Linux fréttir

Angry mob trashes and sets fire to Waymo self-driving car

TheRegister - Mon, 2024-02-12 05:01
San Franciscans turn on empty robotaxi without apparent motive

An angry mob has destroyed a Waymo self-driving taxi in San Francisco.…

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The Tech Company Super Bowl Ads of 2024

Slashdot - Mon, 2024-02-12 04:24
Technology made its mark on the Super Bowl ads this year. Microsoft purchased a long inspirational ad for Copilot, ending with the tagline "Your everyday AI companion." (Although another message made the opposite point. "With artificial intelligence, the future is in good hands," an announcer says ironically -- while the ad shows the minions from Despicable Me 4.) Google's ad showed how its Pixel 8 smartphone helps people with vision problems take photos. T-Mobile touted its internet service. And for some reason CrowdStrike's ad about its endpoint security software took place in the Old West... VW ended an ad looking at its history with a shot of its new electric vehicle, the ID.Buzz minivan, while Kia had its own heart-tugging ad touting their electric EV9. And Pfizer ran a minute-long ad showing the history of medical progress, culminating with a pointer to their new domain, LetsOutdoCancer.com. Even NASA got into the action, releasing a video showing an astronaut catching a pass in zero gravity. ("Including its solar panels, the Space Station is the same size as a regulation football field.") And some people even tried watching the Super Bowl on their new Apple Vision Pro...

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Australia passes Right To Disconnect law, including (for now) jail time for bosses who email after-hours

TheRegister - Mon, 2024-02-12 03:01
Rushed law will lose criminal sanction, but debate about its utility is fierce

Australia last week passed a Right To Disconnect law that forbids employers contacting workers after hours, with penalties including jail time for bosses who do the wrong thing.…

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California Bill Would Require Computer Science For High School Graduation

Slashdot - Mon, 2024-02-12 00:38
At a press conference last week, a California Assemblymember joined the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in announcing a bill that, if passed, would require every public high school to teach computer science. (And establish CS as a high school graduation requirement by the 2030-31 school year.) Long-time Slashdot reader theodp says he noticed posters with CS-education advocacy charts and stats "copied verbatim" from the tech giant-backed nonprofit Code.org. (And "a California Dept. of Education news release also echoed Code.org K-12 CS advocacy factoids.") The announcement came less than two weeks after Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi — whose goal is to make CS a HS graduation requirement in all 50 states by 2030 — was a keynote speaker at the Association of California School Administrators Superintendents' Symposium. Even back in an October 20 Facebook post, [California state assemblyman] Berman noted he'd partnered with Code.org on legislation in the past and hinted that something big was in the works on the K-12 CS education front for California. "I had the chance to attend Code.org's 10th anniversary celebration and chat with their founder, Hadi Partovi, as well as CS advocate Aloe Blacc. They've done amazing work expanding access to computer science education... and I've been proud to partner with them on legislation to do that in CA. More to come!"

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India weighs 18 bids to build subsidized local chip factories

TheRegister - Mon, 2024-02-12 00:16
PLUS: Rideshare mega-merger mooted; France raids Huawei; Mongolia plans first satellite

APAC in Brief India has received 18 proposals to build chipmaking facilities under its Semicon India subsidy scheme, IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar revealed last week.…

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San Francisco Mob Lights Driverless Waymo Car on Fire

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 23:38
Last night in San Francisco's Chinatown, "A person jumped on the hood of a Waymo driverless taxi and smashed its windshield..." reports the Verge, "generating applause before a crowd formed around the car and covered it in spray paint, breaking its windows, and ultimately set it on fire." The fire department arrived minutes later, according to a report in The Autopian, but by then flames had already fully engulfed the car.... Waymo representative Sandy Karp told The Verge via email that the fully autonomous car "was not transporting any riders" when it was attacked and fireworks were tossed inside the car, sparking the flames... The fire takes place against the backdrop of simmering tension between San Francisco residents and automated vehicle operators... Just last week, a Waymo car struck a cyclist who had reportedly been following behind a truck turning across its path. The "burnt-out husk of the electric Waymo Jaguar" appears in a video posted on YouTube, according to the article. "Another set of videos posted by software developer Michael Vendi gives a view into the scene as it played out and the fire grew." San Francisco's 49ers play in the Super Bowl this afteroon, so last night's celebrations for Chinese New Year could be followed by additional celebrations tonight. Police Chief Bill Scott is already urging residents to behave responsibly. "Please don't light anything on fire."

