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What is the most overly over hyped tech trend

  • Generative AI
  • Quantum computing
  • Blockchain, NFT, Cryptocurrency
  • Edge computing
  • Internet of Things
  • 6G
  • I use the metaverse you insensitive clod
  • Other (please specify in comments)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:24 | Votes:80

posted by janrinok on Sunday March 24, @11:05PM   Printer-friendly

Mozilla Drops Onerep After CEO Admits to Running People-Search Networks:

The nonprofit organization that supports the Firefox web browser said today it is winding down its new partnership with Onerep, an identity protection service recently bundled with Firefox that offers to remove users from hundreds of people-search sites. The move comes just days after a report by KrebsOnSecurity forced Onerep's CEO to admit that he has founded dozens of people-search networks over the years.

Mozilla only began bundling Onerep in Firefox last month, when it announced the reputation service would be offered on a subscription basis as part of Mozilla Monitor Plus. Launched in 2018 under the name Firefox Monitor, Mozilla Monitor also checks data from the website Have I Been Pwned? to let users know when their email addresses or password are leaked in data breaches.

On March 14, KrebsOnSecurity published a story showing that Onerep's Belarusian CEO and founder Dimitiri Shelest launched dozens of people-search services since 2010, including a still-active data broker called Nuwber that sells background reports on people. Onerep and Shelest did not respond to requests for comment on that story.

But on March 21, Shelest released a lengthy statement wherein he admitted to maintaining an ownership stake in Nuwber, a consumer data broker he founded in 2015 — around the same time he launched Onerep.

Shelest maintained that Nuwber has "zero cross-over or information-sharing with Onerep," and said any other old domains that may be found and associated with his name are no longer being operated by him.

"I get it," Shelest wrote. "My affiliation with a people search business may look odd from the outside. In truth, if I hadn't taken that initial path with a deep dive into how people search sites work, Onerep wouldn't have the best tech and team in the space. Still, I now appreciate that we did not make this more clear in the past and I'm aiming to do better in the future." The full statement is available here (PDF).

In a statement released today, a spokesperson for Mozilla said it was moving away from Onerep as a service provider in its Monitor Plus product.

"Though customer data was never at risk, the outside financial interests and activities of Onerep's CEO do not align with our values," Mozilla wrote. "We're working now to solidify a transition plan that will provide customers with a seamless experience and will continue to put their interests first."

KrebsOnSecurity also reported that Shelest's email address was used circa 2010 by an affiliate of Spamit, a Russian-language organization that paid people to aggressively promote websites hawking male enhancement drugs and generic pharmaceuticals. As noted in the March 14 story, this connection was confirmed by research from multiple graduate students at my alma mater George Mason University.

Shelest denied ever being associated with Spamit. "Between 2010 and 2014, we put up some web pages and optimize them — a widely used SEO practice — and then ran AdSense banners on them," Shelest said, presumably referring to the dozens of people-search domains KrebsOnSecurity found were connected to his email addresses ( and "As we progressed and learned more, we saw that a lot of the inquiries coming in were for people."

[...] The March 14 story on Onerep was the second in a series of three investigative reports published here this month that examined the data broker and people-search industries, and highlighted the need for more congressional oversight — if not regulation — on consumer data protection and privacy.

On March 8, KrebsOnSecurity published A Close Up Look at the Consumer Data Broker Radaris, which showed that the co-founders of Radaris operate multiple Russian-language dating services and affiliate programs. It also appears many of their businesses have ties to a California marketing firm that works with a Russian state-run media conglomerate currently sanctioned by the U.S. government.

On March 20, KrebsOnSecurity published The Not-So-True People-Search Network from China, which revealed an elaborate web of phony people-search companies and executives designed to conceal the location of people-search affiliates in China who are earning money promoting U.S. based data brokers that sell personal information on Americans.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday March 24, @05:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the will-they-ever-learn? dept.

[Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store used as a database, cache, message broker, and streaming engine]

Redis has decided to move away from BSD license to dual-license Redis Source Available License (RSALv2) and Server Side Public License (SSPLv1), ignoring many historical failures where other companies tried to move away from open source licenses (ElasticSearch vs OpenSearch, MySQL vs MariaDB, Oracle JDK vs OpenJDK, OpenOffice vs LibreOffice, Terraform vs OpenTofu etc.).

The decision has not gone down well within the redis community.

Any Redis users in our community? What are your thoughts on this issue?

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday March 24, @12:58PM   Printer-friendly

"This is an unscheduled emergency release with important security updates to Firefox for Desktop platforms. Android is unaffected."

Mozilla Foundation Security Advisory 2024-16
Security Vulnerabilities fixed in Firefox ESR 115.9.1

March 22, 2024

CVE-2024-29944: Privileged JavaScript Execution via Event Handlers

Impact critical


An attacker was able to inject an event handler into a privileged object that would allow arbitrary JavaScript execution in the parent process. Note: This vulnerability affects Desktop Firefox only, it does not affect mobile versions of Firefox.

Tails 6.0 is affected. Please update Tails 6.0 to the current version when they release it.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Sunday March 24, @12:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the a-good-reason-not-to-shower dept.

Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks, affects nearly half a million people in the United States every year. In most cases, antibiotics effectively clear the infection, but for some patients, symptoms linger for months or years.

Researchers at MIT and the University of Helsinki have now discovered that human sweat contains a protein that can protect against Lyme disease. They also found that about one-third of the population carries a genetic variant of this protein that is associated with Lyme disease in genome-wide association studies.

[...] "This protein may provide some protection from Lyme disease, and we think there are real implications here for a preventative and possibly a therapeutic based on this protein," says Michal Caspi Tal, a principal research scientist in MIT's Department of Biological Engineering and one of the senior authors of the new study.

[...] "This finding opens the door to a completely new approach to preventing Lyme disease in the first place, and it will be interesting to see if it could be useful for preventing other types of skin infections too," says Kara Spiller, a professor of biomedical innovation in the School of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, who was not involved in the study.

The researchers note that people who have the protective version of SCGB1D2 can still develop Lyme disease, and they should not assume that they won't. One factor that may play a role is whether the person happens to be sweating when they're bitten by a tick carrying Borrelia burgdorferi.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday March 24, @07:44AM   Printer-friendly

Leafhoppers, a common backyard insect, secrete and coat themselves in tiny mysterious particles that could provide both the inspiration and the instructions for next-generation technology, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers.

In a first, the team precisely replicated the complex geometry of these particles, called brochosomes, and elucidated a better understanding of how they absorb both visible and ultraviolet light.

This could allow the development of bioinspired optical materials with possible applications ranging from invisible cloaking devices to coatings to more efficiently harvest solar energy, said Tak-Sing Wong, professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering. Wong led the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The unique, tiny particles have an unusual soccer ball-like geometry with cavities, and their exact purpose for the insects has been something of a mystery to scientists since the 1950s. In 2017, Wong led the Penn State research team that was the first to create a basic, synthetic version of brochosomes in an effort to better understand their function.
"It has been unclear why the leafhoppers produce particles with such complex structures," Wang said, "We managed to make these brochosomes using a high-tech 3D-printing method in the lab. We found that these lab-made particles can reduce light reflection by up to 94%. This is a big discovery because it's the first time we've seen nature do something like this, where it controls light in such a specific way using hollow particles."

Theories on why leafhoppers coat themselves with a brochosome armor have ranged from keeping them free of contaminants and water to a superhero-like invisibility cloak. However, a new understanding of their geometry raises a strong possibility that its main purpose could be the cloak to avoid predators, according to Tak-Sing Wong, professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering and corresponding author of the study.

The researchers have found that the size of the holes in the brochosome that give it a hollow, soccer ball-like appearance is extremely important. The size is consistent across leafhopper species, no matter the size of the insect's body. The brochosomes are roughly 600 nanometers in diameter—about half the size of a single bacterium—and the brochosome pores are around 200 nanometers.

