After Open Source Community Outcry, Microsoft Reverses Controversial<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Change

“Microsoft is reversing a decision to remove a key feature from its upcoming .NET 6 release, after a public outcry from the open source community,” reports the Verge.

“Microsoft angered the .NET open source community earlier this week by removing a key part of Hot Reload in the upcoming release of .NET 6, a feature that allows developers to modify source code while an app is running and immediately see the results.”

It’s a feature many had been looking forward to using in Visual Studio Code and across multiple platforms, until Microsoft made a controversial last-minute decision to lock it to Visual Studio 2022 which is a paid product that’s limited to Windows. Sources at Microsoft, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Verge that the last-minute change was made by Julia Liuson, the head of Microsoft’s developer division, and was a business-focused move.

Microsoft has now reversed the change following a backlash, and anger inside the company from many of Microsoft’s own employees. “We made a mistake in executing on our decision and took longer than expected to respond back to the community,” explains Scott Hunter, director of program management for .NET. Microsoft has now approved the community’s pull request to re-enable this feature and it will be available in the final version of the .NET 6 SDK…

This eventful episode came after weeks of unrest in the .NET community over Microsoft’s involvement in the .NET Foundation. The foundation was created in 2014 when Microsoft made .NET open source, and it’s supposed to be an independent organization that exists to improve open source software development and collaboration for .NET.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – After Open Source Community Outcry, Microsoft Reverses Controversial<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Change

Raspberry Pi Powers Neural Network Processor Dev Kit

BrainChip, the neuromorphic AI specialist, has announced on Twitter that it is now taking orders for two new development kits for its Akida advanced neural networking processor, as spotted by CNX Software. One of the development kits comes with a Raspberry Pi 4, and the other, which is twice the price, comes with a barebones X86 mini PC.

Source: LXer – Raspberry Pi Powers Neural Network Processor Dev Kit

Aggressive US Marketers are Bringing Police Surveillance Tools to the Masses

“License plate readers are rapidly reshaping private security in American neighborhoods,” reports the Washington Post, as aggressively-marketed $2,500-a-year “safety-as-a-service” packages “spread to cover practically everywhere anyone chooses to live in the United States” and “bringing police surveillance tools to the masses with an automated watchdog that records 24 hours a day.”

Flock Safety, the industry leader, says its systems have been installed in 1,400 cities across 40 states and now capture data from more than a billion cars and trucks every month. “This is not just for million-dollar homes,” Flock’s founder, Garrett Langley, said. “This is America at its core…”

Its solar-powered, motion-sensing camera can snap a dozen photos of a single plate in less than a second — even in the dark, in the rain, of a car driving 100 mph up to 75 feet away, as Flock’s marketing materials say. Piped into a neighborhood’s private Flock database, the photos are made available for the homeowners to search, filter or peruse. Machine-learning software categorizes each vehicle based on two dozen attributes, including its color, make and model; what state its plates came from; and whether it had bumper stickers or a roof rack. Each “vehicle fingerprint” is pinpointed on a map and tracked by how often it had been spotted in the past month. The plates are also run against law enforcement watch lists for abducted children, stolen cars, missing people and wanted fugitives; if there’s a match, the system alerts the nearest police force with details on how to track it down…

Flock’s customer base has roughly quadrupled since 2019, with police agencies and homeowners associations in more than 1,400 cities today, and the company has hired sales representatives in 30 states to court customers with promises of a safer, more-monitored life. Company officials have also attended town hall meetings and papered homeowners associations with glossy marketing materials declaring its system “the most user-friendly, least invasive way for communities to stop crime”: a network of cameras “that see like a detective,” “protect home values” and “automate [the] neighborhood watch … while you sleep.” Along the way, the Atlanta-based company has become an unlikely darling of American tech. The company said in July it had raised $150 million from prominent venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, which said Flock was pursuing “a massive opportunity in shaping the future….”

