Leon Rhodes

Leon Rhodes

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Following 34
UK
Facebook convos used to train chat dopey doppelgangerA machine-learning software engineer has trained OpenAI’s too-dangerous-to-release language model on personal Facebook messages to show how easy it is to create a bot that can attempt to impersonate you.Last month, researchers at OpenAI revealed they had built software that could perform a range of natural language tasks, from machine translation to text generation.Instead, OpenAI released a smaller and less effective version nicknamed GPT-2-117M.The output wasn't particularly coherent, though the training data was fairly limited.“It was still impressive how much person-specific things it picked up, such as talking about sleep problems when generating conversations with people who have them, mentioning plans to go to the bar with people I go out with, and remembering relevant places.
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China
Chinese bike-rental companies face more stringent scrutiny as the central government cracks down on misuse of user deposits, an issue that has recently sparked public concern on Chinese social media.In a draft rule released Tuesday by the Ministry of Transport, customers will be provided with personal bank accounts specifically for their deposits, while the companies are tasked with safeguarding the funds.The law defines how customer deposits should be handled, clarifying a legal gray area.It includes specific procedures for authorities to address companies that are not in compliance with the law.“The new rules will improve consumer right protections and help control public risk,” Chinese bike-rental company Mobike said (our translation) in a statement given to TechNode on Wednesday.The company said that it has allowed users to rent bicycles without a deposit since July.
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Even if the weather doesn't exactly feel like spring, the calendar – and Google's Doodle – indicate that the changing of the seasons promises to bring warmer weather north of the equator.For those living north of globe's belly line, Wednesday marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.If you live south of the equator, it marks the first day of fall.It is, of course, the planet's equinox (not to be confused with the solstice, which couldn't be more different).The word "equinox" comes from the Latin for "equal" and "night."Essentially, it's the biannual event when the sun is directly over the equator.
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China
Xiaomi enters the crowded payments space in India with the launch of Mi Pay – Android AuthorityWhat happened: Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi announced on Tuesday the rollout of its payment system, Mi Pay, in India following a December launch in beta mode.Through the app, users can make purchases via multiple payment options such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI), credit cards, debit cards, and internet banking.Mi Pay is built on the UPI platform developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and supports over 120 banks, according to the company.The app will be available soon through Mi Apps, Xiaomi’s Android app store, according to Xiaomi India’s official Twitter account.Why it’s important: Mi Pay, first introduced in China in 2016, is entering India’s lucrative yet crowded mobile payment space dominated by homegrown mobile payment provider, Paytm, which is backed by Ant Financial.
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UK
After getting your and your friends’ data and bombarding you with ads, the next frontier for social networks is getting users to shop on or through them.Not even Instagram, who has evaded most high profile scandals last year, isn’t immune from that desire.Granted, it already has a shopping feature but with the new Checkout feature that’s rolling out, it will keep users from having to jump to brands’ own online stores and, consequentially, keep most of the data for itself.It really doesn’t come as a surprise nor is it any secret.Instagram has been adding shopping-related functionality since last year but, admittedly, the experience may not have been seamless or convenient for users.More than just disruptive, it also risks the chance that users might be too distracted to go back to Instagram immediately.
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UK
The much-hyped foldable phone from Samsung isn’t due to launch until late next month but, to the surprise of no one, a Galaxy Fold was already spotted in Vietnam.While we are always advised to exercise caution when it comes to unofficial sightings, the AT unit shown in the video leaves little doubt to its authenticity.It is exactly what Samsung showed but also includes the angles that Samsung took great pains not to show.It was easy enough to get distracted by the folding and unfolding of the Galaxy Fold but with some careful setup and a “no touch” policy, it was also easy for Samsung not to show the biggest problem with this first generation of foldable phones.All of them will have a crease where the screen folds.It’s not just the Samsung Galaxy Fold, mind.
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Why do blood vessels naturally stiffen and degrade as we age, boosting cardiovascular disease risk?"This is the first study to show that changes in the gut microbiome with aging have an adverse impact on vascular health," said lead author Vienna Brunt, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology."It opens up a whole new avenue of potential interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease."After three to four weeks of the treatment, the young mice saw no change in vascular health."When you suppressed the microbiome of the old mice, their vascular health was restored to that of young mice," said senior author and professor Doug Seals, director of the Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory.For instance, the old mice hosted significantly more Proteobacteria, a phyla that includes Salmonella and other pathogens, and pro-inflammatory Desulfovibrio.
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US
Apple is backing three nonprofit organizations with media literacy programs in an effort to battle fake news, the company said Tuesday.The iPhone maker will support the News Literacy Project and Common Sense in the US, and Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori in Italy.The programs are geared toward teaching young people critical thinking skills for the digital age."News literacy is vital to sustaining a free press and thriving democracy, and we are proud to be collaborating with organizations on the front lines of this effort," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement."We've been impressed by the important work being done by the News Literacy Project, Common Sense and Osservatorio, empowering young people to be active and engaged citizens."This comes ahead of Apple's March 25 event, where the company is expected to unveil a news subscription service.