"That makes us ask a question," Wong said. "Why this consistency? What is the secret of having brochosomes of about 600 nanometers with about 200-nanometer pores? Does that serve some purpose?"

The researchers found the unique design of brochosomes serves a dual purpose—absorbing ultraviolet (UV) light, which reduces visibility to predators with UV vision, such as birds and reptiles, and scattering visible light, creating an anti-reflective shield against potential threats. The size of the holes is perfect for absorbing light at the ultraviolet frequency.

Journal Reference:
Wong, Tak-Sing, Geometric design of antireflective leafhopper brochosomes, PNAS (2024). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2312700121

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Sunday March 24, @02:59AM   Printer-friendly
from the oops dept.

A newly discovered vulnerability baked into Apple's M-series of chips allows attackers to extract secret keys from Macs when they perform widely used cryptographic operations, academic researchers have revealed in a paper published Thursday.

The flaw—a side channel allowing end-to-end key extractions when Apple chips run implementations of widely used cryptographic protocols—can't be patched directly because it stems from the microarchitectural design of the silicon itself.
cryptographic engineers have devised constant-time programming, an approach that ensures that all operations take the same amount of time to complete, regardless of their operands. It does this by keeping code free of secret-dependent memory accesses or structures.

The breakthrough of the new research is that it exposes a previously overlooked behavior of DMPs in Apple silicon: Sometimes they confuse memory content, such as key material, with the pointer value that is used to load other data. As a result, the DMP often reads the data and attempts to treat it as an address to perform memory access. This "dereferencing" of "pointers"—meaning the reading of data and leaking it through a side channel—is a flagrant violation of the constant-time paradigm.
The attack, which the researchers have named GoFetch, uses an application that doesn't require root access, only the same user privileges needed by most third-party applications installed on a macOS system.
The GoFetch app connects to the targeted app and feeds it inputs that it signs or decrypts. As its doing this, it extracts the app secret key that it uses to perform these cryptographic operations. This mechanism means the targeted app need not perform any cryptographic operations on its own during the collection period.
The DMP on the M3, Apple's latest chip, has a special bit that developers can invoke to disable the feature. The researchers don't yet know what kind of penalty will occur when this performance optimization is turned off. (The researchers noted that the DMP found in Intel's Raptor Lake processors doesn't leak the same sorts of cryptographic secrets. What's more, setting a special DOIT bit also effectively turns off the DMP.)

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

A new vulnerability was found on M1 Mac and newer models that allow hackers to extract encryption keys. This issue is unpatchable, which means every Mac user could be compromised, but it doesn’t mean you should freak out. [Physical access to the computer is required--JR]

[...] The researcher named this vulnerability GoFetch, a “microarchitectural side-channel attack that can extract secret keys from constant-time cryptographic implementations via data memory-dependent prefetchers (DMPs).”

They have found this issue with M1 Mac devices but found that M2 and M3 CPUs also exhibit “similar exploitable DMP behavior.” They have not tested with other chip variants, such as M1 Max, M2 Pro, etc., but the researchers hypothesize that they’re likely to be exploited as well.

The researchers say that the best way to protect yourself is by constantly updating your Mac to the latest version of macOS. For developers of cryptographic libraries, they can either set the DOIT bit and DIT bit bits, which disable the DMP on some CPUs, such as M3 processors.

Still, the best way to avoid this attack is by preventing others from physically accessing your M1 Mac computer: “Preventing attackers from measuring DMP activation in the first place, for example, by avoiding hardware sharing, can further enhance the security of cryptographic protocols.”

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Saturday March 23, @10:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the the-analogous-price-of-digital-liberty dept.

