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Updated: 12 min 51 sec ago

Nvidia Unveils Powerful New RTX 2070 and 2080 Graphics Cards

15 min 55 sec ago
During a pre-Gamescom 2018 livestream from Cologne, Germany, Nvidia on Monday unveiled new GeForce RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti high-end graphics cards. These new 20-series cards will succeed Nvidia's current top-of-the-line GPUs, the GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti. While the company usually waits to launch the more powerful Ti version of a GPU, this time around, it's releasing the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti at once. Polygon adds: They won't come cheap. The Nvidia-manufactured Founders Edition versions will cost $599 for the RTX 2070, $799 for the RTX 2080 and $1,199 for the RTX 2080 Ti. The latter two cards are expected to ship "on or around" Sept. 20, while there is no estimated release date for the RTX 2070. Pre-orders are currently available for the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced different "starting at" prices during the keynote presentation. Huang's presentation said the RTX 2070 will start at $499, the RTX 2080 at $699 and the RTX 2080 Ti at $999. Asked for clarification, an Nvidia representative told Polygon that these amounts reflect retail prices for third-party manufacturers' cards. The RTX 2070, 2080 and 2080 Ti will be the first consumer-level graphics cards based on Nvidia's next-generation Turing architecture, which the company announced earlier this month at the SIGGRAPH computing conference. At that time, Nvidia also revealed its first Turing-based products: three GPUs in the company's Quadro line, which is geared toward professional applications. All three of the new RTX cards will feature built-in support for real-time ray tracing, a rendering and lighting technique for photorealistic graphics that gaming companies are starting to introduce this year

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Staff At Gatwick Airport Use Whiteboards After Flight Information Screens Fail

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 23:30
Staff at the Gatwick Airport in southeast England had to write flight information on whiteboards for most of the day due to a technical problem with its digital screens. The BBC reports: Vodafone provides the service, and said a damaged fibre cable had caused the information boards to stop working. In a statement at 17:00 BST, a Gatwick spokesman said the issue had been resolved and flight information was being displayed as normal. "Tens of thousands" of people departed on time and no flights were cancelled. Apologizing to customers, he added that the airport's "manual contingency plan," which included having extra staff on hand to help direct passengers, had worked well. The airport earlier said a "handful of people" had missed their flights due to the problems.

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President Trump Says It is 'Very Dangerous' When Companies Like Twitter Regulate Own Content

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 22:50
In an interview with Reuters on Monday, the U.S. President Donald Trump said that it is "very dangerous" for social media companies like Twitter and Facebook to regulate the content on their own platforms. Trump's remarks come on the backdrop of technology giants Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and YouTube ridding select kind of content of their platforms in the recent weeks. On Saturday, Trump argued that social media companies are "closing down the opinions" of conservatives. He tweeted, "They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others. Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won't let that happen." Further reading: Twitter Is 'Rethinking' Its Service, and Suspending 1M Accounts Each Day.

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It's Time to End the 'Data Is' vs 'Data Are' Debate

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 22:10
dmoberhaus writes: After receiving too many irate emails about using "data" in the singular, a reporter spoke to two lexicographers about how the language changes over time and why it's perfectly acceptable and perhaps even "standard" to use data as a singular noun, rather than a plural noun in an attempt to settle an old debate. Peter Sokolowski, a lexicographer for the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, told the reporter that data's transition between its historical roots and contemporary use is related to a lexical phenomenon called "semantic bleaching," where a word's original meaning is lost or diminished over time. An example of semantic bleaching include the contemporary use of the word "literally," whose Latin root, littera, means "letter." In the case of "data," it has transitioned from "things given" to mean something like "a collection of information in aggregate" when used in everyday speech.

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How Amazon, One of the Richest Companies in the World, Secretly Offloads Its Electricity Costs To Local Taxpayers Who Live Near Its Data Centers

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 21:29
Several readers have shared this Bloomberg report: Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing business, is its fastest-growing and most profitable division, but it comes with a lot of upfront infrastructure costs and ongoing expenses, the biggest of which is electricity. Over the past two years, Amazon has almost doubled the size of its physical footprint worldwide, to 254 million square feet, including dozens of new data centers with vast fields of servers running 24/7. In at least two states, it's also negotiated with utilities and politicians to stick other people with the bills, piling untold millions of dollars on top of the estimated $1.2 billion in state and municipal tax incentives the company has received over the past decade. Other companies, including Google and Tesla, have taken advantage of the power industry's hunger for growth and the relative secrecy that followed its 1990s deregulation in dozens of states. But Amazon stands out for its success in offloading its power costs and also because it dominates America's cloud business, which has gone from nonexistent to using 2 percent of U.S. electricity in about a decade. "Amazon had a huge advantage, because there weren't a lot of other sectors growing in the electricity market," says Neal Elliott, senior director of research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a green lobbying group. The company has also ratcheted up the secrecy around who's paying for electricity, says environmental advocate Greenpeace, which calls Amazon the single biggest obstacle to industry transparency.

