Famous 007 Game Title Coming to New Platforms

James Bond fans may be waiting on the next actor who will play the British spy, but a beloved Bond adventure of yore is making a comeback. More than 25 years after it was made for Nintendo 64, a classic first-person shooter called “GoldenEye 007” is being revived for Nintendo Switch and Xbox.
Fans who subscribe to additional content on both systems will be able to play the game on Friday.
The game is based on the 1995 film “GoldenEye” and follows a block-like version of Pierce Brosnan’s 007 as he shoots his way through various locations. One ad for the re-release said that the Xbox version has been faithfully recreated and enhanced, while the Switch version has an online mode. Its soundtrack is still an icon.
Some Nintendo 64 games and DLC for popular games like “Mario Kart 8” will be included in the expansion pack for the game. The service that allows players to access hundreds of games from its server is called Xbox Game Pass.
Years in the making, the return of “GoldenEye 007” is one of the greatest video games of all time. Rights issues have prevented developers from releasing it on newer consoles since at least 2008. N64 fans tried to remake the game on several occasions, but the original rights holders usually shut them down. The game’s original developer, Rare, recreated it for Xbox with a few modern touches, while Nintendo is re-releasing the original on its Switch console.

More Issues With AI

Futurism reported earlier this month that CNET was using artificial intelligence to write articles, but later found errors in one of the posts. While using artificial intelligence to automate news stories isn’t new, the issue has gained new attention amid the rise of a new artificial intelligence tool that can quickly generate essays, stories and song lyrics.
Since November, Guglielmo said, 77 published stories have been written using an internally designed artificial intelligence engine. She said this was part of a test project for the Money team to help editors create a set of basic explainers around financial services topics.
The stories that were written using the tool include, ” Does a Home Equity Loan Affect Private Mortgage Insurance?” and “How to Close A Bank Account.”. After one of the AI-assisted stories was cited for factual errors, the editorial team did a full audit.
She said that the audit identified additional stories that required correction, with a small number requiring substantial correction, as well as several other stories with minor issues such as incomplete company names, transposed numbers, or language that our senior editors viewed as vague.
An earlier version of the article suggested a saver would earn $10,300 after a year by depositing $10,000 into a savings account. The article stated that the saver would earn $300 on top of their $10,000 principal amount.
According to the correction, phrases that weren’t entirely original have been replaced.
Guglielmo didn’t say how many of the 77 published stories required correction, nor did she say how many of them required substantial fixes.
CNN requested comment from CNET, but they didn’t reply immediately.
Despite the issues, Guglielmo left the door open to resume use of the tool.
Guglielmo said that the stories were compiled using the artificial intelligence engine. Critics on social media criticized the outlet for not making clear to its audience that it was written using artificial intelligence. The new line is: “by CNET Money.”.

Popular AI Art Tool Creator Sued by Getty Images Over Alleged Image Theft

The company behind the popular art tool Stable Diffusion is being sued by the company that made it.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, the stock image giant accused Stability AI of copying and processing millions of its images without obtaining the proper licensing. In October it was announced that it had raised $101 million in funding and in December it released version 2.1 of its Stable Diffusion tool.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to inspire creativity.

According to the statement, Getty Images gave licenses to leading technology innovators for purposes related to training artificial intelligence systems in a manner that respects personal and intellectual property rights.

The firm requested a response from the firm before taking any action. CNN’s request for comment was not responded to by Stability Artificial Intelligence.
As computer-generated images grow more available and advanced, using human-created images and art as data training, traditional media suppliers have struggled to coexist.

Text-to-image artificial intelligence systems are becoming more and more popular and powerful. Stable Diffusion and DALL-E are from OpenAI.
In October, Shutterstock announced plans to expand its partnership with OpenAI, the company behind DALL-E and a fund to compensate artists for their contributions.

These tools, which typically offer some free credits before charging, can create all kinds of images with just a few words, including those that are clearly evocative of the works of many, many artists. Users can use words such as “in the style” or “by” to invoke those artists. Personal amusement and hobbies can be used for these tools.

Millions of people have been flocking to text-to-image artificial intelligence systems which are already being used to create experimental films, magazine covers and images to illustrate news stories. An image generated with an artificial intelligence system called Midjourney recently won an art competition at the Colorado State Fair, creating an uproar among artists who are concerned that their art can be stolen by these systems without due credit.

“Wordle” Google’s Most Searched Word

The five-letter guessing game owned by the New York Times still has a grip on us, as evidenced by the fact that “Wordle” is its most-searched term this year in the United States and globally. It beat more newsier topics, such as “Betty White” in the United States, and “Queen Elizabeth” and “Ukraine” globally.