TLDR**: families of the victims in Buffalo sued social media for providing a defective product that can damage the mental heath and radicalize some people. Defendants asked dismissal under the "we are only a public message board" Section 230, court says "naaah, mate, plaintiff pointed a compelling enough finger to your engagement algos which earn you the money. Those (civil) lawsuits may go ahead (and I'll keep my popcorn handy)".

YouTube, Facebook, Reddit must face lawsuits from Buffalo shooting survivors

The plaintiffs, who include family members of the victims and survivors of the shooting, argue that the platforms "negligently, defectively and harmfully designed 'products' that drove Gendron to the materials and they are therefore liable based on product liability theories."
Feroleto dismissed arguments brought by the social media companies that they served merely as message boards for third-party content. The defendants argue that as such, they are not liable under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act or the First Amendment.

"The Court has determined the complaint sufficiently pleads viable causes of action to go forward at this stage of the litigation," the order states.

straight from the legal-horse's mouth (i.e. the court order, the "verdict" as it comes)

The defendants contend that no matter how the plaintiffs frame their complaint the only conceivable actionable activity of the defendants is the hosting of third-party content on their platforms. If that is the case, even plaintiffs would acknowledge the third-party content would make the defendants immune from suit due to the CDA. However, plaintiffs contend the defendants' platforms are more than just message boards containing third-party content. They allege they are sophisticated products designed to be addictive to young users and they specifically directed Gendron to further platforms or postings that indoctrinated him with "white replacement theory."

[...] Specifically defendants point to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230 ("CDA" or § 230 ) as requiring dismissal of the plaintiffs' complaint... In New York, the Court of Appeals followed other Courts interpretations of the CDA in Shiamili v. Real Estate Group of New York,
Inc. (17 NY3d 281 [2011]). The Court found determining immunity from state law liability under Section 230 of the CDA requires the Court to take into consideration, "if (1) [defendant] is a provider or user of an interactive computer service; (2) the complaint seeks to hold the defendant liable as a publisher or speaker; and (3) the action is based on information given by another information content provider" (Shiamili at 286-287).

On the other hand, plaintiffs contend the defendants platforms should be considered "products" which makes Section 230 irrelevant. Under that premise, what constitutes a product under New York law is not confined to tangible chattels... The Court of Appeals also emphasized the following factors in determining whether an item is a product: (1) a defendant's control over the design and standardization of the product, (2) the party responsible for placing the product into the stream of commerce and deriving a financial benefit, and (3) a party's superior ability to know—and warn about—the dangers inherent in the product's reasonably foreseeable uses or misuses.
Many of the social media/internet defendants have attempted to establish that their platforms are mere message boards and/or do not contain algorithms subjecting them to the protections of the CDA and/or First Amendment. This may ultimately prove true. In addition, some defendants may yet establish that their platforms are not products or that the negligent design features plaintiffs have alleged are not part of their platforms. However, at this stage of the litigation the Court must base its ruling on the allegations of the complaint and not "facts" asserted by the defendants in their briefs or during oral argument and those allegations allege viable causes of action under a products liability theory.

** the TLDR as I understood the stuff, I'm offering no warranties

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Saturday March 23, @05:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the Smart-AI-Cloud-based-lock dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

[...] This week, a group of white hat hackers released the research from an in-depth study into a particular set of security vulnerabilities — known as "Unsaflok," named after the Dormakaba-branded Saflok door locks that they target. The study that resulted in Unsaflok's discovery was originally conducted in a hotel in Las Vegas in 2022; a city that has seen its fair share of brutal cyberattacks like the 2022 MGM casino hack. The vulnerability the researchers discovered is equal parts dangerous and simple: All it takes is a couple of quick taps with an ordinary card key, and anyone could theoretically break into a hotel room.

Saflok locking systems are installed on hotel rooms all over the world; with around 3 million doors in 13,000 properties across 131 countries estimated to have doors installed according to the researchers' disclosed information. Even though all of these doors are in different locations and under different owners, this single exploit could take advantage of every one of them.

