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Elon Musk quits AI ethics group he co-founded

Written by James Delahunty @ 22 Feb 2018 15:57

Elon Musk quits AI ethics group he co-founded SpaceX and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has quit an artificial intelligence ethics group that he originally co-founded.

Having once said that AI is the biggest existential threat to humanity, Musk was part of the formation of OpenAI. The research group aims to promote and develop non-threatening artificial intelligence for the betterment of humanity.

Musk and others founded and donated money to the group largely due to concerns over the use of AI for destructive purposes, such as automous killer robots.

The decision to quit OpenAI is down to a potential future conflict of interest, as Tesla is developing its own artificial intelligence technology for its self-driving vehicles push. However, Musk will continue to donate and advise and OpenAI group.

Concerns have been raised about a potential arms race using emerging artificial intelligence technology.

AfterDawn: News

Disney fails to block Redbox from reselling movie download codes

Written by James Delahunty @ 22 Feb 2018 15:54

Disney fails to block Redbox from reselling movie download codes Disney has been dealt a blow in its copyright lawsuit movie rental firm Redbox, which sought to halt the firm from reselling digital movie download codes.

Redbox is a kiosk movie rental service. It places thousouds of its DVD rental kiosks in public allowing customers to pick up a DVD copy of a film. Among its collection are many Disney films, which it purchased in retail DVD format.

Those retail Disney DVDs also come with an attachment digital movie download code, which can be redeemed for a free digital download of the same film on DVD. Redbox decided to repackage these download codes and sell them separately, prompting a lawsuit from Disney.

The entertainment conglomarate cited language on the packaging that states the download codes are not for resale or for transfer, but a California judge disagrees.

Judge Pregerson said that the wording on the packaging does not constitute an enforceable contract between the parties, and agreed with Redbox' assertion that Disney is misuing copyright.

A hearing in March will consider Redbox' motion to dismiss the case.

AfterDawn: News

uTorrent has a dangerous security flaw

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 22 Feb 2018 8:06

uTorrent has a dangerous security flaw BitTorrent and its lighter version, uTorrent have a serious security flaw.

Google researcher found a technique that allows attackers to direct DNS requests to user's computer, allowing to spoof the download sources, download files, add them to startup folder and more.

All versions of uTorrent and BitTorrent are affected and bug is only fixed in latest beta.

"On December 4, 2017, we were made aware of several vulnerabilities in the uTorrent and BitTorrent Windows desktop clients. We began work immediately to address the issue. Our fix is complete and is available in the most recent beta release (build released on 16 Feb 2018). This week, we will begin to deliver it to our installed base of users. All users will be updated with the fix automatically over the following days. The nature of the exploit is such that an attacker could craft a URL that would cause actions to trigger in the client without the user's consent (e.g. adding a torrent).

BitTorrent was also made aware yesterday that it's new beta product, uTorrent Web, is vulnerable to a similar bug. "

You can download the latest beta of uTorrent from our software section:


AfterDawn: News

PlayStation profiles now accessible from web browsers

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Feb 2018 12:12

PlayStation profiles now accessible from web browsers 'My PlayStation' is the new social destination on the Web for your PlayStation profile.

You can now login to the official PlayStation website and access My PlayStation from a link in the top right corner. This will bring you to a Facebook-like (though much more minimalist in appearance) profile. From here, you can access key PSN features from your web browser; Find friends, edit your PSN profile, view Trophies and more.

Previously you would have to do these things from your PS4 console or from an app on a mobile device. My PlayStation works with most major web browsers on Windows 10, MacOS 10, iOS 10 or above, Android 5 or above.

You can view your own Trophies and compare to those of your contacts, or send direct messages, too.

My PlayStation on the web is very minimalist and blank in appearance for the time being, but Sony promises it will continue to enhance and add more features to My PlayStation on a regular basis.

AfterDawn: News

Tesla hacked to mine cryptocurrency

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Feb 2018 12:11

Tesla hacked to mine cryptocurrency Tesla is investigating a reported hack of its cloud computing platform in order to stealthy mine cryptocurrency.

