- An Embattled Group of Hackers Picks Up the WikiLeaks Mantle
- Samsung Is Reportedly Working On a More Affordable Galaxy Fold
- With DOJ Charges, Former VC Mike Rothenberg Could Now Be Facing Serious Jail Time
- Microsoft's Second Next-Gen Xbox Reportedly Set For August Reveal
- A Hacker Gang is Wiping Lenovo NAS Devices and Asking for Ransoms
- Data Caps On AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile Will Return June 30
- Flu Virus With 'Pandemic Potential' Found in China
- iPhone 12 Won't Include Charger In Box, Says Analyst
- 1 Killed, 2 Shot Outside Amazon Warehouse In Jacksonville
- The New York Times Removes Its Articles From Apple News
- New Hack Runs Homebrew Code From DVD-R On Unmodified PlayStation 2
- Microsoft Pauses Spending on Facebook, Instagram
- Amazon To Pay $500 Million in Bonuses To Workers Most Exposed To Coronavirus
- Apple Strong-Arms Entire CA Industry Into One-Year Certificate Lifespans
- Twitch Temporarily Bans President Trump
- The Global Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 500,000
- Reddit Finally Bans Hate Speech, Removes 2,000 Racist and Violent Forums
- India Bans TikTok, Dozens of Other Chinese Apps
- Google Expands Free Retail Listings Into Search as Pandemic Hits Ad Sales
- Apple Declined To Implement 16 Web APIs in Safari Due To Privacy Concerns
- Amazon Eliminates Single-use Plastic in Packaging in India
- Tim O'Reilly Asks If Venture Capital Is Doing More Harm Than Good
- Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia Partner On Software-Defined Autonomous Cars
- Volvo's Polestar Plans an Electric Ride-Hailing Robotaxi with Waymo
- Mysterious Spike In Radioactivity Over Northern Europe, Accident At Russian Nuclear Plant Suspected
An Embattled Group of Hackers Picks Up the WikiLeaks Mantle
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica:
For the past year, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has sat in a London jail awaiting extradition to the US. This week, the US Justice Department piled on yet more hacking conspiracy allegations against him, all related to his decade-plus at the helm of an organization that exposed reams of government and corporate secrets to the public. But in Assange's absence, another group has picked up where WikiLeaks left off -- and is also picking new fights.
For roughly the past year and a half, a small group of activists known as Distributed Denial of Secrets, or DDoSecrets, has quietly but steadily released a stream of hacked and leaked documents, from Russian oligarchs' emails to the stolen communications of Chilean military leaders to shell company databases. Late last week, the group unleashed its most high-profile leak yet: BlueLeaks, a 269-gigabyte collection of more than a million police files provided to DDoSecrets by a source aligned with the hacktivist group Anonymous, spanning emails, audio files, and interagency memos largely pulled from law enforcement "fusion centers," which serve as intelligence-sharing hubs. According to DDoSecrets, it represents the largest-ever release of hacked US police data. It may put DDoSecrets on the map as the heir to WikiLeaks' mission -- or at least the one it adhered to in its earlier, more idealistic years -- and the inheritor of its never-ending battles against critics and censors. "Our role is to archive and publish leaked and hacked data of potential public interest," writes the group's cofounder, Emma Best, a longtime transparency activist, in a text message interview with WIRED. "We want to inspire people to come forward, and release accurate information regardless of its source."
Samsung Is Reportedly Working On a More Affordable Galaxy Fold
a report from a South Korean publication, Samsung is
working on Galaxy Fold Lite for as cheap as $900. Samsung will reportedly cut costs by downgrading the camera capabilities and internal specifications. Bleeping Computer reports:
The Galaxy Fold Lite will reportedly launch in 2021, but remember that this is just a rumor out of South Korea and it has to be taken with a grain of salt. It appears that the foldable device was planned to be announced during the August 5 event, but Samsung has reportedly postponed its launch to 2021. Galaxy Fold Lite is certainly possible and it was recently tipped off by XDA-Developers' Max Weinbach on Twitter. Another leaker revealed that the Galaxy Fold e could be named Galaxy Gold Lite and priced below $1100.