Wordle gives players six chances a day to guess a five-letter word. People search for hints, tips and even the result when getting the answer on some days.
Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based software engineer formerly at Reddit, released the game in October 2021, and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. The New York Times bought Wordle in February of 2022.

Jonathan Knight, head of games for the Times, previously told CNN that the news outlet was able to keep its existing audience engaged with Wordle and also introduce Wordle to all new audiences by turning it into a board game.

Last month, the Times named Tracy Bennett the new editor of Wordle, signaling that the game is shifting away from the pre-selected words from Wardle and toward words that the Times has chosen. The answer will never end in “s” or “es”, but you can guess what it will be.

UberEats Road Tests Robotic Delivery in Miami

Some Miami residents will be able to order their food through the new partnership between the ride-sharing company and the robotics firm Cartken. Customers can use their phone to grab their order from a secure compartment.

According to its website, Cartken’s six-wheeled robots are equipped with multiple sensors and cameras to help them avoid accidents. The food delivery option will initially be available in the Dadeland area of Miami-Dade County, with plans to expand throughout the county and to additional cities next year.

The kind of futuristic, automated technologies that were once part of its pitch to investors and the public are now being offered by outside firms.

Motional, a company that makes self-drive vehicles, is partnering with the ride-sharing company to offer them in Las Vegas. Two years after selling off its self-driving car unit, the moves come.

Apple Sued Over Safety Concerns With AirTags

Apple has been sued by two women who claim their previous romantic partners used the company’s AirTag devices to track their whereabouts, potentially putting their safety at risk.

A proposed class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco on Monday on behalf of two women, one from Texas and one from New York. They’re seeking unspecified monetary damages.

One of the women said her ex-boyfriend placed an AirTag, a small tracking device, into the wheel well of her car to help locate lost items. The other woman, named in the lawsuit as Jane, said her ex-husband placed an AirTag in her child’s backpack because he was harassing her. She tried to disabling it, but another one showed up, according to the complaint.

The AirTag was launched by Apple. It is possible to find items such as keys, wallet, laptops or even a car by giving nearly anything a digital footprint, enabling it to be found on a map. Some experts warned that the devices could be used to track people without their consent.

AirTags have been used for unwanted tracking before. According to reports, a woman from Indiana used one to track and kill her boyfriend over an alleged affair. They’ve been used to steal cars.

Apple added more safeguards to the AirTag to cut down on unwanted tracking. Apple said in a post that it has worked with safety groups and law enforcement agencies to identify more ways to update its AirTag safety warnings.

Amazon’s Shopping Cart Went Down for Thousands of Customers

Thousands of customers looking to purchase an item on Amazon early Wednesday 7 December 2022 encountered an error message on the e-commerce site’s checkout page, a rare issue for a platform that has become even more of a central shopping hub for countless households during the Pandemic.

As of 9:30 a.m, there were more than 9000 reports of issues with Amazon.com. On Wednesday, according to DownDetector.

The most common issue was related to checking out on the site, according to the DownDetector data. We are working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. To confirm that the order was placed, please check your account. We apologize for the inconvenience.”.

The issue appeared to last for hours before it was entirely fixed. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed a little after 11:30 a.m. ET that the issue had been resolved.

Apple Will Now Allow App Prices from $0.29 to $10k

Apple said it was adding 700 new price points for apps in its App Store, starting as low as $0.29 and running all the way up to $10,000, though the very high-end is only available upon request.
The changes follow a $100 million settlement with developers in August 2021, in which the company pledged to expand the price points developers can offer to consumers. Apple said it would make the App Store an even better opportunity for developers.
Apple has faced scrutiny for the restrictions and fees it places on developers, including the 30% commission the company takes from some of the apps listed in its app store.
Apple made it easier for some media companies to avoid the fees last year, but the company still faces criticism for the cut it takes.
Apple said it’s rolling out new tools to make it easier for developers to set prices based on country or region and manage foreign exchange rate changes.
It said the new pricing enhancements will be available for apps that offer auto-renewing subscriptions, and for other apps and in-app purchases next spring.
There are 900 different price points for apps in Apple’s App Store. Every $0.10 mark from the minimum up to $10 and every $0.50 between $10 and $50 are the new price points.
The App Store is no stranger to expensive apps, and seeing a $10,000 price tag next to an app could come as a shock. There are some apps that are currently priced at over $1,000.

So-called “Meme Stocks” Values Plummet

It is time to sing a requiem. Meme stocks, that is. Companies that got a lot of attention from traders on social media sites are struggling. Just look at GameStop.
After surging by more than 685% last year, the video game retailer’s shares have plummeted this year and will report their latest results after the closing bell on Wednesday.

