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EU, Chinese, French Regulators Seeking Info on Graphic Cards, Nvidia Says

Slashdot - Sht, 25/11/2023 - 1:00md
Regulators in the European Union, China and France have asked for information on Nvidia's graphic cards, with more requests expected in the future, the U.S. chip giant said in a regulatory filing. From a report: Nvidia is the world's largest maker of chips used both for artificial intelligence and for computer graphics. Demand for its chips jumped following the release of the generative AI application ChatGPT late last year. The California-based company has a market share of around 80% via its chips and other hardware and its powerful software that runs them. Its graphics cards are high-performance devices that enable powerful graphics rendering and processing for use in video editing, video gaming and other complex computing operations. The company said this has attracted regulatory interest around the world. "For example, the French Competition Authority collected information from us regarding our business and competition in the graphics card and cloud service provider market as part of an ongoing inquiry into competition in those markets," Nvidia said in a regulatory filing dated Nov. 21.

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FFmpeg 6.1 Drops a Heaviside Dose of Codec Magic

Slashdot - Sht, 25/11/2023 - 11:00pd
FFmpeg 6.1's codename is a tribute to the great 19th century mathematician Oliver Heaviside. This version includes support for multi-threaded hardware-accelerated video decoding of H.264, HEVC, and AV1 video using the cross-platform Vulkan API, the next-gen replacement for OpenGL, which was added to the codebase in May. The Register adds: The pace of development of FFmpeg has been speeding up slightly in recent years, given that it took 13 years to get to version 2.0. We can't help but wonder if that's connected with the departure of the former project lead in 2015. The developers are planning to release version 7.0 in about February next year. Even so, the "Heaviside" release, which has been refactored to support even more formats and introduce new methods for faster performance or reduced processor utilization, is smaller than previous releases.

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Brazil Signs On To Global Climate Deal To Triple Renewable Energy

Slashdot - Sht, 25/11/2023 - 9:16pd
Brazil has signed onto an agreement to triple renewable energy globally by 2030 and shift away from using coal, the country's Foreign Ministry said on Friday, joining a prospective deal backed by the European Union, U.S. and United Arab Emirates. From a report: South America's largest country is now one of roughly 100 countries that have signed onto the deal, according to a European official familiar with the matter. Sources told Reuters earlier this month the aim is for the deal to be officially adopted by leaders attending the United Nation's COP28 climate negotiations that begins next week in Dubai. Brazil's embassy in Abu Dhabi said in a letter to the United Arab Emirates' Foreign Ministry that it would join the deal titled the "Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Targets Pledge." A spokesperson for Brazil's Foreign Ministry confirmed the country has decided to join the pact. Brazil is already a major player in renewable energy. More than 80% of the country's electricity comes from renewable sources, led by hydropower with solar and wind energy expanding rapidly.

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File-Sharing Giant Uloz Bans File-Sharing Citing EU's Digital Services Act

Slashdot - Sht, 25/11/2023 - 7:00pd
TorrentFreak: File-sharing and hosting giant Uloz has announced a radical change to its business model. The Czech site has been under fire for some time and was recently branded a 'notorious market' by the MPA. However, Uloz says that an imminent ban on file-sharing in favor of a private, cloud-based storage model, is due to the strict conditions imposed by the EU's Digital Services Act.

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ECB Chief Lagarde Admits Her Son Lost Crypto Cash

Slashdot - Sht, 25/11/2023 - 5:00pd
No one is a prophet in their own land, including European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who admitted on Friday that her son lost "almost all" of his investments in crypto assets, despite copious warnings. From a report: Lagarde has long railed against cryptocurrencies, calling them speculative, worthless and a tool often used by criminals for illicit activity. "He ignored me royally, which is his privilege," Lagarde told a town hall with students in Frankfurt. "And he lost almost all the money that he had invested." "It wasn't a lot but he lost it all, he lost about 60% of it," Lagarde added. "So when I then had another talk with him about it, he reluctantly accepted that I was right." The ECB chief has two sons in their mid-30s but did not say which one she was referring to. The ECB has called for global regulation of crypto assets both to protect consumers who are unaware of the risk and to close a loophole that can be used to channel funding to terrorists or lets criminals launder cash.