With DOJ Charges, Former VC Mike Rothenberg Could Now Be Facing Serious Jail Time
Connie Loizos writing via TechCrunch:
While some in Silicon Valley might prefer to forget about investor Mike Rothenberg roughly four years after his young venture firm began to implode, his story is still being written, and the latest chapter doesn't bode well for the 36-year-old. While Rothenberg earlier tangled with the Securities and Exchange Commission and lost, it was a civil matter, if one that could haunt him for the rest of his life. Now, the U.S. Department of Justice has brought two criminal wire fraud charges against him, charges that he made two false statements to a bank and money laundering charges, all of which could result in a very long time in prison depending on how things play out.
How long, exactly? The DOJ says the the two bank fraud charges and the two false statements to a bank charges "each carry a maximum of 30 years in prison, not more than five years supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine," while the money laundering charges "carry a penalty of imprisonment of not more than ten years, not more than three years of supervised release, and a fine of not more than twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transaction at issue." The damage done in the brief life of Rothenberg's venture outfit -- even while understood in broad strokes by industry watchers -- is rather breathtaking. As laid out by the DOJ, Rothenberg raised and managed four funds from the time he founded his firm, Rothenberg Ventures, in 2012, through 2016, and his criminal activities began almost immediately...
Microsoft's Second Next-Gen Xbox Reportedly Set For August Reveal
Microsoft's second next-gen Xbox is
rumored to be fully revealed in August. According to
Eurogamer, the console will be named the Xbox Series S. From a report:
Microsoft has been working on this second cheaper next-gen Xbox console for months. A Microsoft document, leaked last week, shed some further light on the company's plans. Microsoft's Xbox Series X devkit, codenamed "Dante," allows game developers to enable a special Lockhart mode that has a profile of the performance that Microsoft wants to hit with this second console. While we've been reporting this performance includes a slightly underclocked CPU, The Verge has seen additional documents that suggest Lockhart will actually have the same speed CPU as the Xbox Series X. The Lockhart console will also include 7.5GB of usable RAM, and around 4 teraflops of GPU performance. The Xbox Series X includes 13.5GB of usable RAM and targets 12 teraflops of GPU performance for comparison.
If the reports are accurate, Microsoft could choose August to unveil this second next-gen Xbox alongside pricing for the Xbox Series X. This second console is designed as a more affordable option, with 1080p and 1440p monitors in mind. Microsoft would have to detail some type of pricing alongside its Lockhart reveal, and it's reasonable to assume it will be heavily tied to the Xbox All Access subscription.
A Hacker Gang is Wiping Lenovo NAS Devices and Asking for Ransoms
A hacker group going by the name of 'Cl0ud SecuritY' is breaking into
old LenovoEMC (formerly Iomega) network-attached storage (NAS) devices, wiping files, and leaving ransom notes behind asking owners to pay between $200 and $275 to get their data back. From a report:
Attacks have been happening for at least a month, according to entries on BitcoinAbuse, a web portal where users can report Bitcoin addresses abused in ransomware, extortions, cybercrime, and other online scams. Attacks appear to have targeted only LenovoEMC/Iomega NAS devices that are exposing their management interface on the internet without a password. ZDNet was able to identify around 1,000 such devices using a Shodan search.
Data Caps On AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile Will Return June 30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from PCWorld:
Major Internet service providers are scheduled to end their quarantine benefits soon, once again subjecting Americans to data caps and removing protections if they are unable to pay their bills. The FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge is set to expire on June 30. Companies initially agreed to the pledge and rushed to add benefits. ISPs like CenturyLink, T-Mobile, Verizon, and many others said they would not discontinue service or charge late fees for those unable to pay because of the coronavirus. They also agreed to open their Wi-Fi access points for free. So far, the FCC has not publicly said that it would extend the pledge.