Flock deletes the footage every 30 days by default and encourages customers to search only when investigating crime. But the company otherwise lets customers set their own rules: In some neighborhoods, all the homeowners can access the images for themselves…

Camera opponents didn’t want the neighborhood’s leaders to anoint themselves gatekeepers, choosing who does and doesn’t belong. And they worried that if someone’s car was broken into, but no one knew exactly when, the system could lead to hundreds of drivers, virtually all of them innocent, coming under suspicion for the crime. They also worried about the consequences of the cameras getting it wrong. In San Francisco, police had handcuffed a woman at gunpoint in 2009 after a camera garbled her plate number; another family was similarly detained last year because a thief had swiped their tag before committing a crime. And last year in Aurora, 30 miles from Paradise Hills, police handcuffed a mother and her children at gunpoint after a license plate reader flagged their SUV as stolen. The actual stolen vehicle, a motorcycle, had the same plate number from another state. Police officials have said racial profiling did not play a role, though the drivers in all three cases were Black. (The license plate readers in these cases were not Flock devices, and the company said its systems would have shown more accurate results…)
The Paradise Hills opponents were right to be skeptical about a local crime wave. According to Jefferson County sheriff’s records shared with The Post, the only crime reports written up since September 2020 included two damaged mailboxes, a fraudulent unemployment claim and some stuff stolen out of three parked cars, two of which had been left unlocked. “I wouldn’t exactly say it’s a hot spot,” patrol commander Dan Aten told The Post…

The cameras clicked on in August, a board member said. In the weeks since, the neighborhood hasn’t seen any reports of crime. The local sheriff’s office said it hasn’t used the Flock data to crack any cases, nor has it found the need to ask.

Flock’s founder, Garrett Langley, nonetheless tells the Washington Post, “There are 17,000 cities in America.
“Until we have them all, we’re not done.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Aggressive US Marketers are Bringing Police Surveillance Tools to the Masses

Facebook's misinformation and violence problems are worse in India

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s leaks suggest its problems with extremism are particularly dire in some areas. Documents Haugen provided to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other outlets suggest Facebook is aware it fostered severe misinformation and violence in India. The social network apparently didn’t have nearly enough resources to deal with the spread of harmful material in the populous country, and didn’t respond with enough action when tensions flared.

A case study from early 2021 indicated that much of the harmful content from groups like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bajrang Dal wasn’t flagged on Facebook or WhatsApp due to the lack of technical know-how needed to spot content written in Bengali and Hindi. At the same time, Facebook reportedly declined to mark the RSS for removal due to “political sensitivities,” and Bajrang Dal (linked to Prime Minister Modi’s party) hadn’t been touched despite an internal Facebook call to take down its material. The company had a white list for politicians exempt from fact-checking.

Facebook was struggling to fight hate speech as recently as five months ago, according to the leaked data. And like an earlier test in the US, the research showed just how quickly Facebook’s recommendation engine suggested toxic content. A dummy account following Facebook’s recommendations for three weeks was subjected to a “near constant barrage” of divisive nationalism, misinformation and violence.

As with earlier scoops, Facebook said the leaks didn’t tell the whole story. Spokesman Andy Stone argued the data was incomplete and didn’t account for third-party fact checkers used heavily outside the US. He added that Facebook had invested heavily in hate speech detection technology in languages like Bengali and Hindi, and that the company was continuing to improve that tech.

The social media firm followed this by posting a lengthier defense of its practices. It argued that it had an “industry-leading process” for reviewing and prioritizing countries with a high risk of violence every six months. It noted that teams considered long-term issues and history alongside current events and dependence on its apps. The company added it was engaging with local communities, improving technology and continuously “refining” policies.

The response didn’t directly address some of the concerns, however. India is Facebook’s largest individual market, with 340 million people using its services, but 87 percent of Facebook’s misinformation budget is focused on the US. Even with third-party fact checkers at work, that suggests India isn’t getting a proportionate amount of attention. Facebook also didn’t follow up on worries it was tip-toeing around certain people and groups beyond a previous statement that it enforced its policies without consideration for position or association. In other words, it’s not clear Facebook’s problems with misinformation and violence will improve in the near future.

