2018-01-01 00:00:00 ..
2018-01-13 07:33:51 UTC
2018-01-13 07:37:17 UTC
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Purdue University will lead a new national center to develop brain-inspired computing for intelligent autonomous systems such as drones and personal robots capable of operating without human intervention.
The Center for Brain-inspired Computing Enabling Autonomous Intelligence, or C-BRIC, is a five-year project supported by $27 million in funding from the Semiconductor Research Corp (SRC) via their Joint University Microelectronics Program, which provides funding from a consortium of industrial sponsors as well as from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The SRC operates research programs in the United States and globally that connect industry to university researchers, deliver early results to enable technological advances, and prepare a highly-trained workforce for the semiconductor industry. Additional funds include $3.96 million from Purdue and as well as support from other participating universities. At the state level, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation will be providing funds, pending board approval, to establish an intelligent autonomous systems laboratory at Purdue.
[...] Autonomous intelligent systems will require real-time closed-loop control, leading to new challenges in neural algorithms, software and hardware," said Venkataramanan (Ragu) Balakrishnan, Purdue's Michael and Katherine Birck Head and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "Purdue's long history of preeminence in related research areas such as neuromorphic computing and energy-efficient electronics positions us well to lead this effort."
YouTube is shaving off more of the smaller channels from its monetization program:
YouTube is tightening the rules around its partner program and raising the requirements that a channel/creator must meet in order to monetize videos. Effective immediately, to apply for monetization (and have ads attached to videos), creators must have tallied 4,000 hours of overall watch time on their channel within the past 12 months and have at least 1,000 subscribers. YouTube will enforce the new eligibility policy for all existing channels as of February 20th, meaning that channels that fail to meet the threshold will no longer be able to make income from ads.
Previously, the standard for joining YouTube's Partner Program was 10,000 public views — without any specific requirement for annual viewing hours. This change will no doubt make it harder for new, smaller channels to reach monetization, but YouTube says it's an important way of buying itself more time to see who's following the company's guidelines and disqualify "bad actors."
[...] The new, stricter policy comes after Logan Paul, one of YouTube's star creators and influencers, published a video that showed a dead body in Japan's Aokigahara forest. Last week, YouTube kicked Paul off its Google Preferred ad program and placed his YouTube Red original programming efforts on hold.
Anyone under 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 total hours watched annually would probably be making a pittance anyway. This change could allow YouTube to put more human eyes on the unruly but popular channels, so it can censor suicide forest vlogs (NSFW) in record time.
Today Youtube sent out the following message to a number of customers:
Today we are announcing changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). While our goal remains to keep the YPP open to as many channels as possible, we recognize we need more safeguards in place to protect creator revenue across the YouTube ecosystem.
Under the new eligibility requirements announced today, your YouTube channel, [Name] is no longer eligible for monetization because it doesn't meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. As a result, your channel will lose access to all monetization tools and features associated with the YouTube Partner Program on February 20, 2018 unless you surpass this threshold in the next 30 days. Accordingly, this email serves as 30 days notice that your YouTube Partner Program terms are terminated.
Apparently niche content and low volume community channels, is not as profitable as hosting porn.
Related: YouTube's "Ad-Friendly" Content Policy may Push one of its Biggest Stars off the Site
Google Fails to Stop Major Brands From Pulling Ads From YouTube
In Attempt to Achieve YouTube Stardom, Woman Accidentally Kills Her Boyfriend
YouTube Cracks Down on Weird Content Aimed at Kids
1600 Vine Street
A former Central Intelligence Agency officer was arrested at a U.S. airport on Monday night in connection with charges that he illegally retained highly classified information, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.
Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a U.S. citizen who now lives in Hong Kong, used to maintain a top secret clearance and began working for the CIA in 1994.
The Justice Department said that in 2012, FBI agents searched his hotel rooms during trips to Virginia and Hawaii. They discovered he had two small books containing handwritten information on details such as the true names and numbers of spy recruits and covert CIA employees.
A former C.I.A. officer suspected by investigators of helping China dismantle United States spying operations and identify informants has been arrested, the Justice Department said on Tuesday. The collapse of the spy network was one of the American government's worst intelligence failures in recent years.