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Computer Simulations of Atlantic Ocean Currents Finds Collapse Could Happen in Our Lifetime

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 22:28
An anonymous reader shared this report from the Associated Press: An abrupt shutdown of Atlantic Ocean currents that could put large parts of Europe in a deep freeze is looking a bit more likely and closer than before as a new complex computer simulation finds a "cliff-like" tipping point looming in the future. A long-worried nightmare scenario, triggered by Greenland's ice sheet melting from global warming, still is at least decades away if not longer, but maybe not the centuries that it once seemed, a new study in Friday's Science Advances finds. The study, the first to use complex simulations and include multiple factors, uses a key measurement to track the strength of vital overall ocean circulation, which is slowing. A collapse of the current — called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation or AMOC — would change weather worldwide because it means a shutdown of one of key the climate and ocean forces of the planet. It would plunge northwestern European temperatures by 9 to 27 degrees (5 to 15 degrees Celsius) over the decades, extend Arctic ice much farther south, turn up the heat even more in the Southern Hemisphere, change global rainfall patterns and disrupt the Amazon, the study said. Other scientists said it would be a catastrophe that could cause worldwide food and water shortages. "We are moving closer (to the collapse), but we we're not sure how much closer," said study lead author Rene van Westen, a climate scientist and oceanographer at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. "We are heading towards a tipping point." When this global weather calamity — grossly fictionalized in the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" — may happen is "the million-dollar question, which we unfortunately can't answer at the moment," van Westen said. He said it's likely a century away but still could happen in his lifetime. He just turned 30. "It also depends on the rate of climate change we are inducing as humanity," van Westen said.

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Chernobyl's Mutant Wolves Appear To Have Developed Resistance To Cancer

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 21:28
"Mutant wolves roaming the deserted streets of Chernobyl appear to have developed resistance to cancer," reports Sky News, "raising hopes the findings can help scientists fight the disease in humans." Dr Cara Love, an evolutionary biologist and ecotoxicologist at Princeton University in the U.S., has been studying how the Chernobyl wolves survive despite generations of exposure to radioactive particles... The researchers discovered that Chernobyl wolves are exposed to upwards of 11.28 millirem of radiation every day for their entire lives — which is more than six times the legal safety limit for a human. Dr Love found the wolves have altered immune systems similar to cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment, but more significantly she also identified specific parts of the animals' genetic information that seemed resilient to increased cancer risk. Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo for sharing the news.

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Mozilla's Abandoned Web Engine 'Servo' is Rebooting in 2024

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 20:28
Remember "Servo," Mozilla's "next-generation browser engine," focused on performance and robustness? "The developers of Servo are starting 2024 by going all in..." reports It's FOSS News, citing a social media post from FOSDEM. "[T]he Servo Project team were there showing off the work done so far." If you were not familiar, Servo is an experimental browser engine that leverages the power of Rust to provide a memory-safe and modular experience that is highly adaptable. After Mozilla created Servo back in 2012 as a research project, it saw its share of ups and downs over the years, with it making a comeback in 2023; thanks to a fresh approach by the developers on how Servo should move forward. Even though there are plenty of open source Chrome alternatives, with this, there's a chance that we will get some really cool options based on Servo that just might give Blink and Gecko a run for the money! Just a few months back, in September 2023, after The Servo Project officially joined Linux Foundation Europe, the existing contributors from Igalia stepped up their game by taking over the project maintenance. To complement that, at Open Source Summit Europe last year, Manuel Rego from Igalia shared some really useful insights when he presented. He showcased stuff like the WebGL support, cross-platform support including mobile support for Android and Linux, among other things. They have experimented with Servo for embedded applications use-cases (like running it on Raspberry Pi), and have plans to make advances on it. As far as I can see, it looks like, Servo is faster for Raspberry Pi compared to Chromium. You can explore more such demos on Servo's demo webpage. 2024's roadmap includes "Initial Android support, that will see Servo being made to build on modern Android versions," according to the article, "with the developers publishing nightly APKs on the official website some time in the future." One fun fact? "Even though Mozilla dropped the experimental project, Firefox still utilizes some servo components in the browser" Another FOSDOM update from social media: "Thunderbird is also embracing Rust."

