the unofficial Slashdot digest


  1. How a Microsoft Cloud Outage Hit Millions of Users Around the World
  2. Why This Teacher Has Adopted an Open ChatGPT Policy
  3. UK Scientists Discover Method To Reduce Steelmaking's CO2 Emissions By 90%
  4. Missing Radioactive Capsule Sparks Urgent Health Alert In Western Australia
  5. An ALS Patient Set a Record For Communicating Via a Brain Implant: 62 Words Per Minute
  6. Amazon Is Reportedly Making a Tomb Raider TV Series
  7. US and EU To Launch First-Of-Its-Kind AI Agreement
  8. PagerDuty CEO Quotes MLK Jr. In Worst Layoff Email Ever
  9. Boeing Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud In Criminal Case Over Deadly 737 Max Crashes
  10. Mercedes Is the First Certified Level-3-Autonomy Car Company In the US
  11. Intel's 'Historic Collapse' Erases $8 Billion From Market Value
  12. BuzzFeed Says It Will Use AI To Help Create Content, Stock Jumps 150%
  13. Japan, Netherlands To Join US in Chip Controls on China
  14. Apple Devising Software To Help Anyone Build AR Apps, To Drive Headset Sales
  15. AI Wildfire Detection Bill Gets Initial Approval in Colorado

Alterslash picks up to the best 5 comments from each of the day’s Slashdot stories, and presents them on a single page for easy reading.

How a Microsoft Cloud Outage Hit Millions of Users Around the World

Posted by EditorDavidView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader shares Reuters' report from earlier this week:
Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it had recovered all of its cloud services after a networking outage took down its cloud platform Azure along with services such as Teams and Outlook used by millions around the globe. Azure's status page showed services were impacted in Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Only services in China and its platform for governments were not hit. By late morning Azure said most customers should have seen services resume after a full recovery of the Microsoft Wide Area Network (WAN).

An outage of Azure, which has 15 million corporate customers and over 500 million active users, according to Microsoft data, can impact multiple services and create a domino effect as almost all of the world's largest companies use the platform.... Microsoft did not disclose the number of users affected by the disruption, but data from outage tracking website Downdetector showed thousands of incidents across continents.... Azure's share of the cloud computing market rose to 30% in 2022, trailing Amazon's AWS, according to estimates from BofA Global Research.... During the outage, users faced problems in exchanging messages, joining calls or using any features of Teams application. Many users took to Twitter to share updates about the service disruption, with #MicrosoftTeams trending as a hashtag on the social media site.... Among the other services affected were Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, according to the company's status page.

"I think there is a very big debate to be had on resiliency in the comms and cloud space and the critical applications," Symphony Chief Executive Brad Levy said.
From Microsoft's [preliminary] post-incident review:
We determined that a change made to the Microsoft Wide Area Network (WAN) impacted connectivity between clients on the internet to Azure, connectivity across regions, as well as cross-premises connectivity via ExpressRoute.

As part of a planned change to update the IP address on a WAN router, a command given to the router caused it to send messages to all other routers in the WAN, which resulted in all of them recomputing their adjacency and forwarding tables. During this re-computation process, the routers were unable to correctly forward packets traversing them. The command that caused the issue has different behaviors on different network devices, and the command had not been vetted using our full qualification process on the router on which it was executed....

Due to the WAN impact, our automated systems for maintaining the health of the WAN were paused, including the systems for identifying and removing unhealthy devices, and the traffic engineering system for optimizing the flow of data across the network. Due to the pause in these systems, some paths in the network experienced increased packet loss from 09:35 UTC until those systems were manually restarted, restoring the WAN to optimal operating conditions. This recovery was completed at 12:43 UTC.

Why This Teacher Has Adopted an Open ChatGPT Policy

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR:
Ethan Mollick has a message for the humans and the machines: can't we all just get along? After all, we are now officially in an A.I. world and we're going to have to share it, reasons the associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School. "This was a sudden change, right? There is a lot of good stuff that we are going to have to do differently, but I think we could solve the problems of how we teach people to write in a world with ChatGPT," Mollick told NPR. [...] This year, Mollick is not only allowing his students to use ChatGPT, they are required to. And he has formally adopted an A.I. policy into his syllabus for the first time.

He teaches classes in entrepreneurship and innovation, and said the early indications were the move was going great. "The truth is, I probably couldn't have stopped them even if I didn't require it," Mollick said. This week he ran a session where students were asked to come up with ideas for their class project. Almost everyone had ChatGPT running and were asking it to generate projects, and then they interrogated the bot's ideas with further prompts. "And the ideas so far are great, partially as a result of that set of interactions," Mollick said. He readily admits he alternates between enthusiasm and anxiety about how artificial intelligence can change assessments in the classroom, but he believes educators need to move with the times. "We taught people how to do math in a world with calculators," he said. Now the challenge is for educators to teach students how the world has changed again, and how they can adapt to that.

Mollick's new policy states that using A.I. is an "emerging skill"; that it can be wrong and students should check its results against other sources; and that they will be responsible for any errors or omissions provided by the tool. And, perhaps most importantly, students need to acknowledge when and how they have used it. "Failure to do so is in violation of academic honesty policies," the policy reads. [...] "I think everybody is cheating ... I mean, it's happening. So what I'm asking students to do is just be honest with me," he said. "Tell me what they use ChatGPT for, tell me what they used as prompts to get it to do what they want, and that's all I'm asking from them. We're in a world where this is happening, but now it's just going to be at an even grander scale." "I don't think human nature changes as a result of ChatGPT. I think capability did."