Source: Engadget – Facebook’s misinformation and violence problems are worse in India

DXVK Native 1.9.2a is out for translating Direct 3D 9 / 10 / 11 to Vulkan for Linux games

DXVK Native is the fork of the original translation layer DXVK, the part of Proton that translates Direct 3D 9 / 10 / 11 to Vulkan but this is meant for Linux native builds and a new release is out now. Developed by Joshua Ashton who has been involved in DXVK, VKD3D-Proton, updating a few Valve games and more. Be sure to check out our previous interview!

Source: LXer – DXVK Native 1.9.2a is out for translating Direct 3D 9 / 10 / 11 to Vulkan for Linux games

Egyptian Security Forces Detain Humanoid Robot, Suspecting Espionage

The Guardian reports:
She has been described as “a vision of the future” who is every bit as good as other abstract artists today, but Ai-Da — the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist — hit a temporary snag before her latest exhibition when Egyptian security forces detained her at customs.

Ai-Da is due to open and present her work at the Great Pyramid of Giza on Thursday, the first time contemporary art has been allowed next to the pyramid in thousands of years. But because of “security issues” that may include concerns that she is part of a wider espionage plot, both Ai-Da and her sculpture were held in Egyptian customs for 10 days before being released on Wednesday, sparking a diplomatic fracas… According to Aidan Meller, the human force behind Ai-Da, border guards detained Ai-Da at first because she had a modem, and then because she had cameras in her eyes (which she uses to draw and paint). “I can ditch the modems, but I can’t really gouge her eyes out,” he said.
She was finally cleared through customs on Wednesday evening, hours before the exhibition was due to start, with the British embassy in Cairo saying they were “glad” the case had been resolved…

Meller, an Oxford gallerist, said he always hoped his project would prompt debate about the rapid rise of AI technology. “She is an artist robot, let’s be really clear about this. She is not a spy. People fear robots, I understand that. But the whole situation is ironic, because the goal of Ai-Da was to highlight and warn of the abuse of technological development, and she’s being held because she is technology. Ai-Da would appreciate that irony, I think.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Egyptian Security Forces Detain Humanoid Robot, Suspecting Espionage

Mediatek Posts 8k Lines Of New Linux Kernel Driver Code For AI Processing Unit Support

For a number of months Mediatek engineers have been posting some Linux kernel driver code for bringing up the AI Processing Unit (APU) within the MT8192 SoC while out this weekend is the complete patch series at more than eight thousand lines of code…

Source: Phoronix – Mediatek Posts 8k Lines Of New Linux Kernel Driver Code For AI Processing Unit Support

Saudi Arabia won't reach net zero emissions until 2060

Saudi Arabia is making a commitment to reduce its impact on the environment, although the timeframe won’t please critics. Reutersreports Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman now expect Saudi Arabia to achieve net zero emissions by 2060. That’s behind the 2050 target for the EU, United Arab Emirates, US and other countries.

The kingdom hoped to reach net zero through a circular carbon economy program while trying to bolster the “security and stability” of the world’s oil markets. While the princes said Saudi Arabia would more than double CO2 emissions reductions by 2030, they maintained that the country needed time to “properly” conduct a transition.

The Crown Prince said there was a chance Saudi Arabia would hit its target before 2060, and state oil producer Saudi Aramco hopes to reach net zero by 2050. However, the country has been moving relatively slowly. It only opened its first renewable energy plant in April, and its first wind farm in August. It’s still planning its first hydrogen fuel plant.

The conservative schedule isn’t surprising. Although Saudi Arabia has been diversifying its economy, oil and gas represent about 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 70 percent of its exports. Aggressive emissions reductions could affect the kingdom’s core business.

