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SUNDAY, 16 JUNE 2024, 11:51

Science/Tech

Google Loses Bid To End US Antitrust Case Over Digital Advertising

Yesterday at 05:30 AM, via Slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Alphabet’s Google must face trial on U.S. antitrust enforcers’ claim that the internet search juggernaut illegally dominates the online advertising technology market, a federal judge ruled on Friday. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, denied Google’s motion during a hearing, according to court records. Google had argued...

GPT-4 Has Passed the Turing Test, Researchers Claim

Yesterday at 04:02 AM, via Slashdot

Drew Turney reports via Live Science: The “Turing test,” first proposed as “the imitation game” by computer scientist Alan Turing in 1950, judges whether a machine’s ability to show intelligence is indistinguishable from a human. For a machine to pass the Turing test, it must be able to talk to somebody and fool them into thinking it is human. Scientists decided to replicate this test by asking...

Electricity Bills Forecasted To Climb With Summer Heat

Yesterday at 03:25 AM, via Slashdot

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects Americans’ monthly electricity bills to average $173 between June through August, compared to $168 last summer. “The slight bump in costs comes from consumers cranking up their air conditioning more to cope with a warmer season than last year,” writes The Verge’s Justine Calma. “Bills would have jumped higher, if not for lower residential...

Ransomware Attackers Quickly Weaponize PHP Vulnerability With 9.8 Severity Rating

Yesterday at 02:45 AM, via Slashdot

A critical vulnerability in the PHP programming language (CVE-2024-4577) has been exploited by ransomware criminals, leading to the infection of up to 1,800 servers primarily in China with the TellYouThePass ransomware. This vulnerability, which affects PHP when run in CGI mode, allows attackers to execute malicious code on web servers. Ars Technica’s Dan Goodin reports: As of Thursday,...

The Verge’s David Pierce Reports On the Excel World Championship From Vegas

Yesterday at 02:02 AM, via Slashdot

In a featured article for The Verge, David Pierce explores the world of competitive Excel, highlighting its rise from a hobbyist activity to a potential esport, showcased during the Excel World Championship in Las Vegas. Top spreadsheet enthusiasts competed at the MGM Grand to solve complex Excel challenges, emphasizing the transformative power and ubiquity of spreadsheets in both business and...

OpenAI Adds Former NSA Chief To Its Board

Yesterday at 01:20 AM, via Slashdot

Paul M. Nakasone, a retired U.S. Army general and former NSA director, is now OpenAI’s newest board member. Nakasone will join the Safety and Security Committee and contribute to OpenAI’s cybersecurity efforts. CNBC reports: The committee is spending 90 days evaluating the company’s processes and safeguards before making recommendations to the board and, eventually, updating the public, OpenAI...

Version 256 of systemd Boasts ‘42% Less Unix Philosophy’

Yesterday at 00:40 AM, via Slashdot

Liam Proven reports via The Register: The latest version of the systemd init system is out, with the openly confrontational tag line: “Available soon in your nearest distro, now with 42 percent less Unix philosophy.” As Lennart Poettering’s announcement points out, this is the first version of systemd whose version number is a nine-bit value. Version 256, as usual, brings in a broad assortment...

New York Recovers $50 Million For Defrauded Gemini Earn Crypto Investors

Yesterday at 00:00 AM, via Slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: New York Attorney General Letitia James has recovered $50 million from the cryptocurrency platform Gemini Trust to repay investors defrauded in its Gemini Earn program, she said on Friday. Gemini, run by billionaire twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, will provide full recoveries to more than 230,000 Earn investors, including 29,000 in...

AI Candidate Running For Parliament in the UK Says AI Can Humanize Politics

Friday at 23:22 PM, via Slashdot

An artificial intelligence candidate is on the ballot for the United Kingdom’s general election next month. From a report: “AI Steve,” represented by Sussex businessman Steve Endacott, will appear on the ballot alongside non-AI candidates running to represent constituents in the Brighton Pavilion area of Brighton and Hove, a city on England’s southern coast. “AI Steve is the AI co-pilot,”...

Biotech Companies Are Trying To Make Milk Without Cows

Friday at 22:42 PM, via Slashdot

Avian influenza outbreaks on US dairy farms have raised concerns about milk safety, leading some to consider alternatives like engineered milk proteins. Startups like Remilk and Alpine Bio are using yeast and soybeans to produce key milk proteins, aiming to replace dairy cows and reduce environmental impact. However, competing with subsidized dairy industries and their efficient use of cow...

Mozilla Defies Kremlin, Restores Banned Firefox Add-ons in Russia

Friday at 22:02 PM, via Slashdot

Mozilla has reinstated certain add-ons for Firefox that earlier this week had been banned in Russia by the Kremlin. From a report: The browser extensions, which are hosted on the Mozilla store, were made unavailable in the Land of Putin on or around June 8 after a request by the Russian government and its internet censorship agency, Roskomnadzor. Among those extensions were three pieces of code...

How the Recycling Symbol Lost Its Meaning

Friday at 21:30 PM, via Slashdot

The iconic recycling symbol, invented 20 years before Earth Day 1990, has become omnipresent on products, often misleading consumers about what can be recycled, according to experts cited in a story explored by Grist. The chasing arrows logo, which promises rebirth for discarded materials, is frequently plastered on items that are not recyclable, particularly plastic products. Confusion over...

Meta Pauses Plans To Train AI Using European Users’ Data, Bowing To Regulatory Pressure

Friday at 20:44 PM, via Slashdot

Meta has confirmed that it will pause plans to start training its AI systems using data from its users in the European Union and U.K. From a report: The move follows pushback from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), Meta’s lead regulator in the EU, which is acting on behalf of several data protection authorities across the bloc. The U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) also...

Apple Set To Be First Big Tech Group To Face Charges Under EU Digital Law

Friday at 20:18 PM, via Slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: Brussels is set to charge Apple over allegedly stifling competition on its mobile app store, the first time EU regulators have used new digital rules to target a Big Tech group. The European Commission has determined that the iPhone maker is not complying with obligations to allow app developers to “steer” users to offers outside its App Store without...

Sonos Draws More Customer Anger – This Time For Its Privacy Policy

Friday at 19:35 PM, via Slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: Itâ(TM)s been a rocky couple of months for Sonos — so much so that CEO Patrick Spence now has a canned autoreply for customers emailing him to vent about the redesigned app. But as the company works to right the ship, restore trust, and get the new Sonos Ace headphones off to a strong start, it finds itself in the middle of yet another controversy. As...

Visa, Mastercard $30 Billion Fee Settlement in Peril

Friday at 18:42 PM, via Slashdot

Visa’s and Mastercard’s proposed $30 billion antitrust settlement to limit credit and debit card fees for merchants is in peril, after a New York judge signaled she was preparing to reject the accord. From a report: U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie in Brooklyn told lawyers for the card networks and objectors at a hearing on Thursday that she will “likely not approve the settlement,” according...

Rent is Too Dang High in Cities: Skylines 2, So the Devs Nuked the Landlords

Friday at 18:00 PM, via Slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: City building simulations are not real life. They can be helpful teaching tools, but they abstract away many of the real issues in changing communities. And yet, sometimes a game like Cities: Skylines 2 (C:S2) will present an issue that’s just too timely and relevant to ignore. Such is the case with “Economy 2.0,” a big update to the beleaguered yet...

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