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Thomas Claburn

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Sokoban screenshot

DeepMind says it's given AI an imagination. Let's take a closer look at that

Google's AI boutique, DeepMind, known for dispelling human delusions of intellectual superiority by soundly beating the world's top Go players with computer code, has found that instilling its software agents with something like imagination helps them learn better. In two papers published this week – "Imagination-Augmented …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Jul 2017
AirCode image

Boffins back bubbles for better bonding with beautiful belongings

To mark and track 3D printed objects, boffins propose injecting them with air. Air itself isn't as well suited for expression as ink, but imprisoned in a stable medium like plastic, it can be arranged to convey data. In a recently published research paper, "AirCode: Unobtrusive Physical Tags for Digital Fabrication," Columbia …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Jul 2017

Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

Among developers, Python is the most popular programming language, followed by C, Java, C++, and JavaScript; among employers, Java is the most sought after, followed by C, Python, C++, and JavaScript. Or so says the 2017 IEEE Spectrum ranking, published this week. IEEE Spectrum, a publication of the The Institute of …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Jul 2017

Second one this month: Another code bootcamp decamps to graveyard

The Iron Yard, a four-year-old coding bootcamp based in South Carolina, USA, said on Thursday that it is shutting its doors. "In considering the current environment, the board of The Iron Yard has made the difficult decision to cease operations at all campuses after teaching out remaining summer cohorts," the company said on …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jul 2017
HAL

We're all saved. From the killer AI. We can live. Thanks to the IEEE

Amid renewed calls to regulate AI before it wipes humanity from the planet, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has rolled out a standards project to guide how AI agents handle data, part of a broader effort to ensure AI will act ethically. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and a few other companies, over the …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jul 2017

Apple's 'KGB level of secrecy' harms its AI projects – but don't worry, it's started a blog

Analysis Continuing its campaign to court AI boffins, traditionally tight-lipped Apple has tiptoed further toward engagement with the outside world through the publication of its first research blog. "Welcome to the Apple Machine Learning Journal," the initial post says. "Here, you can read posts written by Apple engineers about their …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jul 2017
PWX_image

Contain(er) your enthusiasm, nerds: Docker-backed OCI runtime spec hits 1.0

The Open Container Initiative, an attempt by Docker and other container tech companies to build standards and consensus for container technology, on Wednesday plans to release the initial version of its runtime and image specifications. The OCI 1.0 runtime spec defines how a container's filesystem bundle is stored on a local …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jul 2017
Google G Suite interface

Google G-Suite spotted erecting stiff member vetting tool

Stung by phishing attacks aimed at G Suite users earlier this year, Google has armored its cloud with extra security layers. Following recent defenses against the dark arts – security key enforcement, app name vetting, and OAuth whitelisting – the Chocolate Factory has designed some interface signage to warn G Suite users not …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Jul 2017

Now your boss can tear you a new Glasshole: Google's techno-specs reborn as biz gear

Google Glass, the Chocolate Factory's shotgun wedding between technology and fashion, debuted to great fanfare on skydivers at Google IO 2012, launched with timidity in May, 2014 and collapsed under the weight of ridicule and naive expectations in January, 2015. It was a humbling flop, made more so by prognostications that …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Jul 2017
hololens

Hot HoloLens models 'shafted by Microsoft'

Microsoft and Jonathan Plumb, program manager at Microsoft Studios, have been sued by Jennifer Kelly, founder of Seattle modeling agency Genesis Industries. The allegations? Failing to pay for models hired to enhance HoloLens events – and for employment retaliation following allegations of discrimination and other unlawful …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Jul 2017

AI bots will kill us all! Or at least may seriously inconvenience humans

Analysis Elon Musk – the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink, not to mention co-chairman of OpenAI and founder of The Boring Company – is once again warning that artificial intelligence threatens humanity. In an interview at the National Governors Association 2017 Summer Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island on Saturday, Musk insisted …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jul 2017
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

Redis releases respectable revision, tiptoes through tricky political terminology

Redis, the moderately popular in-memory open-source database has just hit its 4.0.0 milestone, to the delight of some. Project creator Salvatore Sanfilippo, who presently oversees development of the NoSQL info store at Redis Labs, celebrated the event with a Google Groups note to fans. Conceding Redis is not yet magically …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Jul 2017
TSA gloves

US border cops search cloud accounts? Ha ha, nope, negative, no way, siree – Homeland Sec

Border searches of US citizens' mobile devices do not extend to data stored solely on remote servers, according to Kevin McAleenan, Acting Commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency. McAleenan offered this clarification in a June 20, 2017 letter, obtained by NBC News this week, sent in response to an inquiry …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Jul 2017