In some ways, ISPs face the same decision as governors in Florida and Texas: end their benefits, which encouraged users to stay home, or continue them for an indeterminate period of time. This could be the last weekend of unlimited data for Comcast Xfinity subscribers and other major ISPs. For many of those who are out of work, ISPs could begin demanding payment for outstanding broadband bills on June 30. Consumers who have been riding out the quarantine by streaming may also find that their unlimited data expires June 30. On that day AT&T, Comcast Xfinity, Mediacom, and T-Mobile are scheduled to resume normal service, and once again impose data caps. Some ISPs, like Cox, have already terminated some benefits, as its temporary unlimited data program expired in May.
Flu Virus With 'Pandemic Potential' Found in China
A new strain of flu which has the
potential to become pandemic has been identified in China by scientists. From a report:
It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say. The researchers are concerned that it could mutate further so that it can spread easily from person to person, and trigger a global outbreak. They say it has "all the hallmarks" of being highly adapted to infect humans - and needs close monitoring. As it's new, people could have little or no immunity to the virus. A bad new strain of influenza is among the top disease threats that experts are watching for, even as the world attempts to bring to an end the current coronavirus pandemic. The last pandemic flu the world encountered - the swine flu outbreak of 2009 that began in Mexico - was less deadly than initially feared, largely because many older people had some immunity to it, probably because of its similarity to other flu viruses that had circulated years before.
iPhone 12 Won't Include Charger In Box, Says Analyst
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, iPhone 12 models
will not include EarPods or a power adapter in the box. MacRumors reports:
Kuo said that Apple will instead release a new 20W power adapter as an optional accessory for iPhones and end production of its existing 5W and 18W power adapters later this year. The form factor of the new 20W power adapter is said to be similar to the 18W version, with USB-C Power Delivery for fast charging, as seen in the leaked photo below. Kuo believes that iPhone 12 production costs will significantly increase due to 5G support, but he expects Apple to sell the new models at a comparable price to its iPhone 11 lineup, and removing the EarPods and power adapter from the box is one way to reduce costs. Apple would likely also tout the environmental benefits of such a move. Barclays still expects Apple to include a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box as the only accessory included with iPhone 12 models.
1 Killed, 2 Shot Outside Amazon Warehouse In Jacksonville
A 20-year-old man was killed and two others injured when two suspects
opened fire outside an Amazon warehouse in Jacksonville. From a report:
According to JSO, the man who was killed was targeted by the shooters who fled from the scene in a silver car. JSO is now searching for three suspects, including the driver of the getaway car. The 20-year-old victim was standing in line for job applications with about six others outside of the facility when the suspects began firing, JSO said. JSO believes the suspects knew the victim.
"We're trying to determine what the motive was why they were after this victim. We have about 10 eyewitnesses that were both inside and outside of the facility," said JSO Assistant Chief Brian Kee. "This does not appear to be a workplace violent incident that you would normally associate with workplace violence or mass shootings." A 29-year-old man was grazed in the arm and a 22-year-old man was grazed in the foot during the shooting. Both were treated and did not require hospitalization, JSO said. People claiming to be family members of Amazon employees at the facility said on social media that employees were placed on lockdown inside. A woman who said she witnessed the shooting and asked not to be identified said she was just feet away from the man who was killed. "As I started to go back inside the Amazon doors, I turned my head slightly to the right, I saw the gunman standing right there with a gun in his hand and next thing you know he just started shooting," she said. "He just let off about five or six rounds. I stood there in complete shock because I couldn't believe what was actually happening in front of my face."
The New York Times Removes Its Articles From Apple News
Today, the New York Times
announced that it is ending its partnership with Apple News and
removing its articles from the platform. Engadget reports:
The issue seems to be that while other services, like Google News, send readers to publishers' websites, Apple News generally keeps readers in the app. Or, as NYT puts it, Apple's approach does not align with The Times' goal of building direct relationships with paying readers.
"Core to a healthy model between The Times and the platforms is a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers, and the nature of our business rules," Meredith Kopit Levien, The Times' chief operating officer, wrote in a memo to employees. "Our relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters."