The vulnerability revolves around the RFID keycards that the Saflok system reads, which utilize a system called MIFARE Classic. If a hacker were to obtain any two MIFARE keycards, even just from renting out a couple of rooms in a hotel themselves, they could then use a generic RFID read-write device to instantly alter their contents. 

[...] The bad news is that, due to the complexity of the systems involved in managing hotel door locks, the process has been slow-going. In addition to individually updating the software in every single lock, all of the relevant keycards need to be reissued, and the front desk management software needs to be overhauled. As of March 2024, only around 36% of the affected Saflok systems have been replaced or updated, according to the researchers' report.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday March 23, @12:42PM   Printer-friendly
from the weakest-link dept.

The Biden administration on Tuesday warned the nation's governors that drinking water and wastewater utilities in their states are facing "disabling cyberattacks" by hostile foreign nations that are targeting mission-critical plant operations.

"Disabling cyberattacks are striking water and wastewater systems throughout the United States," Jake Sullivan, assistant to the president for National Security Affairs, and Michael S. Regan, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote in a letter. "These attacks have the potential to disrupt the critical lifeline of clean and safe drinking water, as well as impose significant costs on affected communities."

[...] The letter extended an invitation for secretaries of each state's governor to attend a meeting to discuss better securing the water sector's critical infrastructure. It also announced that the EPA is forming a Water Sector Cybersecurity Task Force to identify vulnerabilities in water systems. The virtual meeting will take place on Thursday.

"EPA and NSC take these threats very seriously and will continue to partner with state environmental, health, and homeland security leaders to address the pervasive and challenging risk of cyberattacks on water systems," Regan said in a separate statement.

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Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday March 23, @07:58AM   Printer-friendly

After winning the IOCCC for the first time, I had the idea of writing an emulator of the 8080 processor in 2000 characters of C, after patterning experimentally the more than 200 instructions and doing measures of byte count, I realized that it was possible and I made it. Then I added CP/M support as a extra feature. I was completely astonished when I won Best of Show of 19th IOCCC :).

[...] This emulator was developed eighteen years ago when the computers had 32-bit processors and it used a hole in the C language syntax where you could pass a pointer on an integer. In fact, this is the IOCCC objective: make C compilers to do things these shouldn't be supposed to do.

However, the C compilers for 64-bit processors don't allow it any more as pointers are 64-bit and the int types are 32-bit, so compilers stop with an error (especially in macOS because clang).

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday March 23, @03:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the sportswashing-fossil-carbon-emissions dept.

The New Weather Institute in the UK and Sweden, as part of the Save Our Snow campaign (warning for javascript), has a joint campaign to end fossil sponsorships in sports. The reasoning is that those companies are responsible for the worsening climate disaster resulting in the decreasingly short winters with reduced snowfall and thus harming the very sports which they are sponsoring. Along those lines, the institute has published a report, Dirty Snow: The Snow Thieves 2 report: how a ban on polluter sponsorships in winter sport can help save our snow (warning for PDF).

Key findings:

• Climate change is an immediate threat to winter sports. On current trends, in mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere winters are expected to continue to shrink by 4.7 days per decade. In a high emission scenario, by the end of the century, that means winter could be as short as 31 days, a single month.¹

• But, winter sports are currently being sponsored by the very companies whose pollution heats the atmosphere, melting the snow and ice they depend on.

• Using a calculation for the known relationship between emissions and snow cover loss, the existing CO2 emissions of seven polluting winter sports sponsors (Audi, Ford, SAS, Equinor, Aker, Volvo, Preem), presented here as case studies, will melt an area 1,968 square kilometres (km2) of spring snow every year. That is equal to a land surface area 437 times bigger than the ground area used for skiing of Åre, Sweden's largest ski resort and a potential bidder for the 2030 Winter Olympics; and 195 times bigger than the skiing area of Skicircus Saalbach, one of the world's largest skiing areas host of the FIS Alpine World Cup Finals 2024.

• But now, this report provides, for the first time, a new, clear formula to calculate the additional CO2 emissions that will result from any given sponsorship deal.

