'Lord of the Rings' Prequel Series Will Explore 'Unseen History' of Middle-Earth

The site GeekyTyrant is excited about Amazon’s upcoming eight-episode series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power — premiering September 2 and set in Middle-earth’s “Second Age,” thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.)
With the film being set in a completely different age, I was expecting Middle-Earth to be very different than what we’ve seen in the past. As we’ve seen in the first trailer that was released, the show does has a similar visual style as Peter Jackson’s films, but things are definitely going to be different.
During a recent interview with Empire, Rings Of Power concept artist John Howe, teased some of the surprises that are in store:

“This isn’t the Middle-earth you remember. This is a world that’s very vibrant. The elves are not hidden away in Mirkwood or lingering in Rivendell. They’re busy constructing kingdoms. The dwarven kingdom of Moria is not an abandoned mine and the Grey Havens is not yet an abandoned city. I loved having the opportunity to explore that unseen history.”
He went on to share that the series will finally explore the oceans of Middle-Earth and says that there will be a set of seafaring elves.
Or, as Amazon’s press release puts it, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power “will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness….”

The Independent notes the show “has been in the works since 2017” — and that Prime Video bought the rights for $250m (£183m). And now Prime Video has even invited some JRR Tolkien fans to attent a preview screening of the show:

[F]ans of Middle Earth were nervous ahead of sitting down to watch footage from the show — but those nerves soon made way for excitement, with fans praising the series as well as the showrunners, JD Payne and Patrick McKay…. Fan Dr Maggie Parke said that the showrunners “kept up with the best of us”, stating: “Their passion & knowledge made me feel like they were one of us, they get it. I’m feeling very optimistic…!”

The newspaper quotes another preview attendee’s conclusion that “”We, as Tolkien fans, are in good hands! Above and beyond, I was absolutely blown away. I cannot wait to see more — it’s just beyond words.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – ‘Lord of the Rings’ Prequel Series Will Explore ‘Unseen History’ of Middle-Earth

Twitter Turns Its Privacy Policy Into a Videogame about a Dog

What did you think of Twitter Data Dash?
The Guardian describes it as “a Super Nintendo-style browser game that recaps Twitter’s private policy.”

And the Verge applauds the game — released Wednesday — for its “delightful pixel art aesthetic.”

“Welcome to PrivaCity!” reads a description of the game on the site. “Get your dog, Data, safely to the park.

“Dodge cat ads, swim through a sea of DMs, battle trolls, and learn how to take control of your Twitter experience along the way….”

The game itself is a pretty straightforward side-scrolling platformer. Each level is themed around what I can best describe as Twitter Things — one features cats wearing ad boards, another has you avoiding trolls — and your goal is to collect five bones as quickly as you can. If you get the bones, the game will explain something about Twitter’s privacy settings related to that level and even offer a button linking to Twitter’s settings. When you beat the cat ad level, for example, you’ll see a message about how Twitter customizes your experience on the platform and points to where you can turn personalized ads on or off….

Twitter introduced the game as part of a bigger push around its privacy policy, which the company has rewritten. “We’ve emphasized clear language and moved away from legal jargon,” Twitter said on its Safety account.

Gizmodo calls the game “adorable,” but also “buggy”. And they also have some quibbles with its ultimate message:
It’s a bit rich that Twitter made a game about avoiding faceless advertisers when the platform is actively doing everything it can to make ads tougher to avoid….
[A]fter watching our personas bounce from level to level with our lil blue dog in tow, it became clear that this game is less for us — or any Twitter user, really — and more for the company itself. It’s a way to paper over uncomfortable topics like “privacy” and “consent” and “ownership of our personal data” with a lil blue dog, collecting lil bones by hopping across lil stages. Just promise you won’t think about where those bones came from in the first place.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Twitter Turns Its Privacy Policy Into a Videogame about a Dog

Luna Cryptocurrency's Collapse Led to Multi-Million-Dollar Exploits, Closure of a Crypto Money Market

The Record reports that the decentralized money market Venus Protocol “announced on Thursday evening about $11 million had been lost due to people exploiting the historic collapse of the Luna cryptocurrency and its sister stablecoin UST.”
Venus Protocol and several other platforms use Chainlink to provide its users with real-time price estimations of the tokens on its platform that are available for lending and borrowing. But the tool began having issues with Luna on Thursday as the price continued to fall precipitously. “As a result, it was possible to deposit UST and LUNA as collateral and borrow other tokens, with an underpriced collateral valuation….” decentralized finance researcher Vali Dyor explained.
Venus Protocol says they became “aware of errant price behavior for LUNA,” and “Upon investigation, it was learned that the price feed had been paused by Chainlink due to extreme market conditions.”

