Alterslash

the unofficial Slashdot digest
 

Contents

  1. T-Mobile To Acquire Most of US Cellular in $4.4 Billion Deal
  2. OpenAI Says It Has Begun Training a New Flagship AI Model
  3. YouTube Begins Skipping Videos for Ad-Blocker Users
  4. Ransomware Group Claims Responsibility for Christie’s Hack
  5. Intel Removes Knights Mill and Knights Landing Xeon Phi Support In LLVM 19
  6. Rivers of Lava on Venus Reveal a More Volcanically Active Planet
  7. Ditch Brightly Colored Plastic, Anti-Waste Researchers Tell Firms
  8. Microsoft’s Automatic Super Resolution Arrives To Improve Gaming Performance
  9. Millions in US Face Extreme-Heat Threat
  10. Harris Announces Plans To Help 80% of Africa Gain Access To the Internet
  11. Bungie Wins Lawsuit Against Cheat Maker Aimjunkies
  12. North Korea Says Its Attempt To Put Another Spy Satellite Into Orbit Has Failed
  13. Microsoft: Windows 24H2 Will Remove Cortana and WordPad Apps
  14. Google’s AI Feeds People Answers From The Onion
  15. China Sets Up Third Fund With $47.5 Billion To Boost Semiconductor Sector

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.

T-Mobile To Acquire Most of US Cellular in $4.4 Billion Deal

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
T-Mobile said Tuesday that it plans to acquire most of U.S. Cellular, including stores, some of the wireless operator’s spectrum and its customers, in a deal worth $4.4 billion. The deal includes cash and up to $2 billion of debt. From a report:
T-Mobile said it will use U.S. Cellular wireless spectrum to improve coverage in rural areas while offering better connectivity to U.S. Cellular customers around the United States. The company said it will allow U.S. Cellular customers to keep their current plans or switch to a T-Mobile plan. U.S. Cellular will retain some of its wireless spectrum and towers and will lease space on at least 2,100 additional towers to T-Mobile. The companies expect the deal to close in mid-2025.

So much for competition

By AsylumWraith • Score: 5, Insightful Thread

And just days ago it came out that raising prices on “some legacy plans” starting next month.

T-Mobile was very happy to crow that the Sprint merger was ushering in a “new era of connectivity and value” for customers. I’m sure they’ll say the same about this, and laugh all the way to the bank when they raise prices again in December or January.

It really sucks, too. I loathe AT&T and Verizon, and was very happy when I switched service to T-Mo several years back. But since the merger, it’s just been more and more. garbage from them.

OpenAI Says It Has Begun Training a New Flagship AI Model

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
OpenAI said on Tuesday that it has begun training a new flagship AI model that would succeed the GPT-4 technology that drives its popular online chatbot, ChatGPT. From a report:
The San Francisco start-up, which is one of the world’s leading A.I. companies, said in a blog post that it expects the new model to bring “the next level of capabilities” as it strives to build “artificial general intelligence,” or A.G.I., a machine that can do anything the human brain can do. The new model would be an engine for A.I. products including chatbots, digital assistants akin to Apple’s Siri, search engines and image generators.

OpenAI also said it was creating a new Safety and Security Committee to explore how it should handle the risks posed by the new model and future technologies. “While we are proud to build and release models that are industry-leading on both capabilities and safety, we welcome a robust debate at this important moment,” the company said. OpenAI is aiming to move A.I. technology forward faster than its rivals, while also appeasing critics who say the technology is becoming increasingly dangerous, helping to spread disinformation, replace jobs and even threaten humanity. Experts disagree on when tech companies will reach artificial general intelligence, but companies including OpenAI, Google, Meta and Microsoft have steadily increased the power of A.I. technologies for more than a decade, demonstrating a noticeable leap roughly every two to three years.

LLMs won’t lead to AGI

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Insightful Thread
So much of the current AGI talk feels like a balloon operator saying: “Last year, my balloon reached one mile above sea level. I’m aiming for ten times that now. Next year, I will get to space, and then I’ll visit the moon!”. Good luck.