The all-electric automaker is assuring customers that there has been no hack or breach of customer data or of their vehicles. Instead, the instrustion seems to have been limited to internally used engineering test cars.

The breach was discovered and reported to Tesla by RedLock, and stems from the leak of login credentials to Tesla's Amazon Web Services environment. It was traced to a Kubernetes console, a system designed by Google for application management.

Cryptojacking - the practice of hacking computer systems and networks and mining cryptocurrency from their processing power - is become more common with interest in digital currencies at an all-time high. Past corporate victims of such attacks include Starbucks and even YouTube.

Cryptocurrency mining requires a lot of processing power, which in turn consumes a lot of electricity. Hackers can pass the cost extra electrical costs onto victims and mine digital currency using their systems without their knowledge or consent.

AfterDawn: News

Apple updates devices to fix 'text bomb' bug

Written by James Delahunty @ 20 Feb 2018 17:47

Apple updates devices to fix 'text bomb' bug Apple has pushed updates across all of its devices to stop devices from crashing when processing a specific Telugu character.

A character from the native Indian language was found to cause Apple devices to freeze due to a memory corruption error. When the flaw became public, pranksters used text messages, social media and even Uber to cause devices to encounter the rare character and freeze.

Apple has issued updates for iPhones, iPads, Mac computers, smartwatches and TV boxes.

  • The latest version of iOS is 11.2.6.
  • The latest version of macOS is 10.13.3.
  • The latest version of tvOS is 11.2.6.
  • The latest version of watchOS is 4.2.3.

The problem was discovered by the developers of the Aloha mobile browser and reported on February 12.

More information: Apple security updates

AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils record 30TB SSD

Written by James Delahunty @ 20 Feb 2018 17:38

Samsung unveils record 30TB SSD Samsung breaks the storage capacity record for a single solid state drive with a new 30.72TB drive for enterprise solutions.

It had previously broken the world record in 2016 with a 15.36TB SSD. The new PM1643 drive is built on Samsung's latest V-NAND technology with 64-layer, 3-bit 512-gigabit (Gb) chips, delivering twice the capacity and performance of the previous 15.3TB line-up.

The PM1643 comprises 32 of the new 1TB NAND flash packages, each comprised of 16 stacked layers of 512Gb V-NAND chips, packed into the 2.5-inch frame.

Based on a 12Gb/s SAS interface, the new PM1643 drive features random read and write speeds of up to 400,000 IOPS and 50,000 IOPS, and sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,100MB/s and 1,700 MB/s, respectively.

"With our launch of the 30.72TB SSD, we are once again shattering the enterprise storage capacity barrier, and in the process, opening up new horizons for ultra-high capacity storage systems worldwide," said Jaesoo Han, executive vice president, Memory Sales & Marketing Team at Samsung Electronics.

"Samsung will continue to move aggressively in meeting the shifting demand toward SSDs over 10TB and at the same time, accelerating adoption of our trail-blazing storage solutions in a new age of enterprise systems."

AfterDawn: News

Intel's GPU driver update brings a boost to gamers

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Feb 2018 9:35

Intel's GPU driver update brings a boost to gamers If you are a proper PC gamer then you consider Intel a CPU manufacturer and only a CPU manufacturer. However, obviously the company does a lot more and it includes GPUs.

However, the Intel GPUs are nothing to write home about in terms of gaming prowess, so you probably have ignored what they can do altogether. Obviously they are improving in performance year after year, and might even be able to run some less graphics intensive games.

Intel definitely believes that, and that is why they've released new drivers for their integrated graphics chips that includes optimization engine for games. The new v15.65 Windows drivers now come with a Graphics Control Panel, not entirely unlike Nvidia's GeForce Experience for example, that provides automatic game optimization.

Currently the feature is limited to Skylake, that is the 6th generation CPUs and integrated HD Graphics 620, and newer. According to PC World this includes the new AMD's Radeon Vega powered 8th gen Kaby Lake G setups which obviously are far better at gaming.