Right place, right approach

By iAmWaySmarterThanYou • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

This class is all about new tech, innovation etc so his approach sounds great, especially since students are told to double check from other sources and are fully respond for AI errors.

Not necessarily appropriate for other fields which will vary dramatically across disciplines.

This reminds me of a scifi short story I read as a kid where everyone was "injected" with the knowledge to do some particular job in society but the protagonist "failed" the test and got dragged off to an isolated school the rest of the population was told was for the useless retarded kids. But it was actually where the next generation of scientists and engineers went who developed new technologies while everyone else only knew what was injected.

Someone still has to do original work even if we decide it's ok 99% of the population let's an AI think for them.

Uh, no

By cascadingstylesheet • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I haven't even used the thing yet ... because it requires me to register and give it personal information. I should have to do that just to try it out? Seriously?

And we're going to make students in school do that? Seriously?

Schools are just clueless. Of course, many of them have been making kids have Google accounts for years, so I'm not sure why I am surprised.

get along with?

By evanh • Score: 3 • Thread

I don't think Ethan Mollick's message is for the machines. The author starts off the first sentence like it's the machines we're supposed to be getting along with. Then immediately switches to the real subject of what Ethan Mollick is talking about there after - ChatGPT is a useful, albeit unreliable, tool. Document how it was used when authoring anything with its input, so the steps and results can be replicated.

Maybe adopting the tool instead of fighting it...

By williamyf • Score: 3 • Thread

... is the way to go. I still remember (vividly) when using a calculator was considered "cheating" even during my university years (late '80s to early '90s).

Having said that:
ChatGPT could be a serious disruptor to EVALUATION, if your evaluation relies heavily on papers, reports, thesis and such.

As some of my favourite MBA teachers ( @PabloMartindeHolan & @Bill Carney ) have said, in short succession, the potential for cheating is outstanding by using ChatGPT to write term papers, essays, or even answers to remote exam questions.

When I was an Engineering teacher, 60% of the grade was presential exams, and 60% of the grade* was a term-long practical project, so, no opportunity to use chatgpt to cheat. But I fear for the humanities or Magament type (empresariales) careers if professors do not adapt (like Ethan here did)...

But, at the same time, ChatGPT could AID the study process. For instance, in my field, you could use ChatGPT to study more efficently by asking it to condense the themes instead of reading the books, or even feed it past exams of mine (readily available, with my blessings, and answers) to see the answers. For instance, you feed it the relevant chapters of the Tanembaum, the Stallings, my slides, and my past exams and ask it to develop a study guide and some practice exams for you.

For the time being, presential exams and interactive oral debriefings are the way I see if you want to employ the current model of evaluation, or changes and adaptations, like Mr. Ethan here. In the future, who knows.

Tough times ahead.

Re: Next logic step

By diffract • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I have been a teacher for much of my life, and I do believe formal education is outdated, if not obsolete. I'm happy this AI chatbot is doing students homework and challenging formal education because there are so many bureaucracies that pretend to be good for students and learning but aren't.
I tell students who are about to graduate that colleges aren't gonna be relevant in a few years, and instead people will learn at their own pace and from any instructor that they like. Colleges and universities should just become test centers that award certifications.
I only see a case for vocational schools that teach hands-on skills going forward.

UK Scientists Discover Method To Reduce Steelmaking's CO2 Emissions By 90%

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Researchers from the University of Birmingham have developed an innovative method for existing furnaces that could reduce steelmaking's CO2 emission by nearly 90%. The Next Web reports:
The iron and steel industry is a major cause of greenhouse gasses, accounting for 9% of global emissions. That's because of the inherent carbon-intensive nature of steel production in blast furnaces, which currently represent the most-widely used practice. In blast furnace steel manufacturing, coke (a type of coal) is used to produce metallic iron from ore obtained from mining -- which releases large quantities of carbon dioxide in the process. According to Dr Harriet Kildahl, who co-devised the method with Professor Yulong Ding, their technology aims to convert this carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide that can be reused in the iron ore reaction.

This is realized using a thermochemical cycle which performs chemical reactions through changes in temperature. That way, the typically damaging CO2 is turned into a useful part of the reaction, forming "an almost perfect closed carbon loop." This drastically reduces emission by the amount of coke needed and, subsequently, lowers steelmaking's emissions by up to 88%. As per the researchers, if this method was implemented in the remaining two blast furnaces in the UK, it could save 1.28 billion pounds in 5 years, all while reducing the country's overall emissions by 2.9%.

"Current proposals for decarbonizing the steel sector rely on phasing out existing plants and introducing electric arc furnaces powered by renewable electricity. However, an electric arc furnace plant can cost over 1 billion pounds to build, which makes this switch economically unfeasible in the time remaining to meet the Paris Climate Agreement," Professor Ding said. "The system we are proposing can be retrofitted to existing plants, which reduces the risk of stranded assets, and both the reduction in CO2, and the cost savings, are seen immediately."
The study has been published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

So, no downsides at all? Dubious...

By ffkom • Score: 3 • Thread
If an article does not even mention whether there are any downsides to a newly proposed method, that immediately raises doubts in me. I bet there is some important aspect that the writers of the article deliberately omitted to report.