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Clean Jet Fuel Startup Fires Up New Carbon Converter

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 18:34
Thursday a climate technology startup called Twelve "took a major step toward producing sustainable aviation fuel..." reports Bloomberg, "by launching its commercial-scale carbon transformation unit." Twelve is among the emerging companies working on ways to transform captured CO2 into useful products. In the case of the Berkeley, California-based startup, its nascent technology will be critical to cleaning up one of the hardest-to-decarbonize sectors: aviation. Twelve uses a technique called electrolysis that uses electricity to repurpose carbon dioxide and water into various products. When the electricity is generated from renewables, the process is essentially no-carbon. The company's CO2 electrochemical reactor — called OPUS — will be at the center of its first commercial production plant for sustainable aviation fuel, under construction in Moses Lake and set to be completed this year. The plant will run on hydropower and use CO2 captured from a nearby ethanol plant. That CO2 and water will be fed through OPUS and turned into synthetic gas, the basis of sustainable aviation fuel. Twelve's airline customers can blend it with traditional jet fuel. The resulting carbon credit can be bought by corporate customers like Microsoft to offset their business travel-related emissions... Although Twelve's carbon transformation technology can be used to make products ranging from spandex pants to car parts, it pivoted to focus more fully on sustainable aviation fuel after the announcement of tax credits for SAF blending, carbon capture and utilization, and hydrogen production, said Twelve co-founder and Chief Science Officer Etosha Cave. Those tax credits helped the company launch this commercial unit. "Without that, we would not be competitive in terms of being able to get to market at the stage we're at," Cave said. It's still not cost competitive with traditional jet fuel, the article points out, "but airlines are under increasing pressure from governments and their own net zero commitments to integrate SAF into their fuel mix. "Twelve would not disclose its cost to make the fuel, though it said it expects prices to go down as its technology scales up and eventually reach parity with traditional jet fuel."

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Cryptography Guru Martin Hellman Urges International Cooperation on AI, Security

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 17:34
Martin Hellman "achieved legendary status as co-inventor of the Diffie-Hellman public key exchange algorithm, a breakthrough in software and computer cryptography," notes a new interview in InfoWorld. Nine years after winning the Turing award, the 78-year-old cryptologist shared his perspective on some other issues: What do you think about the state of digital spying today? Hellman: There's a need for greater international cooperation. How can we have true cyber security when nations are planning — and implementing — cyber attacks on one another? How can we ensure that AI is used only for good when nations are building it into their weapons systems? Then, there's the grandaddy of all technological threats, nuclear weapons. If we keep fighting wars, it's only a matter of time before one blows up. The highly unacceptable level of nuclear risk highlights the need to look at the choices we make around critical decisions, including cyber security. We have to take into consideration all participants' needs for our strategies to be effective.... Your battle with the government to make private communication available to the general public in the digital age has the status of folklore. But, in your recent book (co-authored with your wife Dorothie [and freely available as a PDF]), you describe a meeting of minds with Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, former head of the NSA. Until I read your book, I saw the National Security Agency as bad and Diffie-Hellman as good, plain and simple. You describe how you came to see the NSA and its people as sincere actors rather than as a cynical cabal bent on repression. What changed your perspective? Hellman: This is a great, real-life example of how taking a holistic view in a conflict, instead of just a one-sided one, resolved an apparently intractable impasse. Those insights were part of a major change in my approach to life. As we say in our book, "Get curious, not furious." These ideas are effective not just in highly visible conflicts like ours with the NSA, but in every aspect of life. Hellman also had an interesting answer when asked if math, game theory, and software development teach any lessons applicable to issues like nuclear non-proliferation or national defense. "The main thing to learn is that the narrative we (and other nations) tell ourselves is overly simplified and tends to make us look good and our adversaries bad."