You may remember this story: CIA Informants Imprisoned and Killed in China From 2010 to 2012
Linode (our server provider) is continuing with their server reboots to mitigate Meltdown/Spectre. This time, three of our servers are scheduled to be rebooted at the same time: lithium, sodium, and boron.
From TMB's update to our earlier story System Reboots: beryllium reboot successful; lithium, sodium, and boron soon to come [updated]:
[TMB Note]: Sodium is our currently-configured load balancer and we weren't given enough notice to switch to Magnesium (DNS propagation can take a while), so expect ten minutes or less of site downtime. Or temporarily add 126.96.36.199 to your hosts file if ten minutes is more than you can wait.
This reboot is scheduled for: 2018-01-18 at 0900 UTC (0400 EST). That is about 7 hours from the time this story goes 'live'. We anticipate no problems... that the site should resume operations on its own.
A workaround is to temporarily update your hosts file to include:
Upcoming: We just learned that hydrogen is scheduled for a reboot on 2018-01-19 at 05:00 AM UTC. Since we can get by just fine for a few hours on one web frontend though, no service interruption is anticipated.
Mozilla is asking for feedback about Thunderbird and threatening a redesign. Thunderbird is the most feature-rich of the GUI mail clients, but as a result also has a lot of cruft. The goal of the survey is to learn what Thunderbird users think about the current design, what are the biggest drawbacks, what potential changes should there be, and so on. The claim is that the information will be considered before any actual changes are made to the program itself.
See also Bryan Lunduke's interview with newly fledged Thunderbird developer Ryan Sypes about future directions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BQugHIccTI
So if you rely on Thunderbird for any part of your work flow, speak up now before it ends up unusable trash like M$ Outlook or Apple Mail.
U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T Inc, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile Ltd to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides said.
[...] Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources told Reuters.
The U.S. government has also blocked a string of Chinese acquisitions over national security concerns, including Ant Financial's proposed purchase of U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc.
The lawmakers are also advising U.S. firms that if they have ties to Huawei or China Mobile, it could hamper their ability to do business with the U.S. government, one aide said, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Related: NSA Spied on Chinese Government and Huawei
Kaspersky Willing to Hand Source Code Over to U.S. Government
Kaspersky Lab has been Working With Russian Intelligence
FBI Reportedly Advising Companies to Ditch Kaspersky Apps
Federal Government, Concerned About Cyberespionage, Bans Use of Kaspersky Labs Products
New laptops are drawing upon features/attributes associated with smartphones, such as LTE connectivity, ARM processors, (relatively) high battery life, and walled gardens:
This year's crop of CES laptops -- which we'll define broadly to include Windows-based two-in-one hybrids and slates -- even show signs of a sudden evolutionary leap. The long-predicted PC-phone convergence is happening, but rather than phones becoming more like computers, computers are becoming more like phones.
The most obvious way this is happening is the new breed of laptops that ditch the traditional Intel (and sometimes AMD) processors for new Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm. So far, we've seen three of these Snapdragon systems announced: the HP Envy x2, the Asus NoveGo and the Lenovo Miix 630.
Laptops with lower-end processors have been tried before, with limited success. Why is now potentially the right time? Because these systems aren't being pitched as bargain basement throwaways -- and in fact, they'll cost $600 and up, the same as many mainstream laptops in the US. Instead, they promise some very high-end features, including always-on LTE connectivity (like a phone) and 20-plus hours of battery life with weeks of standby time, which also sounds more like a phone than a PC. The tradeoff is that these Snapdragon laptops run Windows 10 S, a limited version of Windows 10, which only allows apps from the official Microsoft app store. That's also similar to the walled garden of mobile OS apps many phones embrace.
[...] There's another take on phone-laptop convergence happening here at CES. Razer, the PC and accessory maker, always brings one or two inventive prototypes to CES, such as last year's triple-screen Project Valerie laptop. The concept piece for CES 2018 is Project Linda, a 13-inch laptop shell, with a large cutout where the touchpad would normally be. You drop a Razer Phone in that slot, press a button, and the two pieces connect, with the laptop body acting as a high-end dock for the phone. The phone acts as a touchpad and also a second screen, and it works with the growing number of Android apps that have been specially formatted for larger laptop screens or computer monitors.
