By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Adobe-to-the-rescue department
Remember when Bing Maps lost a city because they used bad Wikipedia data? An anonymous Slashdot reader writes:
Since knowledge bases like Wikidata are poised to be integrated into all kinds of information systems, wrong facts are not just displayed on Wikidata's pages but may propagate directly to all systems using the knowledge base. Hence, detecting and reverting vandalism and other kinds of damaging edits is an even more important task than on Wikipedia.
Recently, German scientists published the first machine learning-based approach on vandalism detection in Wikidata, and now Adobe sponsors a competition on vandalism detection, the WSDM Cup Challenge, awarding $2500 for the best-performing solutions that will also be published open source.
"Given a Wikidata revision, compute a vandalism score denoting the likelihood of this revision being vandalism (or similarly damaging)," read the official rules, pushing for a near real-time solution to be submitted before December 22. And the winners will also be invited to the headquarters of Wikimedia Germany to discuss implenting their solutions.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's neurodiversity department
Autistic people are methodical and detail-oriented, and a new Microsoft program is trying to hire more of them, according to Fast Company. Slashdot reader tedlistens writes:
Vauhini Vara takes a look at the at the (difficult) efforts of Microsoft to recruit more autistic engineers and make a more neurodiverse workplace, through the lens of one of those coders. "The program, which began in May 2015, does away with the typical interview approach, instead inviting candidates to hang out on campus for two weeks and work on projects while being observed and casually meeting managers who might be interested in hiring them. Only at the end of this stage do more formal interviews take place.
"The goal is to create a situation that is better suited to autistic people's styles of communicating and thinking. Microsoft isn't the first to attempt something like this: The German software firm SAP, among a handful of others, have similar programs -- but Microsoft is the highest-profile company to have gone public with its efforts, and autistic adults are hoping it will spark a broader movement."
One autistic coder says they make better employees because "You don't have to tell someone not to go home early. They'll just stay." But there's also a push to bring different analytical and creative approaches into Microsoft's company culture. The article ultimately asks the question, "Could the third-largest corporation in the world make the case that hiring and employing autistic people, with all their social and intellectual quirks, was good, not bad, for business?"Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's searching-for-search-warrants department
Thursday Sen. Ron Wyden urged the Senate to block a pending change to federal Rule 41, which starting in December will allow judges to authorize remote access to an unlimited number of computers. An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes On The Wire's update on the "Stopping Mass Hacking" Act:
In May, Wyden introduced a one-sentence bill that would prevent the change. The Senate has taken no action on the bill thus far and Wyden on Thursday warned that continued inaction on the issue would be dangerous. "If the Senate does nothing, if the Senate fails to act, what's ahead for Americans is a massive expansion of government hacking and surveillance powers..."
Wyden asked the Senate to pass his bill by unanimous consent, but Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) objected, saying that the change to Rule 41 was a simple one that would help law enforcement agencies know which venue is the correct one to ask for a warrant... Cornyn cited recent reports about hacks of the election systems in some states, possibly by foreign governments, as evidence of the need for the change. "This isn't a time to retreat and allow cyberspace to be run amok by cybercriminals. This is a very sensible tool of venue."