“OpenAI also said it

By Growlley • Score: 3 Thread
was creating a new Safety and Security Committee to explore how it should handle the risks posed by the new mode” translated in other words we cant get away with just stealing every one elses content to train this one,

Start-up?

By quenda • Score: 3, Insightful Thread

An 8-year old company valued at $100 billion is still a start-up??

Things I’m looking out for:

By Rei • Score: 3 Thread

Q* (A* Q-learning, aka iterative tackling of possible routes to solve a problem via perceived distance from the solution)?

Massively MoE, with cos distance between hidden states feeding back to provide the model with an assessment of its own confidence?

More “distributed” models where portions are more decoupled from others and don’t need as much bandwidth, to make it easier to train and run on cheaper hardware?

Will we finally see a lower O() context memory model? Could we at maybe close in on O(logN)?

Non-Transformers based (Mamba, etc)? Doubt it, but possible.

PCN-based with neuromorphic hardware? I *really* doubt that, but it would be an utter game changer.

Will surely be highly multimodal from the start. I wonder what the full modality list will be, though…

YouTube Begins Skipping Videos for Ad-Blocker Users

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
YouTube’s latest move against ad blockers involves skipping videos straight to the end or muting audio for users with ad blockers enabled, according to user reports. This follows previous tests by the Google-owned platform, including blocking playback after three videos and slowing down load times for ad-blocker users.

FreeTube

By RegistrationIsDumb83 • Score: 5, Informative Thread
The FreeTube alternate client still works great, and even lets you manage subscriptions locally without an account. Has built in sponsor block, too!

Re:Who will notice?

By penguinoid • Score: 5, Interesting Thread

Seems to work fine for me. However, youtube’s algorithm will circle-jerk itself if you let it autoplay (including shorts), which will ruin your recommended videos for a month or so. And for some reason it seems to think you don’t want to watch content from channels you subscribed to.

Re:Who will notice?

By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative Thread

And for some reason it seems to think you don’t want to watch content from channels you subscribed to.

The main way you watch channels you are subscribed to is via the subscribed tab. The “recommended” videos include ones from subscribed channels. The “for you” section seems to exclude subscribed channels, because it’s a way to discover new content that is outside your normal viewing habits.

The main issue is that YouTube does not make this at all clear to the user.

Net cost

By BankRobberMBA • Score: 5, Insightful Thread

I’m not sure that’s correct. Even if you don’t watch ads as video interruptions Google is mining your viewing habits and aggregating that to your ‘consumer profile.’ The ads you see on all of the Google owned websites and services are partially driven by this.

I would be more forgiving of this if they had not first deliberately driven all competition from the market to become a monopoly. As it is, F YouTube.

Re:Who will notice?

By belg4mit • Score: 4, Informative Thread

Why are you relying on recommendations if you’ve subscribed? Simply check your subscriptino feed https://youtube.com/feed/subscriptions

Ransomware Group Claims Responsibility for Christie’s Hack

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
A hacker group called RansomHub said it was behind the cyberattack that hit the Christie’s website just days before its marquee spring sales began, forcing the auction house to resort to alternatives to online bidding. From a report:
In a post on the dark web on Monday, the group claimed that it had gained access to sensitive information about the world’s wealthiest art collectors, posting only a few examples of names and birthdays. It was not immediately possible to verify RansomHub’s claims, but several cybersecurity experts said they were a known ransomware operation and that the claim was plausible. Nor was it clear if the hackers had gained access to more sensitive information, including financial data and client addresses. The group said it would release the data, posting a countdown timer that would reach zero by the end of May.

At Christie’s, a spokesman said in a statement, “Our investigations determined there was unauthorized access by a third party to parts of Christie’s network.” The spokesman, Edward Lewine, said that the investigations “also determined that the group behind the incident took some limited amount of personal data relating to some of our clients.” He added, “There is no evidence that any financial or transactional records were compromised.” Hackers said that Christie’s failed to pay a ransom when one was demanded.