Related: Symetium Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for a "Smartphone PC"
Maru OS: an Android ROM that Turns into Debian when it Senses Connected PC Peripherals
What Are Must-Have Specs for a Laptop in 2017?
ARM Based Laptop DIY Kit Ready to Hit the Shops
Windows 10 PCs Running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to Arrive this Year
Microsoft Knows Windows is Obsolete. Here's a Sneak Peek at Its Replacement.
Samsung to Give Linux Desktop Experience to Smartphone Users
Samsung Shows Off Linux Desktops on Galaxy 8 Smartphone
First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced
Snapdragon 845 Announced
Qualcomm Joins Others in Confirming its CPUs Suffer From Spectre, and Other Meltdown News
Vox Media website theverge.com reports that Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) wants answers about the recent computer chip chaos.
Congress is starting to ask hard questions about the fallout from the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Today, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) sent a letter [(pdf)] requesting a briefing from Intel, AMD, and ARM about the vulnerabilities’ impact on consumers.
[...] The two vulnerabilities are “glaring warning signs that we must take cybersecurity more seriously,” McNerney argues in the letter. “Should the vulnerabilities be exploited, the effects on consumers’ privacy and our nation’s economy and security would be absolutely devastating.”
Privately disclosed to chipmakers in June of 2016, the Meltdown and Spectre bugs became public after a haphazard series of leaks earlier this month. In the aftermath, there have been significant patching problems, including an AMD patch that briefly prevented Windows computers from booting up. Intel in particular has come under fire for inconsistent statements about the impact of the bugs, and currently faces a string of proposed class-action lawsuits relating to the bugs.
Meltdown can be fixed through a relatively straightforward operating-system level patch, but Spectre has proven more difficult, and there have been significant patching problems in the aftermath. The most promising news has been Google’s Retpoline approach, which the company says can protect against the trickiest Spectre variant with little negative performance impact.
The letter calls on the CEOs of Intel, AMD, and ARM to answer (among other things) when they learned about these problems and what they are doing about it.
The U.S. Navy announced Tuesday that the commanding officers of two vessels involved in separate collisions in the Pacific Ocean last year will face court-martial proceedings and possible criminal charges including negligent homicide.
The statement by Navy spokesman Capt. Greg Hicks says the decision to prosecute the commanders, and several lower-ranking officers as well, was made by Adm. Frank Caldwell.
[...] In the case of the USS Fitzgerald, the commander, two lieutenants and one lieutenant junior grade face possible charges of dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel and negligent homicide.
The commander of the USS John S. McCain will face possible charges of dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel and negligent homicide. A chief petty officer also faces one possible charge of dereliction of duty.
Previously: U.S. Navy Destroyer Collides With Container Vessel
10 Sailors Still Missing After U.S. Destroyer Collision With Oil Tanker
Chief of Naval Operations Report on This Summer's Destroyer Collisions
The Aichi Prefecture city of Gamagori has activated an emergency warning system to alert residents to avoid eating locally purchased fugu (puffer fish) after a mix-up saw toxic parts of the delicacy go on sale.
A supermarket in the city sold five packages of the fish without removing the livers, which can contain a deadly poison.
Three of the potentially lethal specimens have been located, but the other two remain at large, local official Koji Takayanagi said.
"We are calling for residents to avoid eating fugu, using Gamagori city's emergency wireless system," which broadcasts over loudspeakers located around the city, he said.
Senate Democrats have put together 50 votes for a measure meant to block the Federal Communications Commission's December decision to end net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration.
Democrats are just one GOP vote shy of the 51-vote threshold for a Senate resolution of disapproval, which would strike down the FCC's December rules change.
"With full caucus support," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "it's clear that Democrats are committed to fighting to keep the internet from becoming the Wild West where ISPs are free to offer premium service to only the wealthiest customers while average consumers are left with far inferior options."
The Democrats' effort won the support of its first Republican backer, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), last Tuesday.
Now that automobile manufacturers are almost more about software than hardware, your car company may know more about you than your spouse based on all the sensors in your car. The incentive to collect driver and passenger data is great. Every piece of data is used to increase revenue, especially if sold onward to third-parties.
