Lordstown Motors' electric race truck is (mostly) ready for off-roading

Lordstown Motors wants to prove its Endurance electric truck is ready for the wilderness through a familiar strategy: it’s entering a prominent race. Autoblog reports that Lordstown has unveiled a race-ready version of its Endurance Beta truck th…

Source: Engadget – Lordstown Motors’ electric race truck is (mostly) ready for off-roading

Did 'Tens of Thousands' of Bot Accounts Hype GameStop's Stock and Dogecoin?

Reuters reports:

Bots on major social media platforms have been hyping up GameStop Corp and other “meme” stocks, according to an analysis by Massachusetts-based cyber security company PiiQ Media, suggesting organized economic or foreign actors may have played a role in the Reddit-driven trading frenzy… it is unclear how influential they were in the overall saga…

PiiQ said it identified very similar daily “start and stop patterns” in the GameStop-related posts, with activity starting at the beginning of the trading day, followed by a large spike at the end of the trading day. Such patterns are indicative of bots, said Aaron Barr, co-founder and chief technology officer of PiiQ. “We saw clear patterns of artificial behavior across the other four social media platforms. When you think of organic content, it’s variable in the day, variable day-to-day. It doesn’t have the exact same pattern every day for a month,” he said… The company did not analyze Reddit data, but Barr said he would expect to see a similar pattern of activity on Reddit, indicating bot-like or coordinated management of conversations…

Based on its authenticity scoring system, PiiQ estimates there are tens of thousands of bot accounts hyping GameStop, the meme stocks, and Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency swept up in the frenzy. Thousands of fake accounts can be purchased for as little as $200, it said.

Reuters also reports that Friday America’s Securities and Exchange Commission “suspended trading in 15 companies due to unusual trading activity and apparent attempts on social media to artificially inflate their stock prices. That is in addition to six stocks it recently suspended due to suspicious social media activity.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Did ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Bot Accounts Hype GameStop’s Stock and Dogecoin?

Exploring the Open Source That Really Goes Into a RISC-V Chip

“Maker Andreas Spiess talks about the Open Source that really goes into a RISC-V chip and the ESP32-C3,” writes
Slashdot reader nickwinlund77 — sharing a link to this article from Hackaday:

It’s an exciting time in the world of microprocessors, as the long-held promise of devices with open-source RISC-V cores is coming to fruition. Finally we might be about to see open-source from the silicon to the user interface, or so goes the optimistic promise. In fact the real story is considerably more complex than that, and it’s a topic [Andreas Speiss] explores in a video that looks at the issue with a wide lens…

nickwinlund77 writes:

The YouTube video starts out with a good general history of competition between large businesses over architectures and embracing the standards for tech which many of us have depended on throughout the years. The video then gets into the technical specifics of the ESP32-C3.

Hackaday adds:
His conclusion is that while a truly open-source RISC-V chip is entirely possible (as demonstrated with a cameo Superconference badge appearance), the importance of the RISC-V ISA is in its likely emergence as a heavyweight counterbalance to ARM’s dominance in the sector.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Exploring the Open Source That Really Goes Into a RISC-V Chip

Scientists sequence 64 human genomes to better reflect genetic diversity

The Human Genome Project shed light on our species in 2001, but it was a patchwork of different humans’ genes that didn’t really reflect humanity’s genetic makeup. Flash forward 20 years, however, and science is taking a significant leap…

Source: Engadget – Scientists sequence 64 human genomes to better reflect genetic diversity

Microsoft Fixes Critical Windows 10 NTFS Storage Corruption Bug, But Not For Everyone

Microsoft Fixes Critical Windows 10 NTFS Storage Corruption Bug, But Not For Everyone
If you are looking for a tiny bit of good news this weekend, here you go—Microsoft has apparently figured out a way to prevent a weird and potentially destructive Windows 10 bug from scrambling your hard drive with relative ease. There is a catch, though, and it is not an insignificant one. The fix is only available to Windows Insiders who

Source: Hot Hardware – Microsoft Fixes Critical Windows 10 NTFS Storage Corruption Bug, But Not For Everyone

The First AI-written Play Isn't Shakespeare – but It Has Its Moments

Science magazine describes what happens when a robot writes a play:

The 60-minute production — AI: When a Robot Writes a Play — tells the journey of a character (this time a robot), who goes out into the world to learn about society, human emotions, and even death.