• We show that, depending on the sponsoring company's carbon footprint, a sponsorship deal can generate up to 100 kg of CO2e per sponsored euro.²

• Seven case studies of sponsorship deals with major polluters are presented. Secrecy is a barrier to knowing the size of many sponsorship deals. But one multi- million euro, publicly reported deal between the International Ski & Snowboard Federation (FIS) with car maker Audi we calculate will generate between 103,000–144,000 tonnes CO2e (equivalent to burning between 238,000 and 333,000 barrels of oil ).³

• In the other cases, and based on reasonable estimates, named companies' sponsorship deals with snowsport organisations are estimated to generate between 11,500 and 192,000 tonnes of CO2e each.

• The report concludes that winter sports athletes, organisations and event organisers must take responsibility, end polluting sponsorships, and stop winter sports being used as a billboard by companies whose activities are destroying the sports' future.

¹ Jiamin Wang, Y.Guan, L. Wu, X. Guan, W. Cai, J. Huang, W. Dong, B. Zhang: Changing lengths of the four seasons by global warming. Geophysical Research Letters, 48. Supporting Information. 19 February 2021.
² The CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) for a gas is derived by multiplying the weight of the gas by its associated GWP (Global Warming Power).

Tobacco analogies are made. The report ends with a call to cease sponsorship deals with companies that are major drivers of climate change, pointing in particular at oil and gas companies, manufacturers of fossil-fueled cars, and airlines.

A lot of places have already had to shorten or even move their winter sports seasons due to lack of once-abundant snow.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday March 22, @11:31PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

The first preview of Unreal Engine 5.4 is now available. The update introduces significant new features to the animation toolchain and Nanite, Epic's ambitious polygon rendering system.

Amy Hennig, known for her work on the Uncharted series, demonstrated the developments by revealing her studio's new game – 1943: Rise of Hydra. Planned for a 2025 release, the title stars Captain America and Black Panther in occupied Paris during World War II.

While the game's unveiling, which starts around the 19-minute mark in the video below, didn't include gameplay, Hennig proved that the trailer was running in real-time by exploring its scenes and characters using the Unreal Engine editor. The developers took the opportunity to showcase the newly introduced Nanite tessellation, which adds detail to objects without rendering additional polygons. They also demonstrated systems that can quickly change environmental textures and cast realistic shadows on smoke or fog.

Furthermore, Hennig explained how Unreal Engine 5's motion capture system combines with its advanced MetaHuman character creator to allow realistic facial animations recorded from live actors. Version 5.4's primary addition to animation is Motion Matching, which blends positions to animate in-game characters efficiently. Fortnite has been exhibiting the system since the launch of Chapter 5, and Epic used the GDC presentation to announce significant additions to the game's custom creation tools.

[...] Developers can download the Unreal Engine 5.4 preview on the Epic Games Launcher, GitHub, or here. Linux users can find it on Epic's website.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday March 22, @06:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the fare-ye-well dept.

This month, on the 24th March, it will be 5 years since MDC, denied essential medication, ended his life.

Why was Michael David Crawford different? - well, he wasn't. In many ways he was just like many of us. By profession he was a software engineer. He wrote software for OSX. He first became well known - or reasonably so in our circles - for being on Kuro5hin. However, he was certainly different from many of us for the physical and mental health, and social problems that he experienced. Despite all of these things though he remained polite and open to having an interesting discussion on any technical issue that arose, both on Kuro5hin and subsequently here on SN. Someone who knew him far better than I did wrote about him here some 12 years ago. If you search on your favourite search engine I think that you will find his name appears quite a few times.

His journal on SN is still there for all to read although it does not do him justice. He was a 'nice guy' and intelligent too.

For example, in 2010 he was interviewed on CNN discussing employment problems that were being experienced by software engineers at that time. But this youtube link was not his only 'appearance' on that site. For some reason he thought others might want to hear him sing and elsewhere he thought that we all ought to know that he invented the internet. That last link perhaps shows the battle that he was having with mental problems yet here on this site he remained the same old 'MDC' that we had known since the start of SN and even before then for some of us.

