As chip makers have reached the limits of atomic-scale circuitry and the physics of electrons, Moore's law has slowed, and some say it's over. But a different law, potentially no less consequential for computing's next half century, has arisen. WSJ: I call it Huang's Law, after Nvidia chief executive and co-founder Jensen Huang. It describes how the silicon chips that power artificial intelligence more than double in performance every two years. While the increase can be attributed to both hardware and software, its steady progress makes it a unique enabler of everything from autonomous cars, trucks and ships to the face, voice and object recognition in our personal gadgets. Between November 2012 and this May, performance of Nvidia's chips increased 317 times for an important class of AI calculations, says Bill Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research at Nvidia. On average, in other words, the performance of these chips more than doubled every year, a rate of progress that makes Moore's Law pale in comparison. Nvidia's specialty has long been graphics processing units, or GPUs, which operate efficiently when there are many independent tasks to be done simultaneously. Central processing units, or CPUs, like the kind that Intel specializes in, are on the other hand much less efficient but better at executing a single, serial task very quickly. You can't chop up every computing process so that it can be efficiently handled by a GPU, but for the ones you can -- including many AI applications -- you can perform it many times as fast while expending the same power. Intel was a primary driver of Moore's Law, but it was hardly the only one. Perpetuating it required tens of thousands of engineers and billions of dollars in investment across hundreds of companies around the globe. Similarly, Nvidia isn't alone in driving Huang's Law -- and in fact its own type of AI processing might, in some applications, be losing its appeal. That's probably a major reason it has moved to acquire chip architect Arm Holdings this month, another company key to ongoing improvement in the speed of AI, for $40 billion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Microsoft's Xbox Expands, Buying ZeniMax Media and Fallout Maker Bethesda For $7.5 Billion

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 16:00
Microsoft's Xbox team significantly expanded its list of game development studios on Monday, announcing the purchase of ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion in cash. From a report: The entertainment company owns several industry-leading game developers, including Bethesda Softworks, the maker of the post-apocalyptic Fallout games and the fantasy series the Elder Scrolls. It also owns id Software, known for its Doom, Rage and Wolfenstein shooting game franchises. The move grows the number of in-house Xbox game development studios to 23, up from 15 earlier, and giving it control of some of the game industry's most popular franchises. Microsoft also plans to run Bethesda as its own division, with leadership and structure intact. "As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple Urged to Stop Advertising to Minors

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 13:34
The BBC reports: Tech firms have been urged to stop advertising to under-18s in an open letter signed by Members of Parliament, academics and children's-rights advocates. Behavioural advertising not only undermines privacy but puts "susceptible" youngsters under unfair marketing pressure, the letter says. It is addressed to Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. In a separate move Google-owned YouTube is accused of unlawfully mining data from five million under-13s in the UK... "The fact that ad-tech companies hold 72 million data points on a child by the time they turn 13 shows the extent of disregard for these laws, and the extraordinary surveillance to which children are subjected," the letter reads.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Google Returns to Using Humans (Instead of AI) to Moderate Content on YouTube

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 10:34
"Google is bringing back human moderators to oversee YouTube content, taking over from automated systems that were given more responsibilities at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," reports Digital Trends: YouTube revealed in late August that in the three months prior, 11.4 million videos have been removed from the platform for violating its Community Guidelines. This is the highest number of videos taken down from YouTube over a three-month period since the service was launched in 2005, and it was attributed to the higher reliance on A.I. as the pandemic prevented human reviewers from going to work. YouTube admitted, however, that some of the videos would have been erroneously removed... Mashable reports: According to the Financial Times, YouTube reversed content moderation decisions on 160,000 videos. Usually, YouTube reverses its rulings on less than 25 percent of appeals; under AI moderation, half of the total number of appeals were successful... Now, the company is able to reassign some of that work back to humans who can make more nuanced decisions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

From Climate Change to the Dangers of Smoking: How Powerful Interests 'Made Us Doubt Everything'