Missing Radioactive Capsule Sparks Urgent Health Alert In Western Australia

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
A tiny radioactive capsule with the potential to cause skin burns has gone missing as it was transported from a mine in Western Australia. The Guardian reports:
Hazardous material experts are searching for the 8mm by 6mm capsule, which is believed to have fallen from a truck as it was traveling the 1,400km between a mine site north of Newman in the Pilbara and a depot in Perth. At an emergency press conference on Friday, the WA chief health officer, Andy Robertson, said the capsule, which is only 6mm by 8mm, emits a "reasonable" amount of radiation. [...] The radioactive gauges are often used in the mining industry. Health authorities said the amount of radiation exposure was comparable to receiving 10 X-rays in the space of an hour.

Robertson said the capsule was understood to have fallen from a truck during the 1,400km journey, after vibrations worked loose a bolt, and the capsule fell through the bolt hole. The Department of Emergency and Fire Services issued a health alert on Friday saying there was "radioactive substance risk in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth Metropolitan regions." DFES country north chief superintendent David Gill said areas around the mine site, north of Newman, and the transport depot had unsuccessfully been searched. Drivers who had travelled along the Great Northern Highway between Newman and Perth were being asked to check their tyres in case the capsule had become stuck in them.

Radioactive Kangaroo Super Hero

By zenlessyank • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Lets see whether Marvel or DC make a new worthless hero for us.

Re:More details on what it was

By robbak • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

There's a better article from the ABC -

The article states that it has a half life of 30 years, but doesn't list what the substance is. But it does include a picture.

Re:More details on what it was

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
Ah, definitely not Cf-252 then, different half-life and decay mode, so presumably a nuclear density gauge which use Am-241 or Cs-137. Since the half-life is given as 30 years that'd make it Cs-137.

Re:How was this being transported?

By rmdingler • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

There were undoubtedly safety protocols upon safety protocols, deemed by some end user to be too cumbersome and inconvenient for him to follow.

At 6mm x 8mm, the pellet is half the width of a dime. Perhaps they should've chained a piece of lumber to the rod like a borrowed restroom key.

Re:More details on what it was

By arglebargle_xiv • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

made of americium-241/beryllium

That would be a neutron source, the alphas from the Am-241 collide with the Beryllium and produce fast neutrons for use on neutron probes, they're used to measure water content in soil. That would be very difficult to find easily since neutrons are non-ionising so you can't just run any standard ionising-radiation detector over the area where you're searching.

An ALS Patient Set a Record For Communicating Via a Brain Implant: 62 Words Per Minute

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review:
Eight years ago, a patient lost her power of speech because of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, which causes progressive paralysis. She can still make sounds, but her words have become unintelligible, leaving her reliant on a writing board or iPad to communicate. Now, after volunteering to receive a brain implant, the woman has been able to rapidly communicate phrases like "I don't own my home" and "It's just tough" at a rate approaching normal speech. That is the claim in a paper published over the weekend on the website bioRxiv by a team at Stanford University. The study has not been formally reviewed by other researchers. The scientists say their volunteer, identified only as "subject T12," smashed previous records by using the brain-reading implant to communicate at a rate of 62 words a minute, three times the previous best. [...] People without speech deficits typically talk at a rate of about 160 words a minute. Even in an era of keyboards, thumb-typing, emojis, and internet abbreviations, speech remains the fastest form of human-to-human communication.

The brain-computer interfaces that [co-lead author Krishna Sehnoy's] team works with involve a small pad of sharp electrodes embedded in a person's motor cortex, the brain region most involved in movement. This allows researchers to record activity from a few dozen neurons at once and find patterns that reflect what motions someone is thinking of, even if the person is paralyzed. In previous work, paralyzed volunteers have been asked to imagine making hand movements. By "decoding" their neural signals in real time, implants have let them steer a cursor around a screen, pick out letters on a virtual keyboard, play video games, or even control a robotic arm. In the new research, the Stanford team wanted to know if neurons in the motor cortex contained useful information about speech movements, too. That is, could they detect how "subject T12" was trying to move her mouth, tongue, and vocal cords as she attempted to talk?

These are small, subtle movements, and according to Sabes, one big discovery is that just a few neurons contained enough information to let a computer program predict, with good accuracy, what words the patient was trying to say. That information was conveyed by Shenoy's team to a computer screen, where the patient's words appeared as they were spoken by the computer. [...] The current system already uses a couple of types of machine learning programs. To improve its accuracy, the Stanford team employed software that predicts what word typically comes next in a sentence. "I" is more often followed by "am" than "ham," even though these words sound similar and could produce similar patterns in someone's brain. Adding the word prediction system increased how quickly the subject could speak without mistakes.

Today is dunk on Elon day?

By backslashdot • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

First Mercedes announces they have a Level 3 certified car, then these dudes at Stanford announce they have a brain implant that beat Neuralink to brain-controlled-typing.

This is incredibly cool

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

My dad died of ALS back in the 90s. For the first several years after he fell ill, he could only communicate with the help of a person holding a spelling board. The helper would slide her finger along the spelling board until Dad blinked - first picking the row of letters, then signifying the specific letter he wanted. You can imagine how slow and at times frustrating that process could be for everyone involved.

Later, the VA bought him a personal computer running some specialized software he could operate with a chin switch. It was basically a digitalized version of the old spelling board, hooked up to some software that drove a voice synthesizer. Despite all the problems (still really slow, and the chin switch was incredibly finicky), it seemed like a huge leap forward - but this new solution could be absolutely game changing.