Dunn may consider his everyday driving habits mundane, but auto and privacy experts suspect that big automakers like Honda see them as anything but. By monitoring his everyday movements, an automaker can vacuum up a massive amount of personal information about someone like Dunn, everything from how fast he drives and how hard he brakes to how much fuel his car uses and the entertainment he prefers. The company can determine where he shops, the weather on his street, how often he wears his seat belt, what he was doing moments before a wreck — even where he likes to eat and how much he weighs.
Though drivers may not realize it, tens of millions of American cars are being monitored like Dunn's, experts say, and the number increases with nearly every new vehicle that is leased or sold.
The result is that carmakers have turned on a powerful spigot of precious personal data, often without owners' knowledge, transforming the automobile from a machine that helps us travel to a sophisticated computer on wheels that offers even more access to our personal habits and behaviors than smartphones do.
[Update: Reboot of beryllium was successful and our IRC services were restored without issue. Hat tip to our sysops who made this happen so smoothly! --martyb]
Linode, which hosts our servers, is rolling out fixes for the Meltdown/Spectre bugs. This necessitates a hard reboot of their servers, and that means any guest servers will be down while this happens. beryllium is scheduled for a reboot with a two-hour window starting at 2018-01-17 07:00 AM UTC (02:00 AM EST). The outage should be relatively brief — a matter of just a few minutes.
We expect this will cause our IRC (Internet Relay Chat) service to be unavailable. We do not anticipate any problems, but if things go sideways, I'm sure the community will find a way to let us know via the comments.
Planning ahead, we have learned that lithium, sodium, and boron are all scheduled for a reboot at on 2018-01-18 at 09:00 AM UTC.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we strive to keep the impact to the site to a minimum.
[TMB Note]: Sodium is our currently configured load balancer and we weren't given enough notice to switch to Magnesium (DNS propagation can take a while), so expect ten minutes or less of site downtime. Or temporarily add 188.8.131.52 to your hosts file if ten minutes is more than you can wait.
Just about everybody is coming up with video about the meteor over the Detroit area.
"It looks like from videos and reports we've gotten (that it's a) meteor," said Jordan Dale, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake. "However, we cannot confirm it's a meteor. At this point, we're just sticking to what we know — and it was not thunder or lightning or weather-related."
The weather service by about 9 p.m. had already received dozens of reports, ranging from Flint to Toledo.
Multiple images were posted of night skies being lit up, as social media exploded with people reporting what they saw or heard.
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
It's a commonly held grudge of listeners who are no longer pop's core demographic that the music of the moment is not what it once was [...] But [what] happens when science attempts to prove these claims? Here are some studies that suggest your parents might have been having a lot more pop fun than you are...
[...] This followed a similar study by a team from the Spanish National Research Council, lead by artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serrà, who examined nearly half a million pop songs over a similar period (in this case 1955-2010), and looked at their tonal, melodic and lyrical content. They concluded that pop has become melodically less complex, using fewer chord changes, and that pop recordings are mastered to sound consistently louder (and therefore less dynamic) at a rate of around one decibel every eight years.
[...] The Lempel-Ziv algorithm is a lossless way to compress data, by taking out repetitions, and Morris used it as a tool to examine 15,000 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 from 1958 to 2014, reducing their lyrics down to their smallest size without losing any data, and comparing their relative sizes. He found two very interesting things. The first was that in every year of study, the songs that reached the Top 10 were more repetitive than their competition. The second is that pop has become more repetitive over time, as Morris points out: "2014 is the most repetitive year on record. An average song from this year compresses 22% more efficiently than one from 1960."
Of course, none of this means that pop songs are any less fun. They may be slower and sadder than before, but if pop songs are now simpler and louder and more repetitive than they used to be, that might make up for it. In fact, a 2011 report called Music and Emotions in the Brain: Familiarity Matters, compiled by a team led by Carlos Silva Pereira suggests that the human brain enjoys knowing what is coming next in music. Having conducted fMRI scans on people listening to songs, the report concludes that, "Familiarity seems to be a crucial factor in making the listeners emotionally engaged with music."
Source: Has pop music lost its fun?