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Putin Says West Cannot Have AI Monopoly So Russia Must Up Its Game

Slashdot - Sht, 25/11/2023 - 3:00pd
Russia President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned that the West should not be allowed to develop a monopoly in the sphere of AI, and said that a much more ambitious Russian strategy for the development of AI would be approved shortly. From a report: China and the United States are leading the development of AI, which many researchers and global leaders think will transform the world and revolutionise society in a way similar to the introduction of computers in the 20th century. Moscow has ambitions to be an AI power too, but its efforts have been set back due to the war in Ukraine which prompted many talented specialists to leave Russia and triggered Western sanctions that have hindered the country's high-tech imports. Speaking to an AI conference in Moscow beside Sberbank CEO German Gref, Putin said that trying to ban AI was impossible despite the sometimes troubling ethical and social consequences of new technologies. "You cannot ban something - if we ban it then it will develop somewhere else and we will fall behind," Putin said of AI, though he said ethical questions should be resolved with reference to "traditional" Russian culture. Putin cautioned that some Western online search systems and generative models ignored or even cancelled Russian language and culture. Such Western algorithms, he said, essentially thought Russia did not exist. "Of course, the monopoly and domination of such systems, such alien systems is unacceptable and dangerous," he said.

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China's Secretive Sunway Pro CPU Quadruples Performance Over Its Predecessor

Slashdot - Sht, 25/11/2023 - 1:36pd
An anonymous reader shares a report: Earlier this year, the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi (an entity blacklisted in the U.S.) launched its new supercomputer based on the enhanced China-designed Sunway SW26010 Pro processors with 384 cores. Sunway's SW26010 Pro CPU not only packs more cores than its non-Pro SW26010 predecessor, but it more than quadrupled FP64 compute throughput due to microarchitectural and system architecture improvements, according to Chips and Cheese. However, while the manycore CPU is good on paper, it has several performance bottlenecks. The first details of the manycore Sunway SW26010 Pro CPU and supercomputers that use it emerged back in 2021. Now, the company has showcased actual processors and disclosed more details about their architecture and design, which represent a significant leap in performance, recently at SC23. The new CPU is expected to enable China to build high-performance supercomputers based entirely on domestically developed processors. Each Sunway SW26010 Pro has a maximum FP64 throughput of 13.8 TFLOPS, which is massive. For comparison, AMD's 96-core EPYC 9654 has a peak FP64 performance of around 5.4 TFLOPS. The SW26010 Pro is an evolution of the original SW26010, so it maintains the foundational architecture of its predecessor but introduces several key enhancements. The new SW26010 Pro processor is based on an all-new proprietary 64-bit RISC architecture and packs six core groups (CG) and a protocol processing unit (PPU). Each CG integrates 64 2-wide compute processing elements (CPEs) featuring a 512-bit vector engine as well as 256 KB of fast local store (scratchpad cache) for data and 16 KB for instructions; one management processing element (MPE), which is a superscalar out-of-order core with a vector engine, 32 KB/32 KB L1 instruction/data cache, 256 KB L2 cache; and a 128-bit DDR4-3200 memory interface.

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China Supplies Data To WHO About Clusters of Respiratory Illness

Slashdot - Pre, 24/11/2023 - 9:00md
Chinese health authorities have provided the requested data on an increase in respiratory illnesses and reported clusters of pneumonia in children, and have not detected any unusual or novel pathogens, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. From a report: The WHO had asked China for more information on Wednesday after groups including the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases reported clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children in north China. As per the rule, China responded to the WHO within 24 hours. The WHO had sought epidemiologic and clinical information as well as laboratory results through the International Health Regulations mechanism. Epidemiologists have warned that as, China heads into its first winter since the lifting of zero-Covid restrictions, natural levels of immunity to respiratory viruses may be lower than normal, leading to an increase in infections. Several countries, including the US and the UK, experienced large waves of respiratory viral infections in the first winter after Covid restrictions were lifted as people had lower natural levels of immunity. For young children, lockdowns delayed the age at which they were first exposed to common bugs.