“The price on Venus was last listed at about $0.107 while the market price was $0.01. In order to de-risk this situation, the protocol was paused using PauseGuardian via multisig. Upon this desyncing event, it was discovered that 2 accounts had suspiciously deposited a sum of 230,000,000 LUNA valued at over $24,000,000. Assets were borrowed totalling around $13,500,000.”

Venus Protocol has a “Risk Fund” that will be used to cover the shortfall, the Record reports. But they added that Venus Protocol wasn’t the only one having problems:

As the price of Luna cratered overnight, exchanges and markets were forced to make difficult choices on how to approach the cryptocurrency. Binance stopped all trading of Luna and UST on its platform but the moves have done little to stop all cryptocurrency values from being depressed across the board.

DeFi platform Blizz Finance announced that it was attacked in the same way Venus Protocol was, but they did not release an estimate on the losses incurred. But they said the protocol was “drained” before it could stop the process.

And then Blizz Finance posted a post-mortem early Sunday morning:

Large amounts of LUNA were deposited and used to drain all available lendable assets… Prior to the incident the Chainlink team did attempt to notify us that the oracle would pause, however we did not receive the message in time. We were unaware of Chainlink’s minimum price circuit breaker. This behaviour is not mentioned anywhere within Chainlink’s documentation…

Blizz has no treasury or development fund and a significant portion of the stolen assets belonged to our team. As such we regret to announce the protocol has been paused and we do not intend to resume operations. We will be shutting down the front-end and closing official communication channels in the coming days….

We are very sorry for the losses incurred by our users. We thank the community for their support on this journey and deeply regret that this is how it came to an end.

They posted one additional detail on Twitter. “We are reaching out to a Chinese community who is believed to have doxxed individuals who participated in the attacks.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Luna Cryptocurrency’s Collapse Led to Multi-Million-Dollar Exploits, Closure of a Crypto Money Market

Final former eBay employee involved in bizarre EcommerceBytes harassment case pleads guilty

Earlier this week, David Harville, one of seven former eBay employees involved in a 2020 campaign to harass the creators of a newsletter critical of the e-commerce company, pleaded guilty to five federal felony charges, ending one of the most bizarre episodes in recent tech history.

In June 2020, the US Department of Justice charged six former eBay employees, including Harville, with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. Of the group, Harville was the final employee to admit involvement in the harassment campaign that targeted Ina and David Steiner, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.

In 2019, the Massachusetts couple published an article in their EcommerceBytes newsletter about litigation involving eBay. Responding to what they considered negative coverage of the company, the group carried out a harassment campaign that involved, among other actions, sending the couple a preserved fetal pig, live spiders and a funeral wreath. They also created fake social media accounts to send threatening messages to the Steiners and share their home address online.

According to the Department of Justice’s original 2020 filing, part of Harville’s involvement in the campaign included a plot to install a GPS tracking device on the Steiner’s car. Harville, alongside James Baugh, one of the other former employees charged in the scheme, carried with them fake documents allegedly designed to show the two were investigating the Steiners for threatening eBay executives.

Last July, a federal judge sentenced Philip Cooke, the first of the seven former employees convicted in the scheme, to 18 months in prison. At the time, US District Judge Allison Burroughs called the entire case “just nuts.” That same summer, the Steiners sued several eBay employees, including former CEO Devin Wenig, for carrying out a conspiracy to “intimidate, threaten to kill, torture, terrorize, stalk and silence them.” Wenig has denied having any knowledge of the campaign.