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UK
If you thought ray tracing was only going to be possible on Nvidia’s pricey line of Turing GPUs you would be wrong.Today the company has announced ray tracing support for a wide range of GPUs ranging from the Nvidia GTX 1060 all the way up to the super beefy Titan V. The 1060 can notably be found for as little as £200 and its price is expected to drop even further.Support for ray tracing will technically come to any Nvidia GPU that also supports DirectX Ray Tracing (more on that below), but Nvidia has found that often times the hit in performance is too severe for less powerful GPUs.Thus when the Nvidia driver ships next month it will support the:Also, naturally, the 20-series GPUs will continue to support ray tracing, and the newly expanded support will also include mobile GPUs.The only games that will support ray tracing on Nvidia’s wide range of GPUs are ones built using an extension of Microsoft’s DirectX 12, DirectX Ray Tracing (or DXR).
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Last March, South by Southwest created a new awards program, the SXSW Creative Experience Arrow Awards, to honor the growing experiential focus at the festival.“As agencies, brands, and other groups continue to bring their most ambitious experiential ideas to life at SXSW, we will continue to broaden the awards to recognize that creative spirit,” said Roland Swenson, CEO of SXSW, in a statement.“Well-executed, thoughtful activations enhance the overall experience for our attendees, and we are always inspired by what our partners create at SXSW.”Marketers from Comedy Central (Spirit of SXSW), Sony (Best Use of Technology), Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Department (Best Immersive Experience) and NHK Enterprises and Rhizomatiks (Best Exhibition Experience) took home this year’s Arrow Awards.“Comedy Central’s activation combined politics, journalism, the impact of social media, and humor within the context of an historic Austin hotel that was a haunt for local politicians, including LBJ,” Sweson said.The Presidential Twitter Library uses satire to explore a moment in time and was a natural fit within the footprint of our event.”
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MoviePass released details of its new unlimited plan, "MoviePass Uncapped," on Tuesday.It will offer two price points for the unlimited plan: $119.40 up front for a year subscription or $14.95 month to month (increasing to $19.95 after an unspecified promo period).Business Insider reported on Monday that the upcoming unlimited plan was a source of internal turmoil at the startup.On Tuesday, MoviePass released details of its new unlimited plan, "MoviePass Uncapped."MoviePass says there will be "no cap on the number of 2D movies subscribers can see in MoviePass' theater network," but that it can throttle a subscriber's access at its discretion.MoviePass will offer two price points for the unlimited plan: $119.40 up front for a year subscription or $14.95 month to month (which will go up to $19.95).
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US
Freshwater biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide, and nature-based solutions which increase the resilience of ecological communities are becoming increasingly important in helping communities prepare for the unavoidable effects of climate change.TalTech robotics scientists, together with their colleagues from Lisbon, studied how fish adapt to rapid changes in the surrounding freshwater environment.To conduct the study, the researchers varied the water current and depth in a simulated river with obstacles, and found that fish were able to rapidly adapt to the changes when alone and also when in groups.The results of the study are published in a prestigious scientific journal PLOS ONE in the article "Fish under pressure: Examining behavioural responses of Iberian barbel under simulated hydropeaking with instream structures".Researcher at TalTech Centre for Biorobotics and a co-author on the study Jeffrey Tuhtan said, "The findings suggest that cues initiated by obstacles in the flow can be detected by fish to find energetically-beneficial places in the flow even under extreme and rapid environmental change."The concept of observing fish in simulated rivers as individuals or in groups is not unusual, but the effects of rapid environmental variations, such as quickly changing water depths due to hydropower plant operations or a flash flood remain largely unknown.
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Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the IMDEA Networks Institute, in collaboration with the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) at Berkeley (USA) and Stony Brook University of New York (USA), have carried out a study that encompasses 82,000 pre-installed apps in more than 1,700 devices manufactured by 214 brands, revealing the existence of a complex ecosystem of manufacturers, mobile operators, app developers and providers, with a wide network of relationships between them.Many of the pre-installed apps facilitate access to privileged data and resources, without the average user being aware of their presence or being able to uninstall them.The study shows, on the one hand, that the permission model on the Android operating system and its apps allow a large number of actors to track and obtain personal user information.These results are detailed out in an article that will be made public on April 1 and which will be presented at one of the main cybersecurity and privacy conferences worldwide, the 41st IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, California (USA) under the title An Analysis of Pre-installed Android Software.The Agencia Española de Protección de Datos- AEPD (Spanish Data Protection Agency), which has contributed to the dissemination of this study because of the massive impact of the results on citizen privacy, will present the results before the European Commission for Data Protection.In addition to the standard permissions defined in Android and that can be controlled by the user, the researchers have identified more than 4,845 owner or personalized permissions by different actors in the manufacture and distribution of the terminals.