Intel Removes Knights Mill and Knights Landing Xeon Phi Support In LLVM 19

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
An anonymous reader shares a report:
Similar to the GCC compiler dropping support for the Xeon Phi Knights Mill and Knights Landing accelerators a few days ago, Intel has also gone ahead and seen to the removal of Xeon Phi support for the LLVM/Clang 19 compiler. Since earlier this year in LLVM/Clang 18 the Xeon Phi Knights Mill and Knights Landing support was treated as deprecated. Now for the LLVM 19 release due out around September, the support is removed entirely. This aligns with GCC 14 having deprecated Xeon Phi support too and now in GCC 15 Git having the code removed.

Rivers of Lava on Venus Reveal a More Volcanically Active Planet

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
Witnessing the blood-red fires of a volcanic eruption on Earth is memorable. But to see molten rock bleed out of a volcano on a different planet would be extraordinary. That is close to what scientists have spotted on Venus: two vast, sinuous lava flows oozing from two different corners of Earth’s planetary neighbor. From a report:
“After you see something like this, the first reaction is ‘wow,’" said Davide Sulcanese, a doctoral student at the Universita d’Annunzio in Pescara, Italy, and an author of a study reporting the discovery in the journal Nature Astronomy, published on Monday. Earth and Venus were forged at the same time. Both are made of the same primeval matter, and both are the same age and size. So why is Earth a paradise overflowing with water and life, while Venus is a scorched hellscape with acidic skies?

Volcanic eruptions tinker with planetary atmospheres. One theory holds that, eons ago, several apocalyptic eruptions set off a runaway greenhouse effect on Venus, turning it from a temperate, waterlogged world into an arid desert of burned glass. To better understand its volcanism, scientists hoped to catch a Venusian eruption in the act. But although the planet is known to be smothered in volcanoes, an opaque atmosphere has prevented anyone from seeing an eruption the way spacecraft have spotted them on Io, the hypervolcanic moon of Jupiter. In the 1990s, NASA’s spacecraft Magellan used cloud-penetrating radar to survey most of the planet. But back then, the relatively low-resolution images made spotting fresh molten rock a troublesome task.

Ditch Brightly Colored Plastic, Anti-Waste Researchers Tell Firms

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
Retailers are being urged to stop making everyday products such as drinks bottles, outdoor furniture and toys out of brightly coloured plastic after researchers found it degrades into microplastics faster than plainer colours. From a report:
Red, blue and green plastic became “very brittle and fragmented,” while black, white and silver samples were “largely unaffected” over a three-year period, according to the findings of the University of Leicester-led project. The scale of environmental pollution caused by plastic waste means that microplastics, or tiny plastic particles, are everywhere. Indeed, they were recently found in human testicles, with scientists suggesting a possible link to declining sperm counts in men.

In this case, scientists from the UK and the University of Cape Town in South Africa used complementary studies to show that plastics of the same composition degrade at different rates depending on the colour. The UK researchers put bottle lids of various colours on the roof of a university building to be exposed to the sun and the elements for three years. The South African study used plastic items found on a remote beach. “It’s amazing that samples left to weather on a rooftop in Leicester and those collected on a windswept beach at the southern tip of the African continent show similar results,” said Dr Sarah Key, who led the project. “What the experiments showed is that even in a relatively cool and cloudy environment for only three years, huge differences can be seen in the formation of microplastics.” This field study, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, is the first such proof of this effect. It suggests that retailers and manufacturers should give more consideration to the colour of short-lived plastics.

No.

By devslash0 • Score: 3 Thread

People need some colour in their life. Haven’t we seen enough sepia-palette kitchens and living rooms already?

Re:No.

By Firethorn • Score: 4, Insightful Thread

Then make the permanent stuff brightly colored, and the disposable stuff drab, so that people tend to prefer the more permanent stuff.