Source: Engadget – Final former eBay employee involved in bizarre EcommerceBytes harassment case pleads guilty

Georgia Gets a Second Electric Vehicle Facility? Hyundai Plans $7B Plant

Hyundai is expected to announce that it’s building “a massive electric vehicle plant near Savannah, Georgia,” reports the Associated Press, citing a U.S. official “familiar with the anticipated announcement.”

The plant is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to Georgia.
The plant could grow to include 8,500 employees and would be built on a 2,200-acre (890-hectare) site that state and local governments own near the hamlet of Ellabell, Georgia, said two people familiar with Georgia’s talks with Hyundai…. The second person said Hyundai would invest more than $7 billion and could also build some cars powered by gasoline engines at the site, with an announcement in Georgia set for May 20…

It would be the second massive electric vehicle plant announced in Georgia in less than a year. Rivian Automotive in December announced it would build a $5 billion, 7,500-job electric truck plant about 45 miles (70 kilometers) east of Atlanta.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Georgia Gets a Second Electric Vehicle Facility? Hyundai Plans B Plant

Downed Russian Fighters Said to Be Found With Basic GPS 'Taped To the Dashboards'

An anonymous reader quotes Business Insider:

Wrecked Russian fighter jets are being found with rudimentary GPS receivers “taped to the dashboards” in Ukraine because their inbuilt navigation systems are so bad, the UK’s defense secretary, Ben Wallace, said…. “[W]hilst Russia has large amounts of artillery and armor that they like parading, they are unable to leverage them for combined arms maneuver and just resort to mass indiscriminate barrages,” he added….

Last month, Ukrainian troops paraded what they said was a Russian drone that had been covered in duct tape and fitted with a generic plastic bottle top for a fuel cap. In March, Ukrainian troops found what appeared to be Russian army bandages dating to 1978 discarded on a battlefield. In his Monday speech, Wallace said Russian vehicles “are frequently found with 1980s paper maps of Ukraine in them” and that soldiers were using “pine logs as makeshift protection on logistical trucks” and attaching “overhead ‘cope cages’ to their tanks.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Downed Russian Fighters Said to Be Found With Basic GPS ‘Taped To the Dashboards’

Buffalo gunman clips proliferate on social media following Twitch removal

Following Saturday’s horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, online platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Twitter are seemingly struggling to prevent various versions of the gunman’s livestream from proliferating on their platforms. The shooter, an 18-year-old white male, attempted to broadcast the entire attack on Twitch using a GoPro Hero 7 Black. The company told Engadget it took his channel down within two minutes of the violence starting.

“Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents,” a Twitch spokesperson said. “The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.”

Despite Twitch’s response, that hasn’t stopped the video from proliferating online. According to New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, one link to a version of the livestream someone used a screen recorder to preserve saw 43,000 interactions. Another Twitter user said they found a Facebook post linking to the video that had been viewed more than 1.8 million times, with an accompanying screenshot suggesting the post did not trigger Facebook’s automated safeguards. A Meta spokesperson told Mac the video violates Facebook’s Community Standards.

Responding to Mac’s Twitter thread, Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz said she found TikTok videos that share accounts and terms Twitter users can search for to view the full video. “Clear the vid is all over Twitter,” she said. We’ve reached out to the company for comment.

Preventing terrorists and violent extremists from disseminating their content online is one of the things Facebook, Twitter and a handful of other tech companies said they would do following the 2019 shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the first 24 hours after that attack, Meta said it removed 1.5 million videos, but clips of the shooting continued to circulate on the platform for more than a month after the event. The company blamed its automated moderation tools for the failure, noting they had a hard time detecting the footage because of the way in which it was filmed. “This was a first-person shooter video, one where we have someone using a GoPro helmet with a camera focused from their perspective of shooting,” Neil Potts, Facebook’s public policy director, told British lawmakers at the time.

Source: Engadget – Buffalo gunman clips proliferate on social media following Twitch removal

Report: 'Nvidia's LHR Limiter Has Fallen, But Gamers Shouldn't Worry'

Slashdot reader Hmmmmmm shared this report from Hot Hardware:

When Nvidia launched its Ampere Lite Hash Rate (LHR) graphics card with the feared Ethereum anti-mining limiter, the world knew it was only a matter of time before someone or a team cracked it. NiceHash, the company that designed the QuickMiner software and Excavator miner, has finally broken Nvidia’s algorithm, restoring LHR graphics cards to their 100% Ethereum mining performance….