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Nvidia Beats TSMC and Intel To Take Top Chip Industry Revenue Crown For the First Time

Slashdot - Pre, 24/11/2023 - 8:00md
Nvidia has swung from fourth to first place in an assessment of chip industry revenue published today. From a report: Taipei-based financial analyst Dan Nystedt noted that the green team took the revenue crown from contract chip-making titan TSMC as Q3 financials came into view. Those keeping an eye on the world of investing and finance will have seen our report about Nvidia's earnings explosion, evidenced by the firm's publishing of its Q3 FY23 results. Nvidia charted an amazing performance, with a headlining $18.12 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 206% year-over-year (YoY). The firm's profits were also through the roof, and Nystedt posted a graph showing Nvidia elbowed past its chip industry rivals by this metric in Q3 2023, too. Nvidia's advance is supported by multiple highly successful operating segments, which have provided a multiplicative effect on its revenue and income. Again, we saw clear evidence of a seismic shift in revenue, with the latest set of financials shared with investors earlier this week.

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World's Biggest Iceberg on the Move After 30 Years

Slashdot - Pre, 24/11/2023 - 7:00md
The world's biggest iceberg is on the move after more than 30 years being stuck to the ocean floor. From a report: The iceberg, called A23a, split from the Antarctic coastline in 1986. But it swiftly grounded in the Weddell Sea, becoming, essentially, an ice island. At almost 4,000 sq km (1,500 sq miles) in area, it's more than twice the size of Greater London. The past year has seen it drifting at speed, and the berg is now about to spill beyond Antarctic waters. A23a is a true colossus, and it's not just its width that impresses. This slab of ice is some 400m (1,312 ft) thick. For comparison, the London Shard, the tallest skyscraper in Europe, is a mere 310m tall. At the time, it was hosting a Soviet research station, which just illustrates how long ago its calving occurred. Moscow despatched an expedition to remove equipment from the Druzhnaya 1 base, fearing it would be lost. But the tabular berg didn't move far from the coast before its deep keel anchored it rigidly to the Weddell's bottom-muds. So, why, after almost 40 years, is A23a on the move now? "I asked a couple of colleagues about this, wondering if there was any possible change in shelf water temperatures that might have provoked it, but the consensus is the time had just come," said Dr Andrew Fleming, a remote sensing expert from the British Antarctic Survey. "It was grounded since 1986 but eventually it was going to decrease (in size) sufficiently to lose grip and start moving. I spotted first movement back in 2020." A23a has put on a spurt in recent months, driven by winds and currents, and is now passing the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

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A New Way To Predict Ship-Killing Rogue Waves

Slashdot - Pre, 24/11/2023 - 6:00md
AI models can find patterns and make predictions, but their reasoning is often inscrutable. This "black box" issue makes AI less reliable and less scientifically useful. However, a team led by Dion Hafner (a computer scientist at the University of Copenhagen) devised a clever neural network to predict rogue waves. By restricting inputs to meaningful wave measurements and tracing how they flowed through the network, the team extracted a simple five-part equation encapsulating the AI's logic. Economist adds: To generate a human-comprehensible equation, the researchers used a method inspired by natural selection in biology. They told a separate algorithm to come up with a slew of different equations using those five variables, with the aim of matching the neural network's output as closely as possible. The best equations were mixed and combined, and the process was repeated. The result, eventually, was an equation that was simple and almost as accurate as the neural network. Both predicted rogue waves better than existing models. The first part of the equation rediscovered a bit of existing theory: it is an approximation of a well-known equation in wave dynamics. Other parts included some terms that the researchers suspected might be involved in rogue-wave formation but are not in standard models. There were some puzzlers, too: the final bit of the equation includes a term that is inversely proportional to how spread out the energy of the waves is. Current human theories include a second variable that the machine did not replicate. One explanation is that the network was not trained on a wide enough selection of examples. Another is that the machine is right, and the second variable is not actually necessary.