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 07:19
BBC News reports: In 1991, the trade body that represents electrical companies in the U.S., the Edison Electric Institute, created a campaign called the Information Council for the Environment which aimed to "Reposition global warming as theory (not fact)". Some details of the campaign were leaked to the New York Times. "They ran advertising campaigns designed to undermine public support, cherry picking the data to say, 'Well if the world is warming up, why is Kentucky getting colder?' They asked rhetorical questions designed to create confusion, to create doubt," argued Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard University and co-author of Merchants of Doubt. But back in the 1990 there were many campaigns like this... Most of the organisations opposing or denying climate change science were right-wing think tanks, who tended to be passionately anti-regulation. These groups made convenient allies for the oil industry, as they would argue against action on climate change on ideological grounds. Jerry Taylor spent 23 years with the Cato Institute — one of those right wing think tanks — latterly as vice president. Before he left in 2014, he would regularly appear on TV and radio, insisting that the science of climate change was uncertain and there was no need to act. Now, he realises his arguments were based on a misinterpretation of the science, and he regrets the impact he's had on the debate. Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes discovered leading climate-change skeptics had also been prominent skeptics on the dangers of cigarette smoking. "That was a Eureka moment," Oreskes tells BBC News. "We realised this was not a scientific debate." Decades before the energy industry tried to undermine the case for climate change, tobacco companies had used the same techniques to challenge the emerging links between smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s... As a later document by tobacco company Brown and Williamson summarised the approach: "Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public." Naomi Oreskes says this understanding of the power of doubt is vital. "They realise they can't win this battle by making a false claim that sooner or later would be exposed. But if they can create doubt, that would be sufficient — because if people are confused about the issue, there's a good chance they'll just keep smoking...." Academics like David Michaels, author of The Triumph of Doubt, fear the use of uncertainty in the past to confuse the public and undermine science has contributed to a dangerous erosion of trust in facts and experts across the globe today, far beyond climate science or the dangers of tobacco. He cites public attitudes to modern issues like the safety of 5G, vaccinations — and coronavirus. "By cynically manipulating and distorting scientific evidence, the manufacturers of doubt have seeded in much of the public a cynicism about science, making it far more difficult to convince people that science provides useful — in some cases, vitally important — information. "There is no question that this distrust of science and scientists is making it more difficult to stem the coronavirus pandemic."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

With New Security and Free Internet Issues, What Did the TikTok Deal Really Achieve?

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 04:19
Though the U.S. government averted a shutdown of TikTok through a new Oracle/Walmart partnership, that leaves much bigger questions unresolved. The biggest issue may be that banning apps "defeats the original intent of the internet," argues the New York TImes. "And that was to create a global communications network, unrestrained by national borders." "The vision for a single, interconnected network around the globe is long gone," Jason Healey, a senior research scholar at Columbia University's School for International and Public Affairs and an expert on cyber conflict. "All we can do now is try to steer toward optimal fragmentation." But the Times also asks whether the TikTok agreement fails even at its original goal of protecting the app from foreign influence: The code and algorithms are the magic sauce that Beijing now says, citing its own national security concerns, may not be exported to to a foreign adversary... Microsoft's bid went further: It would have owned the source code and algorithms from the first day of the acquisition, and over the course of a year moved their development entirely to the United States, with engineers vetted for "insider threats." So far, at least, Oracle has not declared how it would handle that issue. Nor did President Trump in his announcement of the deal. Until they do, it will be impossible to know if Mr. Trump has achieved his objective: preventing Chinese engineers, perhaps under the influence of the state, from manipulating the code in ways that could censor, or manipulate, what American users see. Other questions also remain, including America's larger policy towards other apps like Telegram made by foreign countries. Even Amy Zegart, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford's Freeman-Spogli Institute, complains to the Times that "bashing TikTok is not a China strategy. China has a multi-prong strategy to win the tech race. It invests in American technology, steals intellectual property and now develops its own technology that is coming into the U.S... And yet we think we can counter this by banning an app. The forest is on fire, and we are spraying a garden hose on a bush." And another article in the Times argues that the TikTok agreement doesn't even eliminate Chinese ownership of the app: Under the initial terms, ByteDance still controls 80 percent of TikTok Global, two people with knowledge of the situation have said, though details may change. ByteDance's chief executive, Zhang Yiming, will also be on the company's board of directors, said a third person. And the government did not provide specifics about how the deal would answer its security concerns about TikTok... A news release published by Walmart on Saturday on its website — then edited later — captured the chaos. "This unique technology eliminates the risk of foreign governments spying on American users or trying to influence them with disinformation," the company said. "Ekejechb ecehggedkrrnikldebgtkjkddhfdenbhbkuk."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Could Open Source Licensing Stop Big Pharma Profiteering On Taxpayer-Funded Covid-19 Vaccines?