Kerberos bypass, login theft bug slain by Microsoft, Linux slingers

A vulnerability hidden in Kerberos code for more than 20 years met its end in patches issued this week by Microsoft and several Linux vendors. Having found the flaw three months ago in Heimdal, an open-source implementation of Kerberos, Jeffrey Altman, founder of AuriStor, and Viktor Dukhovni and Nicolas Williams from Two …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jul 2017

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

The community-driven organization overseeing Bitcoin on Wednesday warned that any Bitcoins received after Monday, July 31, 2017 at GMT-0700 may vanish into thin air or be rejected as invalid. Bitcoin.org said that at the end of the month, Bitcoin confirmation scores – a number that represents the difficulty of altering the …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jul 2017
Steady-Hand Eye robot

Robo-surgeons, self-driving cars face similar legal, ethical headaches

As drivers contemplate computer controlled cars, physicians get to ponder self-driven surgery tools. In a research paper published on Wednesday, "Robot Autonomy for Surgery," UC San Diego assistant professor Michael Yip and PhD student Nikhil Das explore the growing role played by surgical robots and the issues raised by …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jul 2017
Samsung Z1

Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

Samsung's Tizen appears to have more holes than a screen door, but the mobile operating system, which powers Samsung watches, TVs, and a few phones, may not be as disastrous as it seems. It does look bad. According to Andrey Karpov, founder and CTO of Program Verification Systems, the Russia-based maker of static code analyzer …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Jul 2017
JavaScript/Node code for Google Assistant

JavaScript spec gets strung out on padding

ECMAScript 2017, the latest edition of the specification upon which JavaScript is based, plugs a gap left by awkward extinction of some Node.js code last year. In March, 2016, as a result of a naming conflict with instant messaging app Kik, developer Azer Koçulu withdrew more than 250 of his modules from NPM, the service Node. …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Jul 2017
Blocked from following Trump image

Trump tramples US Constitution by blocking Twitter critics – lawsuit

President Donald Trump's habit of blocking critics from following his Twitter account faces a legal challenge that seeks to prevent him from tuning out those with opposing views. On Tuesday, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a lawsuit in New York's Southern District on behalf of seven people who …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Jul 2017
GHOST vulnerability

Ghost of NTLM still haunts Microsoft: Aged protocol hole patched

Computer security biz Preempt warned last October that Microsoft NT LAN Manager (NTLM) should be avoided. On Tuesday, it plans to support its assessment by going public with details of two vulnerabilities. NTLM is an old authentication protocol. Though it was replaced by Kerberos in Windows 2000, Microsoft has not removed the …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Jul 2017
Arto Nurmikko, Brown University

DARPA cracks wallet to open heads: Brain interface projects get Uncle Sam's backing

The US military's research nerve center DARPA on Monday awarded contracts to five organizations and one company to develop brain interface technology. By funding projects at Brown University, Columbia University, Fondation Voir et Entendre (The Seeing and Hearing Foundation), John B Pierce Laboratory, Paradromics, and the …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Jul 2017
Judiciary.gov.uk's expired certificate snafu, as seen via Firefox

Google Chrome's HTTPS ban-hammer drops on WoSign, StartCom in two months

Update Google in two months will conclude its prolonged excommunication of misbehaving SSL/TLS certificate authorities WoSign and subsidiary StartCom, a punishment announced last October. Chrome security engineer Devon O'Brien, in a Google Groups post on Thursday, said Google last year began limiting its trust of certificates backed …
Thomas Claburn, 07 Jul 2017
Web browsers 2015

Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, director of the web standards trendsetter W3C, and Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire, has given his blessing to anti-piracy locks on web content. Traditionally, web technology has been open. HTML markup, CSS, and JavaScript code can be viewed (though not …
Thomas Claburn, 07 Jul 2017

Now Uber sued for textual harassment

Taxi app turned lawsuit magnet Uber last week was sued by Donna Giacomaro, a resident of Levittown, New York, for text message harassment, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and New York state law. The complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York, alleges that Uber last month began sending …
Thomas Claburn, 06 Jul 2017
Let's Encrypt browser certificate

FREE wildcard HTTPS certs from Let's Encrypt for every Reg reader*

Let's Encrypt plans to begin offering free wildcard certificates in January 2018, a move likely to make web security easier and a bit less costly for many organizations. Announced in 2014 as an effort to enhance and accelerate online security, the public benefit certificate authority (CA) has been issuing free X.509 (TLS/SSL) …
Thomas Claburn, 06 Jul 2017

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