That dependence might also create problems, however. The UK and some US states are among those banning sales of new combustion engine passenger vehicles within the next 10 to 15 years, and others might not be far behind. Oil exporters like Saudi Arabia may have to adjust their emissions targets if electric vehicle sales grow quicker than expected.

Source: Engadget – Saudi Arabia won’t reach net zero emissions until 2060

$28B Startup Says Companies Were Refusing Their Free Open-Source Code as 'Not Enterprise-Ready'

“Ali Ghodsi was happily researching AI at Berkeley when he helped invent a revolutionary bit of code — and he wanted to give it away for free,” remembers Forbes India. “But few would take it unless he charged for it.

“Now his startup is worth $28 billion, and the career academic is a billionaire with a reputation as one of the best CEOs in the Valley.” (Literally. VC Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz calls him the best CEO in Andreessen Horowitz’s portfolio of hundreds of companies.)

Inside a 13th-floor boardroom in downtown San Francisco, the atmosphere was tense. It was November 2015, and Databricks, a two-year-old software company started by a group of seven Berkeley researchers, was long on buzz but short on revenue. The directors awkwardly broached subjects that had been rehashed time and again. The startup had been trying to raise funds for five months, but venture capitalists were keeping it at arm’s length, wary of its paltry sales. Seeing no other option, NEA partner Pete Sonsini, an existing investor, raised his hand to save the company with an emergency $30 million injection…

Many of the original founders, Ghodsi in particular, were so engrossed with their academic work that they were reluctant to start a company — or charge for their technology, a best-of-breed piece of future-predicting code called Spark, at all. But when the researchers offered it to companies as an open-source tool, they were told it wasn’t “enterprise ready”. In other words, Databricks needed to commercialise. “We were a bunch of Berkeley hippies, and we just wanted to change the world,” Ghodsi says. “We would tell them, ‘Just take the software for free’, and they would say ‘No, we have to give you $1 million’.”

Databricks’ cutting-edge software uses artificial intelligence to fuse costly data warehouses (structured data used for analytics) with data lakes (cheap, raw data repositories) to create what it has coined data “lakehouses” (no space between the words, in the finest geekspeak tradition). Users feed in their data and the AI makes predictions about the future. John Deere, for example, installs sensors in its farm equipment to measure things like engine temperature and hours of use. Databricks uses this raw data to predict when a tractor is likely to break down. Ecommerce companies use the software to suggest changes to their websites that boost sales. It’s used to detect malicious actors — both on stock exchanges and on social networks.

Ghodsi says Databricks is ready to go public soon. It’s on track to near $1 billion in revenue next year, Sonsini notes. Down the line, $100 billion is not out of the question, Ghodsi says — and even that could be a conservative figure. It’s simple math: Enterprise AI is already a trillion-dollar market, and it’s certain to grow much larger. If the category leader grabs just 10 percent of the market, Ghodsi says, that’s revenues of “many, many hundred billions.”

Later in the article Ghodsi offers this succinct summary of the market they entered.

“It turns out that if you dust off the neural network algorithms from the ’70s, but you use way more data than ever before and modern hardware, the results start becoming superhuman.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – B Startup Says Companies Were Refusing Their Free Open-Source Code as ‘Not Enterprise-Ready’

Astronomers Find Nascent Exploding Star, 'Rosetta Stone' of All Supernovas

“A star located 60 million light years away went supernova last year, and astronomers managed to capture all stages of the stellar explosion using telescopes both on the ground and in space,” reports Gizmodo.
Long-time Slashdot reader spaceman375 shared Gizmodo’s report:
This awesome display of astronomical power has yielded a dataset of unprecedented proportions, with independent observations gathered before, during, and after the explosion. It’s providing a rare multifaceted view of a supernova during its earliest phase of destruction. The resulting data should vastly improve our understanding of the processes involved when stars go supernova, and possibly lead to an early warning system in which astronomers can predict the timing of such events.

