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      Bungie wins landmark suit against Destiny 2 cheat-maker AimJunkies

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 19:55 · 1 minute

    Destiny 2 key art showing characters aiming purple-light pointers at targets in a bot-filled environment.

    Enlarge (credit: Bungie)

    They wanted to make money by selling cheating tools to Destiny 2 players. They may have ended up setting US legal precedent.

    After a trial in federal court in Seattle last week, a jury found cheat-seller AimJunkies, along with its parent company Phoenix Digital and four of its employees and contractors, liable for copyright infringement and assigned damages to each of them. The jury split $63,210 in damages, with $20,000 to Phoenix Digital itself and just under $11,000 each to the four individuals. That's just under the $65,000 revenue the defendants claimed to have generated from 1,400 copies of its Destiny 2 cheats.

    Bungie's case appears to have gone further than any other game-cheating suit has made it in the US court system. Because cheating at an online game is not, in itself, illegal, game firms typically lean on the anti-circumvention aspects of the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). That's how the makers of Grand Theft Auto V , Overwatch , Rainbow Six , and Fortnite have pursued their cheat-making antagonists. Bungie, in taking their claim past settlement and then winning a copyright claim from a jury, has perhaps provided game makers a case to point to in future proceedings, and perhaps more incentive.

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      Nvidia denies pirate e-book sites are “shadow libraries” to shut down lawsuit

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 19:09

    Nvidia denies pirate e-book sites are “shadow libraries” to shut down lawsuit

    Enlarge (credit: Westend61 | Westend61 )

    Some of the most infamous so-called shadow libraries have increasingly faced legal pressure to either stop pirating books or risk being shut down or driven to the dark web. Among the biggest targets are Z-Library, which the US Department of Justice has charged with criminal copyright infringement , and Library Genesis (Libgen), which was sued by textbook publishers last fall for allegedly distributing digital copies of copyrighted works "on a massive scale in willful violation" of copyright laws.

    But now these shadow libraries and others accused of spurning copyrights have seemingly found an unlikely defender in Nvidia, the AI chipmaker among those profiting most from the recent AI boom.

    Nvidia seemed to defend the shadow libraries as a valid source of information online when responding to a lawsuit from book authors over the list of data repositories that were scraped to create the Books3 dataset used to train Nvidia's AI platform NeMo.

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      iFixit ends Samsung deal as oppressive repair shop requirements come to light

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 18:14 · 1 minute

    iFixit ends Samsung deal as oppressive repair shop requirements come to light

    Enlarge (credit: Samsung )

    IFixit and Samsung were once leading the charge in device repair, but iFixit says it's ending its repair partnership with Samsung because it feels Samsung just isn't participating in good faith. iFixit says the two companies "have not been able to deliver" on the promise of a viable repair ecosystem, so it would rather shut the project down than continue. The repair site says "flashy press releases and ambitious initiatives don’t mean much without follow-through."

    iFixit's Scott Head explains: "As we tried to build this ecosystem we consistently faced obstacles that made us doubt Samsung’s commitment to making repair more accessible. We couldn’t get parts to local repair shops at prices and quantities that made business sense. The part prices were so costly that many consumers opted to replace their devices rather than repair them. And the design of Samsung’s Galaxy devices remained frustratingly glued together, forcing us to sell batteries and screens in pre-glued bundles that increased the cost."

    A good example of Samsung's parts bundling is this Galaxy S22 Ultra "screen" part for $233. The screen is the most common part to break, but rather than just sell a screen, Samsung makes you buy the screen, a new phone frame, a battery, and new side buttons and switches. As we said when this was announced , that's like half of the total parts in an entire phone. This isn't a perfect metric, but the Samsung/iFixit parts store only offers three parts for the S22 Ultra, while the Pixel 8 Pro store has 10 parts, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max store has 23 parts.

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      Dinosaurs needed to be cold enough that being warm-blooded mattered

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 16:27 · 1 minute

    Image of a feathered dinosaur against a white background.

    Enlarge / Later theropods had multiple adaptations to varied temperatures. (credit: SCIEPRO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY )

    Dinosaurs were once assumed to have been ectothermic, or cold-blooded, an idea that makes sense given that they were reptiles. While scientists had previously discovered evidence of dinosaur species that were warm-blooded, though what could have triggered this adaptation remained unknown. A team of researchers now think that dinosaurs that already had some cold tolerance evolved endothermy, or warm-bloodedness, to adapt when they migrated to regions with cooler temperatures. They also think they’ve found a possible reason for the trek.

    Using the Mesozoic fossil record, evolutionary trees, climate models, and geography, plus factoring in a drastic climate change event that caused global warming, the team found that theropods (predators and bird ancestors such as velociraptor and T. rex) and ornithischians (such as triceratops and stegosaurus) must have made their way to colder regions during the Early Jurassic. Lower temperatures are thought to have selected for species that were partly adapted to endothermy.

    “The early invasion of cool niches… [suggests] an early attainment of homeothermic (possibly endothermic) physiology in [certain species], enabling them to colonize and persist in even extreme latitudes since the Early Jurassic,” the researchers said in a study recently published in Current Biology.

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      OpenAI training its next major AI model, forms new safety committee

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 16:05 · 1 minute

    A man rolling a boulder up a hill.

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images )

    On Monday, OpenAI announced the formation of a new "Safety and Security Committee" to oversee risk management for its projects and operations. The announcement comes as the company says it has "recently begun" training its next frontier model, which it expects to bring the company closer to its goal of achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI), though some critics say AGI is farther off than we might think. It also comes as a reaction to a terrible two weeks in the press for the company.