Microsoft’s Automatic Super Resolution Arrives To Improve Gaming Performance

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
Microsoft has announced Auto SR, an AI-powered image upscaling solution for Windows 11 on Arm devices. The feature, exclusive to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X CPUs, aims to enhance gaming performance on ARM-based systems. Auto SR, however, comes with notable restrictions, including compatibility limitations with certain DirectX versions and the inability to work simultaneously with HDR.

Millions in US Face Extreme-Heat Threat

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
Millions of Americans face the threat of dangerous heatwaves in the coming weeks with another summer of record-breaking temperatures forecast to hit the US. From a report:
Most of New Mexico and Utah — alongside parts of Arizona, Texas and Colorado — have the highest chance (60% to 70%) of seeing hotter-than-average summer temperatures, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). In addition, the entire north-east — from Maine down to Pennsylvania and New Jersey — as well as a large stretch from Louisiana to Arizona, Washington and Idaho, have a 40% to 50% chance of experiencing above-average temperatures from June through August. Only south-west Alaska is expected to have below-normal temperatures.

“We can expect another dangerous hot summer season, with daily records already being broken in parts of Texas and Florida,” said Kristy Dahl, principal climate scientist for the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “As we warm the planet, we are going to see climate disasters pile up and compound against each other because of the lack of resilience in our infrastructure and government systems.” Texas has already been hit with a series of tornadoes, unprecedented floods and record-breaking temperatures. Earlier in May, temperatures spiked as hundreds of thousands of households around Houston were left without power after a destructive storm killed at least seven people and damaged transmission towers and power lines.

Fake news

By hdyoung • Score: 4, Insightful Thread
The blackened sky, wildfires, recordbusting heatwaves, your melting sneakers and skyrocketing air conditioning bill are all a plot by George soros to use AGW to promote oneworld government. Thanks Obama! It cant possibly be due to greenhouse gas accumulation. Ignore the scientists!

Re:I sort of feel bad

By quonset • Score: 5, Informative Thread

Florida even bans laws that would mandate heat breaks for out door workers.

Texas has already gotten rid of mandated breaks during high heat. Big Government knows better than local communities.

Re: your daily dose

By Archangel_Azazel • Score: 5, Interesting Thread

Ah yes, the smartest and most humble commenter on /.
Seems like no matter the story, you swoop in like a brain damaged superhero to ensure the conversation gets even more idiotic than it was before. Bravo.

Re:Fake news

By Mr. Dollar Ton • Score: 4, Informative Thread

Don’t bother, here’s the data:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

As expected, the red states output most CO2 per capita.

Re:Law of Averages and Deviations

By quantaman • Score: 4, Insightful Thread

a large stretch from Louisiana to Arizona, Washington and Idaho, have a 40% to 50% chance of experiencing above-average temperatures from June through August.

Unless you have a skewed probability distribution this sounds like exactly what you would expect: with a typical symmetric gaussian probability disbtribution half the time you’ll be above average and the other half of the time you’ll be below. Indeed, these numbers suggest that a cooler than average summer is more likely than not since it you have a 40-50% of being hotter than average then there is a corresponding 50-60% chance of being cooler. Normally you would expect even odds of being either hotter or cooler so a 60-70% chance means that things have changed by 10-20%.

It’s almost as if someone is trying to use the public’s ignorance of basic statistcs to make these numbers sound far more frightening than they are. A difference of 10-20% is under one standard deviation from the mean which is what you expect to get two years out of three, sounds a lot less scary now doesn’t it?

I agree the reporting is confusing/incomplete for not defining what “hotter than average” means. But you’re making the fairly common mistake of assuming the reporting is wrong due to ignorance or deliberate misdirection, when in fact you’re the one who has come to the wrong conclusion

If you open the article and look at the map included at the very top you see the bands showing things like 70%, 50%, 33% and “equal chance”, which in context is obviously a lower category of heat risk than 33%.