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 02:05
Two professors at the University of Massachusetts have co-authored a new essay explaining how open source licensing "could keep Big Pharma from making huge profits off taxpayer-funded research" in the international, multi-billion-dollar race for a Covid-19 vaccine: The invention of the "General Public License," sometimes referred to as a viral or reciprocal license, meant that should an improvement be made, the new software version automatically inherits the same license as its parent. We believe that in a time of a global pandemic, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine should be licensed with General Public License-like properties... Fortunately, some pharmaceutical companies, national governments, nonprofits like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and international organizations like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives — which supports vaccine development — are putting policies in place that embrace openness and sharing rather than intellectual property protection. Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives officials have stated that all of their funding agreements require that "appropriate vaccines are first available to populations when and where they are needed to end an outbreak or curtail an epidemic, regardless of ability to pay." That's an important start. However, when there is a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. and other national governments need to create contractual agreements with firms that provide fair and reasonable funding to cover their costs or even some reasonable profit margin while still mandating the open sharing of the processes for vaccine production, quality assurance and rapid global distribution.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs: the Books They Recommended

Slashdot - Mon, 21/09/2020 - 00:52
Slashdot has featured "the 61 books Elon Musk has recommended on Twitter" as well as the 41 books Mark Zuckerberg recommended on Facebook. Both lists were compiled by a slick web site (with Amazon referrer codes) called "Most Recommended Books." But they've also created pages showing books recommended by over 400 other public figures — incuding Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs — which provide surprisingly revealing glimpses into the minds of two very different men. Here's some of the highlights...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Browser Extension uMatrix Ends Active Development

Slashdot - Sun, 20/09/2020 - 23:40
Slashdot reader Hmmmmmm quotes Ghacks: Raymond Hill, known online as gorhill, has set the status of the uMatrix GitHub repository to archived; this means that it is read-only at the time and that no updates will become available. The uMatrix extension is available for several browsers including Firefox, Google Chrome, and most Firefox and Chromium-based browsers. It is a privacy and security extensions for advanced users that provides firewall-like capabilities when it is installed... Hill suggests that developers could fork the extension to continue development under a new name. There is also the chance that Hill might resume development in the future but there is no guarantee that this is going to happen. For now, uMatrix is no longer in active development.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Maybe CS Class Isn't the Best Way To Expose Most Kids To CS

Slashdot - Sun, 20/09/2020 - 22:42
Long-time Slashdot reader theodp writes: "If we want all students to learn computer science (CS for All), we have to go to where the students are," writes University of Michigan Grand Valley State University CS Professor Mark Guzdial. "Unfortunately, that's not computer science class. In most US states, less than 5% of high school students take a course in computer science. "Programming is applicable and useful in many domains today, so one answer is to use programming in science, mathematics, social studies, and other non-CS classes. We take programming to where the students are, and hope to increase their interest and knowledge about CS." America's National Science Foundation (NSF) was intrigued enough by this idea to fund Creating Adoptable Computing Education Integrated into Social Studies Classes, a three-year project created by Guzdial and Grand Valley State University history professor Tamara Shreiner, a project which "aims to provide more students computing education by integrating programming activities into social studies classes and to use the computing to enhance students' data literacy." Along the same lines, the NSF has also greenlighted Northwestern University's CS professor Marcelo Worsley's Computational Thinking and Physical Computing in Physical Education for this fall, which will bring computer science to K-5 gym classes. While the tech giants have lobbied for billions in spending on "rigorous" K-12 CS courses, could it be that the best "CS class" for most K-12 students is no CS class?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