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Slashdot Asks: Your Favorite 2023-Made Movies and TV Shows?

Slashdot - Pre, 24/11/2023 - 5:00md
As 2023 slowly comes to an end I wondered what your picks are for the best movies and TV shows that came out this year. What films or series did you enjoy the most? Share your favorites and why you think they stand out above the rest.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

next-20231124: linux-next

Kernel Linux - Pre, 24/11/2023 - 3:32pd
Version:next-20231124 (linux-next) Released:2023-11-24

'Reflecting on 18 Years at Google'

Slashdot - Enj, 23/11/2023 - 3:00md
Ian Hickson, a software engineer at Google who left the company after 18 years, reflects on his time at the firm in a blog post and why he thinks the firm lost its way. He joined in 2005 when its culture genuinely prioritized doing good, but over time he saw that culture erode into one focused on profits over users, he writes. The recent layoffs have damaged trust and morale across the company, he writes. An excerpt from the post: Much of these problems with Google today stem from a lack of visionary leadership from Sundar Pichai, and his clear lack of interest in maintaining the cultural norms of early Google. A symptom of this is the spreading contingent of inept middle management. Take Jeanine Banks, for example, who manages the department that somewhat arbitrarily contains (among other things) Flutter, Dart, Go, and Firebase. Her department nominally has a strategy, but I couldn't leak it if I wanted to; I literally could never figure out what any part of it meant, even after years of hearing her describe it. Her understanding of what her teams are doing is minimal at best; she frequently makes requests that are completely incoherent and inapplicable. She treats engineers as commodities in a way that is dehumanising, reassigning people against their will in ways that have no relationship to their skill set. She is completely unable to receive constructive feedback (as in, she literally doesn't even acknowledge it). I hear other teams (who have leaders more politically savvy than I) have learned how to "handle" her to keep her off their backs, feeding her just the right information at the right time. Having seen Google at its best, I find this new reality depressing. There are still great people at Google. [...] In recent years I started offering career advice to anyone at Google and through that met many great folks from around the company. It's definitely not too late to heal Google. It would require some shake-up at the top of the company, moving the centre of power from the CFO's office back to someone with a clear long-term vision for how to use Google's extensive resources to deliver value to users. I still believe there's lots of mileage to be had from Google's mission statement (to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful). Someone who wanted to lead Google into the next twenty years, maximising the good to humanity and disregarding the short-term fluctuations in stock price, could channel the skills and passion of Google into truly great achievements. I do think the clock is ticking, though. The deterioration of Google's culture will eventually become irreversible, because the kinds of people whom you need to act as moral compass are the same kinds of people who don't join an organisation without a moral compass.

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Cloudflare Blocks Abusive Content On Its Ethereum Gateway