The script was created by a widely available artificial intelligence (AI) system called GPT-2. Created by Elon Musk’s company OpenAI, this “robot” is a computer model designed to generate text by drawing from the enormous repository of information available on the internet. (You can test it here.) So far, the technology has been used to write fake news, short stories, and poems. The play is GPT-2’s first theater production, the team behind it claims…

First, a human feeds the program with a prompt. In this case, the researchers — at Charles University in Prague — began with two sentences of dialogue, where one or two characters chat about human feelings and experiences… The software then takes things from there, generating up to 1000 words of additional text.

The result is far from William Shakespeare. After a few sentences, the program starts to write things that sometimes don’t follow a logical storyline, or statements that contradict other passages of the text. For example, the AI sometimes forgot the main character was a robot, not a human. “Sometimes it would change a male to female in the middle of a dialogue,” says Charles University computational linguist Rudolf Rosa, who started to work on the project 2 years ago… As it keeps going, there is more room for nonsense. To prevent that, the team didn’t let GPT-2 write the entire play at once. Instead, the researchers broke the show down into eight scenes, each less than 5 minutes; each scene also only contained a dialogue between two characters at the same time. In addition, the scientists sometimes changed the text, for example altering the passages where the AI changed the character’s gender from line to line or repeating their initial text prompt until the program spat out sensible prose.

Rosa estimates that 90% of the final script was left untouched, whereas 10% had human intervention.
It’s a thought-provoking experience. (You can watch the whole play online — with English subtitles.) The play’s first lines?

“We both know that I’m dying.”
“How do you know that you’re dying?”
“I will die very soon.”

And within seconds, the protagonist has asked the question: “How can you love someone who dies?”

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Source: Slashdot – The First AI-written Play Isn’t Shakespeare – but It Has Its Moments

Action-packed meta-fantasy, space opera herald a bright future for Asian film

Celebrate the Year of the Metal Ox with two new films: <em>A Writer's Odyssey</em> and <em>Space Sweepers</em>

Enlarge / Celebrate the Year of the Metal Ox with two new films: A Writer’s Odyssey and Space Sweepers (credit: Aurich Lawson/Netflix/CMC Films/)

February brings the annual celebration of the lunar new year—welcome to the Year of the (Metal) Ox—and with it two new action-packed films from China and South Korea, respectively.

Directed by Lu Yang, A Writer’s Odyssey—currently playing in select theaters—centers on a man searching for his lost daughter, hired to assassinate a novelist whose fantasy work-in-progress has begun to shape events in the real world. Over on Netflix, Space Sweepers is being touted as the first Korean bona fide blockbuster, focusing on the adventures of the plucky crew aboard a space junk salvage vessel who must save the Earth from total destruction. Together they make for an action packed, fantasy/sci-fi weekend double feature.

(Some spoilers below for both films, but no major reveals.)

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments



Source: Ars Technica – Action-packed meta-fantasy, space opera herald a bright future for Asian film

I Love The Roku Screensaver

The past six months (or more) have been a whirlwind of shit news, terrible events, and moments of pure absurdity and horror. It’s been bad, is what I’m saying. Because of this, I often get lost doomscrolling on Twitter or reading another horrible news story about something dreadful. Meanwhile, my patient Roku TV…

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Source: Kotaku – I Love The Roku Screensaver

The Dream of Sending a Submarine Through the Methane Seas of Saturn's Moon Titan

“Mars, Shmars; this voyager is looking forward to a submarine ride under the icebergs on Saturn’s strange moon,” says the New York Times, introducing a piece by cosmic affairs correspondent Dennis Overbye:

What could be more exciting than flying a helicopter over the deserts of Mars? How about playing Captain Nemo on Saturn’s large, foggy moon Titan — plumbing the depths of a methane ocean, dodging hydrocarbon icebergs and exploring an ancient, frigid shoreline of organic goo a billion miles from the sun? Those are the visions that danced through my head recently…diverted to the farther reaches of the solar system by the news that Kraken Mare, an ocean of methane on Titan, had recently been gauged for depth and probably went at least 1,000 feet down. That is as deep as nuclear submarines will admit to going. The news rekindled my dreams of what I think would be the most romantic of space missions: a voyage on, and ultimately even under, the oceans of Titan…

NASA recently announced that it would launch a drone called Dragonfly to the Saturnian moon in 2026. Proposals have also circulated for an orbiter, a floating probe that could splash down in a lake, even a robotic submarine. “The Titan submarine is still going,” said Dr. Valerio Poggiali, research associate at the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, in an email — although it is unlikely to happen before Titan’s next summer, around 2047. By then, he said, there will be more ambient light and the submarine conceivably could communicate on a direct line to Earth with no need of an orbiting radio relay.