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Wearable AI-Powered Neurotech Startup Promises 'Electric Medicine' and Wellness Benefits

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 16:34
"Something revolutionary is on the horizon..." claims the company's web site. "Wearable neurotechnology that augments sleep, attention, and ultimately the human experience." Or, as Fierce Biotech put it, "A startup emerged from stealth this week with grand plans to pioneer a new form of neurotech dubbed 'electric medicine.'" Elemind's approach centers on artificial intelligence-powered algorithms that are trained to continuously analyze neurological activity collected by a noninvasive wearable device, then to deliver through the wearable bursts of neurostimulation that are uniquely tailored to those real-time brain wave readings. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company claims that its approach — which is based on research from its founders, a group of high-profile scientists hailing from the likes of MIT, Stanford and Harvard — offers a more "natural" treatment option than pharmaceuticals for neurological conditions like insomnia, essential tremor and memory loss. "Chemical drugs affect the entire body, often leading to unwanted side effects. Elemind offers a nonchemical, direct and on-demand solution that learns and dynamically adjusts to each person," Meredith Perry, a co-founder of Elemind and its CEO, said in the company's debut announcement. "We're the first and only company able to precisely guide and redirect brainwaves in real time." "Elemind's first product is a general wellness device and will not be subject to FDA regulation," notes an announcement from the company. But they've thoroughly researched the product's potential: To date, Elemind's technology is supported by five clinical trials and several publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Clinical trials show Elemind's technology is effective at inducing sleep up to 74% faster, suppressing essential tremor with a significant decrease after only 30 seconds of stimulation, and boosting memory. Clinical trials also demonstrate Elemind is effective at increasing pain thresholds and enhancing sedation; this study is currently in peer review.... "You can think about it like noise cancellation for the mind," said Dr. David Wang, CTO and co-founder of Elemind. "Our technology uses phase-locking auditory stimuli to align precisely with the user's brainwaves and steer them to a different frequency associated with a different state." The company plans to announce its first product within a few months, reports the Boston Globe, noting that the company's $12 million in seed funding came from "a consortium that includes Village Global, an early-stage venture fund backed by high-tech billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates., Reid Hoffman, and Ann Wojcicki..." More info from VentureBeat.

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Shell Is Immediately Closing All Of Its California Hydrogen Fueling Stations

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 15:34
Shell once announced it would build 48 new Hydrogen fueling stations for light-duty vehicles in California, according to the blog Hydrogen Insights. But then in September, Shell told the site they'd "discontinued" that plan. And last month the Inside EVs blog noted that in all of 2023, just 2,968 hydrogen cars were sold "in the United States — and by that, we mean in California, where the series-produced models are available." That's according to data from the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership — admittedly a 10% increase from 2022's sales figure of 2,707 — but with both numbers lower than 2021's sales of 3,341. "The overall cumulative sales of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles exceeded 17,940 as of the end of the quarter (not counting vehicles removed from use), which is 20% more than a year ago." Then this week Shell said it will "no longer be operating" any light-duty hydrogen fuelling stations in the U.S., and will close all seven of its California pumping stations immediately. (Three in San Francisco, one in Berkeley, one in San Jose, and two in the Sacramento area.) Inside EVs says Shell's move "represents another blow to the struggling hydrogen car market in the only state where the fuel is widely available at all." Shell had, until recently, operated seven of the 55 total retail hydrogen stations in California, per the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership (H2FCP). That makes this a blow, but not apocalyptic news for the (small) hydrogen community.... In the letter announcing the closure, Shell Hydrogen Vice President Andrew Beard said they were shutting them down "due to hydrogen supply complications and other external market factors." It's not hard to see what Beard is referencing here... Hydrogen Insight reports that this shortage has been disrupting stations since August 13... Some are also down for repairs, as many hydrogen stations suffer from serious reliability issues. Iwatani, a Japanese gas company that is one of the two largest names in American hydrogen filling stations, is currently suing the company that provided the core technology for its stations. In a court filing viewed by Hydrogen Insight, Iwatini alleges that its provider did not test its equipment in a real-world commercial scenario, hid defects, and misled the company. It is, in short, a big mess. All of this makes the future of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the United States even more uncertain. The technology has struggled to catch on, as the stations and their fuel remain expensive. Though hydrogen car manufacturers usually include a large amount of free fuel in the purchase of a vehicle, once that runs out consumers are left with eye-watering prices from stations that are often broken, out of fuel, or swarmed with long lines. It's why used hydrogen cars are so cheap, and why they still aren't a good deal. Few companies can make a better case for it than Shell, though, as the cheapest way to produce hydrogen involves a lot of natural gas. Its proximity to the fossil-fuel industry was supposed to make it cheaper, and provide incentive for robust fueling infrastructure. That hasn't played out, though, and one of the largest oil giants is throwing in the towel. If even a fossil giant like Shell can't justify investing in the future of light-duty hydrogen infrastructure, we're not sure who can.