Google, PayPal, and the Tor Project are all opposing the pending rule change, along with the EFF, which is gathering signatures online for a petition arguing that vaguer warrants "could impact any person using a computer with Internet access anywhere in the world."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's do-more-with-less department
MojoKid writes from a report via HotHardware: Apple's A10 Fusion processor, paired with the iPhone 7, is already making its mark on benchmark circuit. Although you may or may not be impressed with Apple's new handset, as usual, Cupertino's latest smartphone is looking very strong performance-wise. According to Geekbench numbers, which showcase the iPhone 7 Plus running iOS 10.0.1 (Golden Master), the 5.5-inch smartphone has 3GB of RAM onboard (the iPhone 7 reportedly contains 2GB RAM). Compared to the previous generation iPhone 6s Plus, this is an increase of 1GB. Compared to Android flagships, which come with 4GB or even 6GB of RAM, 3GB might seem paltry. However, benchmarks show time and time again that Apple's SoCs are among the fastest in the industry and simply do more with less resources. Apple says that the advances it has made with the A10 allow the processor to be twice as fast as the A8 in the iPhone 6 Plus and 40 percent faster than the A9 in the iPhone 6s Plus. The iPhone 7 Plus received a Geekbench single-core score of 3233, while its multi-core score comes in at 5363. For comparison, the beefy A9X processor in the iPad Pro -- also paired with 3GB of RAM -- puts up scores of 3009 and 4881 respectively. Likewise, these numbers far outpace those of the iPhone 6s Plus, which delivers 2407 and 4046 respectively.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's human-impact department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Live Science: Wilderness areas around the world have experienced catastrophic declines over the last two decades, with one-tenth of global wilderness lost since the 1990s, according to a new study. Since 1993, researchers found that a cumulative wilderness area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon has been stripped and destroyed. The shrinking wilderness is due, in part, to human activity such as mining, logging, agriculture, and oil and gas exploration. The researchers said their findings underscore the need for international policies to recognize the value of wilderness and to protect wilderness areas from the threats they face. Central Africa and the Amazon saw the most wilderness decline, the researchers found. Of the roughly 1.27 million square miles (3.3 million square kilometers) of global wilderness lost, the Amazon accounted for nearly one-third, and 14 percent of the world's wilderness was lost from Central Africa, according to the study. The researchers determined that only 11.6 million square miles (30.1 million square km) of wilderness is left, which equates to just 20 percent of the Earth's total land mass. The study was published online in the journal Current Biology.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's drove-my-chevy-to-the-levy-and-the-levy-was-dry department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: If you own a GM vehicle from 2014-2017, listen up: General Motors is recalling nearly 4.3 million vehicles worldwide after discovering a software defect that prevents air bags from deploying during a crash. The software bug may also prevent the seat belts from locking properly. The flaw has already been linked to one death and three injuries. Vehicles affected by the recall include 2014-2016 car models of the Buick LaCross, Chevy SS, and Chevy Spark EVs. It also includes 2014-2017 models of the Buick Encore, GMC Sierra, Chevy Corvette, Chevy Trax, Chevy Caprice, Chevy Silverado. Additionally, the recall affects 2015-2017 models of the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Silverado HD, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, GMC Sierra HD, Cadillac Escalade, and Cadillac Escalade ESV. GM will notify owners of affected vehicles and update the software for free, according to the NHTSA. "In the affected vehicles, certain driving conditions may cause the air bag sensing and diagnostic module (SDM) software to activate a diagnostic test," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a statement. "During the test, deployment of the frontal air bags and the seat belt pretensioners would not occur in the event of a crash."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's all-strung-out department
Artem Tashkinov writes: Researchers behind Google's DeepMind company have been creating AI algorithms which could hardly be applied in real life aside from pure entertainment purposes -- the Go game being the most recent example. However, their most recent development, a speech synthesis AI algorithm called WaveNet, beats the two existing methods of generating human speech by a long shot -- at least 50% by Google's own estimates. The only problem with this new approach is that it's very computationally expensive. The results are even more impressive considering the fact that WaveNet can easily learn different voices and generate artificial breaths, mouth movements, intonation and other features of human speech. It can also be easily trained to generate any voice using a very small sample database. Quartz has a voice demo of Google's current method in its report, which uses recurrent neural networks, and WaveNet's method, which "uses convolutional neural networks, where previously generated data is considered when producing the next bit of information." The report adds, "Researchers also found that if they fed the algorithm classical music instead of speech, the algorithm would compose its own songs."Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's device-killer department
There's a new USB Kill device in the market today which can destroy any device it touches. ZDNet reports: For just a few bucks, you can pick up a USB stick that destroys almost anything that it's plugged into. Laptops, PCs, televisions, photo booths -- you name it. Once a proof-of-concept, the pocket-sized USB stick now fits in any security tester's repertoire of tools and hacks, says the Hong Kong-based company that developed it. It works like this: when the USB Kill stick is plugged in, it rapidly charges its capacitors from the USB power supply, and then discharges -- all in a matter of seconds. On unprotected equipment, the device's makers say it will "instantly and permanently disable unprotected hardware." You might be forgiven for thinking, "Well, why exactly?" The lesson here is simple enough. If a device has an exposed USB port -- such as a copy machine or even an airline entertainment system -- it can be used and abused, not just by a hacker or malicious actor, but also electrical attacks.Read Replies (0)