New Hack Runs Homebrew Code From DVD-R On Unmodified PlayStation 2
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica:
Nearly 20 years after its initial release, a hacker has found a way to run homebrew software on an unmodified PlayStation 2 using nothing but a carefully burned DVD-ROM. Previous efforts to hack the PS2 relied on internal modifications, external hardware (like pre-hacked memory cards and hard drives), or errors found only on very specific models of the system. The newly discovered FreeDVDBoot differs from this previous work by exploiting an error in the console's DVD video player to create a fully software-based method for running arbitrary code on the system.
Security researcher CTurt laid out the FreeDVDBoot discovery and method in detail in a blog post this weekend. By decrypting and analyzing the code used for the PS2's DVD player, CTurt found a function that expects a 16-bit string from a properly formatted DVD but will actually easily accept over 1.5 megabytes from a malicious source. Sending carefully formatted data to that function causes a buffer overflow that in turn triggers another badly written function to tell the system to jump to an area of memory with arbitrary, attacker-written code. That code can then tell the system to load an ELF file written to a burned DVD-R in the system. Building on previous PS2 homebrew efforts like uLaunchELF, it's relatively simple to use that DVD-R to load homebrew software or even full copies of otherwise copy-protected PS2 games. The exploit is currently limited to very specific versions of the PS2's DVD player firmware (as of press time, firmwares 3.10 and 3.11, when set to "English") found in later editions of the console and won't work in earlier systems. But CTurt writes that he's "confident that all other versions also contain these same trivial IFO parsing buffer overflows" and can be exploited with broadly similar methods. The possibility of similar hacks through the Blu-ray player on the PS3 and PS4 (or the CD player on the PS1) are also being examined by the community.
Microsoft Pauses Spending on Facebook, Instagram
Microsoft suspended its advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the U.S. in May and
recently expanded that to a global pause, according to an internal chat transcript seen by Axios. From a report:
Unlike the many advertisers who recently joined a Facebook boycott,, Microsoft is concerned about where its ads are shown, not Facebook's policies. But the move still means yet another big advertiser is not spending on Facebook right now. "Based on concerns we had back in May we suspended all media spending on Facebook/Instagram in the US and we've subsequently suspended all spending on Facebook/Instagram worldwide," Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela said in an internal Yammer post, responding to an employee's question. The transcript did not specifically say what content Microsoft objected to its ads appearing next to, but as examples of "inappropriate content" it cited examples of "hate speech, pornography, terrorist content, etc."
Amazon To Pay $500 Million in Bonuses To Workers Most Exposed To Coronavirus
Amazon on Monday said it's
paying out $500 million in one-time bonuses to front-line employees -- those most at risk of contracting the coronavirus -- who worked for the company through June. From a report:
The move is an apparent reversal for the company following weeks of criticism for it cutting its coronavirus hazard pay even as the pandemic has continued. Amazon had eliminated its $2-an-hour hazard pay for workers at the start of June, after it first instituted the higher wages in mid-March. That hazard pay increases had already cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. "Our front-line operations teams have been on an incredible journey over the last few months, and we want to show our appreciation with a special one-time thank you bonus," Dave Clark, the company's SVP for worldwide operations, wrote in a note to workers Monday. Full-time Amazon workers, Whole Foods employees and Delivery Service Partner drivers will get $500, while their part-time counterparts will receive $250. Amazon and Whole Foods employees in leadership positions will get $1,000, Delivery Service Partner owners will get $3,000 and Amazon Flex drivers who worked more than 10 hours in June will each get $150.
Apple Strong-Arms Entire CA Industry Into One-Year Certificate Lifespans
A decision that Apple unilaterally took in February 2020 has reverberated across the browser landscape and has effectively
strong-armed the Certificate Authority industry into bitterly accepting a new default lifespan of 398 days for TLS certificates. From a report:
Following Apple's initial announcement, Mozilla and Google have stated similar intentions to implement the same rule in their browsers. Starting with September 1, 2020, browsers and devices from Apple, Google, and Mozilla will show errors for new TLS certificates that have a lifespan greater than 398 days. The move is an important one because it not only changes how a core part of the internet works -- TLS certificates -- but also because it breaks away from normal industry practices and the cooperation between browsers and CAs. Known as the CA/B Forum, this is an informal group made up of Certificate Authorities (CAs), the companies that issue TLS certificates used to support HTTPS traffic, and browser makers. Since 2005, this group has been making the rules on how TLS certificates should be issued and how browsers are supposed to manage and validate them.