So obviously your conclusion that 50% == ‘equal chance’ would be a normal year is wrong (even assuming a Gaussian distribution).

Again, the reporting is incomplete because it doesn’t actually tell us what hotter/cooler means, but I’m assuming it’s either 33% above the regular odds of hotter than usual (whether or not a Gaussian) or there’s a deadband where there’s a range of temperatures considered “normal”.

Harris Announces Plans To Help 80% of Africa Gain Access To the Internet

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
Vice President Kamala Harris has announced the formation of a new partnership to help provide internet access to 80% of Africa by 2030, up from roughly 40% now. From a report:
The announcement comes as follow-through on Harris’ visit to the continent last year and in conjunction with this week’s visit to Washington by Kenyan President William Ruto. Harris and the Kenyan leader had a public chat on Friday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about how public-private partnerships can increase economic growth. “Many could rightly argue that the future is on the continent of Africa,” said Harris, noting that the median age in Africa is 19, a sign of the potential for economic growth. “It is not about, and simply about aid, but about investment and understanding the capacity that exists.” Africa has struggled to obtain the capital needed to build up its industrial and technological sectors.

Kenya already has Internet

By Cyberax • Score: 5, Informative Thread
Kenya already has a very well-developed Internet infrastructure. You can get cell phone connection even in the middle of most National Parks. They also have a well-developed mobile payments and transfers system (M-PESA).

It’s a bit different for poorer African countries. And this is a good type of investment, it will improve the US standing, provide tangible benefits, and it has much less corruption potential than things like food aid.

She continues to prove that she is a total idiot

By WindBourne • Score: 5, Insightful Thread
Bringing Internet to Africa???? Oh please. Many of the cities already have it via private companies. What was needed was getting the rural stuff, which is what Starlink is now providing for them (well, for nations that allow starlink in).
Best thing that America can do for Africa is MORE 2-way trade and make sure that it is 2-ways.
Do not dump freebie stuff on them and destroy their private companies.
Do not just do business with their top leaders or large businesses, when the ones that REALLY need it are the small and medium size businesses (just like we need it in America).

And above all, do not support businesses/leaders that have worse environmental/labor laws/issues than we have in the west ( Poppa Bush/Clinton/Trump all screwed up NAFTA 1/2 by not requiring Mexico to bring up their environment and labor laws ).

OK, but …

By PPH • Score: 5, Insightful Thread

… could you please do the USA first?

Re:OK, but …

By antdude • Score: 4, Insightful Thread

Seriously. USA has too many problems. Take care of those first please.

Re:Subsidizing Starlink then?

By znrt • Score: 4, Insightful Thread

this is not philanthropy. it’s regular business and grooming, getting part of the cake before china has it all. they’re a bit late.

Mastercard will register 15 million users in Africa onto its Community Pass platform, providing the interoperable digital infrastructure to facilitate involvement from a range of ecosystem participants.

Equity Bank Group will provide accessible, affordable, and inclusive financial services to farmers and micro-, small-, and medium-sized agricultural businesses to support building of the digital ecosystem.

Microsoft will empower community hubs and digital agents with the necessary connectivity, digital tools, and skilling to become pivotal digital interaction points for essential community services.

Heifer International will catalyze last mile digital visibility and traceability in agriculture through ecosystem strengthening and curated financial and technical support for micro, small, and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs.

Unconnected.org will contribute its technology and management expertise to provide meaningful internet access at affordable costs through savings on hardware, software and connectivity services.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/bri…

Bungie Wins Lawsuit Against Cheat Maker Aimjunkies

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
Bungie has won a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against cheat maker Phoenix Digital.ÂFrom a report:
The case was potentially the first-ever video game cheating jury trial and resulted in Bungie winning $63,210 in damages from Phoenix Digital,Âwhich isÂalso known as Aimjunkies. While cheating in a game is not illegal, Bungie was able to sue the cheat maker under the argument that reverse engineering the game, specifically Destiny 2, to find those cheats violates the company’s copyright. In this case,ÂPCGamer notesÂthat Aimjunkies also accused Bungie of violating its copyright by accessing one of its employees’ computers,Âsomething Bungie argued was just part of its normal detection process for cheating and is covered by the game’s EULA. The judge rejected Aimjunkies’ claim.