Graphics card pricing has been plummeting, and we’re starting to see better availability at retailers, with some GPUs selling at or below Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. So QuickMiner’s arrival shouldn’t influence the current state of the graphics market unless big corporations want to buy out everything in sight for the last push before Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), often referred to as “The Merge,” is complete. We see that as unlikely, considering current profitability even on a 3080 Ti sits at around $3.50 per day and would still need nearly a year to break even at current rates. Initially scheduled for June, The Merge won’t finalize until “the few months after,” as Ethereum developer Tim Beiko has expressed on Twitter.

It will be interesting to see if Nvidia responds to this with updated drivers or implements LHRv3 in the remaining GPUs. However, it’s perhaps not worth the effort at this point, and all existing LHRv2 and earlier cards can just stay on current drivers for optimized mining performance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Report: ‘Nvidia’s LHR Limiter Has Fallen, But Gamers Shouldn’t Worry’

Stranger Things' Cast Hope Season 4's Baddie Vecna Will Shake Up the Series

Though the series has had its fair share of ups and downs in previous seasons, the hype for Stranger Things’ upcoming fourth season, or at the least the first part of it, is very real. With some of the cast having left Hawkins, Indiana for California or wound up mysteriously in Russia, it’s only matter of time before

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – Stranger Things’ Cast Hope Season 4’s Baddie Vecna Will Shake Up the Series

Why This California Commission Unanimously Rejected a New Water Desalination Plant

Calfornia already has 12 water desalination plants — with 15 more proposed, one local news station reported last year. “These plants, which experts say weren’t viable or aren’t as needed as they were 20 years ago, are being looked at now in a more critical light in the struggle to adapt to less rainfall and climate change.”

In 2015 Slashdot covered the launch of a desalination plant in in Carlsbad, California. “56 million gallons a day,” brags its web site now. “The Pacific is now on tap.” And this year the same company, Poseidon Water, had wanted to build another desalination plant 60 miles north.

But the Associated Press reports it just hit a roadblock with the state’s Coastal Commission.

Poseidon’s long-running proposal was supported by Governor Gavin Newsom but faced ardent opposition from environmentalists who said drawing in large amounts of ocean water and releasing salty discharge back into the ocean would kill billions of tiny marine organisms that make up the base of the food chain along a large swath of the coast. “The ocean is under attack” from climate change already, Commissioner Dayna Bochco said. “I cannot say in good conscience that this amount of damage is OK.”
Other critics said the water would be too expensive and wasn’t urgently needed in the area where it would be built, which is less dependent on state and federal water due to an ample aquifer and water recycling program.
Commissioners cited those issues in following a staff recommendation and rejecting the proposal. They also cited the energy cost of running the plant and the fact that it would sit in an earthquake fault zone.
The vote against the plant was unanimous, CNN reports. And yet…

Commission staff did acknowledge in the report that its findings do not mean that the project is “unapprovable,” nor that it is completely against desalination, writing: “Staff acknowledge the need to develop new, reliable sources of water in southern California, and believe that well-planned and sited desalination facilities will likely play a role in providing these supplies.”

But CNN also notes California has other options:
Research by the Pacific Institute, a water-focused think tank, found California could substantially reduce its urban water use by 30 to 48% with existing and cutting-edge technologies. In its recent report, the institute argued that “water efficiency opportunities can be found across the state but are highest in the South Coast hydrologic region.” It pointed to solutions that cost very little compared to desalination, including increased wastewater recycling and stormwater capture — with about two-thirds of the region’s potential water savings coming from the residential sector.
“Seawater desalination is among the most expensive water supply options,” Heather Cooley, Pacific Institute’s director of research, told CNN. “From a cost perspective, from an environmental one, from an energy perspective, doing these other alternatives first makes the most sense for California.”