The feature is still in beta so results will most definitely vary but you should be able to use it for at least the following games: Battlefield 1, Battlefield 4, American Truck Simulator, Call of Duty WWII, Destiny 2, DOTA 2, Grand Theft Auto V, League of Legends, Overwatch, World of Tanks, Fortnite, Battle Royale, They Are Billions, Lost Sphear, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, OK KO: Let's Play Heroes, Subnautica, Legrand Legacy, Tale of the Fatebounds, and Dragon Ball FighterZ.


AfterDawn: News

AfterDawn's own Android app released

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 20 Feb 2018 6:45

AfterDawn's own Android app released While many people prefer to read the news via browser, some prefer apps instead. Thus, we've finally released our own AfterDawn news app for Android.

Our app supports all Android versions starting from Android v4.4 and behaves in both landspace and portrait mode, on phones and larger tablets. This app is for news consumption only: you can browse and read our news - latest news or even the really, really old news items back to the 1990s.

For those of you who prefer to have a quick look at the headlines, we also have a widget (that comes in three different color themes: dark, light and transparent to suit your homescreen background) that displays the latest headlines from our site.


AfterDawn: News

Apple captures over half of global smartphone revenue

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Feb 2018 7:52

Apple captures over half of global smartphone revenue Every year Apple takes home nearly every penny of global smartphone profits. Thanks to huge margins no one has been able to replicate, it only leaves crumbles to Samsung and others. Obviously Samsung is competing in number of smartphones but most of them are way cheaper and barely make them any money.

However, what are the actual revenue numbers? How far behind is Samsung, and others, in terms of pure monetary value of smartphones sold? Well, very far.

A new report from Strategy Analytics has revealed the revenues of last quarter of the 2016 fiscal year. The numbers are very much in favor of Apple, which shouldn't really be a surprise for the largest company in the world by market cap.

Apple racked a total of 51 percent or $61.4 billion of the historically large smartphone market revenue of $120.2 billion. As mentioned, the gap between Apple and the second place holder, Samsung, was very wide.

However, Samsung, like Huawei on third place, managed to enlarge their slices of the pie. Samsung's share was 15.7% and Huawei's 7% with $18.9 billion and $8.4 billion respectively.

Everything comes down to the average prices really. As a typical smartphone manufacturer gets away with $200, maybe $300, average price, Apple manages to sell a phone with the average price of 800 dollars.


AfterDawn: News

Chrome's own ad blocker is now live - and this is how it works

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 18 Feb 2018 16:56

Chrome's own ad blocker is now live - and this is how it works Google's Chrome web browser started blocking ads on February 15, 2018. It comes into effect for all of its billions of users, without any extensions, plug-ins or settings to tweak with. Ad blocking for all Chrome users, on by default.

This might sound weird given that Google is the largest ad company in the world: almost all of its massive revenue comes from ads. But there's a logic behind all of this. Google figured out that the reason why Joe Average ever installs a third-party ad blocker is because of the annoying ads, and not simply because Joe hates ads in general. He hates those that obstruct his web browsing and/or annoy him. The problem is that most third-party ad blockers, when installed, block everything from all the websites in the world. So you get frustrated because the hobby site you're visiting has auto-play, audio-on video ads in every corner and install a third-party ad blocker. The result? You block every ad from every site you visit. Sure, you could adjust the settings to allow ads through for specific sites, but only a handful of people ever do that.

Google's thinking is this: If we can remove the annoying ads, people will be happy with the remaining, non-obstructive ads. So, they developed their own ad blocker and built it directly into Chrome.


AfterDawn: News

Apple promises to fix the crash inducing message bug "soon"

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Feb 2018 14:23

Apple promises to fix the crash inducing message bug "soon" A few days ago a new, and fairly severe, iOS bug was revealed. The problem occurs system wide but especially plagues the messaging and email apps, and crashes either the app itself or the entire operating system.

The problem is rather simple: iOS receives a text message, instant message or an email with a symbol from the Telugu language, a language spoken in India by some tens of millions, and can't compute it.

If the symbol is shown in a notification it will crash the phone and you'll have to reboot. If it is shown on iMessage, WhatsApp, or Gmail for example, it crashes the app and you'll have to reboot the app and somehow get rid of the message.