Slashdot - Enj, 23/11/2023 - 2:00md
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TorrentFreak: Cloudflare is a content-neutral Internet infrastructure service. The company aims not to interfere with the traffic of its clients and users but, in some cases, it has to take action. This means responding to DMCA subpoenas and takedown requests for hosted content, for example. In addition, Cloudflare now reports it has blocked access to 'abusive' content on its Ethereum gateway. [...] In its most recent transparency report, Cloudflare further notes that it has implemented access restrictions on its public Ethereum gateway. The company doesn't store any content on the Ethereum network, nor can it remove any. However, it can block access through its service. If Cloudflare receives valid abuse reports or copyright infringement complaints, it will take appropriate action. The same applies to the gateway for the decentralized IPFS network. In its previous transparency report, Cloudflare already mentioned more than 1,000 IPFS actions a figure that increased slightly in the second half of last year. At the same time, Cloudflare also restricted access to 99 'items' on the Ethereum network. Since these are 'gateway' related restrictions there's no impact on the content hosted on IPFS or Ethereum. Instead, it will only make it impossible to access content through Cloudflare's service. It's not clear how many of these restrictions are abuse or copyright-related, as not much context is provided. The Ethereum actions are, at least in part, a response to the U.S. Department of Treasury's sanctions against the cryptocurrency tumbler Tornado Cash. "Those sanctions raise significant legal questions about the extent to which particular computer software, rather than individuals or entities that use that software, can be subject to sanctions," Cloudflare writes. "Nonetheless, to comply with legal requirements, Cloudflare has taken steps to disable access through the Cloudflare-operated Ethereum Gateway to the digital currency addresses identified in the designation." The report notes that the volume of valid DMCA notices Cloudflare received has increased, "up from 18 to 972 in the span of a year." Meanwhile, the number of civil subpoenas it's received, including those issued under the DMCA, has decreased. "In the second half of last year, the company received 20 civil subpoenas which targeted 57 domain names," reports TorrentFreak. "That's the lowest number since Cloudflare first disclosed this statistic five years ago, signaling a downward trend." Cloudflare's latest Transparency Report is available here (PDF).

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NASA Chooses Blue Origin's Rocket To Launch Smallsat Mission To Mars

Slashdot - Enj, 23/11/2023 - 11:00pd
NASA selected Blue Origin in February to launch the Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE) mission, a pair of smallsats that will study the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetosphere of Mars. The space agency now expects the mission will be on the first launch of Blue Origin's New Glenn launch vehicle next year. SpaceNews reports: Neither Blue Origin nor NASA disclosed exactly where in the manifest of New Glenn launches ESCAPADE would take place. "It will be an early New Glenn mission and we're going to be ready," one Blue Origin executive, Ariane Cornell, said at the Satellite 2023 conference in March. At a Nov. 20 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council's human exploration and operations committee, Bradley Smith, director of NASA's Launch Services Office, said he was "incredibly excited" about the ESCAPADE launch, which he said was scheduled for about one year. His charts, though, and past presentations, listed an August 2024 launch for ESCAPADE. "It's an incredibly ambitious first launch for New Glenn and we really appreciate the partnership," he said. Later in the committee meeting, he confirmed that NASA expected ESCAPADE to be on the inaugural New Glenn launch. "We will very likely be the very first launch of New Glenn," he said. That is acceptable, Smith said, since ESCAPADE is what NASA characterizes as a "class D" mission with a higher tolerance for risk. "We're willing to take a little bit of risk with a price tag and a mission assurance model that reflects that risk." Besides the inherent technical risks in the first launch of a new rocket, there are also schedule risks. New Glenn development is years behind the original schedule Blue Origin put forward. The company has not provided recent updates about progress towards a first launch of the rocket, although Jarrett Jones, senior vice president for New Glenn at Blue Origin, said at World Satellite Business Week in September that the first flight vehicle would arrive at a Florida integration facility by the end of the year, with the company planning "multiple" launches of New Glenn in 2024.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Discontinuing rsync service on

Bits from Debian - Enj, 23/11/2023 - 8:00pd

The proposed and previously announced changes to the rsync service have become effective with hostname now being discontinued.

The worldwide Debian mirrors network has served via both HTTP and rsync. As part of improving the reliability of the service for users, the Debian mirrors team is separating the access methods to different host names:

  • will remain the entry point for HTTP clients such as APT

  • rsync:// is now available for those who wish to mirror all or parts of the archives.

rsync service on has stopped, and we encourage anyone using the service to migrate to the new host name as soon as possible.