Twitch Temporarily Bans President Trump
temporarily banned President Donald Trump, in the latest surprise and high-profile suspension from the streaming service. Trump's account was banned for "hateful conduct" that was aired on stream, and Twitch says the offending content has now been removed. From a report:
One of the streams in question was a rebroadcast of Trump's infamous kickoff rally, where he said that Mexico was sending rapists to the United States. Twitch also flagged racist comments at Trump's recent rally in Tulsa. "Like anyone else, politicians on Twitch must adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. We do not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content, and will take action on content reported to us that violates our rules," a Twitch spokesperson told The Verge. The statement was originally issued last year when Trump's channel was launched.
The Global Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 500,000
total of deaths passed 500,000 on Sunday, while the number of confirmed cases surpassed 10 million. From a report:
The grim markers were hit as countries around the world struggle to keep new infections from reaching runaway levels while simultaneously trying to emerge from painful lockdowns. In April, roughly a month after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic, deaths topped 100,000. In early May, the figure climbed to 250,000. Now it has doubled in less than two months. More than a quarter of all known deaths have been in the United States. The number of confirmed infections -- which took about 40 days to double -- may be substantially underestimated, public health officials say. Data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that the actual figures in many regions are probably 10 times as high as reported.
Reddit Finally Bans Hate Speech, Removes 2,000 Racist and Violent Forums
Reddit first launched as an online discussion site in June 2005. Now, 15 years later, it has finally taken action to
officially ban hate speech and groups that promote it. From a report:
A revised Reddit content policy, announced Monday, explicitly states that groups or users that "incite violence or that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability" are prohibited. "Everyone has a right to use Reddit free of harassment, bullying and threats of violence," it says. With the updated content policy, Reddit is initially banning about 2,000 subreddits, most of which are inactive, the company said. Included in the purge is The_Donald, a pro-Donald Trump forum notorious for users posting racist, misogynistic, anti-Islam and anti-Semitic content. In 2015, Reddit adopted a new content policy and banned several blatantly racist subreddits. But until today, the official rules still did not explicitly forbid hate or racist forums. Reddit CEO/co-founder Steve Huffman, in an post about the new policy, said "I admit we have fallen short" in supporting the site's communities and moderators with respect to adopting a comprehensive anti-hate policy.
India Bans TikTok, Dozens of Other Chinese Apps
The Indian government on Monday evening said it was
banning 59 apps developed by Chinese firms over concerns that these apps were "engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, and security of state and public order" in what is the latest standoff between the two most populated nations in the world. From a report:
ByteDance's TikTok, which counts India as its biggest market, Community and Video Call apps from Xiaomi, which is the top smartphone vendor in India, UC Browser, UC News, Shareit, CM Browser, Club Factory (India's third-largest e-commerce firm), ES File Explorer are among the 59 apps that India's Ministry of Electronics and IT have ordered to ban. "The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues," the Indian government agency said.
Google Expands Free Retail Listings Into Search as Pandemic Hits Ad Sales
expand free shopping results from a narrow experiment in its shopping tab to the main search engine, dramatically expanding their reach. From a report:
The company announced the move today in a blog post written by commerce president Bill Ready. The shift is part of a continuous move away from paid search results and follows a trend of users searching more for information on subjects like the coronavirus and less for products. At the same time, advertisers have been cutting spending as the pandemic takes an economic toll. Ready attributed the move to Google's desire to help sellers and buyers connect and noted that it remains difficult for users to find what they need online in terms of product, price, and seller reputation. Likewise, digital remains a challenge for many small businesses, even as shoppers continue to gravitate toward online purchasing. "It's crucial that we help people find all the best options available and help merchants more easily connect with consumers online," Ready wrote.