    Whether the aforementioned new frontier model is intended to be GPT-5 or a step beyond that is currently unknown. In the AI industry, "frontier model" is a term for a new AI system designed to push the boundaries of current capabilities. And "AGI" refers to a hypothetical AI system with human-level abilities to perform novel, general tasks beyond its training data (unlike narrow AI, which is trained for specific tasks).

    Meanwhile, the new Safety and Security Committee, led by OpenAI directors Bret Taylor (chair), Adam D'Angelo, Nicole Seligman, and Sam Altman (CEO), will be responsible for making recommendations about AI safety to the full company board of directors. In this case, "safety" partially means the usual "we won't let the AI go rogue and take over the world ," but it also includes a broader set of "processes and safeguards" that the company spelled out in a May 21 safety update related to alignment research, protecting children, upholding election integrity, assessing societal impacts, and implementing security measures.

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      Porsche builds a hybrid 911 at long last

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Yesterday - 13:30

    A grey Porsche 911 drives on a road

    Enlarge / The current 911—known to Porschephiles as the 992 generation—has just been given its midlife refresh. The most obvious visual indicator is the presence of vertical strakes in the front air intakes. But we're much more interested in what's gone on under the skin. (credit: Porsche)

    Today, Porsche gave the venerable 911 a bit of a spiff-up, putting an updated engine in the base 911 Carrera and making some design tweaks to keep the 992-generation machine looking fresh. But the most interesting update is an all-new powertrain in the 911 Carrera GTS. For the first time, you can now buy a hybrid 911.

    When Porsche has been asked about adding electrification to the 911, the answer has generally been some variation of "we'll do it when the technology gets light enough." Plug-in hybrid Cayennes , Panameras , and battery electric Taycans are all well and good because they are big cars.

    But a Porsche 911 remains a relatively small car, even if it has grown a little since 1963 . The engine bay behind the rear axle isn't exactly expansive, and adding a high-voltage battery and electric motors had to be done thoughtfully.

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      Small, cheap, and weird: A history of the microcar

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 11:00

    Small, cheap, and weird: A history of the microcar

    Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

    European car manufacturers are currently tripping over themselves to figure out how personal transport and "last mile" solutions will look in the years to come. The solutions are always electric, and they're also tiny. What most companies (bar Citroen, Renault, and Fiat) seem to have forgotten is that we've had an answer to this problem all along: the microcar.

    The microcar is a singular little thing —its job is to frugally take one person (or maybe two people) where they need to go while taking up as little space as possible. A few have broken their way into the public consciousness— Top Gear made a global megastar of Peel's cars, BMW's Isetta remains a design icon, and the Messerschmitt KR200 is just plain cool—but where did these tiny wonders come from? And do they have a future?

    Well, without the microcar's predecessors, we may not have the modern motorcar as we know it. Sort of.

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      The hornet has landed: Scientists combat new honeybee killer in US

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 10:55 · 1 minute

    2023 marked the first sighting of a yellow-legged hornet in the United States, sparking fears that it may spread and devastate honeybees as it has in parts of Europe.

    Enlarge / 2023 marked the first sighting of a yellow-legged hornet in the United States, sparking fears that it may spread and devastate honeybees as it has in parts of Europe. (credit: Miguel Riopa/AFP via Getty Images )

    In early August 2023, a beekeeper near the port of Savannah, Georgia, noticed some odd activity around his hives. Something was hunting his honeybees. It was a flying insect bigger than a yellowjacket, mostly black with bright yellow legs. The creature would hover at the hive entrance, capture a honeybee in flight, and butcher it before darting off with the bee’s thorax, the meatiest bit.

    “He’d only been keeping bees since March… but he knew enough to know that something wasn’t right with this thing,” says Lewis Bartlett, an evolutionary ecologist and honeybee expert at the University of Georgia, who helped to investigate. Bartlett had seen these honeybee hunters before, during his PhD studies in England a decade earlier. The dreaded yellow-legged hornet had arrived in North America.

    With origins in Afghanistan, eastern China, and Indonesia, the yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina , has expanded during the last two decades into South Korea, Japan, and Europe. When the hornet invades new territory, it preys on honeybees , bumblebees , and other vulnerable insects. One yellow-legged hornet can kill up to dozens of honeybees in a single day. It can decimate colonies through intimidation by deterring honeybees from foraging. “They’re not to be messed with,” says honeybee researcher Gard Otis, professor emeritus at the University of Guelph in Canada.

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      “Deny, denounce, delay”: The battle over the risk of ultra-processed foods

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 4 days ago - 11:15

    A shopping cart by a store shelf in a supermarket

    Enlarge (credit: monticelllo/Getty )

    When the Brazilian nutritional scientist Carlos Monteiro coined the term “ultra-processed foods” 15 years ago, he established what he calls a “new paradigm” for assessing the impact of diet on health.

    Monteiro had noticed that although Brazilian households were spending less on sugar and oil, obesity rates were going up. The paradox could be explained by increased consumption of food that had undergone high levels of processing, such as the addition of preservatives and flavorings or the removal or addition of nutrients.

    But health authorities and food companies resisted the link, Monteiro tells the FT. “[These are] people who spent their whole life thinking that the only link between diet and health is the nutrient content of foods ... Food is more than nutrients.”

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