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No swearing or off-brand comments: AWS touts auto-moderation messaging API

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 13:23
Automate everything – but while human moderation is hard, robot moderation tends not to work

AWS has introduced channel flows to its Chime messaging and videoconferencing API, the idea being to enable automatic moderation of profanity or content that "does not fit" the corporate brand.…

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UK government puts £5bn on the table in trawl for public sector networks services

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 12:40
I dream of wires, say Whitehall’s big buyers

The UK's central government procurement agency is chumming the waters around the market's swimmers, hoping to tempt suppliers into providing a range of computer network services and kit with a £5bn tender.…

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Informatica UKI veep was rightfully sacked over Highways England $5k golf jolly, says tribunal

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 11:56
Underling took customer on bucket list trip - and VP signed it off without checking

Informatica's former UK & Ireland vice president was correctly sacked after letting a salesman take Highways England's executive IT director on a $5,000 golfing jaunt, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled.…

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Boeing's Starliner capsule corroded due to high humidity levels, NASA explains, and the spaceship won't fly this year

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 11:14
Meanwhile Elon's running orbital tourist trips and ISS crew missions

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner capsule, designed to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, will not fly until the first half of next year at the earliest, as the manufacturing giant continues to tackle an issue with the spacecraft’s valves.…

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway To Host Autonomous Car Race On Saturday

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 11:00
New submitter Motard writes: Dallara Indy Lights racing cars outfitted as autonomous vehicles by Clemson University and programmed by various international collegiate teams will participate in a 20-lap race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 23rd 2021. The event will be livestreamed by the Indy Autonomous Challenge website. Nine teams representing 21 universities from 9 different countries will compete for a $1 million prize. [The second and third-placed teams will receive $250,000 and $500,000 respectively. Only those that complete the race in 25 minutes or less will be eligible for prize money.]

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Research finds consumer-grade IoT devices showing up... on corporate networks

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 10:27
Considering the slack security of such kit, it's a perfect storm

Increasing numbers of "non-business" Internet of Things devices are showing up inside corporate networks, Palo Alto Networks has warned, saying that smart lightbulbs and internet-connected pet feeders may not feature in organisations' threat models.…

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Huawei appears to have quenched its thirst for power in favour of more efficient 5G

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 09:36
Never mind the performance, man, think of the planet

MBB Forum 2021  The "G" in 5G stands for Green, if the hours of keynotes at the Mobile Broadband Forum in Dubai are to be believed.…

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Sony Patent Lets Viewers Vote and Pay To Boot Players From Games

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 08:00
Sony has been granted a patent that would allow livestream spectators and participants to remove players from a game. "Besides removing unskilled players, the system would allow spectators to pay for the privilege of removing players," reports Kotaku. From the report: In the patent document, Sony outlined a system in which spectators to a livestream can vote to remove a player from an ongoing game. The player would have no veto power over this decision, and they may be reassigned to a different match. The system would display the skill level of the current players and their statistics for the game, such as time played, ratings, and achievements. All of this would take place through "the cloud gaming system," whatever that means. To avoid audience abuse of this system, a 60% voting threshold needs to be met in order to bench a player from a game. Spectators with a higher skill level will also have their votes counted more heavily in the election. Despite Sony claiming that this system would be beneficial for removing disrespectful "griefers" from matches, the patent also includes the ability for spectators to pay a fixed price or bid for the ability to remove players from a game. The text also mentions a system in which spectators can warn active players to improve their gameplay. Damn.

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IBM Systems sales sag as revenue growth slows to a crawl – but at least tape did OK

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 07:59
Big Blue promises mid-single-digit growth is coming, but CEO struggles to explain how.

IBM has blamed another quarter of tepid performance on its servers.…

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Arm teases its GPU that will follow next year's graphics processor tech

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 07:27
Pushing for a 5x performance boost albeit over a 2018 cousin

Arm has teased an upcoming graphics processor unit, due to be unveiled next year, and said it is tuned heavily for running artificial intelligence code.…

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China to crush secondary market providing forbidden gaming accounts to kids

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 06:59
Beijing's recent crackdowns on internet behaviour have spawned rebellious entrepreneurs, because of course they have.

