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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:21 | Votes:73

posted by hubie on Wednesday June 05, @08:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the do-not-want dept.

Instagram is testing adverts that users cannot skip past:

The social media platform currently allows people to swipe or scroll past adverts that appear in its main feed of images and videos, as well as in its Stories and Reels feeds.

But it is now trialling a feature called "ad break", which users say they can not flick past as usual.

Images shared online show a timer, which counts down to zero before normal functionality can resume.

"Sometimes you may need to view an ad before you can keep browsing," the Meta-owned platform tells those who click for more information.

Instagram has confirmed to the BBC that a trial is under way.

"We're always testing formats that can drive value for advertisers," it said in a statement, adding that it would provide further updates if the test resulted in permanent format changes.

It remains to be seen if the trial pleases advertisers - but it certainly does not appear to have gone down well with users.

[...] Meta is not the first big tech firm to force people to watch adverts.

YouTube is known for showing non-skippable ads to users watching videos on its platform or TV app who do not pay for its ad-free premium tier.

[...] Some users have responded by turning to ad blocking tools and browser extensions as a way around adverts that interrupt videos on the platform.

Google, YouTube's parent company, is in turn trying to clamp down on ad blockers.

However it is not clear that forcing users to watch more ads actually helps companies' bottom lines.

A study carried out by TikTok, published in January, suggested forcing viewers to watch adverts might actually lead to less engagement.

More than 70% of its participants said they were more likely to engage with the experience of an advert if there was an option to skip it.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 05, @03:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the they-haven't-hear-my-singing dept.

Singing rehabilitates speech production in post-stroke aphasia:

Cerebrovascular accidents, or strokes, are the most common cause of aphasia, a speech disorder of cerebral origin. People with aphasia have a reduced ability to understand or produce speech or written language. An estimated 40% of people who have had a stroke have aphasia. As many as half of them experience aphasia symptoms even a year after the original attack.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki previously found that sung music helps in the language recovery of patients affected by strokes. Now, the researchers have uncovered the reason for the rehabilitative effect of singing. The recently completed study was published in the eNeuro journal.

According to the findings, singing, as it were, repairs the structural language network of the brain. The language network processes language and speech in our brain. In patients with aphasia, the network has been damaged.

"For the first time, our findings demonstrate that the rehabilitation of patients with aphasia through singing is based on neuroplasticity changes, that is, the plasticity of the brain," says University Researcher Aleksi Sihvonen from the University of Helsinki.

The language network encompasses the cortical regions of the brain involved in the processing of language and speech, as well as the white matter tracts that convey information between the different end points of the cortex.

According to the study results, singing increased the volume of grey matter in the language regions of the left frontal lobe and improved tract connectivity especially in the language network of the left hemisphere, but also in the right hemisphere.

"These positive changes were associated with patients' improved speech production," Sihvonen says.

Journal Reference:
Sihvonen A. J., Pitkäniemi A., Siponkoski S-T., et al. Structural neuroplasticity effects of singing in chronic aphasia. eNeuro, 2024. DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0408-23.2024

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday June 05, @11:00AM   Printer-friendly

Just when you thought you had a moment away from any more AI-focused hardware news, AMD is leaping into the “AI PC” arena with its latest mobile laptop chips. The new Ryzen AI 300 series boasts better performance than either Intel or Qualcomm, plus neural processing capabilities.

The chips industry has always been a game of one-upmanship. Now more than ever, chipmakers are trying more than ever to compare their CPUs and GPUs not just on power but on the future promise of ultimate PC performance thanks to the proliferation of AI. AMD doesn’t have to fight against its longtime rival Intel for the consumer-end PC market, but Qualcomm, mainly thanks to the ARM-based Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus in the latest Copilot+ PCs.

AMD is mainly focused on hyping up its two new chip series. One is the new version of its Ryzen CPUs with the Ryzen 9000 series, and the other is the Ryzen AI 300 series stuffed with a new NPU in the form of XDNA 2. On laptops, the two chips will be the Ryzen AI 9 365 and the beefier Ryzen AI 9 HX 370. It’s technically the company’s third-gen AI-centric CPU, but this latest series is differentiated by its massive upgrade in neural processing.

