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Google: No more custom AI tools for oil and gas firms
by Paul Hill
Google has announced that it will stop developing AI tools for oil and gas companies following a report from Greenpeace which criticised the search giant as well as Microsoft and Amazon. The latest report just shows that while firms may wish to present themselves as pro-renewable energy, if you scratch beneath the surface, things aren’t as rosy as they appear to be.
Responding to Google’s decision to cut these ties with gas and oil firms, Elizabeth Jardim, senior corporate campaigner at Greenpeace USA, said:
Regarding Microsoft and Amazon, she went on to say:
According to the Greenpeace report, Microsoft has the most contracts with gas and oil companies and offers AI capabilities in all phases of oil production. The environmental organisation said that if Microsoft wants to achieve its goal of becoming carbon negative by 2030 then it must completely cut out these practices.
NTSB says software flaws were found in self-driving Uber vehicle involved in fatality
by Paul Hill
A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the United States has found that an Uber self-driving test vehicle, which hit a woman in Arizona in March 2018, had software flaws which meant that it was unable to identify her as a pedestrian crossing the street. The report comes ahead of a meeting planned for November 19 which will determine the probable cause of Elaine Herzberg’s death as she was wheeling a bicycle across the street at night.
From September 2016 to March 2018, Uber’s self-driving vehicles had been involved in 37 crashes, with 33 of those involving another vehicle. After the incident involving Herzberg, Uber suspended all its self-driving car operations until December. During the break it revised the software on-board, adding new restrictions and safeguards.
According to the NTSB, the vehicle didn’t recognise the bicycle as an imminent collision until 1.2 seconds before impact so there was not enough time for the crash to be averted. The NTSB said that Uber’s software did not take jaywalking pedestrians into account. With the new software, Uber’s simulations show that the car would have noticed Herzberg 4.5 seconds before impact with the car having 4 seconds to engage the brakes.
While Arizona prosecutors did not hold Uber criminally liable, the police did investigate what the safety driver was doing when the crash happened. The police consequently said that the crash was “entirely avoidable” and that the driver was watching a TV show leading up to the crash.
By Ather Fawaz
Tesla's biggest software update to date is now rolling out, bringing a host of new features
by Ather Fawaz
Tesla just announced that their biggest update to date has begun rolling out today. Software Version 10.0 for Tesla's vehicles is what the automobile manufacturer is extolling as its 'biggest software update' to date. And indeed, there are a plethora of new features that come bundled in with it.
Tesla has tried to bring in a bit of everything with this update. From entertainment, music, convenience, and gaming, Version 10.0 dabbles in everything.
First up, we have Tesla Theatre, whereby customers of the Model 3, Model X, and the Model S will be able to connect their central displays to global entertainment and streaming services. Integration with Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu or Hulu + Live TV accounts to stream multimedia content while the car is parked, will now be possible. Customers in China can expect to get iQiyi and Tencent Video access. Similarly, Tesla is also making a bunch of video tutorials on Tesla Theatre to help customers learn more about their cars.
Alongside video capabilities, Tesla has also introduced Spotify premium and Ximalaya integration in addition to the currently available music and podcast offerings such as Slacker Radio and TuneIn Radio. "Car-aoke" is another feature that, as the name sounds, introduces karaoke to the Teslas with support for multiple languages.
Then there's Smart Summon. This feature does exactly what it sounds like, it summons your car from a parking lot to right in front of you. While some customers have had early access to it, Smart Summon will now be generally available to all Full-Self-Driving-enabled cars. Here's a video by a YouTube channel named Dirty Tesla showcasing the feature:
Next up, Tesla also included a feature quite similar to Google's "I'm feeling lucky". With “I’m Feeling Lucky” and “I’m Feeling Hungry” Tesla customers will now be navigated to a point of interest, a restaurant, national park, landmarks, etcetera. Search results for queries in the map will now be sorted according to the distance and users will be able to gain more information by tapping on them.
Furthermore, Tesla's dash-cam footage will now be better-managed when the car is protected with Sentry Mode. Video clips will now be stored in a separate folder in the USB and older clips will now be automatically deleted if storage space starts running short.
A new "Joe Mode" has also been included to avoid waking up sleeping passengers by lowering the sound of some chimes and bells from the vehicle. Tesla's app will now allow greater control over the car as well. Windows, temperature, defrosting, opening and closing garage doors using HomeLink will all now be doable straight from the Tesla app.
There is something for gamers too. Tesla Arcade brings the famous Cuphead to its cars in Cuphead Tesla Edition. The game's first full level will be playable using a USB controller and single-player and co-op modes will be available.
Finally, streaming and browser support for all Model 3 variants will be included in this update. With it, streaming media access to Spotify, Slacker, and TuneIn while connected to WiFi will be available.