A chilling precedent.

By tysonedwards • Score: 5, Insightful Thread
The argument: reverse engineering violates our copyright. That is just chilling and will have massive ripples for decades to come. This needs appealed, despite the absurdly low monetary judgement amount.

Not sure this is a good thing

By gweihir • Score: 4, Insightful Thread

I dislike cheaters as much as the next person and these assholes have made me stop playing more than one game I actually enjoyed initially. But going via copyright here could have a lot of bad side-effects.

Does the judge not understand binding precedent?

By dgatwood • Score: 5, Interesting Thread

The legality of this sort of reverse engineering was already decided by the ninth circuit in Galoob. That’s binding precedent for this case. It should have literally been a one-day bench trial in which AimJunkies made a motion to dismiss and the judge granted it.

I just can’t even imagine how this won’t get overturned instantly on appeal. If they had sued on tortious interference grounds or something, then maybe, but not copyright violation. This ruling absolutely should not be allowed to stand, as it would overturn literally decades of legal precedent. Stare decisis is important.

Complete Record of the Case

By ewhac • Score: 5, Informative Thread
On it’s surface, this looks like a very bad decision, extending copyright overreach even further. As such, before we indulge in the predictable ranting and raving, it’s probably crucial to understand what was charged, what was argued, what was decided, and how the jury was instructed.

The case’s Federal docket number is 2:21-cv-00811. A complete record of the case, including all filings and, crucially, instructions to the jury (and, amusingly, an ORDER from the judge to pay for the jury’s lunch), may be found here: https://www.courtlistener.com/…

Get reading.

North Korea Says Its Attempt To Put Another Spy Satellite Into Orbit Has Failed

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
A North Korean rocket carrying its second spy satellite exploded midair on Monday, state media reported, after its neighbors strongly rebuked its planned launch. From a report:
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said it launched a spy satellite aboard a new rocket at its main northwestern space center. But KCNA said the rocket blew up during a first-stage flight soon after liftoff due to a suspected engine problem. Earlier Monday, North Korea had notified Japan’s coast guard about its plans to launch “a satellite rocket,” with a warning to exercise caution in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and China and east of the main Philippine island of Luzon during a launch window from Monday through June 3.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff later said it detected a launch trajectory believed to be of a spy satellite fired from the North’s main space center at 10:44 p.m. on Monday. Four minutes later, many fragments were spotted in the waters, it said. Japanese Prime Minister’s Office earlier issued a missile alert for the island of Okinawa following North Korea’s launch. The alert was lifted soon after. Japan’s NHK public television earlier reported that an image captured by a camera in northeastern China showed an orange light in the sky and then an apparent explosion a moment later.

Kim Jong-un is at it again!

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 3, Funny Thread

NEWS BULLETIN

North Korean ‘Flaccid Chode’ Program: Another Flop, Literally

By: Seamus O’Rocket

In yet another testament to the world’s lowest bar for rocket science, North Korea’s recent attempt to launch a spy satellite has ended in a spectacularly flaccid failure, further solidifying the aptness of their program’s name, the ‘Flaccid Chode’ program.

The event, which could be likened to a wet firecracker on a rainy Fourth of July, saw the supposedly mighty missile wheeze and falter like an asthmatic hamster on a wheel. The North Korean space program, once feared and revered, has now been reduced to a pitiful, flaccid chode of a program, that can’t seem to get it up, let alone maintain the height.

“Seems Kim Jong-un’s rocket is as potent as his leadership,” quipped an international observer, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of being the next target of the dictator’s notoriously touchy regime. “If he spent half as much time on his fucking rocket science as he does on his lunch buffet, they might have a shot.”

