Autonomous Forklift May Eat Up Warehouse Jobs

hardware - Posted On:2017-08-22 21:29:59 Source: slashdot

Jamie Condliffe reports via MIT Technology Review: Seegrid, a provider of material-handling equipment, takes the kinds of forklifts that move 8,000-pound loads around warehouses and makes them autonomous. It does that by popping five stereo cameras on top of the vehicles, having a human drive them around to map a space, and then using image recognition systems similar to those in autonomous cars to navigate the facilities. (Unlike autonomous cars that use sensors like radar and lidar, Seegrid can use just cameras, because lighting conditions in warehouses are more consistent than those on the open road.) But while it's easy enough to have a forklift move objects from one side of a factory to another, reliably loading and unloading them poses a bigger challenge. Other robots designed to haul loads like this tend to pick things up from below, rather than spearing pallets with forks. So autonomous forklifts usually require humans to be present during pickup and dropoff to make sure nothing goes wrong. Seegrid's new GP8 Series 6 forklift has been engineered to reverse its forks into pallets, pick them up, and set them down without a human in the loop. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Read More

Feds drop demand for 1.3 million IP addresses that visited anti-Trump site

Biz & IT - Posted On:2017-08-22 20:59:59 Source: arstechnica

The US Department of Justice is backing down on its request to Web hosting service DreamHost to divulge the 1.3 million IP addresses that visited a Trump resistance site. The request was part of the government's investigation into Inauguration Day rioting, which has already resulted in the indictment of 200 people. More are likely.

"The government has no interest in records relating to the 1.3 million IP addresses that are mentioned in DreamHost's numerous press releases and Opposition brief," federal prosecutors said in a new court filing concerning its investigation of the disruptj20.org site.

The government, in the court document, said it did not realize that its original warrant, (PDF) which is part of a federal grand jury investigation into Inauguration Day rioting, was so grand in scope.

Read More

Medium Will Now Pay Writers Based On How Many 'Claps' They Get

news - Posted On:2017-08-22 20:59:59 Source: slashdot

Medium is getting creative with how they're paying its writers. The San Francisco-based online publishing platform will determine how much an author is paid by how many claps a story receives. Claps are basically Medium's equivalent of a Like, and they recently replaced the "recommend" feature -- a little heart button at the end of each article. The Verge reports: The site wants people to send authors claps to show how much they enjoy reading each article. Now, those claps are actually going to mean something. Medium pays authors by dividing up every individual subscriber's fee between the different articles they've read that month. But rather than doing an even division between articles, Medium will weight payments toward whichever articles a subscriber gives the most claps to. It's not clear exactly how much each individual clap tips the scale, but you can be sure that writers will be asking readers to click that button. It's a pretty strange way to implement payments, since it relies on a really arbitrary metric that individual subscribers might use in really different and inconsistent ways. Time spent on page and whether someone shared an article probably would have been useful metrics by which to tell how much a reader enjoyed a piece, but maybe that makes too much sense for a startup in the middle of its second business model pivot. On the positive side, claps can help Medium surface content that people are enjoying and get it in front of more readers. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Read More

Hulu will soon merge its two iOS apps into one

hulu - Posted On:2017-08-22 20:30:05 Source: engadget

Say goodbye to confusing one Hulu app on your iOS device for another. Soon, the streaming service will condense both of them into a single one and phase out the Hulu Live TV app introduced earlier this year when the livestreaming service debuted. For now, opening the Hulu Live TV app will redirect you to the main Hulu app, which will service both the $40-per-month livestreaming service and the standard $8-per-month Hulu content library. It's unclear when the former will be taken off the App Store for good, but the main app's update log confirmed it will happen:\n\n\

Read More

Pepper the robot can perform funerary rites, but it shouldn’t

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-22 20:30:03 Source: techcrunch

 It’s not really clear just what “humanoid” robots are actually for. I’ve seen them do all kinds of things, but almost none of them well; at our recent Robotics event in Boston, several leading experts in the field questioned their necessity. But we grew up with Data and Robby and Cylons, and so now we have Pepper. Performing funeral rites for cash-strapped people in Japan.