According to Elon Musk's tweet, customers who have paid for the Full-Self-Driving option when purchasing their cars will be receiving the update first. However, within a week the update should be available to everyone over-the-air.
About half a year ago I realized that my external hard-drive that I bought on amazon was malfunctioning, I had noticed there was a connection problem even before that, it would connect and disconnect rapidly sometimes, but I didn't think much of it cause my files were still there. then 1 day I tried to open my files which had saved in there (video files), and they couldn't open, but it wasn't just like a straight-right-away error message--it was loading and loading, like there was something there, it just couldn't open, and when I tried to “safely remove hardware” It would not allow me to, even with all windows closed it would say “please close programs using the drive”.. I had to just pull the USB out. I unplugged and re-plugged it several times, to see if I could find a way to open the files (and I tried everything like moving the file to C drive to open, or using a different computer, nothing worked)... every-time I tried the files appeared differently, like sometimes it would just not be there, (actually every time the folder would come up empty at first), sometimes there'd only be like half of them, and then the rest would load, but then there wouldn't be the names or thumbnails, sometimes just the names not the thumbnails, sometimes names and thumbnails, but not dates or info, sometimes there was everything included accept it wouldn't play... it would open the video player and the video player would load a bit and then would give up.. My hard drive seems like it has Alzheimer’s and it is having trouble pulling up different parts of the file but I am sure there is a way to recover the files because I know it’s in there somewhere, the data wasn’t wiped, I think it just doesn't know how to use the data to play the video because the video is somehow corrupted ...
I want to get the drive recovered, but I most importantly don't want to give the drive to someone who hooks it up to a computer and unsuccessfully tries a whole lot of things to recover the data, and then after all that the drive may self-destruct even more and make the problem even harder to solve… I feel that every-time the drive is powered on, it’s probably somehow screwing itself up even more, Plus the whole issue with the unstable connection (which is what I believe caused the malfunction in the first place) will probably find a way to screw it up further.. So before anyone tries to recover the data with a computer, I want to have the drive completely cloned, but I don't know how that can be done, I am thinking I could buy the exact same model and then ask a hardware expert to scan the drive with a machine and clone the data onto the other drive, it might even be better to have 2 or 3 other cloned drives just to be safe… The last thing I want is to pay some nutjob at the data recovery company to ###### up the drive permanently, if that happens then I can’t even bring it to a real good data recovery expert..
In the future when I have more money I’d want to hire like a real smart computer expert, who is smart and creative, someone who treats data recovery like Sherlock Holmes treats crime solving, treating every situation differently, not following a procedure... I don't trust those 9-5 working folks in a data recovery company who don’t really care about your data cause they’re still getting paid at the end of the day. Right now though, I have not much money and I can't wait forever because I hear that hard-drives lose their magnetic energy if not powered on for a while, and it could lose your data even after a year of sitting in storage, I don't want that to happen. I feel that I can't wait any longer; these files are so incredibly important to me, I can't afford to lose them. They are like all I worked on for many years. So, please tell me, what would you do? How would you handle this? Thanks for reading & Thanks for any advice or help.
(P.S. I have about 1,500 USD saved up and that's all I'm going to have for a good while, I have no job because I am disabled but I won't get into that... so what would you do, if you had 1,500 dollars and broken drive?)
Again I really appreciate any replies, even If you are not an expert.. I am posting this on like 12 other forums so any reply is helpful even if you don't know much. Thanks.
By Usama Jawad96
Here's why Microsoft Azure faced a global outage yesterday
by Usama Jawad
On May 2, Microsoft Azure suffered a global outage for nearly two hours starting from 19:43 UTC. Although services were partially recovered by 21:30 UTC, it was not until 22:35 UTC that the problem was fully resolved. The connectivity issue with Azure primarily affected Microsoft's services including Microsoft 365, Dynamics, and DevOps, with customers being impacted all over the globe.
Now, the Redmond giant has published an update discussing why the issue occurred.
According to Microsoft, the preliminary root cause for the widespread problem appears to be a "nameserver delegation" issue. The firm stated:
As per the company's statement, although engineers identified and resolved the issue within a couple of hours, some systems that accessed domains with incorrect configurations stored that information, resulting in longer recovery times until the faulty cache expired.
That said, Microsoft is still looking into the problem, and has promised that a detailed root cause analysis (RCA) will be published within 72 hours. This is not the first time Azure has been hit by a global outage; in 2016, a worldwide DNS outage impacted a number of Azure-based services, including SQL Database, App Service / Web Apps, API Management, Service Bus, HDInsight, Media Services, and Visual Studio Team Services. Earlier this year, many Office 365 users weren't able to access their mailboxes due to a similar outage as well.
Source: Microsoft via ZDNet