Microsoft says it needs NPUs with at least 40 TOPS to mark them for Copilot+ PCs. Like the recent Snapdragon chips, the HX 370 and the 365 have the same NPU running at 50 TOPS. It’s one of the bigger boasts of AI performance from this past year, but despite the company’s claim it’s there to run more complex AI models, we still have to see if there will be any software worth these new neural components.

The 370 comes with 12 cores, 24 threads, and a 5.1 GHz max boost speed, while the 365 sits at ten cores, 20 threads, and 5.0 GHz max speed. The chips also have the RDNA 3.5 built-in GPU for some mobile graphics work or gaming. During the Taiwan Computex conference, several big OEMs promoted their first PCs that will sport the AI 300 chips. This includes Acer with its Swift series of laptops that are slated for later this year. That company had previously revealed a Swift 14 with a Snapdragon X chip and logos that glow when you’re using the NPU. Asus is also coming out the gate with AMD-powered Zenbook S 16 as well as the ProArt P16 laptop and the ProArt PX13 2-in-1.

These new chips sport the new centralized architecture from AMD, namely Zen 5, on the CPU end. The chipmaker claimed Zen 5 is a big update compared to Zen 4, which is supposed to handle twice the bandwidth of the last generation. What does this mean for PCs? AMD promises you’ll see up to 19% better benchmark performance in Geekbench 6 or 13% better in 3DMark’s physics tests, but that will depend on your PC’s exact chip and other architecture.

Zen 5 is different from the XDNA 2 NPU architecture. You can break up the TOPS speed in the NPU into a whole bunch of other categories, but AMD claims XDNA 2 is two times as power efficient and many times the total neural computing capacity of the previous gen’s 10 or 16 TOPS.

For those who could not care less about the productivity machines centering on the AI 300 chips, all you want to know is how the Ryzen 9000 series stacks up compared to the last generation and Intel’s latest. That includes the Ryzen 5 9600X, Ryzen 7 9700X, Ryzen 9 9900X, and at the tippy top end is the Ryzen 9 9950X. Most boast slightly higher clock speeds, but several, like the 9900x and 9700X, are far more power efficient with better TDP.

To pick on the big boy, that 9950X has 16 cores, 32 threads, and up to 5.7 GHz clock speeds. That’s technically the same specs as the Ryzen 9 7950X3D from the last gen. AMD is trying to hit Intel’s Core i9-14900K by claiming you’ll see marginally better framerates in games like Cyberpunk 2077 or F1 2023 and far better bandwidth for multitasking thanks to the new Zen 5 architecture.

All those gaming-centric CPUs should be arriving in July this year. There’s good news for anybody with the motherboard supporting the AM5 socket. AMD promises to support AM5 through 2027, so if you’re considering upgrading, you’ll have a chance in the next few years. After over eight years of running, AMD plans to end support for AM4 sometime in or after 2025. Zen 5 will continue to be specific to AM5.

The chipmaker said pricing is not set for the series 9000 chips, but we should know more closer to release in July.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 05, @06:13AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

A team of researchers from prominent universities – including SUNY Buffalo, Iowa State, UNC Charlotte, and Purdue – were able to turn an autonomous vehicle (AV) operated on the open sourced Apollo driving platform from Chinese web giant Baidu into a deadly weapon by tricking its multi-sensor fusion system.

"Extensive experiments based on a real-world AV testbed show that the proposed attack can continuously hide a target vehicle from the perception system of a victim AV using only two small adversarial objects," explained the researchers, whose work was published last week in The 30th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking.

While others have proven vulnerabilities inherent in AV systems, this particular team expanded on single-sensing modality or camera-LiDAR manipulation, and tricked systems that employ Lidar, camera, and radar together.

The new attack leverages mmWave reflection – the signals that provide object detection in such systems – on a smooth metal surface. They do this in a way researchers refer to as "low cost" and "easily fabricated" as it involves strategically arranging metal foil and colored patches on cardboard.

"By placing a smooth metal surface between the radar and a target vehicle with a specific orientation, the transmitted mmWave signals can be deflected from the radar receiver, leading to a reduction in the energy of echo signals from the vehicle," wrote the study authors. "When the energy becomes lower than a threshold, the target vehicle will be hidden from radar perception."