If you are currently using rsync to the debian-archive from a server that forms part of the rotation, we also encourage Administrators to move to the new service name. This will allow us to better manage which back-end servers offer rsync service in future.

Note that due to its nature the content of does not change frequently - generally there will be several months, possibly more than a year, between updates - so checking for updates more than once a day is unnecessary.

For additional information please reach out to the Debian Mirrors Team maillist.

GameMaker Ditches Subscription Model For Indie Developers

Slashdot - Enj, 23/11/2023 - 8:00pd
GameMaker announced that it will be free to use for noncommercial, non-console projects, breaking away from Unity and its massive pricing controversy that saw game developers boycotting the engine. The company is also "eliminating its indie / creator tier monthly subscription fee in favor of a one-time paid licensing fee of $99," reports The Verge. "Additionally, if you're currently enrolled at the indie / creator tier and wish to pay the licensing fee, the subscription fees you've paid will be discounted from the price." The Verge: Russell Kay, head of GameMaker, said that the changes were a way for the company to express its thanks to users, explaining that, since 2021, GameMaker has seen its user base triple in size. Kay also had some subtle but effective shade for GameMaker's competitors. "We have seen other platforms making awkward moves with their pricing and terms, so we thought, what if we did the opposite, something that could actually be good for developers?" Kay wrote in the announcement. Though customers currently enrolled in an enterprise-level subscription will see no changes to their plans, it seems like GameMaker is counting on the pricing update to draw more people to the software. "Our success is measured by the number of people making games!" Kay wrote.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

OpenAI Researchers Warned Board of AI Breakthrough Ahead of CEO Ouster

Slashdot - Enj, 23/11/2023 - 4:30pd
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Ahead of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman's four days in exile, several staff researchers sent the board of directors a letter warning of a powerful artificial intelligence discovery that they said could threaten humanity, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The previously unreported letter and AI algorithm was a key development ahead of the board's ouster of Altman, the poster child of generative AI, the two sources said. Before his triumphant return late Tuesday, more than 700 employees had threatened to quit and join backer Microsoft in solidarity with their fired leader. The sources cited the letter as one factor among a longer list of grievances by the board that led to Altman's firing. Reuters was unable to review a copy of the letter. According to one of the sources, long-time executive Mira Murati mentioned the project, called Q*, to employees on Wednesday and said that a letter was sent to the board prior to this weekend's events. After the story was published, an OpenAI spokesperson said Murati told employees what media were about to report, but she did not comment on the accuracy of the reporting. The maker of ChatGPT had made progress on Q* (pronounced Q-Star), which some internally believe could be a breakthrough in the startup's search for superintelligence, also known as artificial general intelligence (AGI), one of the people told Reuters. OpenAI defines AGI as AI systems that are smarter than humans. Given vast computing resources, the new model was able to solve certain mathematical problems, the person said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. Though only performing math on the level of grade-school students, acing such tests made researchers very optimistic about Q*'s future success, the source said. Researchers consider math to be a frontier of generative AI development. Currently, generative AI is good at writing and language translation by statistically predicting the next word, and answers to the same question can vary widely. But conquering the ability to do math -- where there is only one right answer -- implies AI would have greater reasoning capabilities resembling human intelligence. This could be applied to novel scientific research, for instance, AI researchers believe. Unlike a calculator that can solve a limited number of operations, AGI can generalize, learn and comprehend. In their letter to the board, researchers flagged AI's prowess and potential danger, the sources said without specifying the exact safety concerns noted in the letter. There has long been discussion among computer scientists about the danger posed by superintelligent machines, for instance if they might decide that the destruction of humanity was in their interest. Last night, OpenAI announced it reached an agreement for Sam Altman to return as CEO. Under an "agreement in principle," Altman will serve under the supervision of a new board of directors.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

next-20231123: linux-next

Kernel Linux - Enj, 23/11/2023 - 3:59pd
Version:next-20231123 (linux-next) Released:2023-11-23


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