Thanks to Slashdot reader schwit1 for submitting the article!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Why This California Commission Unanimously Rejected a New Water Desalination Plant

The Halo Show Let Master Chief Have Sex, and Now the Planet's Doomed

It’s been some time since we checked on Paramount’s Halo show. When it first premiered, we thought it was an interesting, strange, interestingly strange adaptation of the Xbox shooter franchise that had some potential, but it’s understandably rubbing a lot of folks in a couple of different ways. The biggest shakeup…

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – The Halo Show Let Master Chief Have Sex, and Now the Planet’s Doomed

How Industrial Light & Magic Helped Resurrect ABBA with Digital ABBA-Tars

“After they broke up four decades ago, ABBA famously refused all kinds of money for reunion ABBA-tars and performances,” writes Rolling Stone.

“But a few years ago, British entrepreneur Simon Fuller pitched an idea that piqued the Swedish superstars’ interest…”

“We got sort of turned on by the thought that we could actually be onstage without us being there,” ABBA singer-songwriter Benny Andersson says over Zoom.

The band, along with Fuller and their producers Ludvig Andersson (Benny Andersson’s son) and Svana Gisla (music-video producer for the likes of Radiohead and Beyoncé), initially explored reproducing themselves by hologram technology, but that didn’t pan out. They finally realized a grander dream: ABBA Voyage, the 196-show concert residency at newly built ABBA Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that begins May 27. Made with help from George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, digital avatars (also known as ABBA-tars) embody the stars in their Seventies prime, performing a 22-song set alongside a flesh-and-blood backing band assembled by James Righton of the Klaxons and including U.K. singer Little Boots on keys….

The band and the team and ILM realized early on that an existing venue wasn’t going to work for the residency. There are 1,000 visual-effects artists on ABBA Voyage, making it the biggest project ILM has done, according to Gisla (and this is the company behind Star Wars, Marvel, and Jurassic Park). The roof of ABBA Arena was reengineered three times to fit the complicated lighting system. Where many concerts might use only one lighting rig, this one uses 20.

There was a lot of work put into making the ABBA-tars — which, the band stresses, are not holograms, but digital versions of the members that look like real, physical performers. Not too long before the pandemic put things to a near-halt, the four members of ABBA met from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, for four and half weeks straight, performing for 200 cameras and a crew of nearly 40 people while wearing motion-capture suits. They posted up in a sound studio within the Swedish Film Institute, playing all the songs they had carefully curated for their first show in 40 years. “It was really a pleasure for all of us,” Andersson says.

Back in London, body doubles emulated the performances, but with a younger energy. “We are sort of merged together with our body doubles. Don’t ask me how it works because I can’t explain that,” Andersson continues. “If you’re 75, you don’t jump around like you did when you were 34, so this is why this happened.”
Producer Ludvig Andersson adds: “We hear often, ‘This is the dawn of a new era in live entertainment.’ I think that’s an incorrect statement. I don’t think it is. This is unique.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – How Industrial Light & Magic Helped Resurrect ABBA with Digital ABBA-Tars

A USB-C iPhone could be part of a broader move away from Lightning for Apple

Apple may be planning a broader move away from its proprietary Lightning port than was initially suggested in reports earlier in the week. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the company is working on accessories, including AirPods as well as mouse and keyboard peripherals, that charge via USB-C.

Kuo shared the forecast in response to a tweet he posted on May 11th. In that earlier message, he said Apple would redesign the iPhone to feature the more universal port standard by the second half of 2023. Bloomberg later corroborated Kuo’s prediction.

Exactly when Apple could move its accessories to USB-C is unclear. Kuo only said the transition would happen “in the foreseeable future.” According to the report Bloomberg published on Friday, Apple won’t release a USB-C iPhone until next year at the earliest. It would make the most sense for the company to complete the move all at once, but there’s no guarantee it will do things that way.

As with a potential USB-C iPhone, Apple’s motivation for moving its accessories away from Lightning may have more to do with avoiding regulatory scrutiny than creating a better user experience. In an effort to cut down on electronic waste, the European Union has spent years pushing for a universal charging port and last month moved one step closer to mandating USB-C on all small and medium-sized electronics.

Source: Engadget – A USB-C iPhone could be part of a broader move away from Lightning for Apple

Surprise: Microsoft Has a Second Internal-Use-Only Linux Distro

ZDNet reports there’s more than just the one Microsoft-created Linux distribution for internal use only called CBL (Common Base Linux) Mariner.