Meanwhile, the color patch misrepresented input image pixel values and affected Apollo's camera perception. Reflections confused its read on Lidar lasers. Thus all three sensing modalities were compromised.

The [researchers] suggest that the attack could be carried out with drones, which serve to "hide" a secondary vehicle from the victim AV by projecting or carrying the adversarial object. Absent a drone, the trickster collage could be mounted on the front vehicle and disguised as an advertisement.

"Since the drones only hover for a few seconds during the attack and can fly away from the victim AV immediately after the attack, the attack can be performed with high stealthiness and flexibility," noted the researchers.

While Baidu Apollo platforms were used in the attack, the attack strategy could theoretically be applied to other multi-sensor fusion systems.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday June 05, @01:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the partly-sunshine-with-a-chance-of-hallucinations dept.

No physics? No problem. AI weather forecasting is already making huge strides.:

Much like the invigorating passage of a strong cold front, major changes are afoot in the weather forecasting community. And the end game is nothing short of revolutionary: an entirely new way to forecast weather based on artificial intelligence that can run on a desktop computer.

Today's artificial intelligence systems require one resource more than any other to operate—data. For example, large language models such as ChatGPT voraciously consume data to improve answers to queries. The more and higher quality data, the better their training, and the sharper the results.

However, there is a finite limit to quality data, even on the Internet. These large language models have hoovered up so much data that they're being sued widely for copyright infringement. And as they're running out of data, the operators of these AI models are turning to ideas such as synthetic data to keep feeding the beast and produce ever more capable results for users.

If data is king, what about other applications for AI technology similar to large language models? Are there untapped pools of data? One of the most promising that has emerged in the last 18 months is weather forecasting, and recent advances have sent shockwaves through the field of meteorology.

That's because there's a secret weapon: an extremely rich data set. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the premiere organization in the world for numerical weather prediction, maintains a set of data about atmospheric, land, and oceanic weather data for every day, at points around the world, every few hours, going back to 1940. The last 50 years of data, after the advent of global satellite coverage, is especially rich. This dataset is known as ERA5, and it is publicly available.

It was not created to fuel AI applications, but ERA5 has turned out to be incredibly useful for this purpose. Computer scientists only really got serious about using this data to train AI models to forecast the weather in 2022. Since then, the technology has made rapid strides. In some cases, the output of these models is already superior to global weather models that scientists have labored decades to design and build, and they require some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world to run.

"It is clear that machine learning is a significant part of the future of weather forecasting," said Matthew Chantry, who leads AI forecasting efforts at the European weather center known as ECMWF, in an interview with Ars.

John Dean and Kai Marshland met as undergraduates at Stanford University in the late 2010s. Dean, an electrical engineer, interned at SpaceX during the summer of 2017. Marshland, a computer scientist, interned at the launch company the next summer. Both graduated in 2019 and were trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

"We decided we wanted to solve the problem of weather uncertainty," Marshland said, so they co-founded a company called WindBorne Systems.

[...] Dean and Marshland set about designing small weather balloons they could release into the atmosphere and which would fly around the world for up to 40 days, relaying useful atmospheric data that could be packaged and sold to large, government-funded weather models.

Weather balloons provide invaluable data about atmospheric conditions—readings such as temperature, dewpoints, and pressures—that cannot be captured by surface observations or satellites. Such atmospheric "profiles" are helpful in setting the initial conditions models start with. Such atmospheric "profiles" are helpful in setting the initial conditions models start with. The problem is that traditional weather balloons are cumbersome and only operate for a few hours. Because of this, the National Weather Service only launches them twice daily from about 100 locations [] in the United States.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Tuesday June 04, @08:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the always-do-what-Bender-tells-you-to-do dept.

Strange Discovery Suggests Children Trust Robots Over Humans

From The Iron Giant to Big Hero 6, many of us will be familiar with tales of kids befriending robots, which suggest generations of young children are more trusting of advice from machines than their own flesh and blood.

An international research team has now found it's not just in fiction. In a study involving 111 kids aged between 3 and 6 years old, the youngsters showed a preference for believing robots more and being more accepting when robots made mistakes.