Let me say - non-ironically, for once - truly, we live in the future. I wish dad could have heard about this.

Control an exosuit

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

Next what we need is to be able to control a mech or an exosuit with this. If it can do 62 words per minute that easily ought to be enough to control an exosuit with simple commands and some AI.

Amazon Is Reportedly Making a Tomb Raider TV Series

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Amazon is developing a TV series based on the Tomb Raider video game franchise with scripts written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Verge reports:
Details are light on this new Tomb Raider series, but THR says that while Waller-Bridge will serve as a writer and executive producer, she won't be starring in the show. The show is apparently still in the development stages, so we probably shouldn't expect to see it anytime soon. This new series could be another potentially big video game franchise adaptation for Amazon, which announced in December that it would be making a God of War TV show. But it also marks a further investment from Amazon into the Tomb Raider franchise, as the company will also be publishing the next Tomb Raider game from Crystal Dynamics. Amazon didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

Nobody wants this

By TwistedGreen • Score: 3 • Thread
The only reason anyone played that game was because of the, shall we say, "large assets." They better deliver on that. If it's no longer acceptable to allow women to be "exploited" in that way then just drop it.

Re:Nobody wants this

By Dutch Gun • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

I call bullshit on that, having played the first several games. The game was popular because it had great gameplay, gorgeous environments, and interesting puzzles. I don't think it hurt anything having a sexy female protagonist (well, as sexy as you can get with so few polygons), but that's just a bonus. Eye candy alone won't typically save a shitty game. In the end, it's still all about the gameplay.

That being said, at this point, the last people I'd expect to do justice to this series is Amazon. I'll give it a try, but I'm not expecting much.

Not at all (well not all)

By SuperKendall • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

The only reason anyone played that game was because of the, shall we say, "large assets."

From the outside that may seem like a reason, and probably it helped move initial copies to have a busty woman on the cover.

But really, especially the first one, there were many reasons to love it:

1) Really showed off power of early 3D graphics card (ok maybe there was more than one card at the time, but they were not common)

2) Awesome acrobatic gameplay that really had not been seen in 3D to that point - like flipping backwards while firing.

3) Dual guns, always a popular move with gamers.

4) Great storyline (at least the first few)

5) Dinosaurs

6) The first game especially had awesome cinematic moments - common now but they were really special back then, especially as noted when it was also paired with what were for the time very advanced graphics.

The first Tomb Raider was good enough to get me to build a whole gaming PC around it. As in, just what parts were going to work bets with Tomb Raider...

it still has some of the fondest memories I have playing video games...

US and EU To Launch First-Of-Its-Kind AI Agreement

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
The United States and European Union on Friday announced an agreement to speed up and enhance the use of artificial intelligence to improve agriculture, healthcare, emergency response, climate forecasting and the electric grid. Reuters reports:
A senior U.S. administration official, discussing the initiative shortly before the official announcement, called it the first sweeping AI agreement between the United States and Europe. Previously, agreements on the issue had been limited to specific areas such as enhancing privacy, the official said. AI modeling, which refers to machine-learning algorithms that use data to make logical decisions, could be used to improve the speed and efficiency of government operations and services.

"The magic here is in building joint models (while) leaving data where it is," the senior administration official said. "The U.S. data stays in the U.S. and European data stays there, but we can build a model that talks to the European and the U.S. data because the more data and the more diverse data, the better the model." The initiative will give governments greater access to more detailed and data-rich AI models, leading to more efficient emergency responses and electric grid management, and other benefits, the administration official said. The partnership is currently between just the White House and the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-member European Union. The senior administration official said other countries will be invited to join in the coming months.

PagerDuty CEO Quotes MLK Jr. In Worst Layoff Email Ever

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Jody Serrano writes via Gizmodo:
In a 1,669-word email to employees, [PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada] echoed the script many tech CEOs have recited in recent months, stating that today's "volatile economy requires additional transformation" by the company. As a result, PagerDuty would be "refining" its operating model by cutting about 7% of its staff globally. That wasn't the only "refinement" the company would undertake, though. According to Tejada, PagerDuty will reduce its discretionary spend, negotiate "more favorable commercial agreements with key vendors," and "rationalize [its] real estate footprint." Up to this point, Tejada's email, while overly complex, weird, and tone deaf, still was not that bad. She goes on to acknowledge employees and their contributions to PagerDuty and announces a decent severance pay of 11 weeks, with extended healthcare coverage and job support.

Nonetheless, it all starts to go downhill when she decides to use the same email where she announces layoffs to celebrate recent employee promotions, reveal good financial results for the fourth quarter of last year, and state that the company expects to end the year strong. As if she couldn't do so in another email where people weren't told they were possibly losing their jobs. "We expect to finish the year strong -- in fact, we have reaffirmed our guidance for FY23 today -- and those results, combined with the refinements outlined above, put PagerDuty in a position of strength to successfully execute on our platform strategy regardless of what the market and the macroenvironment bring," Tejada said.