Read More

Sony Loses Class Action Lawsuit In Waterproof Claims For Original Xperia Z Line

yro - Posted On:2017-08-22 20:14:59 Source: slashdot

Sony has lost a class action lawsuit for claiming its Xperia phones were "waterproof," when in reality they were only "water resistant." If you happen to own one of the original Xperia Z smartphones, you may be owed up to $300. XDA Developers reports: Arguably, one of the pioneers in the consumer sector for more "rugged" devices (or at the very least IP certification) has to be Sony. Back in 2012, they introduced the Xperia Z line of the devices, which marked a turning point for Sony in most of its philosophy as well as its design language. They completely overhauled the look and feel of the devices they had in favor of the glass slab that they offer even in today's phones and tablets. Despite its fragile appearance, most of their offerings were drop-tested and were able to withstand a substantial amount of mistreatment. On top of all that, the Sony Xperia Z was the first commercially available phone from Sony to me, marketed as "water resistant" with an IP56 rating for water and dust ingress (which isn't really much, but at least it would keep your phone going in spite of an accidental drop in the beach or in the pool). However, the phone was advertised in such a way that it it looked as if the device was waterproof and not water resistant (there is a big difference). This led to a lot of water-damaged devices, which Sony did nothing about and eventually, a class action lawsuit was filed (and won) against Sony. According to the settlement, there were 24 models affected (ironically, the original Z is not listed as being one of them) starting from the ZR, which was a close cousin of the original Z and going all the way to the Xperia Z5, along with a few tablets as well. The settlement goes on to state that there are a few things that, if you were affected, you can opt for: Warranty extension for up to a year if the device is within warranty period; Warranty extension for up to 6 months if the device is no longer under warranty; Up to 50% of MSRP as refund for compensation if the device is listed among the ones on the Sony lawsuit. If you are going for the cash alternative, you do have a deadline to meet, which is January 30, 2018. Whichever course of action you do decide to take, please make sure that you understand the entire lawsuit document before doing anything! Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Read More

Bethesda’s big VR games now have release dates, and they’re all in 2017

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2017-08-22 20:00:00 Source: arstechnica

Bethesda had previously announced that it would release not one, not two, but three VR versions of its biggest franchises by the end of this year. Rather than disappoint headset hopefuls with a last-minute delay, the company has gone ahead and announced firm release dates for all three.

Mark your calendars, real or virtual: Doom VFR will land on both the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR on December 1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR will launch exclusively on PlayStation VR on November 17. And Fallout 4 VR will round out the company's 2017 VR schedule by launching exclusively on the HTC Vive on December 12.

Bethesda has not announced plans for any of those games to appear outside of their announced platforms. While it's likely that at least one of the three games will flutter out to another platform, we at Ars Technica would bet cacodemons to cacodonuts that Bethesda has no intention of releasing a game on an Oculus-branded platform anytime soon. Or ever.

Read More

Another staged body cam leads to 43 more dropped Baltimore prosecutions

Policy - Posted On:2017-08-22 19:44:59 Source: arstechnica

A Baltimore Police Department officer has "self-reported" a staged body cam vide. This brings the number of fabricated body cam videos rocking the agency to at least three. In this most recent instance alone, 43 cases are being dropped or not prosecuted, the state's top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, said.

In all, more than 100 cases have been dropped or will be. Dozens of additional cases are being investigated because of three body cam videos fabricated by the Baltimore Police Department. The first video was disclosed a month ago. Dozens of closed cases are also being re-examined, state prosecutors said. They said they are examining hundreds of cases involving officers connected to the videos.

"The body-worn camera program was established to fight crime, better protect officers, and foster public trust," said State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. "Whether planting evidence, re-enacting the seizure of evidence or prematurely turning off the department-issued body-worn camera, those actions misrepresent the truth and undermine public trust."

Read More

Third staged Baltimore police body cam surfaces—dozens more cases dropped

Policy - Posted On:2017-08-22 19:29:59 Source: arstechnica

A Baltimore Police Department officer has "self-reported" a staged body cam vide. This brings the number of fabricated body cam videos rocking the agency to at least three. In this most recent instance alone, 43 cases are being dropped or not prosecuted, the state's top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, said.

In all, more than 100 cases have been dropped or will be. Dozens of additional cases are being investigated because of three body cam videos fabricated by the Baltimore Police Department. The first video was disclosed a month ago. Dozens of closed cases are also being re-examined, state prosecutors said. They said they are examining hundreds of cases involving officers connected to the videos.

"The body-worn camera program was established to fight crime, better protect officers, and foster public trust," said State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. "Whether planting evidence, re-enacting the seizure of evidence or prematurely turning off the department-issued body-worn camera, those actions misrepresent the truth and undermine public trust."