[....] The kids were split up into different groups and shown videos of robots and humans labeling objects – some objects the children would already recognize, as well as new objects they wouldn't know the names of.

Human and robot reliability was demonstrated by giving familiar objects incorrect name, calling a plate a spoon for example. In this way the researchers could manipulate the children's sense of who to trust.

Where both humans and robots were shown to be equally reliable, the youngsters were more likely to want to ask robots the names of new objects and accept their labels as accurate. What's more, the children were more likely to favor robots when asked about who they would share secrets with, who they would want to be friends with, and who they would want to have as teachers.

"Children's conceptualizations of the agents making a mistake also differed, such that an unreliable human was selected as doing things on purpose, but not an unreliable robot," write the researchers.

"These findings suggest that children's perceptions of a robot's reliability are separate from their evaluation of its desirability as a social interaction partner and its perceived agency."

[....] One area where this research might be useful is in education, especially in a world where kids are increasingly surrounded by technology.

When I was a kid, I remember the Lost In Space robot saying "Machines are trustworthy". A bit of googling shows that I correctly remembered this important lesson.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Tuesday June 04, @03:51PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

State media reported that an "autonomous visual obstacle avoidance system" assessed the "brightness and darkness of the lunar surface" and found a safe place for the probe to land.

The lander then "hovered about 100 meters above the safe landing area and used a laser 3D scanner to detect obstacles on the lunar surface to select the final landing site."

Chinese authorities have published the video below that shows Chang'e-6 touching down.

Youtube Video

The craft is the first to land in this region of the Moon, making its mission to retrieve samples of great interest and importance.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Tuesday June 04, @11:05AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

A new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology demonstrates how the diversity and abundance of arthropods decrease when hedgerows and field margins covered by wild grass and flowers are removed.

Researchers from the UK, Netherlands and China studied 20 rice fields in China for six years to see how the changing agricultural landscape affects the diversity and abundance of rice pests and their natural enemies, as well as the effect on rice yield.

Traditional Chinese smallholder fields are irregularly shaped and separated by areas of hedgerows, wild grass, and flowers. Using large-scale machinery in these farmlands is difficult, so there is low agricultural operation efficiency. As a result, a growing proportion of China's traditional farmlands is rapidly changing as farmers consolidate land to improve efficiency.

However, the grassy margins and flowering vegetation between the traditional smallholder rice fields provide a habitat for the natural enemies of rice pests such as spiders and ground beetles.

Dr. Yi Zou, from Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) and corresponding author of the study, says, "Hedgerows and field margins are frequently removed during the land consolidation procedure to create larger, rectangular fields and install concrete irrigation channels to facilitate the use of larger machinery.

"Our study suggests that removing these habitats negatively affects arthropod communities."

[...] The research group also sprayed half of each field with insecticide. They found that its application decreased the diversity and abundance of pests and natural enemies in both consolidated and traditional fields. However, where crops were not sprayed with insecticide, there was a 10.8% decrease in rice yield.

The study provides support for agri-environmental measures (AEM)—environmentally friendly agricultural practices such as using flowering plants in field margins. AEM can be an effective way to increase farmland biodiversity and mitigate the negative impact of land consolidation. They have been widely implemented in Europe but are hardly used in China.

[...] Dr. Jenny Hodgson, a co-author from the University of Liverpool, says, "This study is noteworthy because of the quality of its data and the breadth of influential factors we were able to investigate. It has been really interesting to disentangle the effects of farmland consolidation, of pesticide application and of seminatural habitat beyond the farm."

The team also acknowledges that biodiversity is not a farmer's only concern.

Dr. Shanxing Gong, who graduated from XJTLU, now a postdoctoral researcher at Peking University and lead author of the study, says, "The trade-off between biodiversity improvements with labor efficiency, yield and pest control is a balance that has to be finely tuned to ensure maximum profitability, and these factors will always need to be considered.

"While we did not observe a direct correlation between the increase in the number of rice pests and the reduction of their natural enemies due to land consolidation, further investigation into the effectiveness of natural enemies in biological pest control is necessary before implementing AEM strategies."