The company is expected to report a quarterly loss of $84 million and sales growth of just 4.5%. According to a report, the company is in the midst of layoffs. The company wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Many meme stock became popular with traders because they thought it would be funny to try to punish hedge funds and other investors that were betting against them, that has fallen on hard times.

AMC’s shares have plummeted this year. The new preferred class of stock that AMC (AMC) issued earlier this year, which has the ticker symbol of “APE” as a nod to the loyal fans on social media who refer to themselves as “apes,” plunged more than 90% from its peak price.

Australia Health Insurer Client Data Hacked

Australia’s largest health insurer said on Wednesday a cybercriminal had addressed the particular data of all its 4 million clients, as the government introduced legislation that would increase penalties for companies that fail to cover patrons ’ private information.

Medibank said “ significant quantities of health claims data ” had also been penetrated in the breach, which was reported to police a week ago when trade in the company’s shares was halted.

The pincher has demanded rescue and has reportedly hovered to expose the judgments and treatments of high- profile clients.

Medibank said its precedence was to discover the specific data stolen in relation to each client and to partake that information with those guests.
The company had preliminarily said the breach was allowed to be limited to its attachment AHM and foreign scholars.

NASA Observes Large Meteor Strikes on Mars

Two NASA spacecraft at Mars — one on the face and the other in route have recorded the biggest meteor strikes and impact craters yet.

The high- speed bombardments last year transferred seismic swells splashing thousands of miles across Mars, the first ever detected near the face of another earth, and sculpted out craters nearly 500 bases( 150 meters) across, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Science.

The larger of the two strikes churned out boulder- size crossbeams of ice, which may help experimenters look for ways unborn astronauts can tap into Mars ’ natural coffers.

The Insight lander measured the seismic shocks, while the Mars Surveillance Orbiter handed stunning pictures of the performing craters.

The US Government Brings High Speed Internet to Rural Americans

The Agriculture Department declared Thursday it’s making available$ 759 million in allocations and loans to enable country communities to obtain highspeed internet, part of the broader$ 65 billion drive for highspeed connectivity from last time’s structure law.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and White House senior counsel Mitch Landrieu unveiled the subventions during a visit to North Carolina.

There are 49 benefactors in 24 states. One is North Carolina’s AccessOn Networks, which will admit$17.5 million to give broadband service to 100 businesses, 76 granges and 22 educational installations in the state’s Halifax and Warren counties. Both counties are country and have generally Black populations.

Apple to Comply with USB C Charging in EU

The iPhone will support USB- C charging in the European Union to conform with a new ruling that authorizations electronic bias have a common charging standard, an Apple superintendent said Tuesday night.

EU member countries suggested on Monday to authorize legislation that would bear smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, movable speakers and other small bias to support USB- C charging by 2024. The first– of- its-kind law aims to streamline the number of chargers and lines consumers must contend with when they buy a new device, and to allow users to blend and match bias and chargers indeed if they were produced by different manufacturers.

The law would effectively bear Apple( AAPL) to move down from the personal Lightning charger it uses for bias in the EU, and could potentially extend to bias Apple( AAPL) sells in other requests as well if the company decides to streamline its products encyclopedically.

Joswiak called the European government “ well meaning ” and said, “ I get the fact that they want to negotiate a good thing. ” But he stressed the value and ubiquity of the Lightning charger, which is designed for faster device charging.

Major League Baseball Hacking Incident

According to the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, a Minnesota man has been charged with hacking Major League Baseball’s computer systems and trying to extort $150,000 from them.

According to court documents, 30 year old Joshua Streit sent emails to an MLB executive threatening to publicize the vulnerability he discovered and used to access the website the MLB uses from streaming live games before asking for the $150,000.

Allegedly Streit renewed his extortion attempt in September, when the MLB was under increased stress building up to upcoming playoff season.

Many news outlets contacted a Twitter accounted listed in the criminal complaint as being Streit’s, but the account has not yet responded to any requests for comments. James Beckcer, the attorney listed as Streit’s in court documents as also not responded to requests for comments.

The charges listed against Streit, aka Josh Brody, include illegally hacking a computer to commit fraud, wire fraud and sending threats over state lines with the intent to extort. Streit/Brody could face anywhere from 2-20 years in prison for each charge.

Robots in the Ocean

For much of human history we have explored and lived in some of the most extreme environments on the planet—mountains, jungles, deserts. However, the largest environment on Earth composing 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean largely remains a mystery to us.