While it's clearly a CEO's job to cheer on their company, Tejada makes things sound so good that it's perplexing to think the company has to lay off any people to begin with. Alas, the PagerDuty CEO was not done sticking her foot in her mouth and ended her note with a reference a quote from King's sermons published in The Measure of a Man in 1959. She used brackets to change the quote slightly to accommodate her message. "I am reminded in moments like this, of something Martin Luther King said, that 'the ultimate measure of a [leader] is not where [they] stand in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where [they] stand in times of challenge and controversy,'" Tejada said.
"It doesn't seem to have been written with ill intent, but rather with the goal to save time (by announcing layoffs, promotions, and predictions for a solid year) and save face (by refusing to say the word layoffs)," adds Serrano. "In these difficult situations, though, it's just better to be upfront."


By quonset • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread

Is she taking a pay cut? Is she forgoing stock awards and options (if any)? Is she giving up and of her perks?

So-called leaders

By The Evil Atheist • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
I love how "leaders" often claim that laying off people is the hardest thing they'd have to do.

It isn't. It's the easiest. It's the most simplest way to balance the books. It requires no effort to make the decision. You only need to pretend that there are only two numbers worth consideration - revenue vs employee remuneration.

They should be made to write: "rather than do work, I just took the easy way out." Don't pretend you're MLK Jr.

So how quick

By ArchieBunker • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Did it go from “no one wants to work anymore” to “massive layoffs are coming”? The ruling class is not happy that people are demanding higher wages.

Re:So how quick

By BytePusher • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
More specifically, that they're starting to unionize and pro-union sentiment is reaching into knowledge worker populations, not just manufacturing and services. I don't have direct evidence for it, but I'm fairly confident CEOs are being told to do layoffs by their shareholders, which also happen to be major shareholders in all the other tech companies doing large scale layoffs.

Boeing Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud In Criminal Case Over Deadly 737 Max Crashes

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR:
Aerospace giant Boeing entered a plea of not guilty to a criminal charge at an arraignment in federal court in Texas Thursday. The company is charged with felony fraud related to the crashes of two of its 737 Max airplanes that killed a total of 346 people. About a dozen relatives of some of those who were killed in the crashes gave emotional testimony during the three-hour arraignment hearing about how they've been affected by what they call "the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history." They testified after Boeing's chief aerospace safety officer Mike Delaney entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of the airplane manufacturer to the charge of conspiracy to commit fraud. The company is accused of deceiving and misleading federal regulators about the safety of a critical automated flight control system that investigators found played a major role in causing the crashes in Indonesia in 2018 and in Ethiopia in 2019.

Boeing and the Justice Department had entered into a deferred prosecution agreement to settle the charge two years ago but many of the families of the crash victims objected to the agreement, saying that they were not consulted about what they called a "secret, sweetheart deal." Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing admitted to defrauding the FAA by concealing safety problems with the 737 Max, but pinned much of the blame on two technical pilots who they say misled regulators while working on the certification of the aircraft. Only one of those pilots was prosecuted and a jury acquitted him at trial last year. Boeing also agreed to pay $2.5 billion, including $1.7 billion in compensation to airlines that had purchased 737 Max planes but could not use them while the plane was grounded for 20 months after the second plane crashed. The company also agreed to pay $500 million in compensation to the families of those killed in the two Max plane crashes, and to pay a $243 million fine. The agreement also required Boeing to make significant changes to its safety policies and procedures, as well as to the corporate culture, which many insiders have said had shifted in recent years from a safety first focus to one that critics say put profits first.

After three years, if the aerospace giant and defense contractor lived up to the terms of the deferred prosecution agreement, the criminal charge against Boeing would be dismissed and the company would be immune from further prosecution. But last fall, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor agreed that under the Crime Victims' Rights Act, the relatives' rights had been violated and they should have been consulted before the DOJ and Boeing reached the agreement. Last week, he ordered Boeing to appear Thursday to be arraigned. On Thursday, the families asked Judge O'Connor to impose certain conditions on Boeing as a condition of release, including appointing an independent monitor to oversee Boeing's compliance with the terms of the previous deferred prosecution agreement, and that the company's compliance efforts "be made public to the fullest extent possible." O'Connor did not rule on whether to impose those conditions yet, as Boeing and the Justice Department opposed the request. But he did impose a standard condition that Boeing commit no new crimes.

the state should demand the source code and have i

By Joe_Dragon • Score: 3 • Thread

the state should demand the source code and have it be put in public record

Union Carbide

By kenh • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

About a dozen relatives of some of those who were killed in the crashes gave emotional testimony during the three-hour arraignment hearing about how they've been affected by what they call "the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history."

The residents of Bhopoal, India would like to remind you of their suffering at the hands of a U.S. Corporation...

I’m confused

By pegr • Score: 3 • Thread

The US is charging a corporation criminally? They can’t put them in jail, all they have is money but apparently that’s enough!

No, folks, I’m sorry. You charge the officers of the company criminally.

Mercedes Is the First Certified Level-3-Autonomy Car Company In the US

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
At CES earlier this January, Mercedes announced that it would become the first car company to achieve certification from the SAE for a Level 3 driver assist system. That became official on Thursday when the automaker confirmed its Drive Pilot ADAS (automated driver assist system) now complies with the requirements of Nevada Chapter 482A, which governs the use of autonomous vehicle technology on the state's roads. That makes Drive Pilot the only legal Level 3 system in the US for the moment. Engadget reports:
Level 3 capabilities, as defined by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), would enable the vehicle to handle "all aspects of the driving" when engaged but still need the driver attentive enough to promptly take control if necessary. That's a big step up from the Level 2 systems we see today such as Tesla's "Full Self-Driving," Ford's Blue Cruise, and GM's Super Cruise. All of those are essentially extra-capable highway cruise controls where the driver must maintain their attention on driving, typically keeping their hands on or at least near the wheel, and be responsible for what the ADAS is doing while it's doing it. That's a far cry from the Knight Rider-esque ADAS outlook Tesla is selling and what Level 2 autonomy is actually capable of.