The researchers also found no decrease in rice yield in traditional fields compared to consolidated farmland.

More information: S. Gong et al,. (2024). Land consolidation impacts the abundance and richness of natural enemies but not pests in small-holder rice systems, Journal of Applied Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.14671.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Tuesday June 04, @06:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the Know-Your-Kafka dept.

Take Indonesia's President, Joko Widodo, for example. He sees the true plight of his people, and wants to do something about it.

The plight, in this case, is that Indonesia's Administration, in the name of public accessibility and user friendliness, has created an estimated 27,000 apps for hapless Indonesians to "navigate" their (supposedly public) services. One department -- probably the smallest -- has created 500 of the gleaming critters. It is only a guess how many of these are only (somewhat) accessible through smart phones, require a crap ton of captchas to solve, an electronic identity card, a special reader for that electronic identity card, a scan of your birth certificate, a digital signature on that scan, details of your last family status including the full and spelling correct names of all family members to the third degree separation, and the colour of your underwear, and all that just to enter and be notified that you need another application for what you want to do.

So, the Joko, [w]ants to reduce the thicket to something more manageable, say a few thousand.

"The presence of bureaucracy should serve, not complicate things and not slow them down ... There can be no more excuses for this and that because I feel that the data belongs to me, the data belongs to my ministry, the data belongs to my institution, the data belongs to my regional government – that's no longer allowed."

Oh, the naivete. Of course, of course, that statement was made on the occasion of the launch of a new platform,

... an integrated platform for government services expected to help contain the problematic platform proliferation when it commences in September.

Its ultimate goal is one observers of digital government services will find familiar: offering citizens a single login that accesses government services through a portal, while agencies all share access to a single set of personal data.


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Tuesday June 04, @01:36AM   Printer-friendly
from the Eggshell-breakage dept.

The Globe and Mail reports:

Ottawa wants the power to create secret backdoors in our networks to allow for surveillance

A federal cybersecurity bill, slated to advance through Parliament soon, contains secretive, encryption-breaking powers that the government has been loath to talk about. And they threaten the online security of everyone in Canada.

Bill C-26 empowers government officials to secretly order telecommunications companies to install backdoors inside encrypted elements in Canada's networks. This could include requiring telcos to alter the 5G encryption standards that protect mobile communications to facilitate government surveillance.

The Canadian government seems unaware that there is no such thing as a safe backdoor.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday June 03, @08:51PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

In early February, dairy farmers in the Texas Panhandle began to notice sick cattle. The buzz soon reached Darren Turley, executive director of the Texas Association of Dairymen: "They said there is something moving from herd to herd."

Nearly 60 days passed before veterinarians identified the culprit: a highly pathogenic strain of the bird flu virus, H5N1. Had it been detected sooner, the outbreak might have been swiftly contained. Now it has spread to at least eight other states, and it will be hard to eliminate it.

At the moment, the bird flu hasn't adapted to spread from person to person through the air like the seasonal flu. That's what it would take to give liftoff to another pandemic. This lucky fact could change, however, as the virus mutates within each cow it infects. Those mutations are random, but more cows provide more chances of stumbling on ones that pose a grave risk to humans.

Why did it take so long to recognize the virus on high-tech farms in the world's richest country? Because even though H5N1 has circulated for nearly three decades, its arrival in dairy cattle was most unexpected. "People tend to think that an outbreak starts at Monday at 9 a.m. with a sign saying, 'Outbreak has started,'" said Jeremy Farrar, chief scientist at the World Health Organization. "It's rarely like that."

By investigating the origins of outbreaks, researchers garner clues about how they start and spread. That information can curb the toll of an epidemic and, ideally, stop the next one. On-the-ground observations and genomic analyses point to Texas as ground zero for this outbreak in cattle. To backtrack events in Texas, KFF Health News spoke with more than a dozen people, including veterinarians, farmers, and state officials.

An early indication that something had gone awry on farms in northwestern Texas came from devices hitched to collars on dairy cows. Turley describes them as "an advanced fitness tracker." They collect a stream of data, such as a cow's temperature, its milk quality, and the progress of its digestion—or, rather, rumination—within its four-chambered stomach.