This latest cock-up is just another notch in the bedpost of failures for the ‘Flaccid Chode’ program, which has now become the butt of all jokes in international space agencies.

“Every time North Korea announces a launch, it’s like Christmas for us,” admitted a NASA scientist, barely containing his laughter. “It’s like watching a comedy of errors, but with more explosions and less talent. We break out the popcorn with extra butter.”

As the dust settles and the debris is cleared, it is crystal clear that North Korea’s space program is about as successful as Kim Jong-un’s attempts at diplomacy. But let’s not lose hope. Maybe one day, the ‘Flaccid Chode’ program will finally get it up and keep it up. Until then, we’ll just sit back and enjoy the mishaps.

The launch vehichle

By jacks smirking reven • Score: 3 Thread

Curious as to what they actually use to get to orbit, not a lot of details but 3 stages and using glycolic fuels. Not exactly the type of stuff I want to working around in the I am sure the very “safety first” locale.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

Microsoft: Windows 24H2 Will Remove Cortana and WordPad Apps

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
Microsoft says the Cortana, Tips, and WordPad applications will be automatically removed on systems upgraded to the upcoming Windows 11 24H2 release. From a report:
This was shared in a Thursday blog announcing that Windows 11, version 24H2 (Build 26100.712) is now available for Insiders in the Release Preview Channel. The company removed the Cortana standalone app from Windows 11 in preview build 25967 for Insiders, released in the Canary Channel in early October. It first announced that it would end support for Cortana in a support document published in June and deprecated it in another Canary build in August.

In September, Microsoft announced that it would deprecate WordPad — automatically installed on Windows systems for 28 years, since 1995, and an optional Windows feature since the Windows 10 Insider Build 19551 release in February 2020 — with a future Windows update. In November, the company also informed users that the Tips app was deprecated and would be removed in a future Windows release.

Re: Hold on

By Junta • Score: 5, Insightful Thread

The catch is copilot

Re:Hold on

By sconeu • Score: 5, Informative Thread

Yeah, they’re dumping Cortana, but they’re bringing in Copilot. Dumping the bad for the worse.

Is this legal?

By backslashdot • Score: 5, Interesting Thread

How can software companies, with an “update”, remove features that someone paid for? Yes yes I know Wordpad sucks etc. etc. I am talking about the general principle. There might be someone out there, probably with a masochist kink, who uses Wordpad. With Cortana.

The Real Reason. . .

By NoMoreACs • Score: 4, Interesting Thread

The real! Reason they are removing WordPad is that they found out elementary schools were using it for students instead of them all getting nice, new, shiny O365 Subscriptions!

Re:Is this legal?

By ewibble • Score: 4, Insightful Thread

In my opinion reading a contract for a licensing agreement is generally a waste of time. I know in theory you get to know what you are getting yourself into, however they are complicated enough that you need a lawyer to fully understand are you going to pay thousands to understand a contract for $100 piece of software. Even then no good lawyer is going to guarantee that their interpretation is the one that the court will agree with.

Do you have any bargaining power, no you aren’t going to Microsoft an complain about a clause and the are going say sure we will alter it for you.

If you have a case and its in the contract, if Microsoft says no what is the likely hood that you will win against them in a court case before you go bankrupt? Sure there might be a class action, but the only ones that will make any real money from that are the lawyers.

Finally most of these contracts say they can change the terms and conditions, so what on earth have you agreed to? If apple changes their terms in conditions will they provide a refund for the phone and every app that you have purchased?

These are not real contracts when 2 relatively equal parties are entering into an agreement, there is very little point reading the contract, its little wonder that most people don’t bother to read them.