Mercedes' Drive Pilot system can, "on suitable freeway sections and where there is high traffic density," according to the company, take over the bumper-to-bumper crawling duties up to 40 MPH without the driver needing to keep their hands on the wheel. When engaged, the system handles lane-keeping duties, stays with the flow of traffic, navigates to destinations programmed into the Nav system, and will even react to "unexpected traffic situations and handles them independently, e.g. by evasive maneuvers within the lane or by braking maneuvers."
"An unwavering commitment to innovation has consistently guided Mercedes-Benz from the very beginning," Dimitris Psillakis, President and CEO of MBUSA, said in Thursday's press statement. "It is a very proud moment for everyone to continue this leadership and celebrate this monumental achievement as the first automotive company to be certified for Level 3 conditionally automated driving in the US market."

Re:Good for them

By linuxguy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
It is only a matter of time. Unless you walk to work, you already trust a box *designed by humans* to propel you forward at highway speeds without killing you.

Re:Good for them

By gweihir • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Well-tested software designed by humans is certainly better than not really well tested humans themselves behind the wheel...

So much for Tesla

By gweihir • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Turns out that actual engineering is superior to big-ego announcements....

Re:Tesla is still far ahead

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Mercedes EQS doesn't still have as many cameras as a Tesla

They use radar, lidar, and sonar with the cameras, though.

Re:Tesla is still far ahead

By im_thatoneguy • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Tesla can handle that very well with zero intervention, they could get the same certification if they wanted.

No, they can't. I have FSD beta and use it regularly. It would get "clever" and drive you into a wall for some reason. Or it would wander off into an incoming merge lane thinking the lane just "some reason" got wider. EAP tried to change lanes the last time I used it and change into a "lane" that ended in a concrete wall.

And even if you were right and they actually could have delivered a limited L3 mode, instead of insisting on chasing some distant L5 fairy tale then that's a massive failure by Tesla's business leadership.

Currently Tesla's motto should be "Why deliver something that only works in some places when you can deliver something that doesn't work everywhere?"

Intel's 'Historic Collapse' Erases $8 Billion From Market Value

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
Intel saw about $8 billion wiped off its market value on Friday after the U.S. chipmaker stumped Wall Street with dismal earnings projections, fanning fears around a slump in the personal-computer market. Reuters reports:
The company predicted a surprise loss for the first quarter and its revenue forecast was $3 billion below estimates as it also struggled with slowing growth in the data center business. Intel shares closed 6.4% lower, while rival Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia ended the session up 0.3% and 2.8%, respectively. Intel supplier KLA Corp settled 6.9% lower after its dismal forecast.

"No words can portray or explain the historic collapse of Intel," said Rosenblatt Securities' Hans Mosesmann, who was among the 21 analysts to cut their price targets on the stock. The poor outlook underscored the challenges facing Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger as he tries to reestablish Intel's dominance of the sector by expanding contract manufacturing and building new factories in the United States and Europe. "AMD's Genoa and Bergamo (data center) chips have a strong price-performance advantage compared to Intel's Sapphire Rapids processors, which should drive further AMD share gains," said Matt Wegner, analyst at YipitData.

Analysts said that puts Intel at a disadvantage even when the data center market bottoms out, expected in the second half of 2022, as the company would have lost even more share by then. "It is now clear why Intel needs to cut so much cost as the company's original plans prove to be fantasy," brokerage Bernstein said. "The magnitude of the deterioration is stunning, and brings potential concern to the company's cash position over time."

No words can explain

By locater16 • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Ok here's some words that can explain Intel's collapse: Stockholders spent so long assuming Intel had a monopoly on CPUs that they put someone in charge of exploiting that for profit rather than maintaining their lead. Giving other companies the chance to catch up and beat Intel in every category.
The only thing that's kept Intel going at all for the past two years has been a tech boom that's seen a ton of people buy laptops and a ton of companies buy any datacenter grade CPUs they could get cause the "Cloud" needs to grow. Except now the fun is over and so Intel's; and any investor that didn't see this coming is an idiot.

How's that for "words to explain Intel's collapse".

Re:No words can explain

By AJWM • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Have you tried asking ChatGPT?

I checked the stock

By LondoMollari • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

And after checking the stock this recent drop, today, still was not as low as the stock was within 5 months when it was $25.54.

Quite a stretch

By SuperKendall • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

It is possible that you may be confused with another company or event.

Need to rename to GaslightGPT

Easy to explain

By tiqui • Score: 3 • Thread

First, the Intel x86 architecture sucks. Back before the PC existed, they had the 8080 chip competing against the Zilog Z80, the Motorola 6800, and the 6502. These were all very limited 8-bit processors. Everybody could see the future would require 16-bit CPUs, and each vendor took their own paths. Zilog went bit with the Z8000 which unfortunately found no customers and eventually dies in obscurity. The 6502 made a hack version with slight improvements (65816, which I seem to recall found a brief home in an Apple product). Motorola decided to make a clean break - all new instruction set, and while they were at it they went straight to 32bit albeit with a 16 bit bus (the 68000, the 68010, and an 8-bit bus 68008). Intel tried to keep some backwards compatibility as a marketing thing - so they did the 8088 and 8086 (same internally, but 16 or 8 bit external bus). Intel's compatibility came with a cost - non-symmetrical instruction set, dedicated registers, etc and eventually paging. The Motorola parts were in every way superior, which is why they found their way into the Lisa and the Mac.