What farmers saw when they downloaded the data in February stopped them in their tracks. One moment a cow seemed perfectly fine, and then four hours later, rumination had halted. "Shortly after the stomach stops, you'd see a huge falloff in milk," Turley said. "That is not normal."

Tests for contagious diseases known to whip through herds came up negative. Some farmers wondered if the illness was related to ash from wildfires devastating land to the east.

In hindsight, Turley wished he had made more of the migrating geese that congregate in the panhandle each winter and spring. Geese and other waterfowl have carried H5N1 around the globe. They withstand enormous loads of the virus without getting sick, passing it on to local species, like blackbirds, cowbirds, and grackles, that mix with migrating flocks.

But with so many other issues facing dairy farmers, geese didn't register. "One thing you learn in agriculture is that Mother Nature is unpredictable and can be devastating," Turley said. "Just when you think you have figured it out, Mother Nature tells you you do not."

One dairy tried to wall itself off, careful not to share equipment with or employ the same workers as other farms, Turley recalled. Its cattle still became ill. Turley noted that the farm was downwind of another with an outbreak, "so you almost think it has to have an airborne factor."

On March 7, Turley called the Texas Animal Health Commission. They convened a One Health group with experts in animal health, human health, and agriculture to ponder what they called the "mystery syndrome." State veterinarians probed cow tissue for parasites, examined the animals' blood, and tested for viruses and bacteria. But nothing explained the sickness.

They didn't probe for H5N1. While it has jumped into mammals dozens of times, it rarely has spread between species. Most cases have been in carnivores, which likely ate infected birds. Cows are mainly vegetarian.

"If someone told me about a milk drop in cows, I wouldn't think to test for H5N1 because, no, cattle don't get that," said Thomas Peacock, a virologist at the Pirbright Institute of England who studies avian influenza.

Postmortem tests of grackles, blackbirds, and other birds found dead on dairy farms detected H5N1, but that didn't turn the tide. "We didn't think much of it since we have seen H5N1-positive birds everywhere in the country," said Amy Swinford, director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

In the meantime, rumors swirled about a rash of illness among workers at dairy farms in the panhandle. It was flu season, however, and hospitals weren't reporting anything out of the ordinary.

Bethany Boggess Alcauter, director of research at the National Center for Farmworker Health, has worked in the panhandle and suspected farmworkers were unlikely to see a doctor even if they needed one. Clinics are far from where they live, she said, and many don't speak English or Spanish—for instance, they may speak Indigenous languages such as Mixtec, which is common in parts of Mexico.

The cost of medical care is another deterrent, along with losing pay by missing work—or losing their jobs—if they don't show up. "Even when medical care is there," she said, "it's a challenge."

What finally tipped off veterinarians? A few farm cats died suddenly and tested positive for H5N1. Swinford's group—collaborating with veterinary labs at Iowa State and Cornell universities—searched for the virus in samples drawn from sick cows.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday June 03, @04:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the look!-up-in-the-sky! dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given Amazon permission to fly its delivery drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). With that hurdle cleared, the company claims it can fly farther and expand drone service, providing customers faster delivery and a larger selection of items, Amazon announced in a blog post.

Until now, the FAA has only allowed Amazon to fly drones as far as someone could see them from the ground. That way, spotters or pilots could ensure that drones weren't interfering with aircraft. However, the constraint seriously limited how far the drones could travel.

To move beyond that, Amazon said it spent years developing "onboard detect-and-avoid technology." It submitted engineering information to the FAA including operation, maintenance and performance details. Flight tests were then conducted in the presence of FAA inspectors around airplanes, helicopters and a hot air balloon to "demonstrate how the drone safely navigated away from each one of them," Amazon said.

With BVLOS approval in hand, the company plans to expand its delivery area around its drone facility at College Station, Texas. Later in 2024, drone deliveries will be integrated into its broader delivery network.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday June 03, @11:17AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

In recent decades, canine cognitive tests which measure, for example, problem-solving ability, memory, logical reasoning and impulse control in various situations, have been extensively used in many studies.

Until now, it has remained unknown whether the traits measured by the tests can be seen in everyday life as well. Are dogs that fare well in these tests, for example, easier to train in everyday settings? Is coexistence perhaps easier with such dogs?