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UK
Nvidia used this week's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose to reveal the most powerful GPU box that its R labs have cooked up.The RTX Blade Server uses blade configuration to squeeze up to 40 Turing GPUs into an 8U enclosure, for as many as 184,320 CUDA cores.Multiple enclosures can be combined into a "pod", with up to 1,280 GPUs working as a single system.It unveiled the first such reference design in 2016 with DGX-1 – a 3U enclosure packing eight Tesla P100 GPUs.Last year, it followed up with DGX-2, sporting a range of updated silicon with NVlink interconnect.The RTX Blade Server is an altogether different beast: rather than being positioned as a tool for science, it's intended for more traditional tasks in 3D rendering and cloud gaming.
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Theranos at one point had a star-studded board of directors, including military leaders and former secretaries of state.The reporters spoke to Theranos's board members, who explained why they were backing Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.Dispensed: Your weekly dose of healthcare newsBy clicking Sign Up, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider Inc. and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.From politicians to celebrities, over a little more than a decade she created a blood testing company that was worth $9 billion on its promise to test for a number of conditions using just a small sample of blood.But in October, questions started being raised about how the company's technology worked, prompted by investigative stories from the Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou.
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UK
Company forced to resort to Facebook for updatesNorsk Hydro, the world’s third-largest aluminium supplier, has been hit with a severe cyber attack that has taken down IT systems and forced some plants to close, the company said early Tuesday.With IT systems down across its plants it has had to revert to manual processes, Norsk Hydro, which employs some 35,000 staff globally, added.In a stock market statement the company said: “Hydro became victim of an extensive cyber-attack in the early hours of Tuesday (CET), impacting operations in several of the company’s business areas.”“IT-systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible.Hydro is working to contain and neutralize the attack, but does not yet know the full extent of the situation.
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Apple has now officially announced the iMac 2019, and offered us some tantalising information about what we can expect from this year's all-in-one Mac.As we've said from the start, the iMac 2019 needs to offer a decent leap in hardware power because, almost immediately after the iMac 2017 hit the streets, backed with a 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processor, Intel announced the new 8th-generation Coffee Lake chips – which have been succeeded by 9th-generation Coffee Lake Refresh chips.The good news is that Apple has done exactly that, announcing a refreshed iMac 2019 that doesn't look any different from the iMacs that have come before it, but with new 8th generation and 9th generation Intel processors.If you want to walk into a store to pick one up, then Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers will begin selling them in the week beginning March 25.Apple has also now officially revealed the iMac 2019's price.The 21.5-inch iMac 2019 starts with an 8th-generation quad-core Intel processor at $1,299/£1,249 (about AU$1,899), but you can upgrade that to a 6-core processor for an additional cost.
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This week's new iPad Air and iPad Mini are not the last word in Apple hardware before the company's expected video streaming service debut at an event on March 25.The iMac line of all-in-one desktops is getting a series of internal upgrades, with more powerful CPUs and better graphics.While the new iPad Air and last year's MacBook Air got big physical makeovers in their latest incarnations, the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs are unchanged on the outside.Most of the iMacs are jumping from seventh-gen Intel processors to newer eighth-gen ones.For the 21.5-inch iMacs, that means either quad-core or, for the first time, six-core CPU options.Graphics go from Radeon Pro 555 and 560 GPUs to the newer Radeon Pro Vega 20.
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One of the great fears of the medical community are so-called superbugs.A superbug is something resistant to most, or all of the antibiotics that we have at our disposal today.Researchers are trying to find ways to eliminate superbugs in an unlikely location- the ISS.You might think of space as being a sterile environment, but the inside of the ISS is not thanks to astronauts bringing bacteria and viruses with them.One real challenge for astronauts and researchers is that being in space reduces the immune system of astronauts, and provides a place perfect for bacteria to mutate into something more virulent or harder to kill.Researchers have started testing a new surface coating that helps reduce bacteria on the space station.
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“Even if this type of action were to become legal, most organizations are too optimistic about their abilities to target the correct intruder.”At the recent RAS Conference in San Francisco several discussions took place around the topic of cyberattacks from nation state actors, a survey conducted at the conference found that 87 percent of security professionals believe the world is currently in the midst of a cyber war.This is according to Utah-based cybersecurity company Venafi who surveyed over 500 RSA Conference attendees.Over 70 percent of attendees surveyed believe that nation states should be able to fight back or ‘hack back’.This would involve the systematic targeting of cybercriminals in sovereign countries.Kevin Bocek, VP of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi commented in a release that: “It’s clear that security professionals feel under siege.
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