Apple Declined To Implement 16 Web APIs in Safari Due To Privacy Concerns
Apple said last week that it declined to implement 16 new web technologies (Web APIs) in Safari because they
posed a threat to user privacy by opening new avenues for user fingerprinting. Technologies that Apple declined to include in Safari because of user fingerprinting concerns include:
Web Bluetooth - Allows websites to connect to nearby Bluetooth LE devices.
Web MIDI API - Allows websites to enumerate, manipulate and access MIDI devices.
Magnetometer API - Allows websites to access data about the local magnetic field around a user, as detected by the device's primary magnetometer sensor.
Web NFC API - Allows websites to communicate with NFC tags through a device's NFC reader.
Device Memory API - Allows websites to receive the approximate amount of device memory in gigabytes.
Network Information API - Provides information about the connection a device is using to communicate with the network and provides a means for scripts to be notified if the connection type changes.
Battery Status API - Allows websites to receive information about the battery status of the hosting device. Web Bluetooth Scanning - Allows websites to scan for nearby Bluetooth LE devices.
Ambient Light Sensor - Lets websites get the current light level or illuminance of the ambient light around the hosting device via the device's native sensors.
The vast majority of these APIs are only implemented in Chromium-based browsers, and very few on Mozilla's platform. Apple claims that the 16 Web APIs above would allow online advertisers and data analytics firms to create scripts that fingerprint users and their devices.
Amazon Eliminates Single-use Plastic in Packaging in India
Amazon said on Monday it has
eliminated all single-use plastic in its packaging across its fulfillment centers in India, delivering on a pledge it made last year to achieve this goal by June. From a report:
The American e-commerce group said it had replaced packaging materials such as bubble wraps with paper cushions and was also using "100% plastic-free biodegradable" paper tapes. All of Amazon's 50-plus fulfilment centers in India, one of its key overseas markets, were complying with the new guidelines, the company said. Flipkart, which had made a similar pledge last year, said last month that its reliance on single-use plastic across its supply chain had dropped by 50%. Last year, the Walmart-owned marketplace said it intended to move entirely to recycled plastic consumption in its supply chain by March 2021. Amazon's announcement Monday follows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's directive last year, when he urged Indians to put an end to usage of single-use plastic by 2022. India has been grappling with a major plastic waste problem for several years. Asia's third-largest economy is struggling with disposing of the 9.4 million tons of plastic waste it generates each year. Dozens of nations across the world have in recent years moved to address this challenge by imposing curbs and levies on use of single-use plastic.
Tim O'Reilly Asks If Venture Capital Is Doing More Harm Than Good
Tim O'Reilly is the founder of O'Reilly Media (formerly
O'Reilly & Associates), and is credited by Wikipedia as helping to popularize the term open source. But Techcrunch reveals
what he's learned about venture capital from his work with Bryce Roberts (O'Reilly's investing partner at early-stage venture firm O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures).
"At a minimum, O'Reilly — who bootstrapped his own company, O'Reilly Media, 42 years ago and says it now produces 'a couple hundred million dollars in revenue' yearly — provides a lot of food for thought."
Tim O'Reilly: The typical VC model is looking for this high-growth company with exit potential, because it's looking for this big financial return from an IPO or acquisition, and that selects for a certain type of founder. My partner Bryce decided two funds ago [to] look for companies that are kind of disparaged as lifestyle companies that are trying to build sustainable businesses with cash flow and profits. They're the kind of small businesses, and small business entrepreneurs, that have vanished from America, partly because of the VC myth, which is really about creating financial instruments for the wealthy...
The talent pool is just much greater [when you look outside of Silicon Valley]. There's a certain kind of bro culture in Silicon Valley and if you don't fit in, sure [you could find a way], but there are a lot of impediments... I've been really disillusioned with Silicon Valley investing for a long time. It reminds me of Wall Street going up to 2008. The idea was, "As long as someone wants to buy this [collateralized debt obligation], we're good." Nobody is thinking about: Is this a good product...?
It's part of the structural inequality in our society, where we're building businesses that are optimized for their financial return rather than their return to society.
Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia Partner On Software-Defined Autonomous Cars
Car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz and chipmaker Nvidia have partnered to build a software-defined computing infrastructure and system that enables vehicles to receive over-the-air software updates to ensure they are equipped with the latest autonomous features. "Together, we're going to revolutionise the car ownership experience, making the vehicle software programmable and continuously upgradeable via over the air updates," Nvidia CEO and founder Jensen Huang said.
The pair will build the software-defined architecture based on Nvidia's Drive AGX Orin system-on-chip (SoC) platform, and it will be a standard feature in the next fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles from 2024... "Nvidia's AI computing architecture will help us streamline our journey towards autonomous driving," said Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz. "These new capabilities and upgrades will be downloaded from the cloud, improving safety, increasing value, and extending the joy of ownership for all Mercedes-Benz customers...."
The pair said the new system would enable level two and three driving autonomy, as well as automated parking functions of up to level four. This would mean, according to the two companies, vehicles would have the ability to "automate driving of regular routes from address to address".
Nvidia and Mercedes are, in some respects, playing catch-up. Something the rest auto industry is used to these days regarding Tesla. Almost every other auto maker around the globe is pursuing an Electrical Vehicle (EV)-centric strategy nowadays, something unthinkable a few years ago. Tesla CEO Elon Musk deserves a lot of credit for the shift. Tesla led in EV development, and now it's leading in software too...
And Forbes adds this telling quote from NVIDIA's senior director of automotive. "Revenues can be realized at the point of sale, as well as any time during the life of the vehicle.
New features may be free of charge, single charge, pay by use, or subscription-based. Customers have shown that when they see the value, they are more than willing to pay for new apps and services."
Volvo's Polestar Plans an Electric Ride-Hailing Robotaxi with Waymo
Way Smarter Than You shares this article from Car and Driver:
Polestar, the Volvo premium electric brand, will come out with a new electric vehicle platform just for ride-hailing vehicles. The automated driving technology is called Waymo Driver, and Waymo has been testing it in vehicles from a number of automakers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, and Renault. You'll be shocked to hear this, but Volvo thinks that self-driving vehicles will be safer than today's human-piloted models. Add Polestar to the list of companies that think Waymo has what it takes to bring us to an autonomous-vehicle future....
Polestar says that this new partnership will open up "new opportunities for the electric performance brand," including putting Waymo's fully self-driving technology — called Waymo Driver — into future Polestar vehicles. The deal makes Waymo the exclusive global Level 4 partner for Volvo Car Group. As defined by the SAE, Level 4 is a category of technology that can drive the car on its own in limited situations.
"Through our strategic partnership, we will first work together to integrate the Waymo Driver into an all-new mobility-focused electric-vehicle platform for ride-hailing services," Waymo said in a statement. In other words, some sort of Polestar premium autonomous robotaxi mobility service is coming, at some undefined point.
Mysterious Spike In Radioactivity Over Northern Europe, Accident At Russian Nuclear Plant Suspected
An anonymous reader quotes the International Business Times:
Watchdog agencies last week detected an increase in radioactivity levels in the atmosphere over northern Europe, suggesting a potential damage at a nuclear plant. Authorities noted the possibility that the spike may be the result of accidental release of radioactive material from one of the nuclear plants in Russia, but a spokesman denied any problems with the Russian power plants.
Several Scandinavian watchdog agencies detected elevated levels of radionuclides cesium-134, cesium -137 and ruthenium-103 over parts of Finland, southern Scandinavia and the Arctic. Although the levels are not considered harmful to human health and the environment, radionuclides are artificial, unstable byproducts of nuclear fission, suggesting that the sudden increase in levels may have resulted from a damage in a nuclear power plant.
According to the Associated Press, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority noted Tuesday (June 24) that locating the origin of the radionuclides is "not possible" but by Friday, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands announced that calculations revealed that the radionuclides may actually have come from the direction of Western Russia...
In 1986, it was a similar detection in Sweden that contributed to the reveal that a disaster had occurred in Chernobyl.