Only about 20% of the ocean bed has been mapped.

A fuller picture of the ocean would bring many benefits including safer navigating ships, creating more accurate climate models, laying new telecommunication cables, the building of offshore windfarms and of course protecting marine species.

Many refer to this as the “blue economy” and it could be worth an astonishing $3 trillion by 2030.

While underwater robotic vehicles equipped with various equipment have been in service for quite a while and have increased the amount of data we collect and at a lower cost, many of these robots rely on batteries and have to return to the shore or a boat to recharge making it impossible for them to ever map the most remote parts of the ocean.

Yi Chao’s Seatrec startup is working on solving this challenge by channeling the natural temperature differences in ocean waters.

Snapchat Gets Safer

Snapchat is set to roll out a what some are calling a “buddy system” feature that will let users share their location with a friend for a time.

The safety feature comes as young people return to campuses, traveling, dating and perhaps going back to work in the office, according to Snapchat. The feature is not unlike Apple’s Find My app which allows users to share their phone’s location in real time with friends for varying, pre-determined amounts of time (from 15 minutes, 1 hour or even 8 hours). Snapchat found a partner in It’s On Us which is a nonprofit created in 2014 whose goal was to combat sexual assault on campuses.

Snapchat, since 2017, has let users share their location with Snap Map, however a user’s location only updates when the app is open. Snapchat claimed that 250 million people use Snap Map each month. In May 2021 Snapchat had 500 million monthly active users. An internal survey revealed that 78% of users had no problem using Snap Map to share their location with friends as a safe way to connect with other people.

Like Snap Map, the new safety feature is not turned on by default but can easily be found by users. Smartly, Snapchat has limited with whom and how long users can share their instant location to reduce the risk of the feature being used for stalking.

Demand for Airbnb Bookings Up Despite Inflation

Despite inflation and high gas prices demand for Airbnb bookings keep going up.

Airbnb stated that in three months, ending in Jun, they had 103.7 million bookings on its platform. This was a new quarterly high for the company, a 24% increase from the same quarter in 2019 before the business was devastated by the pandemic.

With this extreme increase in bookings Airbnb showed a revenue of $2.1 billion. This is up 58% compared to the prior year. Airbnb has reported a net income of $379 million, which is its most profitable June quarter to date.

The company also benefited from higher average daily rates for its vacation property listings. The $164 average daily rate for a vacation rental was down slightly compared to the first three months of this year but are up 40% when compared to the same quarter in 2019. Airbnb noted that its rates in high population density urban areas, which typically snatch higher daily rates, not only increased compared to early in the year but also in comparison to pre-pandemic levels.

Despite these increases, Airbnb stock went down by 4% in after-hours trading follow the release of these results.

 

 

 

TikTok Lawsuit

Former TikTok content moderators have hit the social media platform with another lawsuit in which they are claiming damages because the job traumatized them.

Ashley Velez and Reece Young are the former contract-based content mods suing TikTok. They allege that their work required them to few unedited, unfiltered content they described as “disgusting and offensive.” They further described it as sexual and violent but used more explicit terms. The plaintiffs allege that TikTok and parent company ByteDance failed to protect moderators from harm and that they provided no support after moderators reviewed shocking content.

The complaint continued by noting that the companies required content moderators to review high volumes of disturbing content which constitutes requiring moderators to participate in unusually dangerous activities. Furthermore, the companies failed to implement widely accepted best practices to mitigate risks that are a natural part of such work.

This is the second such lawsuit in which TikTok was accused of not supporting its content moderators after viewing disturbing content.

Snapchat Gives Parents Tools to Protect Teens

Social media platform Snapchat, after a 10-month old promise from the company to Congress, has developed tools that are supposed to help parents keep their teens safe while they use the app.

The new tool is called Family Center. It promises to give parents additional information about who their teens are chatting with on the messaging app but will not divulge the content of those conversations. Currently, parents have to create their own Snapchat account and their teens have to opt-in and give permission to their parent’s account to use the feature.

According to Snapchat, Family Center was created to emulate the way that parents engage with their children in the real world. In which, parents typically know who their teens are friends with, when they are hanging out, but don’t listen in on their teens private conversations.

After the Facebook-whistleblower incident last fall, social media companies like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram were intensely questioned by Congress about steps they would take to protect teens using their platforms.

 

 

To “Like” or Not to “Like”

In a surprising move both Instagram and Facebook will be giving all users the ability to hide the number of “likes” or “reactions” a post gets from the public. This will change a keystone of the platforms as “likes” are seen as social currency on social media, a measure of status and influence.