Read More

Iowa Computer Programmer Gets 25 Years For Lottery Scam

yro - Posted On:2017-08-22 19:29:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Des Moines Register: Eddie Tipton, the Iowa brainpower behind a case of multi-state lottery fraud, will spend up to 25 years in prison for rigging "random" drawing jackpots. It's unknown how many years Tipton will actually spend in prison. He could be paroled within three or four years, his attorneys noted. Tipton, 54, was a longtime computer programmer in the Iowa offices of the Multi-State Lottery Association who installed software that allowed him to pick winning numbers in some of the nation's most popular lottery drawings. His scam began to unravel following unsuccessful attempts to anonymously collect a $16.5 million Hot Lotto ticket that was purchased at a Des Moines convenience store in 2010. "I certainly regret," Tipton said. "It's difficult even saying that. With all the people I know behind me that I hurt and I regret it. I'm sorry." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Read More

Microsoft built a hardware platform for real-time AI

ai - Posted On:2017-08-22 19:15:04 Source: engadget

In many cases, you want AI to work with info as it happens. That virtual assistant needs to respond within a few seconds at most, and a smart security camera needs to send an alert while intruders are still within sight. Microsoft knows this very well. It just unveiled its own hardware acceleration platform, Project Brainwave, that promises speedy, real-time AI in the cloud. Thanks to Intel's new Stratix 10 field programmable gate array (FPGA) chip, it can crunch a hefty 39.5 teraflops in machine learning tasks with less than 1 millisecond of latency, and without having to batch tasks together. It can handle complex AI tasks as they're received, in other words. It's considerably more flexible than many of its hard-coded rivals, too. It relies on a 'soft' dynamic neural network processing engine dropped into off-the-shelf FPGA chips where competitors often need their approach locked in from the outset. It can handle Microsoft's own AI framework (Cognitive Toolkit), but it can also work with Google's TensorFlow and other systems. You can build a machine learning system the way you like and expect it to run in real-time, instead of letting the hardware dictate your methods.\n\nTo no one's surprise, Microsoft plans to make Project Brainwave available through its own Azure cloud services (it's been big on advanced tech in Azure as of late) so that companies can make use of live AI. There's no guarantee it will receive wide adoption, but it's evident that Microsoft doesn't want to cede any ground to Google, Facebook and others that are making a big deal of internet-delivered AI. It's betting that companies will gladly flock to Azure if they know they have more control over how their AI runs.

Read More

Microsoft Brainwave aims to accelerate deep learning with FPGAs

Artificial Intelligence - Posted On:2017-08-22 19:00:01 Source: techcrunch

 This afternoon Microsoft announced Brainwave, an FPGA-based system for ultra-low latency deep learning in the cloud. Early benchmarking indicates that when using Intel Stratix 10 FPGAs, Brainwave can sustain 39.5 Teraflops on a large gated recurrent unit without any batching. Microsoft has been pouring resources into FPGAs for a while now, deploying large clusters of the field-programmable…

Read More

Super-powered bacteria can harness light for fuels and plastics

bacteria - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:45:04 Source: engadget

Researchers have been working on improving the photosynthetic process for some time -- trying to use light to create energy but doing so in a way that's much more efficient than chlorophyll. For plants, chlorophyll works well, but to use photosynthesis to create products like fuels or polymers, we need something that works faster and generates more output. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have come up with a method that does just that and they're presenting their work this week at the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society. The team did this by using a bacteria that doesn't normally photosynthesize. Instead, it uses carbon dioxide to generate acetic acid -- a chemical that can be used to produce a number of different fuels, polymers and pharmaceuticals. When the researchers gave the bacteria cadmium (a metal) and cysteine (an amino acid), the bacteria synthesized tiny particles of cadmium sulfide on their surfaces. And cadmium sulfide can use light to create energy, boosting the bacteria's production of acetic acid. It's like photosynthesis but much more powerful.\n\n\

Read More

MIT’s Robogami lets you build custom 3D-printable robots from standard, folding parts

Gadgets - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:45:02 Source: techcrunch

 Flat-pack furniture made Ikea a global powerhouse, and the same principles may help create a new generation of robots. Interactive Robogami is a project from MIT that lets users create ambulatory robots from a library of pieces that fold and fit together like origami.