“It turns out there’s another Microsoft-developed Linux distribution that’s also for internal use that’s known as CBL-Delridge or CBL-D.”

I discovered the existence of CBL-D for the first time this week in a rather round-about way. I stumbled onto a February 2 blog post from Hayden Barnes. a Senior Engineering Manager at SuSE who led the Windows on Rancher engineering team, which traced his steps in discovering and building his own image of CBL-D. Barnes noted that Microsoft published CBL-Delridge in 2020, the same year that it also published CBL-Mariner. The main difference between the two: Delridge is a custom Debian derivative, while Mariner is a custom Linux From Scratch-style distribution.

CBL-D powers Azure’s Cloud Shell. The Azure Cloud Shell provides a set of cloud-management tools packaged in a container. In a note on the GitHub repo for the Cloud Shell, officials noted that “the primary difference between Debian and CBL-D is that Microsoft compiles all the packages included in the CBL-D repository internally. This helps guard against supply chain attacks….”

CBL-Mariner and CBL-Delridge are just two of the Microsoft-developed Linux-related deliverables from the Linux Systems Group. Others include the Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2 (WSL2), which is part of Windows 10; an Azure-tuned Linux kernel which is designed for optimal performance as Hyper-V guests; and Integrity Policy Enforcement (IPE), a proposed Linux Security Module (LSM) from the Enterprise and Security team.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Surprise: Microsoft Has a Second Internal-Use-Only Linux Distro

Hell Yes, Mob Psycho 100 is Coming Back This October

The internet loves itself some shonen anime, and of the many that are currently out right now, Mob Psycho 100 may be in the upper tier. Studio Bones’ adaptation of creator ONE’s (One-Punch Man) action-comedy series was last on the air in 2019, and we learned late last year that a third season was officially in…

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – Hell Yes, Mob Psycho 100 is Coming Back This October

Elon Musk claims Twitter's legal team told him he violated an NDA

Elon Musk’s tweeting may have landed him in legal trouble again. As you may recall, the Tesla and SpaceX executive tweeted on Friday that his deal to buy Twitter was “temporarily on hold” after the company disclosed that fake and spam accounts represented less than 5 percent of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter of 2022.

After his tweet prompted Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to say the company was “prepared for all scenarios,” Musk stated his team would test “a random sample of 100 followers” to verify Twitter’s numbers. According to the billionaire, one of the answers he gave to a question about his methodology prompted a response from Twitter’s legal team.

“I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate,” he said in the alleged offending tweet. “Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100,” Musk later said of his actions.

We’ve reached out to Twitter for comment.

In another twist in Musk’s bid to buy Twitter, he also took aim at the platform’s algorithmic feed. “You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don’t realize,” he said.

The message drew the attention of former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “It was designed simply to save you time when you are away from [the] app for a while,” Dorsey told Musk. “Pull to refresh goes back to reverse chron as well.”

Dorsey then responded to someone who said Twitter’s algorithmic feed was “definitely” designed to manipulate. “No it wasn’t designed to manipulate. It was designed to catch you up and work off what you engage with,” Dorsey said. “That can def have unintended consequences tho.”

Musk later appeared to walk back his comment. “I’m not suggesting malice in the algorithm, but rather that it’s trying to guess what you might want to read and, in doing so, inadvertently manipulate/amplify your viewpoints without you realizing this is happening,” he said.

Should something come of Musk’s actions, this wouldn’t be the first time one of his tweets has landed him in legal trouble. Back in 2018, his now-infamous “funding secured” tweet attracted the attention of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, leading to a $40 million settlement with the agency that he’s now trying to end.

Source: Engadget – Elon Musk claims Twitter’s legal team told him he violated an NDA

Facing High Demand, Texas Asks 26 Million to Use Less Electricity This Weekend

Friday a heat wave hit Texas — prompting the non-profit that manages power for Texas’s 26 million customers to…ask them to use less of it.

“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) made the appeal in a statement Friday, saying that soaring temperatures increased demand and caused six power generation facilities to trip offline,” reports CNN. “That resulted in the loss of about 2,900 megawatts of electricity.”