An Anonymous Coward has reminded us:

Remember in his last words here, he begged us for help. For Theophylline or Aminophylline, or even bananas; he begged for help with "the desire to take my own life. I'll explain later, I can't just now as I cannot breathe and so am fighting for consciousness ... I Beg Of You! ... Please FIND SOME WAY I DO NOT HAVE TO DIE!"

Remember him. A good person, sometimes bewildered at the senseless cruelty of others, and at his best, indignant and retributive against those cruelties. Not a Vigilante, just a human who wanted children to be safe. Smart but too much of a misfit for society to let him live happily and productively for very long at a stretch.

MDC with hair:
MDC without hair:

On this site it was our own takyon who broke the news to us that he had lost his struggle. But on the same day several other sites covered the loss that the community was feeling, including this page from HackerNews.

Please, if you have the time, tell us your memories of MDC. He was one of us, and he is not forgotten.

Thank you to all of those who have contributed submissions to make sure that we remembered MDC.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday March 22, @02:02PM   Printer-friendly

More than 400 of the chemicals identified are in every major commonly used plastic product such as food packaging:

Scientists have compiled a list of over 16,000 chemicals present in plastic products and found that more than 4,000 of these were hazardous to human health and the environment.

The research review, known as the PlastChem report, was released on Thursday and comes ahead of the next round of negotiations for a UN treaty on global plastic pollution.

Researchers, who spent a year combing through research reports, sorted chemicals used in plastics based on their environmental and health effects – information the team hopes will inform governmental regulations and international negotiations to curb plastic use.

The review found that there are more plastic chemicals than previously known, and 4,200 (26 per cent) of these compounds, including those used as raw ingredients, stabilisers and colourants, are of concern due to their "persistent, bioaccumulative, mobile and/or toxic" nature.

[...] More than 400 of the chemicals identified in the report are in every major commonly used plastic product such as food packaging, and all the tested plastics leached hazardous chemicals into the environment, researchers noted.

[...] While about 1,000 plastic chemicals are regulated by global treaties such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, thousands more are not.

[...] "The PlastChem report is a wake-up call to policymakers and industry. We need more transparency and better management of chemicals of concern in plastic," Hans Peter Arp, a co-author of the report from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), said.

"The future of innovation in plastic should focus on safety, sustainability, and necessity, rather than just functionality," Dr Arp said.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday March 22, @09:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-sorry-Dave-I'm-afraid-I-can't-do-that dept.

In sci-fi films, the rise of humanlike artificial intelligence often comes hand in hand with a physical platform, such as an android or robot. While the most advanced AI language models so far seem mostly like disembodied voices echoing from an anonymous data center, they might not remain that way for long. Some companies like Google, Figure, Microsoft, Tesla, Boston Dynamics, and others are working toward giving AI models a body. This is called "embodiment," and AI chipmaker Nvidia wants to accelerate the process.

[...] To that end, Nvidia announced Project GR00T, a general-purpose foundation model for humanoid robots. As a type of AI model itself, Nvidia hopes GR00T (which stands for "Generalist Robot 00 Technology" but sounds a lot like a famous Marvel character) will serve as an AI mind for robots, enabling them to learn skills and solve various tasks on the fly. In a tweet, Nvidia researcher Linxi "Jim" Fan called the project "our moonshot to solve embodied AGI in the physical world."

[...] According to Fan, Project GR00T is a cornerstone of his newly founded GEAR Lab (short for "Generalist Embodied Agent Research"). During his time at Nvidia, Fan has specialized in using simulations of physical worlds to train AI models, and now that approach is extending to robotics. "At GEAR, we are building generally capable agents that learn to act skillfully in many worlds, virtual and real," wrote Fan in a tweet. "Join us on the journey to land on the moon."

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Original Submission