Read More

Justice Department Walks Back Demand For Information On Anti-Trump Website

yro - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:44:59 Source: slashdot

After issuing a warrant to DreamHost for "all files" related to an anti-trump website, the Justice Department says it's scaling back a demand for information from hosting service DreamHost. The Verge reports: In a legal filing today, the Justice Department argues that the warrant was proper, but also says DreamHost has since brought up information that was previously "unknown." In light of that, it has offered to carve out information demanded in the warrant, specifically pledging to not request information like HTTP logs tied to IP addresses. The department says it is only looking for information related to criminal activity on the site, and says that "the government is focused on the use of the Website to organize, to plan, and to effect a criminal act -- that is, a riot." Peaceful protestors, the government argues, are not the targets of the warrant. The filing asks the court to proceed with the new, less burdensome request, which, apart from the carved-out sections, still requests "all records or other information, pertaining to the Account, including all files, databases, and database records stored by DreamHost in relation to that Account." It's unclear if DreamHost will continue to fight the new demand. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Read More

Mozilla Testing New Default Opt-Out Setting for Firefox Telemetry Collection

Security - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:30:00 Source: bleepingcomputer

Mozilla engineers are discussing plans to change the way Firefox collects usage data (telemetry), and the organization is currently preparing to test an opt-out clause an opt-out clause so they could collect more data relevant to the browser's usage. [...]

Read More

LG will build electric car parts in Detroit

battery - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:15:05 Source: engadget

LG Electronics is building a 250,000 square foot EV parts plant in Detroit suburb Hazel Park, it said in a press release. LG might not build its own cars, but its vehicle components division supplies many key pieces for GM's critically acclaimed Chevy Bolt, to name one manufacturer. That's an understatement: It builds the battery cells and pack, electric motor, power inverter, on-board charger, climate control, instrument cluster and infotainment system. GM is therefore relying a lot on LG, but the feeling is mutual: LG says it made about $1.5 billion building vehicle components in the first half of 2017. That's a 43 percent increase from the year before and a big chunk of that gain is due to the Bolt. The new plant should make it easier to supply those parts and ease any importing concerns with US regulators. The plant received a $2.9 million grant from the Michigan Business Development Program, and will employ at least 292 factory workers and engineers.\n\nLG will no doubt look to expand its parts business beyond GM. Traditional automakers have been forced to switch gears from gas to electricity, thanks to an EV revolution created largely by Tesla. To make that transition more quickly, they'll need help from companies that already know how to build complex battery packs and other components. With a plant in the center of the US auto industry, LG should be able to fill that role quite nicely.

Read More

Ubisoft's next ‘Anno’ game relives the age of trade and empire

anno - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:15:04 Source: engadget

The Anno RTS series focuses more on civilization-building than straight-up combat, and its later editions explored that premise centuries into the future. But the franchise's next entry casts back a couple hundred years to the past when mankind's maps weren't fully filled in. Today at Gamescom, Ubisoft announced Anno 1800, putting players in charge of nations setting sail for trade and diplomacy. \n\nWhile scaling back from the far-flung future to the steam era is a serious change, the 19th century setting is a fertile period for revolutionary ideas and national ambitions. Players will get the standard campaign, sandbox and multiplayer modes from Anno's past, though not much more detail has been released, aside from a release date: Winter 2018. To alleviate the wait, the German-based Ubisoft team in charge of the game, Blue Byte, is inviting players to vote on which elements make it into the game to make them feel a bit more invested.\n\nFollow all the latest news live from Gamescom here!

Read More

Mozilla Testing an Opt-Out System for Firefox Telemetry Collection

Security - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:15:01 Source: bleepingcomputer

Mozilla engineers are discussing plans to change the way Firefox collects usage data (telemetry), and the organization is currently preparing to test an opt-out clause an opt-out clause so they could collect more data relevant to the browser's usage. [...]

Read More

How the feds stopped a Porsche-driving trademark fraudster

Policy - Posted On:2017-08-22 18:14:59 Source: arstechnica

The mastermind of a years-long fraudulent trademark scam that federal authorities dubbed as "one of the more sophisticated, elaborate, and premeditated operations" they had ever seen has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud.

In addition, on Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles also sentenced Artashes Darbinyan to pay over $1.5 million in restitution. US District Judge Stephen V. Wilson additionally ordered that Darbinyan’s two co-conspirators serve 18 and 24 months in prison, with restitution orders ranging from $1.04 to $1.2 million each.

Darbinyan’s scheme involved setting up a company that he called the “Trademark Compliance Office” and another called “Trademark Compliance Center.” Beginning in September 2013, he sent out unsolicited, official-looking (but fake) invoices to over 100,000 unsuspecting businesses. The letter, complete with a return envelope, would ask for a $385 “processing fee” promising trademark registration and monitoring services that did not exist. The return address was one of a few cities in and around Washington, DC. This gave the letter the veneer of legitimacy.

Read More