“We used to talk about supernova work like we were crime scene investigators, where we would show up after the fact and try to figure out what happened to that star,” Ryan Foley, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the leader of the investigation, explained in a press release. “This is a different situation, because we really know what’s going on and we actually see the death in real time.”
Of course, it took 60 million years for the light from this supernova to reach Earth, so it’s not exactly happening in “real time,” but you get what Foley is saying… Observations of circumstellar material in close proximity to the star were made by Hubble just hours after the explosion, which, wow. The star shed this material during the past year, offering a unique perspective of the various stages that occur just prior to a supernova explosion. “We rarely get to examine this very close-in circumstellar material since it is only visible for a very short time, and we usually don’t start observing a supernova until at least a few days after the explosion,” said Samaporn Tinyanont, the lead author of the paper, which is set for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. TESS managed to capture one image of the evolving system every 30 minutes, starting a few days before the explosion and ending several weeks afterward. Hubble joined in on the action a few hours after the explosion was first detected. Archival data dating back to the 1990s was also brought in for the analysis, resulting in an unprecedented multi-decade survey of a star on its way out…
In the press release, the researchers referred to SN 2020fqv as the “Rosetta Stone of supernovas,” as the new observations could translate hidden or poorly understood signals into meaningful data.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Astronomers Find Nascent Exploding Star, ‘Rosetta Stone’ of All Supernovas

Facebook sues programmer who allegedly scraped data for 178 million users

Facebook is taking legal action in response to another large-scale data heist. According to The Record, the social network has sued Ukraine national Alexander Solonchenko for allegedly scraping data for more than 178 million users. Solonchenko reportedly exploited Messenger’s contact import feature by using an automated tool that mimicked Android devices. He fed Facebook millions of phone numbers and gathered data whenever the site returned info on accounts with phone numbers.

The attacker supposedly conducted the campaign between January 2018 and September 2019 (when Facebook shut down the importer), and started selling it on a black market forum in December 2020. Facebook tracked Solonchenko down after he used his forum username and contact details for email and job boards. The man has also scraped data from other targets, Facebook said, including a major Ukranian bank.

In its complaint, Facebook asked for undefined damages as well as bans preventing Solonchenko from accessing Facebook or selling its scraped data.

This isn’t the largest such incident. Hackers scraped data for 533 million users through the same feature. However, this illustrates Facebook’s determination to crack down on data scraping — it’s willing to pursue attackers in civil court in hopes of discouraging similar data raiding campaigns.

Source: Engadget – Facebook sues programmer who allegedly scraped data for 178 million users

Destroy All Humans! 2 Remake Skipping Old Consoles So Devs Can Create Bigger, More Detailed Maps

The devs behind THQ Nordic’s Destroy All Humans! 2 remake, out sometime next year, explained recently in an interview why the remake of the cult classic game is avoiding PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. The team decided to go for bigger, more detailed open world levels on next-gen consoles instead of sacrificing quality or…

Read more…

Source: Kotaku – Destroy All Humans! 2 Remake Skipping Old Consoles So Devs Can Create Bigger, More Detailed Maps

Can Windows 11 Run on a 2006-Era Pentium 4 Chip?

“Microsoft has been mainly telling consumers that Windows 11 is meant for newer PCs,” reports PC Magazine.

“However, an internet user has uploaded a video that shows the OS can actually run on a 15-year-old Pentium 4 chip from Intel.”
Last week, Twitter user “Carlos S.M.” posted screenshots of his Pentium 4-powered PC running Windows 11. He then followed that up with a video and benchmarks to verify that his machine was running the one-core Pentium chip with only 4GB of DDR2 RAM.

To install the OS onto the system, Carlos S.M. said he used a Windows 10 PE Installer, which can be used to deploy or repair Windows via a USB drive. “Windows 11 is installed in MBR (Master Boot Record)/Legacy Boot mode, no EFI emulation involved,” he added.