Google’s AI Feeds People Answers From The Onion

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot Skip
An anonymous reader shares a report:
As denizens of the Internet, we have all often seen a news item so ridiculous it caused us to think, “This seems like an Onion headline.” But as real human beings, most of us have the ability to discern between reality and satire. Unfortunately, Google’s newly launched “AI Overview” lacks that crucial ability. The feature, which launched less than two weeks ago (with no way for users to opt-out), provides answers to certain queries at the top of the page above any other online resources. The artificial intelligence creates its answers from knowledge it has synthesized from around the web, which would be great, except not everything on the Internet is true or accurate. Obviously.

Ben Collins, one of the new owners of our former sister site, pointed out some of AI Overview’s most egregious errors on his social media. Asked “how many rocks should I eat each day,” Overview said that geologists recommend eating “at least one small rock a day.” That language was of course pulled almost word-for-word from a 2021 Onion headline. Another search, “what color highlighters do the CIA use,” prompted Overview to answer “black,” which was an Onion joke from 2005.

Re:Ask for nonsense, get nonsense.

By Baron_Yam • Score: 5, Interesting Thread

A human (at least a sane, reasonable adult one) would likely take that question as a joke and try to come up with a funny answer.

And if they thought the question was serious, they might try to correct the questioner to avoid them hurting themselves. Or they might take it super-seriously and try to define ‘rock’ and discrete quantities of rock and move on to things like recommended daily salt intake.

‘GI’ is also an opportunity to teach, and doesn’t have to lead to ‘GO’.

Re:Ask for nonsense, get nonsense.

By Petersko • Score: 5, Insightful Thread

In a larger context, sure. Person to person, absolutely. But we’re talking about just showing it’s possible to break a search by being intentionally nonsensical. Now, if you ask it a legitimate question and it provides a dangerous answer without context, that’s a problem.

For instance, “How can I increase the iron levels in my blood?”

Answer: “Ingest small amounts of steel, limestone, and coke, and step into a blast furnace.”

Now, there I would concede that something’s wrong.

The AI we currently have

By jd • Score: 5, Insightful Thread

Looks at syntax alone and frequency of words occurring together. It has no concept of meaning, no concept of truth, no concept of reliability.

This is not a sound way to build AI and is not how any brains that exist in nature work (these operate entirely by building a library of meanings and the relationships between meanings, the syntax is something that is appended).

Until we have semantic AI, we won’t have AI at all, just very sophisticated Elizabots.

Re:This isn’t news

By gtall • Score: 5, Funny Thread

A Conspiracy!!! Have you talked to Fox about this?

Re:This isn’t news

By ISayWeOnlyToBePolite • Score: 5, Informative Thread

You can tell the site admins are doing their own modding. Every see a thread where a dozen comments have all taken a -1 hit?

I don’t see how a dozen downmodded comments would implicate the admins doing their own moderation? I’m a regular user and I get 15 modpoints a pop and will spend it all in in a single thread if I think it’s valid.

China Sets Up Third Fund With $47.5 Billion To Boost Semiconductor Sector

Posted by msmash View on SlashDot
China has set up its third planned state-backed investment fund to boost its semiconductor industry, with a registered capital of 344 billion yuan ($47.5 billion), according to a filing with a government-run companies registry. Reuters:
The hundreds of billions of yuan invested in the sector puts into perspective President Xi Jinping’s drive to achieve self-sufficiency for China in semiconductors. That commitment has taken on renewed urgency after the U.S. imposed a series of export control measures over the last couple of years, citing fears Beijing could use advanced chips to boost its military capabilities.

This could work well.

By Rei • Score: 3 Thread

Or, it could go down the East Germany route, who also decided it was going to become a global powerhouse in semiconductors; poured tons of money into it and employed the best industrial espionage that the world could offer to get ahold of entire foreign production systems…

. … and ended up basically bankrupting the nation, because they just couldn’t deliver on the strict chains of quality needed at every step of the long production chains, and could neither produce nor innovate fast enough to keep up with foreign peers.

who wins

By groobly • Score: 3 Thread

In this arms race, who wins will be decided by who can get something done in the face of pervasive corruption.