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New Australian Law Will Give Workers 'Right to Disconnect'

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 12:34
An anonymous reader shared this report from the New York Times When it's after hours, and the boss is on the line, Australian workers — already among the world's best-rested and most personally fulfilled employees — can soon press "decline" in favor of the seductive call of the beach. In yet another buttress against the scourge of overwork, Australia's Senate on Thursday passed a bill giving workers the right to ignore calls and messages outside of working hours without fear of repercussion. It will now return to the House of Representatives for final approval. The bill, expected to pass in the House with ease, will let Australian workers refuse "unreasonable" professional communication outside of the workday. Workplaces that punish employees for not responding to such demands could be fined. "Someone who is not being paid 24 hours a day shouldn't be penalized if they're not online and available 24 hours a day," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said at a news conference Wednesday... Australia follows in the footsteps of European nations such as France, which in 2017 introduced the right of workers to disconnect from employers while off duty, a move later emulated by Germany, Italy and Belgium. The European Parliament has also called for a law across the European Union that would alleviate the pressure on workers to answer communications off the clock... Australians already enjoy a host of standardized benefits, including 20 days of paid annual leave, mandatory paid sick leave, "long service" leave of six weeks for those who have remained at an employer for at least seven years, 18 weeks of paid maternity leave and a nationwide minimum wage of about $15 an hour.

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Oversight of Boeing 'is Not Delivering Safe Aircraft', Says America's Top Aviation Regulator

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 08:34
America's Federal Aviation Administration "is midway through a review of manufacturing at Boeing," reports the Associated Press, but "already knows that changes must be made in how the government oversees the aircraft manufacturer." FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker suggested that Boeing — under pressure from airlines to produce large numbers of planes — is not paying enough attention to safety. Whitaker said that FAA has had two challenges since January 5, when an emergency door panel blew off a Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner over Oregon. "One, what is wrong with this airplane? But two, what's going on with the production at Boeing?" Whitaker told a House subcommittee. "There have been issues in the past. They don't seem to be getting resolved, so we feel like we need to have a heightened level of oversight." Whitaker, who took over the FAA about three months ago, was making his first appearance on Capitol Hill since the blowout over Oregon.... Whitaker said the FAA is halfway through a six-week audit that has involved placing "about two dozen" inspectors in Boeing's 737 plant in Renton, Washington, and "maybe half a dozen" at a Wichita, Kansas, plant where supplier Spirit AeroSystems makes the fuselages for 737s. The inspectors are looking for gaps in the quality of work during the manufacturing process that might have contributed to a door plug blowing off an Alaska Airlines Max 9 at 16,000 feet over Oregon. Whitaker said he expects the FAA will keep people in the Boeing and Spirit factories after the audit is done, but he said the numbers haven't been determined. For many years, the FAA has relied on employees of aircraft manufacturers to perform some safety-related work on planes being built by their companies. That saves money for the government, and in theory taps the expertise of industry employees, but it was criticized after two deadly crashes involving Boeing Max 8 planes in 2018 and 2019. "In order to have a truly safe system, it seems to me that we can't rely on the manufacturers themselves to be their own watchdogs," Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, said during Tuesday's hearing. Whitaker has said that the self-checking practice — in theory, overseen by FAA inspectors — should be reconsidered, but he again stopped short of saying it should be scrapped. But he said closer monitoring of Boeing is needed. "The current system is not working because it is not delivering safe aircraft," Whitaker said. "Maybe we need to look at the incentives to make sure safety is getting the appropriate first rung of consideration that it deserves."

