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      Court ordered penalties for 15 teens who created naked AI images of classmates

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 20:31

    Court ordered penalties for 15 teens who created naked AI images of classmates

    Enlarge (credit: master1305 | iStock / Getty Images Plus )

    A Spanish youth court has sentenced 15 minors to one year of probation after spreading AI-generated nude images of female classmates in two WhatsApp groups.

    The minors were charged with 20 counts of creating child sex abuse images and 20 counts of offenses against their victims’ moral integrity. In addition to probation, the teens will also be required to attend classes on gender and equality, as well as on the "responsible use of information and communication technologies," a press release from the Juvenile Court of Badajoz said.

    Many of the victims were too ashamed to speak up when the inappropriate fake images began spreading last year. Prior to the sentencing, a mother of one of the victims told The Guardian that girls like her daughter "were completely terrified and had tremendous anxiety attacks because they were suffering this in silence."

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      Republicans angry that ISPs receiving US grants must offer low-cost plans

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 20:19

    Illustration of ones and zeroes overlaid on a US map.

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Matt Anderson Photography)

    Republican lawmakers are fighting a Biden administration attempt to bring cheap broadband service to low-income people, claiming it is an illegal form of rate regulation. GOP leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced an investigation into the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is administering the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program that was approved by Congress in November 2021.

    "States have reported that the NTIA is directing them to set rates and conditioning approval of initial proposals on doing so. This undoubtedly constitutes rate regulation by the NTIA," states a letter to the NTIA from Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Bob Latta (R-Ohio), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-Va.).

    As evidence, the letter points to a statement by Virginia that described feedback received from the NTIA. The federal agency told Virginia that "the low-cost option must be established in the Initial proposal as an exact price or formula."

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      Three betas in, iOS 18 testers still can’t try out Apple Intelligence features

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 18:53 · 1 minute

    Three betas in, iOS 18 testers still can’t try out Apple Intelligence features

    Enlarge (credit: Apple)

    The beta-testing cycle for Apple's latest operating system updates is in full swing—earlier this week, the third developer betas rolled out for iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15 Sequoia, and the rest of this fall's updates. The fourth developer beta ought to be out in a couple of weeks, and it's reasonably likely to coincide with the first betas that Apple offers to the full public (though the less-stable developer-only betas got significantly more public last year when Apple stopped making people pay for a developer account to access them ).

    Many of the new updates' features are present and available to test, including cosmetic updates and under-the-hood improvements . But none of Apple's much-hyped Apple Intelligence features are available to test in any form. MacRumors reports that Settings menus for the Apple Intelligence features have appeared in the Xcode Simulator for current versions of iOS 18 but, as of now, those settings still appear to be non-functional placeholders that don't actually do anything.

    That may change soon; Apple did say that the first wave of Apple Intelligence features would be available "this summer," and I would wager a small amount of money on the first ones being available in the public beta builds later this month. But the current state of the betas does reinforce reporting from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman that suggested Apple was "caught flat-footed" by the tech world's intense interest in generative AI.

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      Congress apparently feels a need for “reaffirmation” of SLS rocket

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 18:32

    Stuart Smalley is here to help with daily affirmations of SLS.

    Enlarge / Stuart Smalley is here to help with daily affirmations of SLS. (credit: Aurich Lawson | SNL)

    There is a curious section in the new congressional reauthorization bill for NASA that concerns the agency's large Space Launch System rocket.

    The section is titled "Reaffirmation of the Space Launch System," and in it Congress asserts its commitment to a flight rate of twice per year for the rocket. The reauthorization legislation, which cleared a House committee on Wednesday, also said NASA should identify other customers for the rocket.

    "The Administrator shall assess the demand for the Space Launch System by entities other than NASA and shall break out such demand according to the relevant Federal agency or nongovernment sector," the legislation states.

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      Nearby star cluster houses unusually large black hole

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 18:20 · 1 minute

    Three panel image, with zoom increasing from left to right. Left most panel is a wide view of the globular cluster; right is a zoom in to the area where its central black hole must reside.

    Enlarge / From left to right, zooming in from the globular cluster to the site of its black hole. (credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Häberle)

    Supermassive black holes appear to reside at the center of every galaxy and to have done so since galaxies formed early in the history of the Universe . Currently, however, we can't entirely explain their existence, since it's difficult to understand how they could grow quickly enough to reach the cutoff for supermassive as quickly as they did.