America's Air Force Secretly Designed, Built, and Flew a Brand-New Fighter Jet

Slashdot - Sun, 20/09/2020 - 21:48
"The U.S. Air Force revealed this week that it has secretly designed, built, and tested a new prototype fighter jet," reports Popular Mechanics: According to Defense News, the Air Force developed the new fighter in about a year — a staggeringly short amount of time by modern standards. The Air Force first developed a virtual version of the jet, and then proceeded to build and fly a full-sized prototype, complete with mission systems... It took the Air Force just one year to get to the point with the "Next Generation Air Dominance" (NGAD) fighter that it reached in 10 years with the F-35. The Air Force designed the NGAD to ensure the service's "air dominance" in future conflicts versus the fighters of potential adversaries. The new fighter, then, is almost certainly optimized for air-to-air combat. It's a safe bet the fighter uses off-the-shelf avionics, engines, and weapons borrowed from other aircraft, such as the F-35 and F/A-18E/F... If the Air Force and industry can design a new fighter in one year, it could come up with all sorts of cool new planes. This could encourage the development of more exotic, riskier designs that contractors would not otherwise want to devote a full decade to develop. The ability to fail — or succeed — faster will drive innovation in the world of fighter jets in ways not seen for a half century or more. "We are ready to go and build the next-generation aircraft in a way that has never happened before," says Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, in an interview with Defense News: Should the Air Force move to buy NGAD in the near term, it will be adding a challenger to the F-35 and F-15EX programs, potentially putting those programs at risk. And because the advanced manufacturing techniques that are critical for building NGAD were pioneered by the commercial sector, the program could open the door for new prime contractors for the aircraft to emerge — and perhaps give SpaceX founder Elon Musk a shot at designing an F-35 competitor. "I have to imagine there will be a lot of engineers — maybe famous ones with well-known household names with billions of dollars to invest — that will decide starting the world's greatest aircraft company to build the world's greatest aircraft with the Air Force is exactly the kind of inspiring thing they want to do as a hobby or even a main gig," Roper said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Are Tesla's Data-Gathering Cars Secretly Improving Autopilot's Algorithms?

Slashdot - Sun, 20/09/2020 - 20:34
"When the history of autonomous cars is written, the winner will be Tesla," speculates long-time technology pundit Robert Cringely. "Heck, I think they've already won." But his article includes a disclaimer that it's "based pretty much on logic, not knowledge, which is to say I might again be too frigging stupid to read, much less write." Tesla has more than a million data-gathering devices on the roads. We call them cars. Tesla cars have no LIDAR but they have eight cameras and RADAR. Every night all those cars wirelessly report their driving data back to Tesla. I would love to know how Tesla decided what to put in those reports. Given the limited bandwidth LTE connection involved, it can't be a complete data dump. They have to pick and choose what to report. And what does Tesla do with the reports? I think it comes down to algorithms, mapping, and exceptions. They are logically trying to improve their algorithms, improve their maps, but mainly — after having already parsed billions of miles of driving data — they are looking for exceptional events that are testing their algorithms in ways never seen before... Tesla has a dual processor system in their cars — two completely distinct computers. Why...? Because every night is an A-B test for Tesla — a test that is running on your car. One processor is driving the car (or following the driver's actions if Autopilot isn't being used, which is most of the time) with production software while the second processor is running beta software, simulating the drive, and noting discrepancies between the two software versions. Multiply this times a million cars per night. Whether Autopilot is used or not doesn't matter: the evolution of the software continues. And it's finished when the beta software stops improving and the outcome shows the only difference between human and Autopilot driving is that Autopilot does it better. Continue for another month or year or decade just to confirm your results, then announce that full autonomous mode is available. That is exactly where I believe Tesla has been heading for as long as those two-processor cars have been on the road. Tesla's autonomous driving software could be ready right now for all we know. Elon certainly hints at this from time to time in his tweets. And THAT's why I believe Tesla has already won the autonomous driving war, because they have real cars facing real exceptions that you won't find in a simulation, and their dual processor system knows what it knows. Yes, I reached out to Tesla about this last week. They still haven't replied. Again, Cringely wants that this is "based pretty much on logic, not knowledge, which is to say I might again be too frigging stupid to read, much less write."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

US Judge Blocks Attempt to Ban WeChat

Slashdot - Sun, 20/09/2020 - 19:34
"The popular Chinese messaging and payments app WeChat looks like it might still be available in the U.S. beyond Sunday night, after all," reports the Street: U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of San Francisco stopped the Trump administration from forcing Apple and Alphabet to take the Tencent Holdings' messaging app offline for downloading by late Sunday, according to a report from Reuters. The decision — which also blocks other restrictions imposed by the U.S. government on the app — follows the U.S. Commerce Department's move on Friday to virtually eliminate access to the application and impair its ability to function, in part by prohibiting companies from distributing or maintaining it and blocking financial transactions over the app in the U.S... The order also stated that the Commerce Department's orders "burden substantially more speech than is necessary to serve the government's significant interest in national security, especially given the lack of substitute channels for communication."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff
Syndicate content