Titan is the weirdest place in the solar system, in some regards, and also the world most like our own. Like Earth, it has a thick atmosphere of mostly nitrogen (the only moon that has much of an atmosphere at all), and like Earth, it has weather, rain, rivers and seas. But on this world, when it rains, it rains gasoline. Hydrocarbon material drifts down like snow and is shaped into dunes by nitrogen winds. Rivers have carved canyons through mountains of frozen soot, and layers of ice float on subsurface oceans of ammonia. The prevailing surface temperature is minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit. A chemical sludge that optimistic astronomers call “prebiotic” creeps along under an oppressive brown sky. Besides Earth, Titan is the only world in the universe that is known to harbor liquid on its surface — with everything that could imply.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – The Dream of Sending a Submarine Through the Methane Seas of Saturn’s Moon Titan

Social media bots may have fuelled the GameStop stock frenzy

The GameStop stock frenzy appears to largely have been the product of Reddit users and trading apps like Robinhood, but some of its contributors might not have been human. According to Reuters, cybersecurity firm PiiQ Media has determined that people…

Source: Engadget – Social media bots may have fuelled the GameStop stock frenzy

Creepy Deep Nostalgia Tool Reanimates Photos Of The Dead With Deepfake Tech

Creepy Deep Nostalgia Tool Reanimates Photos Of The Dead With Deepfake Tech
Recently, Microsoft patented the creation of an AI chatbot for a specific person, whether they were alive or not. Now, a genealogy company called MyHeritage has partnered with deep learning and image processing company D-ID to create something called “Deep Nostalgia.” This technology can bring a person’s ancestors back to life by running a

Source: Hot Hardware – Creepy Deep Nostalgia Tool Reanimates Photos Of The Dead With Deepfake Tech

Vast Energy Use of Bitcoin Criticized

The University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance has calculated that Bitcoin’s total energy consumption is somewhere between 40 and 445 terawatt hours (TWh) a year, with a central estimate of about 130 terawatt hours, reports the BBC:

The UK’s electricity consumption is a little over 300 TWh a year, while Argentina uses around the same amount of power as the CCAF’s best guess for Bitcoin. And the electricity the Bitcoin miners use overwhelmingly comes from polluting sources. The CCAF team surveys the people who manage the Bitcoin network around the world on their energy use and found that about two-thirds of it is from fossil fuels….

We can track how much effort miners are making to create the currency. They are currently reckoned to be making 160 quintillion calculations every second — that’s 160,000,000,000,000,000,000, in case you were wondering. And this vast computational effort is the cryptocurrency’s Achilles heel, says Alex de Vries, the founder of the Digiconomist website and an expert on Bitcoin. All the millions of trillions of calculations it takes to keep the system running aren’t really doing any useful work. “They’re computations that serve no other purpose,” says de Vries, “they’re just immediately discarded again. Right now we’re using a whole lot of energy to produce those calculations, but also the majority of that is sourced from fossil energy.”

The vast effort it requires also makes Bitcoin inherently difficult to scale, he argues. “If Bitcoin were to be adopted as a global reserve currency,” he speculates, “the Bitcoin price will probably be in the millions, and those miners will have more money than the entire [U.S.] Federal budget to spend on electricity.”

“We’d have to double our global energy production,” he says with a laugh. “For Bitcoin.”

Ken Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard and a former chief economist at the IMF, tells the BBC that Bitcoin exists almost solely as a vehicle for speculation, rather than as a stable store of value that can be easily exchanged.

When asked if the Bitcoin bubble is about to burst, he answers, “That’s my guess.” Then pauses and adds, “But I really couldn’t tell you when.”

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Source: Slashdot – Vast Energy Use of Bitcoin Criticized

Watch Rivian test its R1T electric truck in extreme cold weather

If Rivian’s R1T is going to live up to its electric adventure truck image, it’s going to have to survive conditions that could leave other EVs crying for mercy… and it might just manage that. As Electrek notes, the startup has shared detail…

Source: Engadget – Watch Rivian test its R1T electric truck in extreme cold weather