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China's Huawei Caught Faking DSLR Shots as Smartphone Pictures in a Commercial

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 20:46
Smartphone cameras are better than ever, but sometimes there's just no substitute for a full-sized DSLR. Unfortunately, it seems that Huawei thinks so, too. From a report: A shot in the company's latest commercial for its new Nova 3 smartphone has been revealed by a behind-the-scenes photo to be a DSLR, not the smartphone as the ad alleges. As you can see about halfway through the ad, a bickering couple takes a selfie together apparently to show off how Huawei's AI and camera tech make it so that the woman doesn't need to put on makeup. But a since-deleted Instagram picture posted by Sarah Elshamy (the actress in the scene) reveals that instead of a fun selfie from the Nova 3, the shot in question came from a DSLR, shot by a professional photographer. In fact, the Nova 3 doesn't seem in be in the frame at all.

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New York City Announces Plans To Introduce Legislation To Cut Building Emission, Its Top Source Of Climate Pollution

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 20:06
A top New York City lawmaker announced a bill Monday to mandate dramatic energy use cuts in big buildings, by far the biggest source of carbon dioxide, in a historic move that could set a new standard for cities around the world. From a report: The legislation plans to require the city's largest buildings to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2030, as well as to set a framework for increasing the cuts by 40 percent to 60 percent by 2050. Combined with projected increases for renewable energy capacity on the power grid, the city could reduce its climate-warming emissions by 80 percent. Electricity and heating in buildings make up nearly 70 percent of the city's climate pollution, with luxury towers producing the lion's share. "The low-hanging fruit is gone," City Councilman Costa Constantinides, a Queens legislator who leads the council's Committee on Environmental Protection, said Monday morning on the steps of City Hall. "If we are going to make a real impact on climate change, it's going to be on buildings." The legislation, which is not yet complete, would make the nation's largest and most economically influential metropolis among the first major cities in the world to mandate strict retrofits on existing buildings to reduce planet-warming emissions.

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'This is Not Your Father's Microsoft': CEO Satya Nadella On Helping a Faded Legend Find a 'Sense of Purpose'

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 19:30
News outlet CNET has two big stories on Microsoft today. The publication interviewed CEO Satya Nadella on the changes he has made since taking the top job. The stories, among other things, talks about Microsoft Hackathon, the diversity pushes Nadella has made at the company, and how Microsoft lost the touch with what made it successful, and how Nadella is trying to fix that. From story one: Nadella dreamed up the Microsoft Hackathon, which the company calls the "largest private hackathon in the world," when he became CEO in February 2014. Just a few of the thousands of projects pitched over the past five years have inspired mainstream products. Most of these let's-change-the-world ideas aren't the kind of business tech that Microsoft makes the bulk of its money on -- at least not today. That's just fine with Nadella, because the meetup serves another purpose: rebranding Microsoft as a modern, relevant company. When he became the third CEO of the world's largest software company, after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Nadella made changing Microsoft's rigid, hierarchical and arrogant culture his top priority. He sort of had to. Though arguably one of the most successful technology companies in history, Microsoft's had a string of high-profile misses in mobile, search and social networking. Additionally, the company's toxic culture, characterized by corporate politics, infighting and backstabbing, fed an image of Microsoft as a fading legend. Rivals Apple, Google and Facebook were seen as innovators creating shiny new opportunities with their disruptive tech. A generation grew up without ever having used a Microsoft product. "One of the things that happens when you're super successful is you sort of sometimes lose touch with what made you successful in the first place," Nadella tells us when we ask what he was trying to solve with the hackathon."I wanted to go back to the very genesis of this company: What is that sense of purpose and drive that made us successful? What was the culture that may have been there in the very beginning or in the times when we were able to achieve that success? How do we really capture it?" says Nadella, who joined Microsoft in 1992. It's about "the renaissance as much as about just sort of fixing something that's broken." From story two: CNET: What is the vibe or image of Microsoft you want the world to know? Nadella: It's in our mission. It's empowering. Any association with this company should be, they put some tools, they put some platforms, they gave me the opportunity to really do something. Whether it's a student writing a term paper, whether it's a startup trying to create a company, a small business that's trying to be more productive or even a public sector institution that's trying to be more efficient and serve its citizens -- [they] should feel that association with Microsoft is empowering to them. That's what I want us to stand for.

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Google Just Put an AI in Charge of Keeping Its Data Centers Cool

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 18:55
Google is putting an artificial intelligence system in charge of its data center cooling after the system proved it could cut energy use. From a report: Now Google and its AI company DeepMind are taking the project further; instead of recommendations being implemented by human staff, the AI system is directly controlling cooling in the data centers that run services including Google Search, Gmail and YouTube. "This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centers," Google said. Data centers use vast amount of energy and as the demand for cloud computing rises even small tweaks to areas like cooling can produce significant time and cost savings. Google's decision to use its own DeepMind-created system is also a good plug for its AI business. Every five minutes, the AI pulls a snapshot of the data center cooling system from thousands of sensors. This data is fed into deep neural networks, which predict how different choices will affect future energy consumption.