    A possible bit of evidence was recently found by using about 20 years of data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The data comes from a globular cluster of stars that's thought to be the remains of a dwarf galaxy and shows that a group of stars near the cluster's core are moving so fast that they should have been ejected from it entirely. That implies that something massive is keeping them there, which the researchers argue is a rare intermediate-mass black hole, weighing in at over 8,000 times the mass of the Sun.

    Moving fast

    The fast-moving stars reside in Omega Centauri , the largest globular cluster in the Milky Way. With an estimated 10 million stars, it's a crowded environment, but observations are aided by its relative proximity, at "only" 17,000 light-years away. Those observations have been hinting that there might be a central black hole within the globular cluster, but the evidence has not been decisive.

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      In bid to loosen Nvidia’s grip on AI, AMD to buy Finnish startup for $665M

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 17:19

    In bid to loosen Nvidia’s grip on AI, AMD to buy Finnish startup for $665M

    Enlarge (credit: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images )

    AMD is to buy Finnish artificial intelligence startup Silo AI for $665 million in one of the largest such takeovers in Europe as the US chipmaker seeks to expand its AI services to compete with market leader Nvidia.

    California-based AMD said Silo’s 300-member team would use its software tools to build custom large language models (LLMs), the kind of AI technology that underpins chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini. The all-cash acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory approval.

    “This agreement helps us both accelerate our customer engagements and deployments while also helping us accelerate our own AI tech stack,” Vamsi Boppana, senior vice president of AMD’s artificial intelligence group, told the Financial Times.

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      Airbag problems force massive recalls at Alfa Romeo, BMW, Fiat, and Jeep

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 17:08

    Red lighting air bag control symbol in car

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

    Both BMW and Stellantis are recalling hundreds of thousands of vehicles in the US this month due to airbag problems. For BMW, the problem, which potentially affects 394,029 cars, is a continuation of the Takata airbag recall, the largest automotive recall in history. Stellantis has slightly fewer potentially affected cars, with 322,000 subject to recall, but for a different problem caused by a suspect sensor in the seat belt buckle.


    While the BMW recall will be sent to almost 400,000 owners, the company suspects only 1 percent of that population will have a problem that needs remedying. That's because it wants dealers to check any cars where the owner has replaced the factory-fitted steering wheel with a Sport or M-Sport version equipped with a PSDI-5 inflator.

    These inflators lack a desiccant or drying agent that would otherwise prevent the ammonium nitrate airbag propellant from taking on moisture, degrading the airbag's performance to the point where it could overinflate and shower the interior with metal fragments. At least 24 people have been killed by defective Takata airbags in the US, which led to 42 million cars being recalled to fix the problem.

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      Elon Musk beats one lawsuit seeking severance for laid-off Twitter employees

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 16:40

    A large X placed on top of the building used by the company formerly known as Twitter.

    Enlarge / An X sign at company headquarters in San Francisco. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

    A federal judge yesterday granted Elon Musk's motion to dismiss a class-action complaint alleging that laid-off Twitter employees were wrongfully denied the severance they were entitled to under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

    The employees may be able to latch onto another lawsuit against Twitter that alleges different severance-related violations, but their claim under ERISA was denied by US District Judge Trina Thompson in the Northern District of California.

    "Plaintiffs are not without recourse," Thompson wrote, noting that they may benefit from similar cases ongoing against the Musk-owned firm. "Indeed, there are other cases brought against Twitter for the failure to pay wages or provide employee severance benefits during the same or overlapping period that Plaintiffs allege Defendants denied them and the putative class sufficient severance benefits under the severance plan at issue here."

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      Users must prove Amazon ripped them off to revive Buy Box rigging suit

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · 3 days ago - 16:17

    Users must prove Amazon ripped them off to revive Buy Box rigging suit

    Enlarge (credit: Daria Nipot | iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus )

    A court has dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging that Amazon's Buy Box was rigged to rip off customers seeking the best deals on the platform.

    The suit followed 2022 antitrust probes in the European Union and United Kingdom that found that Amazon's Buy Box hid cheaper items with faster delivery times to preference Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) sellers since at least 2016.

    As a result, Amazon had to change its Buy Box practices and earn back the trust of customers and sellers, the company said in a 2022 blog . Among changes, Amazon agreed to treat all sellers equally when featuring offers in the Buy Box and to promote a second competing offer when a comparable deal is available at either a lower price or with a faster delivery time.

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