Of course, the OS runs a bit slow on the Pentium 4 chip. Nevertheless, it shows Windows 11 can easily run on decade-old hardware… Officially, Microsoft has said a PC must possess a newer security feature called TPM 2.0 in order to run Windows 11. To underscore the point, the company released a list of eligible CPUs, and the processors only go as far back as late 2017. However, the company has also quietly acknowledged that older PCs without TPM 2.0 can run Windows 11 — so long as the user decides to manually install the OS onto their machine…
If you do install Windows 11 on an unsupported PC, Microsoft warns your machine may not be eligible to receive automatic updates. But apparently Carlos S.M. has had no problems receiving updates for his own Pentium-powered PC. “Windows update still works on this machine and even installed the Patch Tuesday,” Carlos S.M. said in a follow-up tweet.
Thanks to tlhIngan (Slashdot reader #30,335) for the tip!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Can Windows 11 Run on a 2006-Era Pentium 4 Chip?

Young Justice's Future is Up to Its Fans, Again

Young Justice is a pretty good show most of the time, and after it got cancelled by Cartoon Network in 2013, fans eventually managed to secure a third season some years later for HBO Max. Between that and its recently premiered season four, you’d think the passion of the fanbase would’ve already secured a fifth season…

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – Young Justice’s Future is Up to Its Fans, Again

Systemd-Free Devuan 4.0 'Chimaera' Officially Released

Luna (Slashdot reader #20,969) quotes the Devuan web site.

“Dear Friends and Software Freedom Lovers,” its announcement begins:

“Devuan Developers are delighted to announce the release of Devuan Chimaera 4.0 as the project’s new stable release. This is the result of many months of painstaking work by the Team and detailed testing by the wider Devuan community.”

This release is Based on Debian Bullseye (11.1) with Linux kernel 5.10, according to the announcement, and lets you choose your init system : sysvinit, runit, and OpenRC.
Another feature it’s touting: Improved desktop support. “Virtually all desktop environments available in Debian are now part of Devuan, systemd-free.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Systemd-Free Devuan 4.0 ‘Chimaera’ Officially Released

Someone Put OLED Switch’s Durability To The Test

Nintendo’s new, updated Switch is selling well and looks great. But if you are lucky enough to find one this year, you might want to buy a screen protector for it as one YouTuber has discovered the Switch OLED screen is very soft and easily damaged by objects like coins or keys.

Read more…

Source: Kotaku – Someone Put OLED Switch’s Durability To The Test

Eero will upgrade mesh WiFi routers to support the Matter smart home standard

Eero will soon extend its mesh WiFi routers’ smart home support to more universal formats. Company chief Nick Weaver told guests at a Verge event that all Eero routers with Thread support will receive an upgrade to the Matter smart home standard. Your 2017-era network could play nicely with smart devices from across the tech industry, to put it another way.

Weaver further hinted Eero was considering routers with cellular data backups, although he didn’t commit to any plans. He wasn’t worried about the rise of 5G home internet, noting that people were primarily moving to gigabit (wired) internet “in droves.”

It wouldn’t be a completely unexpected move when Amazon is upgrading most Echo speakers to support Matter. Eero is practically expected to follow along as an Amazon-owned company, and Ring has started building Eero routers into its alarm systems. Still, the update path may be particularly welcome if you were worried you might have to buy current-gen routers just to give Matter a try.

Source: Engadget – Eero will upgrade mesh WiFi routers to support the Matter smart home standard

Forget Your Free Pixel Buds With A Pixel 6 Preorder? Google's Got You Covered

Forget Your Free Pixel Buds With A Pixel 6 Preorder? Google's Got You Covered
Chances are if you were one of the people who ordered a new Pixel 6, you were scrambling to get your order secured. Some have realized since then that they forgot to add the free Pixel Buds Google that Google offered for pre-ordering. Do’h! Not to worry though, Google has your back.

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro went on sale on October 19th following

Source: Hot Hardware – Forget Your Free Pixel Buds With A Pixel 6 Preorder? Google’s Got You Covered