A study conducted at the University of Helsinki found that self-control and turning to humans in problem situations are valuable traits for pet dogs, while impulsiveness and an independent problem-solving style can lead to challenges in daily life.

"We found surprisingly many connections between everyday canine behavior and cognitive traits, even after taking into account, for example, the age, sex, background and training history of dogs," says Doctoral Researcher Saara Junttila from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

[...] A so-called impossible task was used to measure the dogs' primary problem-solving strategies. In problematic situations, dogs may attempt to solve the task independently, or they may turn to humans, as if asking for help. Dogs can also abandon the task and go elsewhere.

Dogs that spent the most time asking humans for help were, according to their owners, more obedient and easier to train in everyday life, and they also had fewer management issues, such as pulling on the leash, stealing food, running away and chewing on objects.

Everyday obedience was also associated with what is known as the cylinder test, which is assumed to measure self-control. In the test, the dog must go to the open end of a transparent cylinder to get a treat. The study confirmed this link, as the dogs that made the most mistakes in the cylinder test were more impulsive, and also more difficult to train in everyday life, according to the owners.

"It appears that good impulse control could make everyday co-existence with the owner easier, while impulsiveness can make it considerably more difficult," Junttila says.

At the same time, traits detrimental to the everyday lives of pet dogs may be valuable to working dogs or dogs used in dog sports. For example, impulsiveness can be useful in dog sports or work-related tasks where fast reactions and excitability can be assets, while independence (as opposed to reliance on humans) may be a valuable trait in scent work.

The results will help to better identify the kinds of traits in dogs that facilitate everyday life with them, improving the welfare of both owner and dog. "In an earlier study, we observed differences between breeds and sex in different test sections, and these results can together help in choosing a suitable individual puppy," Tiira says.

[...] "This is the first test package available to all dog owners in which a connection to the dog's trainability and also to the rate of learning has been observed. Thanks to the smartDOG test already being available, Finnish dog owners can directly make use of the research findings. This research dataset of more than 6,000 dogs is continuously growing, and next we will investigate how early these traits can be seen in puppies, as well as their heritability," Tiira sums up.

More information: Saara Junttila et al, Do cognitive traits associate with everyday behaviour in the domestic dog, Canis familiaris?, Animal Behaviour (2024). DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2024.04.012

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday June 03, @06:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the artificial-propaganda dept.

OpenAI has revealed operations linked to Russia, China, Iran and Israel have been using its artificial intelligence tools to create and spread disinformation, as technology becomes a powerful weapon in information warfare in an election-heavy year.

The San Francisco-based maker of the ChatGPT chatbot said in a report on Thursday that five covert influence operations had used its AI models to generate text and images at a high volume, with fewer language errors than previously, as well as to generate comments or replies to their own posts. OpenAI's policies prohibit the use of its models to deceive or mislead others.

[...] Microsoft-backed OpenAI said it was committed to uncovering such disinformation campaigns and was building its own AI-powered tools to make detection and analysis "more effective." It added its safety systems already made it difficult for the perpetrators to operate, with its models refusing in multiple instances to generate the text or images asked for.

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Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Monday June 03, @01:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the does-it-scan-the-linux-foundation? dept.

Kaspersky releases free tool that scans Linux for known threats

[Editor's Note: This software is downloaded and run entirely at the user's risk. Soylentnews does not accept any responsibiity for any loss of data resulting from running this software.]

Kaspersky has released a new virus removal tool named KVRT for the Linux platform, allowing users to scan their systems and remove malware and other known threats for free.

The security firm notes that despite the common misconception that Linux systems are intrinsically secure from threats, there has been a constant supply of "in the wild" examples that prove otherwise, most recently, the XZ Utils backdoor.

Kaspersky's new tool isn't a real-time threat protection tool but a standalone scanner that can detect malware, adware, legitimate programs abused for malicious purposes, and other known threats and offers to clean them.

[...] "Our application can scan system memory, startup objects, boot sectors, and all files in the operating system for known malware. It scans files of all formats — including archived ones," says Kaspersky.

One thing to note is that KVRT only supports 64-bit systems and requires an active internet connection to work.

Original Submission

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