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Why Companies Are Leaving the Cloud

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 04:34
InfoWorld reports: Don't look now, but 25% of organizations surveyed in the United Kingdom have already moved half or more of their cloud-based workloads back to on-premises infrastructures. This is according to a recent study by Citrix, a Cloud Software Group business unit. The survey questioned 350 IT leaders on their current approaches to cloud computing. The survey also showed that 93% of respondents had been involved with a cloud repatriation project in the past three years. That is a lot of repatriation. Why? Security issues and high project expectations were reported as the top motivators (33%) for relocating some cloud-based workloads back to on-premises infrastructures such as enterprise data centers, colocation providers, and managed service providers (MSPs). Another significant driver was the failure to meet internal expectations, at 24%... Those surveyed also cited unexpected costs, performance issues, compatibility problems, and service downtime. The most common motivator for repatriation I've been seeing is cost. In the survey, more than 43% of IT leaders found that moving applications and data from on-premises to the cloud was more expensive than expected. Although not a part of the survey, the cost of operating applications and storing data on the cloud has also been significantly more expensive than most enterprises expected. The cost-benefit analysis of cloud versus on-premises infrastructure varies greatly depending on the organization... The cloud is a good fit for modern applications that leverage a group of services, such as serverless, containers, or clustering. However, that doesn't describe most enterprise applications. The article cautions, "Don't feel sorry for the public cloud providers." "Any losses from repatriation will be quickly replaced by the vast amounts of infrastructure needed to build and run AI-based systems... As I've said a few times here, cloud conferences have become genAI conferences, which will continue for several years."

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Apple Is Settling Chip Secrets Theft Case Against Startup Rivos, Former Employees

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-02-11 02:34
In 2022 Apple filed a lawsuit against startup Rivos. The lawsuit said that in one year Rivos had hired more than 40 former Apple employees to work on competing system-on-a-chip technology, according to Reuters, "and that at least two former Apple engineers took gigabytes of confidential information with them to Rivos." But Friday Bloomberg reported that the two companies told a judge that they'd "signed an agreement that potentially settles the case." "The agreement provides for remediation of Apple confidential information based on a forensic examination of Rivos systems and other activities," according to the filing in federal court in San Jose, California. "The parties currently are working through that process." More details from Engadget: Apple also accused the defendant of instructing the employees it hired away to steal presentations and other proprietary information for unreleased iPhone chip designs that cost billions of dollars to develop. Rivos countersued Apple last year, accusing the larger company of restricting employees' ability to work elsewhere and of hindering emerging startups' growth by using anticompetitive measures. The court dismissed Apple's trade secret claims against Rivos in April 2023, though the company was allowed to file a revised complaint. Apple already settled with its six former employees who filed a countersuit against the iPhonemaker along with Rivos after they dropped their claims against each other last month. Both companies are now requesting the court to put their cases on hold until March 15, when they expect the settlement to be completed.

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Nvidia is Forming a New Business Unit to Make Custom Chips

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-02-10 23:14
An anonymous reader shared this report from Reuters: Nvidia is building a new business unit focused on designing bespoke chips for cloud computing firms and others, including advanced AI processors, nine sources familiar with its plans told Reuters. The dominant global designer and supplier of AI chips aims to capture a portion of an exploding market for custom AI chips and shield itself from the growing number of companies pursuing alternatives to its products. The Santa Clara, California-based company controls about 80% of high-end AI chip market, a position that has sent its stock market value up 40% so far this year to $1.73 trillion after it more than tripled in 2023. Nvidia's customers, which include ChatGPT creator OpenAI, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Meta Platforms, have raced to snap up the dwindling supply of its chips to compete in the fast-emerging generative AI sector. Its H100 and A100 chips serve as a generalized, all-purpose AI processor for many of those major customers. But the tech companies have started to develop their own internal chips for specific needs. Doing so helps reduce energy consumption, and potentially can shrink the cost and time to design. Nvidia is now attempting to play a role in helping these companies develop custom AI chips that have flowed to rival firms such as Broadcom and Marvell Technology, said the sources, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly... Nvidia moving into this territory has the potential to eat into Broadcom and Marvell sales.