The statement asks Texans “to conserve power when they can by setting their thermostats to 78-degrees or above and avoiding the usage of large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers and dryers) during peak hours between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. through the weekend.” CNN reports:

The appeal comes as record temperatures across most of the southern U.S. this weekend are expected to worsen a deepening drought. From Phoenix to Amarillo, Texas, record temperatures are expected to reach triple digits, with a chance for some parts of Texas to break daily records over the next seven days.

ERCOT came under scrutiny last year after record cold temperatures in February caused the state’s highest electricity demand and more than 200 people died during the power crisis, with the most common cause of death being hypothermia. In March 2021, ERCOT’s president and CEO, Bill Magness, was fired following widespread power outages during a series of winter storms that left many residents in the dark for days. Now the heat is testing Texas’ power grid….

Temperatures from the mid-90s to the low 100s are expected on Sunday, with much of central and western Texas reaching 100 to 105 degrees — approximately 10 to 15 degrees above average.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Facing High Demand, Texas Asks 26 Million to Use Less Electricity This Weekend

How Ukraine Uses Facial Recognition Technology to Identify Dead Russian Soldiers and War Criminals

“Ukraine is using facial recognition technology to identify bodies of Russian soldiers killed in war,” reads the chyron on CNN’s latest video report. It explains how Ukraine is using the technology “both to help with this difficult task and help advance their aims in the propaganda war with Moscow.” And it may even help identify suspected war criminals.

But first Ukraine’s chief civil-military liaison officer tells CNN that Geneva Convention rules mandate storing the bodies of the enemy (to be exchanged after the end of active combat) — but also that they make an attempt to first identify the dead.

From CNN’s report:

This is where the Ministry of Digital Transformation comes in. “We have identified about 300 cases,” says Mykhailo Fedorov [Ukraine’s vice prime minister and Minister of Digital Transformation]. They do it by using a myriad of techniques, but the most effective has been facial recognition technology. They upload a picture of a face, the technology scrubs all the social networks… Once they have a match, they go one step further. “We send messages to their friends and relatives.”

CNN: These are often gruesome photos of dead soldiers. Why do you send them to the families in Russia?

Fedorov: There are two goals. One is to show the Russians there’s a real war going on here, to fight against the Russian propaganda, to show them they’re not as strong as shown on TV, and Russians really are dying here. The second goal is to give them an opportunity to pick up the bodies in Ukraine.

They do get responses from Russian families.
CNN: They’re responding with, basically saying “You will be killed. I will come and I will also take part in this war.”
Fedorov: 80% of the familes’ answers are, We’ll come to Ukraine ourselves and kill you, and you deserve what’s happening to you.
CNN: What about the other 20%?

Fedorov: Some of them say they’re grateful, and they know about the situation. And some would like to come and pick up the body.

The technology is not just being used on the dead. It is also being used to identify Russian soldiers who are alive, some of whom are being accused of war crimes.

Ukraine chief regional prosecutor Ruslan Kravchenko: We have established the identity of one military man.

“We have a lot of materials – irreputable evidence,” this prosecutor says.
[Kravchenko] says he was caught on video in Belarus trying to sell items he had looted from Ukrainian homes. But his alleged crimes go far beyond that. The soldier is accused of taking part in the execution of four Ukrainian men, with their hands bound behind their backs…. Prosecutors say the soldier was first identified by the technology, and then by a Ukrainian citizen who said the soldier tortured him after entering his home.

Kravchenko: We showed these photos to the witnesses and victims.

They identified the specific person who was among other Russian military personnel who killed four people in this particular place, the prosecutor said. The end result of all their investigations, they hope, will be a full record of what happened in Ukraine. And the proof they need to prosecute those who committed crimes against its pepole.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – How Ukraine Uses Facial Recognition Technology to Identify Dead Russian Soldiers and War Criminals

What is (or Was) Your Favorite CW Show?

For those who watch network TV, the month of May is typically when we learn what new shows are arriving in the fall, what shows are coming back for a future season, and what gets cancelled. If you watch anything on The CW, this May has been a particular rough one, as the network behind the Arrowverse, Vampire Diaries

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Source: Gizmodo – What is (or Was) Your Favorite CW Show?