By msmash from Slashdot's meanwhile-in-Intel-world department
MojoKid writes: When Intel officially announced its 9th Generation Core processors, it used the opportunity to also unveil a refreshed line-up of 9th Gen-branded Core-X series processors. Unlike other 9th Gen Core i products, however, which leverage an updated Coffee Lake microarchitecture, new processors in Intel's Core-X series remain based on Skylake-X architecture but employ notable tweaks in manufacturing and packaging of the chips, specifically with a solder TIM (Thermal Interface Material) under their heat spreaders for better cooling and more overclocking headroom. The Core i9-9980XE is the new top-end CPU that supplants the Core i9-7980XE at the top of Intel's stack. The chip features 18 Skylake-X cores (36 threads) with a base clock of 3.0GHz that's 400MHz higher than the previous gen. The Core i9-9980XE has max Turbo Boost 2.0 and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 frequencies of 4.4GHz and 4.5GHz, which are 200MHz and 100MHz higher than Intel's previous gen Core i9-7980XE, respectively.
In the benchmarks, the new Core i9-9980XE is easily the fastest many-core desktop processor Intel has released to date, out-pacing all previous-gen Intel processors and AMD Threadripper X series processors in heavily threaded applications. However, the 18-core Core i9-9980XE typically trailed AMD's 24 and 32-core Threadripper WX series processors. Intel's Core i9-9980XE also offered relatively strong single-threaded performance, with an IPC advantage that's superior to any AMD Ryzen processor currently.Read Replies (0)
Can AIs Create True Art?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 09:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
An anonymous reader shares an analysis: Last month, AI-generated art arrived on the world auction stage under the auspices of Christie's, proving that artificial intelligence can not only be creative but also produce world class works of art -- another profound AI milestone blurring the line between human and machine. Naturally, the news sparked debates about whether the work produced by Paris-based art collective Obvious could really be called art at all. Popular opinion among creatives is that art is a process by which human beings express some idea or emotion, filter it through personal experience and set it against a broader cultural context -- suggesting then that what AI generates at the behest of computer scientists is definitely not art, or at all creative.
The story raised additional questions about ownership. In this circumstance, who can really be named as author? The algorithm itself or the team behind it? Given that AI is taught and programmed by humans, has the human creative process really been identically replicated or are we still the ultimate masters? At GumGum, an AI company that focuses on computer vision, we wanted to explore the intersection of AI and art by devising a Turing Test of our own in association with Rutgers University's Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab and Cloudpainter, an artificially intelligent painting robot. We were keen to see whether AI can, in fact, replicate the intent and imagination of traditional artists, and we wanted to explore the potential impact of AI on the creative sector.
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By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
Doxing rivals, stealing each other's files, and poking around Nintendo's servers are all a normal part of the ballooning Nintendo Switch hacking and piracy scenes. Joseph Cox, reports for Motherboard: The Switch piracy community -- much of which operates on the gamer-focused chat app Discord -- is full of ingenuity, technical breakthroughs, and evolving cat-and-mouse games between the multi-billion dollar Nintendo and the passionate hackers who love the company but nonetheless illegally steal its games. Pirates deploy malware to steal each other's files so they can download more games themselves. Groups deliberately plant code into others' Switches so they no longer work. And some people in the scene have been doxed, meaning they've had their personal information published online.
Pirating games for the Switch is not technically straightforward. Instead, there's a complex supply chain constantly grinding away that helps people source and play unreleased games. There are reverse engineers who figure out how Nintendo's own tools work, so hackers can then use them for their own advantage. There are coders who make programs to streamline the process of downloading or running games. Reviewers, developers, or YouTubers with access to games before general Switch users often leak unlock codes or other information to small groups, which then may trickle out to the wider community.
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By msmash from Slashdot's stranger-things department
Google suffered a brief outage and slowdown Monday, with some of its traffic getting rerouted through networks in Russia, China and Nigeria. From a report: Incorrect routing instructions sent some of the search giant's traffic to Russian network operator TransTelekom, China Telecom (which, as you may recall, has been found of misdirecting internet traffic in recent months) and Nigerian provider MainOne between 1:00 p.m. and 2:23 p.m. PT, according to internet research group ThousandEyes. "This incident at a minimum caused a massive denial of service to G Suite and Google Search," wrote Ameet Naik, ThousandEyes' technical marketing manager, in a blog post. "However, this also put valuable Google traffic in the hands of ISPs in countries with a long history of Internet surveillance. Applications like Gmail and Google Drive don't appear to have been affected, but YouTube users experienced some slowdown. Google noted that the issue was resolved and said it would conduct an internal investigation.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's inside-story department
Question: what is entertainment's highest-grossing weekend debut of all time? Hint: It only took place two weeks ago. From a report: It was claimed by a Western-themed video game called Red Dead Redemption 2 -- the second in a series dubbed 'Grand Theft Auto on horseback' -- which generated over $725m in just three days. The wording above ('highest-grossing weekend debut') has been carefully chosen. Because the highest-grossing entertainment launch of all time actually kicked off on a Tuesday, in September, 2013. That launch was Grand Theft Auto V, another video game, which grossed more than $1bn during its opening 72 hours on sale. Both Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto are made by Rockstar Games -- a New York-HQ'd interactive entertainment company famed for its ability to bring filmic sophistication to the world of PlayStations and Xboxes, and for its ability to generate billions upon billions of dollars by doing so.