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In Big Tech's Backyard, a California State Lawmaker Unveils a Landmark AI Bill

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-02-10 22:14
An anonymous reader shared this report from the Washington Post: A California state lawmaker introduced a bill on Thursday aiming to force companies to test the most powerful artificial intelligence models before releasing them — a landmark proposal that could inspire regulation around the country as state legislatures increasingly tackle the swiftly evolving technology. The new bill, sponsored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who represents San Francisco, would require companies training new AI models to test their tools for "unsafe" behavior, institute hacking protections and develop the tech in such a way that it can be shut down completely, according to a copy of the bill. AI companies would have to disclose testing protocols and what guardrails they put in place to the California Department of Technology. If the tech causes "critical harm," the state's attorney general can sue the company. Wiener's bill comes amid an explosion of state bills addressing artificial intelligence, as policymakers across the country grow wary that years of inaction in Congress have created a regulatory vacuum that benefits the tech industry. But California, home to many of the world's largest technology companies, plays a singular role in setting precedent for tech industry guardrails. "You can't work in software development and ignore what California is saying or doing," said Lawrence Norden, the senior director of the Brennan Center's Elections and Government Program... Wiener says he thinks the bill can be passed by the fall. The article notes there's now 407 AI-related bills "active in 44 U.S. states (according to an analysis by an industry group called BSA the Software Alliance) — with several already signed into law. "The proliferation of state-level bills could lead to greater industry pressure on Congress to pass AI legislation, because complying with a federal law may be easier than responding to a patchwork of different state laws." Even the proposed California law "largely builds off an October executive order by President Biden," according to the article, "that uses emergency powers to require companies to perform safety tests on powerful AI systems and share those results with the federal government. The California measure goes further than the executive order, to explicitly require hacking protections, protect AI-related whistleblowers and force companies to conduct testing." They also add that as America's most populous U.S. state, "California has unique power to set standards that have impact across the country." And the group behind last year's statement on AI risk helped draft the legislation, according to the article, though Weiner says he also consulted tech workers, CEOs, and activists. "We've done enormous stakeholder outreach over the past year."

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Will FTX Customers Fully Recoup Their Money?

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-02-10 21:43
Former FTX customers "have reasons to believe they could actually recoup their money," reports CNBC: Bankman-Fried, who could spend the rest of his life behind bars, was found guilty in November on seven criminal counts after roughly $10 billion in customer funds from his company went missing. Some of that money went to pay for Bankman-Fried's lavish lifestyle, but much of it went towards other investments that have, of late, appreciated dramatically in value. Lawyers representing the bankruptcy estate of FTX told a judge in Delaware last week that they expect to fully repay customers and creditors with legitimate claims. Bankruptcy attorney Andrew Dietderich, who works with FTX's new leadership team, said "there is still a great amount of work and risk" ahead in getting all the money back to clients, but that the team has a "strategy to achieve it." It's a welcome development for the many thousands of customers (reportedly up to a million) who collectively lost billions of dollars in FTX's collapse 15 months ago, when the crypto exchange spiraled into bankruptcy in a matter of days. Given the lightly regulated and unsecured nature of FTX — and the crypto industry at large — those clients faced the real possibility that the vast majority of their money had evaporated. Plenty of failed hedge funds and lenders lost virtually everything during the 2022 crypto winter... [C]rypto was mired in a bear market, with bitcoin trading at around $16,000. It's now above $47,000... FTX's bitcoin stash, which was worth $560 million at the time of the September report, is today valued north of $1 billion. Bankman-Fried's investments weren't limited to crypto. He also used client money to back startups like Anthropic, the artificial intelligence company founded by ex-OpenAI employees. FTX invested $500 million in Anthropic in 2021, before the generative AI boom. Anthropic's valuation hit $18 billion in December 2023, which would value FTX's roughly 8% stake at about $1.4 billion. CNBC suggests this could affect the length of Bankman-Fried's prison sentence (which will be determined next month). There's now also a so-called "FTX IOU" market where investors are selling their debt, CNBC adds. "One financial firm that had lost around $100 million initially sold its FTX debt for 6 cents on the dollar in a new secondary market out of concern that he may never get a better deal. As of December, those claims were going for more than 70 cents on the dollar." CNBC also reports that FTX "had been negotiating with bidders about a potential reboot of the company, but those efforts were scrapped last month."

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