Now, that seems like a simple fix since it only happens with this specific symbol. And there is a fairly simple solution: iOS 11.3. However, the newest version of iOS is only available for the beta testers currently, but fortunately a fix will be coming "soon" according to Apple, The Verge reports.

Apple is not expediting iOS 11.3, though, which includes plenty of other updates that are still under development. Instead you'll be getting a midway update, perhaps something like 11.2.6, which would be the slightest update over current 11.2.5.


AfterDawn: News

Apple to replace iPhone's back camera with TrueDepth?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Feb 2018 11:35

Apple to replace iPhone's back camera with TrueDepth? Apple's latest iteration of iPhone, or the greatest one should say since iPhone X and iPhone 8 were released simultaneously, utilizes a new type of camera setup. However, it's not the back camera, mostly used for photographs that was significantly improved.

The front-facing camera, the selfie shooter, was upgraded with never-before-seen technology that Apple's marketing team calls TrueDepth. It allowed Apple to get away with the fingerprint sensor, Touch ID, and rely solely on identification via facial recognition.

Face ID couldn't have been done without the innovations behind the TrueDepth camera. Obviously there are face recognition implementations that are available on Android, and are faster too, but they aren't nearly as accurate, or more importantly secure.

You can, however, use the 3D camera tech for other things too. Forget that Apple decided to showcase it by introducing animojis, the animated emojis that follow your facial motions, there is so much more you could do with a 3D mapping camera.

And thus analysts believe that Apple is going to expand the TrueDepth capabilities to iPhone's back camera, Apple Insider reports. The Cupertino-based company is said to be developing new versions of TrueDepth camera that could bring for example AR experiences to a new level.


AfterDawn: News

Sony cuts $100 from PSVR bundles

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Feb 2018 4:58

Sony cuts $100 from PSVR bundles Sony is seeking similar success it had with its holiday PlayStation VR discounts with a new temporary price cut.

PlayStation VR prices are being cut by $100 temporarily as Sony seeks to clear out winter stocks. The promotion will run from February 18 to March 3. Under the deal you can purchase the standalone PlayStation VR headset for $199.99 during the time period.

You can also purchase the PlayStation VR Doom VFR Bundle, including the PlayStation VR headset, PlayStation Camera, the PS VR Demo Disc 2.0 and the Doom VFR Blu-ray Disc. The bundle would set you back $299.99 MSRP.

Alternatively, you can get the PlayStation VR Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR Bundle with the PS VR headset, PlayStation Camera, two PlayStation Move controllers, the PS VR Demo Disc 2.0 and Skyrim VR (+ addons). During the promo the bundle will sell for $349.99 MSRP.

There are also reports that you can pick up the Gran Turismo Sport bundle for just $199.99, but availability would be an issue if true.

AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to add 'Ultimate Perfomance' mode to Windows 10

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Feb 2018 13:51

Microsoft to add 'Ultimate Perfomance' mode to Windows 10 Microsoft has posted another update on its official Windows blog about future Windows 10 builds. The post reveals new emojis but also touches on what is a new power scheme for workstations.

The new mode found in the Power settings of Windows 10 is called Ultimate Performance, and does exactly what you would imagine a setting by that name would do. It makes sure that the operating systems takes advantage of as much of your hardware as possible. Currently Windows 10 includes a High Performance power mode but the new mode will further improve efficacy.

According to Microsoft, Ultimate Performance is developed from High Performance by "eliminate micro-latencies associated with fine grained power management techniques" which means that it could likely result in consuming more power.

Unfortunately not everyone will be able to use the new setting as it is limited to a single Windows 10 version. Ultimate Performance can be used only in Windows 10 Pro for Workstations.

Microsoft says that the update is due somewhere in March or April.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations on tarkoitettu ympäristöihin, joissa käsitellään paljon isoja data-aineistoja ja tehdään vaativaa laskentaa edellyttäviä tehtäviä. Kotiolosuhteisiin tai edes pelikoneisiin sitä ei ole tarkoitettu lainkaan.

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