Ready for this? The Grand Theft Auto franchise, and the core team behind Rockstar's success, were, unbelievably, both once part of the music business. They were allowed to leave 20 years ago. For an absolute pittance. Let's rewind. Back in 1990, London-born Sam Houser, aged 19, landed a dream first job -- working in the post-room at BMG's UK HQ. Houser then supplemented his university studies by continuing to work at BMG for the next four years, focusing on pop music videos and VHS releases. By 1994, he'd graduated, and took a full-time role within BMG's new interactive entertainment division. Houser, it turned out, had a natural talent for 'A&R'ing' video games -- spotting titles that would sell big and signing them up as a label would an artist -- and, by 1996, he was named Head of Development at BMG Interactive in the UK. Got your palm located somewhere roughly near your forehead? Good. Prepare for the two to forcibly meet.
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's universal-plug-and-play department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A recently discovered botnet has taken control of an eye-popping 100,000 home and small-office routers made from a range of manufacturers, mainly by exploiting a critical vulnerability that has remained unaddressed on infected devices more than five years after it came to light. Researchers from Netlab 360, who reported the mass infection late last week, have dubbed the botnet BCMUPnP_Hunter. The name is a reference to a buggy implementation of the Universal Plug and Play protocol built into Broadcom chipsets used in vulnerable devices. An advisory released in January 2013 warned that the critical flaw affected routers from a raft of manufacturers, including Broadcom, Asus, Cisco, TP-Link, Zyxel, D-Link, Netgear, and US Robotics. The finding from Netlab 360 suggests that many vulnerable devices were allowed to run without ever being patched or locked down through other means. Last week's report documents 116 different types of devices that make up the botnet from a diverse group of manufacturers. Once under the attackers' control, the routers connect to a variety of well-known email services. This is a strong indication that the infected devices are being used to send spam or other types of malicious mail.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department
schwit1 shares a report from The Hollywood Reporter: Douglas Rain, the veteran Canadian stage actor who provided the soft and gentle voice of the rogue HAL 9000 computer for Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel, has died. He was 90. The first drafts of the 2001 script had HAL being voiced by a woman and was called Athena; afterward, it was decided that the computer should sound more like a man. Nigel Davenport, Martin Balsam and others were tried out -- and ruled out -- before and during filming of the 1968 sci-fi thriller. "Well, we had some difficulty deciding exactly what HAL should sound like, and Marty just sounded a little bit too colloquially American, whereas Rain had the kind of bland mid-Atlantic accent we felt was right for the part,' Kubrick told Newsday film critic Joseph Gelmis in an interview for the 1970 book The Film Director as Superstar. Kubrick told Rain that he had made the computer "too emotional and too human." So, in late 1967, the actor flew to New York City and spent a day and a half -- about 9 1/2 hours in all -- to voice HAL. As reported on the blog 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Rain "did the recordings with his bare feet resting on a pillow, in order to maintain the required relaxed tone."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's target-acquired department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CleanTechnica: 2030 seems like a long way off, but it's really just around the corner. And when the bell tolls at midnight on December 31, 2030, you may not be able to buy a gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle in Israel. After that date, all passenger cars will be electric and all trucks will be powered by electricity or compressed natural gas, if a proposal currently under consideration gets approved by the government. A final decision is expected by the end of this year. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz [told Reuters last month] the biggest challenge will be creating a "critical mass" of electric and CNG powered vehicles before the deadline arrives. "We are already encouraging [the transition] by funding ... more than 2,000 new charging stations around the country," he says. The plan was set in motion one day after the United Nations issued its latest climate assessment that finds nations must do far more than they are currently doing in order to stave off warmer global average temperatures that will put the environment at risk. In order to reach the goal, the Israeli government will "reduce taxation on electric cars to almost zero, so they are going to be much cheaper," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said. He expects there will be about 177,000 electric cars on Israeli roads around 2025. By 2030, the expectation is that there will be nearly 1.5 million EVs in the country. The country has a ways to go though, as there are less than 100 electric cars on the roads today.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's finger-pointing department
The American Cable Association (ACA), an industry group that represents over 700 small and medium-sized cable operators, wants antitrust regulators to investigate whether Comcast-NBCUniversal is abusing its power to hurt smaller television and internet service providers. The group has "asked U.S. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim to 'immediately' open an investigation into Comcast's practices," reports The Verge. Comcast is denying the claims, and while the Justice Department hasn't publicly responded, that may change soon. President Donald Trump tweeted about the ACA's claims earlier this afternoon. From the report: The ACA claims Comcast has a uniquely powerful hold on the U.S. cable industry because it controls a large chunk of "must have" programming like NBC's regional sports channels. The group argues that the Comcast "has shown a willingness to harm rivals" in the past, even while bound by a 2011 consent decree that expired earlier this year. The letter is dated November 6th but was published today, after Fox Business Networks reported on its existence last week. Contra Trump's description, the letter doesn't seem to describe "routine" violations of antitrust law. It's primarily arguing that there's a huge risk of Comcast abusing its market position, while explaining just how much damage could result if Comcast did so. The ACA has put forward more concrete claims in the past, though -- like a 2017 complaint that Comcast was forcing smaller cable providers to bundle unwanted NBC-owned channels into TV packages, driving up their costs. The ACA's letter also raises concerns involving Hulu, suggesting that Comcast could effectively hold the service hostage. "We have heard from ACA members that they fear that ComcastNBCU may restrict, if it is not already restricting, their ability to access Hulu and make it available to their customers as an alternative to their cable offerings," reads the letter.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department
"The HTTP-over-QUIC experimental protocol will be renamed to HTTP/3 and is expected to become the third official version of the HTTP protocol, officials at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have revealed," writes Catalin Cimpanu via ZDNet. "This will become the second Google-developed experimental technology to become an official HTTP protocol upgrade after Google's SPDY technology became the base of HTTP/2." From the report: HTTP-over-QUIC is a rewrite of the HTTP protocol that uses Google's QUIC instead of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) as its base technology. QUIC stands for "Quick UDP Internet Connections" and is, itself, Google's attempt at rewriting the TCP protocol as an improved technology that combines HTTP/2, TCP, UDP, and TLS (for encryption), among many other things. Google wants QUIC to slowly replace both TCP and UDP as the new protocol of choice for moving binary data across the Internet, and for good reasons, as test have proven that QUIC is both faster and more secure because of its encrypted-by-default implementation (current HTTP-over-QUIC protocol draft uses the newly released TLS 1.3 protocol).
In a mailing list discussion last month, Mark Nottingham, Chair of the IETF HTTP and QUIC Working Group, made the official request to rename HTTP-over-QUIC as HTTP/3, and pass it's development from the QUIC Working Group to the HTTP Working Group. In the subsequent discussions that followed and stretched over several days, Nottingham's proposal was accepted by fellow IETF members, who gave their official seal of approval that HTTP-over-QUIC become HTTP/3, the next major iteration of the HTTP protocol, the technology that underpins today's World Wide Web.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's connect-the-dots department
ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols argues that the founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, wasn't fired because of his political views, as a recently-published Wall Street Journal article suggests, but because the virtual-reality company lost a $500 million intellectual property theft case to game maker ZeniMax. An anonymous reader shares the report: According to The Wall Street Journal, Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, a virtual reality company, was fired by Facebook because "he donated $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group" during the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign. But the article fails to mention a simple little fact: On Feb. 1, 2017, Oculus lost an intellectual property (IP) theft case against game maker ZeniMax, to the tune of $500 million. So, if one of your employees just cost your company a cool half-billion bucks for doing wrong what would you do? Well, Facebook isn't saying, even now, but on March 30, 2017, it let Luckey go.
Yes, Luckey also lied about his political moves, which went well beyond donating to an anti-Hillary billboard campaign. But let's look at the record. Everyone knew he'd lied by Feb. 22, 2016. Was he fired then? No. Was he fired after being found guilty of stealing ZeniMax's trade secrets? Yes. Officially, Facebook stated: "All details associated with specific personnel matters are kept strictly confidential. This is our policy for all employees, no matter their seniority. But we can say unequivocally that Palmer's departure was not due to his political views." Let me spell it out for you: He made some political waves. Nothing happened. He cost Facebook $500 million. He was fired. Can anyone here seriously not draw the lines between the dots?Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's that's-a-lot-of-zeros department
According to a study from Gemini Advisory, some 60 million U.S. cards were compromised in the past 12 months. "Of those, 93 percent were EMV chip-enabled," reports Threatpost. "Also, crucially, 75 percent, or 45.8 million, were records stolen from in-person transactions." From the report: These were likely compromised through card-skimming malware and point-of-sale (POS) breaches at establishments like retailers, hotels and restaurants, the likes of which continue to make headlines. Further results show that the U.S. leads the rest of the world in the total amount of compromised EMV payment cards by a massive 37.3 million records. In the past 12 months, about 15.9 million compromised non-U.S. payment cards were posted for sale on the underground, split between 11.3 million card-not-present (online transaction) records and 4.6 million card-present records, of which 4.3 million were EMV enabled. This means that the theft level of EMV-enabled card data in the U.S. is 868 percent higher than the rest of the world combined.
The reason for this state of affairs, according to Gemini, is the lack of U.S. merchant compliance -- too many of them still use the mag-stripe function at PoS terminals. Gemini also said that card-present data "is also collected via a more manual method by skimmer groups, who are utilizing custom made hardware known as 'shimmers' to record and exfiltrate data from ATMs and POS systems. The firm also found that while most large U.S. merchants have fully transitioned to EMV, gas pump terminals and small/medium size businesses are emerging as the main targets for cybercriminals going forward.Read Replies (0)