China's National Internet Information Office has revisited some of the government's recent internet crackdowns, to put a stop to workarounds such as renting or selling accounts for online games to minors in order to circumvent the three-hours-per-week play time imposed by Beijing.…

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AWS admits cloud ain't always the answer, intros on-prem vid-analysing box

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 05:35
Panorama appliance packs Nvidia Jetson Xavier AGX and will be sold – not rented like other AWS on-prem kit

Amazon Web Services, the outfit famous for pioneering pay-as-you-go cloud computing, has produced a bit of on-prem hardware that it will sell for a once-off fee.…

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TV Prices Are the Highest They've Been In At Least Nine Years

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 04:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: Pricing right now on TVs is the highest since at least 2012," says Stephen Baker, vice president of Industry Analysis at NPD group. "Holiday pricing overall is likely to be at least $100 above normal. Last year the average price of a TV was $363 during the fourth quarter, which is fairly typical over the last few years. This year our forecast is for the average price to be approximately $500." For a lot of shoppers a $500 TV sounds pretty affordable, but that's the average of every TV sold in the US. The majority are entry-level models with small screens and modest features that bring down the average. [...] TVs come in a wide range of prices and sizes, and the higher average selling price will impact smaller, cheaper models more than larger, more-expensive ones. In fact, high-dollar TVs are selling better than ever, which of course helps drive up the average price. "Sales of TVs over $1,500 are at record levels, and sales of TVs 75-inch and above are performing much better than the overall market," says Baker. The good news? Inventory this holiday season likely won't be a problem. "Right now we don't expect significant shortages in TVs," says Baker. "While the port blockages are a concern, there are a lot of choices in the TV market. So if consumers can be flexible around brand and screen size, availability should be sufficient." He adds that over the last few months TV sales have been tepid, which allows TV makers to build up enough inventory to deal with the holiday rush. So what does all of this mean for TV shoppers? Traditional holiday price drops will still happen, but maybe those $100 doorbuster deals won't be as common. "There will be price drops, there will be promotions, the calendar does not disappear," says Baker. "But all of those pricing activities will happen on products priced substantially higher than in previous years." In other words, midrange and higher-end TVs, the ones selling at a historic clip, are still likely to see plenty of price reductions in the next couple months. In fact, some are happening already.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Remember, remember, the 1st of November: The day Dell VMware spun out

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 03:45
Virtzilla will be just fine – it's finally figured out how to woo developers, and hardware players won't desert it

Analysis  Dell and VMware have named the day they'll break up: November 1.…

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Elon Musk's Boring Company Gets Green Light For Las Vegas Tunnel System

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 03:02
Elon Musk's Boring Company just won approval from local officials to move forward with building a network of vehicle tunnels underneath Las Vegas. The Verge reports: Elon Musk's Boring Company just won approval from local officials to move forward with building a network of vehicle tunnels underneath Las Vegas. The Boring Company already operates a small version of this "Teslas in Tunnels" system underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center, which opened earlier this year and involves two 0.8-mile tunnels. But Musk's startup proposed a massive city-wide expansion in December 2020 that largely lines up with what Clark County officials approved Wednesday. The system that was approved involves 29 miles of tunnels and 51 stations. Clark County says as many as 57,000 passengers will be able to travel through it per hour and that no taxpayer money will be spent to build it. The Boring Company previously said that it would foot the bill for building the main tunnels but planned to ask hotel casinos or other businesses that want a station to pay for those construction costs. Each one of those stops has to go through its own permitting process, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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Fossil Fuel Drilling Plans Undermine Climate Pledges, UN Report Warns

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 02:25
Even as world leaders vow to take stronger action on climate change, many countries are still planning to dramatically increase their production of oil, gas and coal in the decades ahead, potentially undermining those lofty pledges, according to a United Nations-backed report released Tuesday. From a report: The report looked at future mining and drilling plans in 15 major fossil fuel producing countries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada, China, India and Norway. Taken together, those countries are currently planning to produce more than twice as much oil, gas and coal through 2030 as would be needed if governments want to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels. Scientists and world leaders increasingly say that holding global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is crucial if humanity wants to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change, such as ever-deadlier heat waves, large scale flooding and widespread extinctions. The world has already heated up roughly 1.1 degrees since the Industrial Revolution. But the planned global expansion of fossil fuel extraction clashes sharply with those climate goals, the report found. If the world remains awash in oil, gas and coal for decades to come, then many countries could find it more difficult to shift to cleaner sources of energy. At the same time, many of the oil wells and coal mines now being approved and developed could prove deeply unprofitable if demand for fossil fuels shrinks, creating economic disruption. By 2030, the report found, the world's nations are planning to produce 240 percent more coal, 57 percent more oil and 71 percent more natural gas than would be needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Theranos blood-test machine demos for VIPs rigged to hide any failures, court told