Sadly for humanity, the guys who designed IBM's new "Personal Computer" chose the Intel processor, and more-sadly saved money using the 8-bit external bus version. The entire PC architecture was based on this - and with IBM's name on it, THIS is what businesses around the world bought - which gave Intel a mountain of money it could spend building ever-faster versions of the part. They brought out the 286 (a hack that improved the part but made it an even more severe mutant) and the 386 (which finally offered a reasonable escape hatch from the crippled 8088 instructions) and the money kept pouring in so they kept being able to make it faster. At his point, most CPU architectures other than Moto and Intel had faded, and the management at Motorola failed to make faster parts. The 68000 family was used in the Amiga and Atari ST (both of which stagnated and died) and the Mac, but only the Mac was making new models - and Apple, faced with a CPU vendor not making affordable faster parts jumped ship to Intel, putting a tombstone on the Motorola 68K architecture which morphed into microcontrollers.

This all left Intel as THE vendor for all CPUs used in general-purpose computers. Their architecture (cloned by AMD) had the market share [essentially a monopoly] based purely on the PC architecture - which nearly all desktop and laptop computers used. As long as they pumped out newer slightly faster versions from time to time to help users deal with the increasingly sloppy coding at Microsoft, Intel thought they had it made and they got fat dumb and happy. They simply had no incentive to create and push any new architectures and encourage any new uses. They did not develop or encourage others to develop tablets or cell phones, etc - they had no vision and ignored anything not a PC. When the ARM architecture arose, they ignored it - they had never particularly cared for embedded stuff. They seem to have simply not realized that most people who had computers had PCs (with Intel chips) because that was the default thing for games and the internet - and missed the idea that those people would be happy with tablets and phones (and NO desktop PC) as soon as those tablets and phones had enough performance. When average people dumped their computers and did everything on their phones and tablets, Intel seemed unaffected - they were happy to sell CPUs for all those internet server farms.

I'm still not convinced that Intel's current executives are any smarter/wiser than the idiots who sleepwalked through a couple of decades without any imagination for what the future might hold. Their occasional mention of RISC-V seemed a hint somebody there might have a vision, but maybe not. They still seem to be living in a world where they have faith the x86 derived architectures will still be dominant - if they did another architecture, it would break Windows compatibility and would be just another boutique architecture (surrendering their market power for dubious gains in which they'd have to ACTUALLY compete with ARM) It took Intel decades of mismanagement to get into this box, and will doubtless take years, a pile of cash, and some new leadership to get out of it.

BuzzFeed Says It Will Use AI To Help Create Content, Stock Jumps 150%

Posted by BeauHDView on SlashDotSkip
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN:
BuzzFeed said Thursday that it will work with ChatGPT creator OpenAI to use artificial intelligence to help create content for its audience, marking a milestone in how media companies implement the new technology into their businesses. Jonah Peretti, the company's co-founder and chief executive, told employees in a memo that they can expect "AI inspired content" to "move from an R&D stage to part of our core business." Peretti elaborated that the technology will be used to create quizzes, help with brainstorming, and assist in personalizing content to its audience. BuzzFeed, for now, will not use artificial intelligence to help write news stories, a spokesperson told CNN.

"To be clear, we see the breakthroughs in AI opening up a new era of creativity that will allow humans to harness creativity in new ways with endless opportunities and applications for good," Peretti said. "In publishing, AI can benefit both content creators and audiences, inspiring new ideas and inviting audience members to co-create personalized content." "When you see this work in action it is pretty amazing," Peretti added, vowing to "lead the future of AI-powered content." The news sent BuzzFeed's sagging stock skyrocketing more than 150% in trading Thursday to more than $2 a share.
Further reading: CNET Used AI To Write 75 Articles

Of course

By backslashdot • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

What do you think is making stock purchase decisions if not AI? It's going to support its own.


By J-1000 • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

If you told me BuzzFeed was already doing this, I would believe you.

They need AI...

By mr.dreadful • Score: 5, Funny • Thread
to scrape reddit?


By Barny • Score: 3 • Thread

This will really suit Alphabet.

Buzzfeed: "Your honor, they're copying all our content and not paying us for it!"
Alphabet: "It's not copyrighted since it's made by AI."

Also, wasn't Cnet recently caught doing this and it turned out the AI was just plagiarizing the crap out of others' work?

Bridge for sale

By MysteriousPreacher • Score: 3 • Thread

They could have said they were planning on using AI blockchain to drive metaverse machine learning content to the moon.

Idiots would continue to throw their money down the financial pit that is Buzzfeed.

Japan, Netherlands To Join US in Chip Controls on China

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotSkip
Japan and the Netherlands are poised to join the US in limiting China's access to advanced semiconductor machinery, forging a powerful alliance that will undercut Beijing's ambitions to build its own domestic chip capabilities, Bloomberg News reported Friday, citing people familiar with the negotiations. From the report:
US, Dutch and Japanese officials are set to conclude talks as soon as Friday US time on a new set of limits to what can be supplied to Chinese companies, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks are private. Negotiations were ongoing as of late Thursday in Washington. There is no plan for a public announcement of restrictions that will likely be just implemented, the people said.