Facebook has been experimenting with the idea since 2019 and the company sees it as a way to make Facebook and Instagram less stressful or anxiety-inducing to use.

Every user can choose whether people can see the number of likes on their own posts and also whether to see how many people liked other users’ posts, according to a blog post by Facebook.

The social media giant has been working to reverse mounting disapproval about the fact that social media platforms can be harmful to the mental health of its users and society at large. However, users have to choose the option, it will not be a default, so it remains unclear how many users will take this step or how much the platforms will really change because of the new option.

Meta’s Facebook Develops New AI

If you frequent Facebook or other online platforms you know conversations can get out of hand quickly. Facebook is hoping to use an AI program to keep things calm. The social media platform is testing a machine learning program that would detect fights in Facebook’s Groups and report it to the group admins so they can intervene.

Facebook will be rolling out a number of new tools to help the 70 million users who run and moderate groups on the social media platform. Facebook has 2.85 billion monthly users, 1.8 billion participate in groups each month and there are tens of millions of active groups on the platform.

Along with these other tools, AI will decide when to send out a “conflict alert” to those admins and moderators who maintain groups on the platform. When the AI finds a conversation to be “unhealthy” or “contentious” the AI will send out a message and the human administrators of the group can decide from there what to do.

Social media platforms have increasingly relied on AI to filter what users see and to help remove hate speech from their platforms. However, AI has not always treated users fairly when left to its own devices. So, Facebook is hoping this new combination an AI watch dog and allowing the human administrators of the group to make final decisions will be a more fair way to handle things.

Is My ISP Delivering the Speed I Pay for?

Are there times when you aren’t sure you are getting the speed from your ISP that you pay for? Running a simple test on your computer will tell you. First you need to know that the speed you receive via a computer connected through an ethernet cable may be closer to what your ISP says you have and connections through Wi-Fi will be lower.

Why would you need to do these tests? Well if you are streaming and run into a lot of buffering problems or connection problems, you might want to take a look at your speeds. Are others in your household doing things that require more bandwidth such as streaming or gaming?

An internet search will reveal popular ISP speed testers.

TikTok Clocks Big Numbers

TikTok, a short video based social media platform, has reached the tech world milestone of one billion monthly active users—what is, perhaps, more impressive is they are a rare platform to achieve the one billion user status that is not owned by Google or Facebook.

This growth came from both social media consumers spending more time online during the pandemic and more consumers becoming creators looking to make a living from content creation over social media.

The growth happened despite many hurdles. Among those was former president Donald Trump’s failed attempt to ban the Chinese-owned app in the U.S. Others include the app being banned in India and facing inquiry from European regulators over children’s safety as well as their data protection practices.

Artificial Art?

Artificial intelligence has been a part of science fiction for years and has often been portrayed as anywhere from troubling to outright evil.

AI is not commonly associated with things like art and poetry, but that is the purpose of the very realistic human-like robot, Ai-Da, invented by Aidan Meller in Oxford, England. She spends her time creating poetry and visual art. She is the worlds first robot of her kind and publicly performed some of her poetry that she wrote using her AI. The poetry was in celebration of famous Italian poet Dante.

Ai-Da performed her poetry recital at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University as part of an exhibition marking Dante’s 700th death anniversary.

Ai-Da’s poem was a response to Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Ai-Da’s AI analyzed Dante’s writing patterns and vocabulary but also her own databank of words—between the two her AI created the final product.

Ai-Da’s creator, Meller, stated that her ability to imitate human writing is so incredible it is hard to know it wasn’t written by a human.

Ai-Da doesn’t only write poetry, she also is very capable of creating works of art. She made one of the Dante exhibition. It was inspired by her own experience in Egypt when security forces detained Ai-Da and Meller over security concerns over the cameras in her eyes, which they wanted to remove. The piece is titled “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Apple to Raise Base Pay for Employees

Due to the tight labor market, rising inflation and burst in unionization efforts Apple will be raising the starting pay for US employees.

Starting pay for US Apple team members will be increased to $22 or higher based on the cost of living in the market. This is a 45% jump from 2018 pay levels. Apple stated that their compensation budget will be a topic at their annual performance review process.

Apple stated that workers annual reviews would be pushed up by three months so their new pay will take effect by early July.

Apple did not immediately respond to requests from media outlets for further information on their compensation increases. Apple is well known for having a tight-lipped culture among its employees. Yet, in 2021, a handful of both current and former employees criticized Apple’s working conditions through online outlets.

In April, Apple workers in Atlanta submitted a petition to hold union elections. They would have been the company’s first union. This was just one among many moves for unionization in Apple at the time.