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 02:15
Error messages effectively piped to /dev/null, it is alleged

Theranos blood-testing machines, which US prosecutors claim failed over 51 per cent of the time, provided no indication if things went awry during demonstrations for visitors, a court has heard.…

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Raspberry Pi Suffers First Ever Price Increase

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 01:45
For the first time, the price of a Raspberry Pi single-board computer is increasing and we have the global supply chain shortages to thank for it. PCMag reports: Eben Upton, chief executive of Raspberry Pi Trading, made the announcement today, but also made it clear the price increase is only temporary and only impacts one model of the Raspberry Pi 4. In February last year, the price of the Raspberry Pi 4 2GB dropped from $45 to $35 "permanently" and the 1GB model was discontinued. The 2GB model is reverting back to $45 and the 1GB model is making a comeback for industrial customers at its previous $35 price. The reason for this is one of supply chain challenges, with Upton confirming they will only manage to match 2020's shipments of around seven million units this year. The main shortages have been for the Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi 4 2GB. We don't know how long the price increase will last, but Upton was upbeat: "The good news is that we've been able to hold the line on pricing for all but one of our products; that we expect to have enough 28nm silicon over the next twelve months to support both our existing Raspberry Pi 4 and Compute Module 4 customers, and customers migrating from Raspberry Pi 3B+; and that we see early signs that the supply chain situation is starting to ease."

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WHO Asks South African Startup To Replicate Moderna's mRNA Vaccine

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 01:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: The World Health Organization has hired the company, called Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, as part of a $100 million plan to figure out how to make an mRNA vaccine against COVID that is as close as possible to the version produced by Moderna. Until recently, Afrigen specialized in developing veterinary vaccines using fairly traditional methods. Now, says Afrigen's managing director, Petro Treblanche, the company's labs are a hive of research into the cutting-edge technology behind mRNA vaccines. Once Afrigen has sorted out all the complicated steps to make Moderna's shot on an industrial scale, WHO and other partners plan to pay Afrigen to become a teaching center. "We call it a 'technology transfer hub,' " says Martin Friede, the WHO official in charge of this effort. "Manufacturers from around the world will be invited to come and learn the entire process. So this will accelerate the availability of the technology, not to one manufacturer but to many manufacturers." Friede says it makes sense to set up more manufacturers of mRNA vaccines in particular because the technology appears so effective against COVID -- and because it shows promise against other diseases including malaria and tuberculosis. As to why WHO has chosen to try to copy Moderna rather than the other mRNA COVID vaccine, which is made by Pfizer BioNTech, Friede says the choice was practical. "Moderna has reiterated on several occasions that they will not enforce their intellectual property during the pandemic," says Friede. In other words, a manufacturer probably won't face a lawsuit for producing a vaccine that's virtually identical to Moderna's. Also, says Friede, compared to Pfizer's vaccine, there just happens to be a lot more information in the public domain about how Moderna's vaccine is made. But Afrigen's Petro Treblanche says there are still a lot of unknowns. Take Moderna's patent. "It's written very carefully and cleverly to not disclose absolutely everything," says Treblanche. So while Afrigen has been able to determine most of the equipment and specialized ingredients that are needed, "what we don't know is the exact concentrations," says Treblanche. "And we don't know some of the mixing times -- some of the conditions of mixing and formulating." A particularly vexing question is how to replicate Moderna's "lipid nano-particle" -- a special casing around the mRNA strand at the heart of the vaccine that keeps it stable as it travels through the body to, as Treblanche puts it, "essential places like the spleen and lymph nodes." "We understand other encapsulations," says Treblanche. But for all the expertise at Afrigen, "my team has never formulated a liquid nanoparticle."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Chip shortage forces temporary Raspberry Pi 4 price rise for the first time

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 01:00
Ten-buck increase for 2GB model 'not here to stay' says Upton

The price of a 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 single-board computer is going up $10, and its supply is expected to be capped at seven million devices this year due to the ongoing global chip shortage.…

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