The Netherlands will expand restrictions on ASML Holding NV, which will prevent it from selling at least some of its so-called deep ultraviolet lithography machines, crucial to making some types of advanced chips and without which attempts to set up production lines may be impossible. Japan will set similar limits on Nikon. The joint effort expands on restrictions the Biden administration unveiled in October that were aimed at curtailing China's ability to manufacture its own advanced semiconductors or buy cutting-edge chips from abroad that would aid military and artificial-intelligence capabilities.

Re:Not to say this isn't a good idea

By Kernel Kurtz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

But wouldn't it be nice if we as a civilization had progressed beyond the point where we did shit like this? We're talking about cutting off over a billion people from access to advanced technology. It's an utterly stupid thing to do from a purely rational standpoint.

China is one of a handful of countries propping up Russia in its war of aggression against democracy and world order. They are what we technically call "the enemy", along with North Korea and Iran.

We do far, far too much business with China. It's OK to have them supplying us with cheap shit that will be no big deal if it disappears. Relying on them for anything important is a huge strategic mistake.

Re:Not to say this isn't a good idea

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Apparently Elon doesn't even own a yacht. Kind of makes you wonder what he plans to do with his money. Besides buying Twitter, of course.

Well, at this point he has a LOT of child support to cover. And once those kids get to college age...


By manu0601 • Score: 3 • Thread
That plan assumes China is unable to create its own deep UV lithography hardware. It will fail

Apple Devising Software To Help Anyone Build AR Apps, To Drive Headset Sales

Posted by msmashView on SlashDotSkip
Apple is developing software that offers an easy way for users of its upcoming mixed-reality headset to build their own augmented reality apps, as part of an effort to drive mass adoption of the device by broadening the array of content for it, The Information reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. From the report:
With the software tools, Apple hopes that even people who don't know computer code could tell the headset, via the Siri voice assistant, to build an AR app that could then be made available via Apple's App Store for others to download. The tool, for example, could allow users to build an app with virtual animals moving around a room and over or around real-life objects without the need to design the animal from scratch, program its animations and calculate its movement in a 3D space with obstacles.

Release the headset already

By backslashdot • Score: 3 • Thread

All these leaks are stupid. We know Apple deliberately leaks this stuff to create FUD in the market. They should announce/release their headset asap or the FTC should get up in their business.

VR/AR will only work once it can...

By bustinbrains • Score: 3 • Thread

...directly send data to the optic nerve without requiring any external devices (phones, glasses, headsets) or implants. Anything short of that will probably never work beyond being a toy/concept.

Every decade or so, the tech industry goes gaga over VR/AR stuff. The industry then produces awkward equipment that a few people purchase and get hyped up about. Then the concept fizzles out and dies. I think we're on the tail end of that curve now that everyone's realized it still won't work using the various external devices that have been created. Having to hold a device like a phone or tablet just to see something is lame. Implanting technology into the body comes with massive caveats including the major risks of permanent disfigurement, infections, and death. So until a fully contactless, fully external solution comes into existence that probably violates the laws of known physics in the process to feed the optic nerve directly and thereby bypass the eye altogether, VR/AR will keep getting dumped into the dustbin.

Yeah, that's really what I want

By Big Hairy Gorilla • Score: 3 • Thread
Apps made by ANYONE.

Thanks. I'll sit this one out.

AI Wildfire Detection Bill Gets Initial Approval in Colorado

Posted by msmashView on SlashDot
A year after the most destructive wildfire in the state's history scorched nearly 1,100 homes, Colorado lawmakers are considering joining other Western states by adopting artificial intelligence in the hopes of detecting blazes before they burn out of control. From a report:
A Colorado Senate committee on Thursday unanimously voted to move forward a bill to create a $2 million pilot program that would station cameras on mountaintops, and use artificial intelligence to monitor the footage and help detect early signs of a wildfire. The bill will move to the state Senate Appropriations Committee next.

"It can detect just a wisp of smoke and it's that type of situation in remote areas that could save forests and homes and properties and lives," Democratic state Sen. Joann Ginal, one of the bill's sponsors, said in the hearing. The deployment of AI is part of an ongoing effort by firefighters to use new technology to become smarter about how they prepare and better position their resources. Fire lookout towers once staffed by humans have largely been replaced by cameras in remote areas, many of them in high-definition and armed with artificial intelligence to discern a smoke plume from morning fog.


By Junta • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Would that be as quick to spot as machine vision identifying smoke rising from the forest canopy? Keep in mind that it's probably that each device will have to cover a *large* area of land.

This is one of the scenarios where "AI as we know it" actually could be useful. Taking image data and labeling smoke and sending off alerts for 'if smoke detected' condition. For all the overhype and mis-application and misplaced expectations, this idea should actually be very highly workable.

Pity they're solving the wrong problem

By usedtobestine • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The problem isn't forest fires killing people and burning for days or weeks. The problem is that they keep putting out forest fires. This keeps the deadfalls and underbrush available for the next fire.

Make a law for using AI to spot wildfires...

By LordHighExecutioner • Score: 3 • Thread
...and arsonists will use GANs to start wildfires.


By Bu11etmagnet • Score: 3 • Thread

First parsed as "Al Wildfire Detection Bill Gates ", and was wondering why Microsoft's founder changed his name.