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Amazon's Kindle Voyage May Be Over

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 18:24
Amazon's Kindle e-reader family seems to have lost a member along the way, with the disappearance of the Voyage from its Kindle Family listing. From a report: The site now lists just three models in its lineup of eight configurations, the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis. Good e-Reader first noticed this a few weeks back, saying the Voyage seems to have vanished in July. In years past when Amazon has refreshed its Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets, it has done it in the summer or fall. The high-end Oasis was last updated in October 2017, but the most recent midline Paperwhite last saw changes in 2015, and the basic Kindle in 2016. Chances are one or both of the older models will receive an update in the near future.

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IGN Pulls Ex-Editor's Posts After Dozens More Plagiarism Accusations Surface

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 17:31
An anonymous reader shares a report: The gaming site IGN is working to remove all of the posts written by former editor Filip Miucin, who was fired two weeks ago for plagiarism, after internet sleuths found that dozens of his articles and videos copied or rephrased from other websites without attribution. "We've seen enough now, both from the thread and our own searches, that we're taking down pretty much everything he did," IGN reviews editor Dan Stapleton wrote on Twitter last night, referring to a thread on the gaming forum ResetEra cataloging the allegations. For days, people had pointed out more similarities between Miucin's work and various other articles and message board posts. The plan, IGN editors said, is to scrutinize all of the work Miucin has published since the site hired him last October, then figure out what can be restored. IGN's editors also said they hope to re-review the games he reviewed, including ports of Doom and Skyrim on Switch, both which have been replaced by the same message: "This article has been removed due to concerns over similarities to work by other authors. The author of this article is no longer employed by IGN." In the recent days, Miucin has been accused of copying a Bayonetta 2 review from Polygon, copying from a video that took word-for-word from a NeoGAF post, and a number of videos in which Miucin read excerpts from Wikipedia about topics like Super Mario Odyssey and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero as if he had written them. The list even includes an Octopath Traveler article that copied from one of his own IGN colleague's reviews, much to that writer's dismay. Even his Linkedin resume is copied from a job template website, Kotaku reported.

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Gmail Now Lets You Send Self-Destructing 'Confidential Mode' Emails From Your Phone

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 16:54
Google has rolled out its 'confidential mode' for setting a self-destruct date on email to mobile devices. From a report: Confidential mode came with the search company's big redesign of Gmail announced earlier this year and became the default for consumer Gmail users in July, while G Suite business customers still have a few months to make the switch. The data-protection feature is now available on mobile devices, Google announced via a tweet. Google promotes the Gmail feature as a way to protect sensitive information by allowing users to set an expiration date for individual messages or revoke access to messages already sent. The feature also prevents recipients from forwarding, copying, printing or downloading its content and allows users to require recipients to enter a one-time code sent via SMS to view the email. The authentication feature is intended to protect information in the event of the recipient's email account being hijacked. Further reading: Does Gmail's 'Confidential Mode' Go Far Enough?

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Bank of England Chief Economist Warns On AI jobs Threat

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 16:13
The chief economist of the Bank of England has warned that the UK will need a skills revolution to avoid "large swathes" of people becoming "technologically unemployed" as artificial intelligence makes many jobs obsolete. From a report: Andy Haldane said the possible disruption of what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution could be "on a much greater scale" than anything felt during the First Industrial Revolution of the Victorian era. He said that he had seen a widespread "hollowing out" of the jobs market, rising inequality, social tension and many people struggling to make a living. It was important to learn the "lessons of history", he argued, and ensure that people were given the training to take advantage of the new jobs that would become available. He added that in the past a safety net such as new welfare benefits had also been provided.

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Saint Louis University Is Outfitting Student Living Spaces With Thousands of Echo Dots

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 15:00
Saint Louis University announced this week a plan to outfit living spaces with 2,300 Echo Dots. The smart speakers will be ready by the time classes start later this month. TechCrunch reports: SLU is quick to note that it's "the first college or university in the country to bring Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, managed by Alexa for Business, into every student residence hall room and student apartment on campus." It's certainly not the first to adopt Amazon's smart speakers, but it's among the largest scale for this sort of deployment. While the product has become a mainstay in plenty of American homes, it does seem like an odd choice dorms and student campus. SLU has worked with Alexa for Business to create 100 custom questions, including, "What time does the library close tonight?" and "Where is the registrar's office?" The company addressed [the privacy concerns] on a privacy page, writing: "Because of our use of the Amazon Alexa for Business (A4B) platform, your Echo Dot is managed by a central system dedicated to SLU. This system is not tied to individual accounts and does not maintain any personal information for any of our users, so all use currently is anonymous. Additionally, neither Alexa nor the Alexa for Business management system maintains recordings of any questions that are asked."

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Google Is Poised To Open Its First Permanent Retail Store

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 13:11
Google is planning to open a 14,000 square-foot retail store in Chicago's Fulton Market district, according to local media reports from Crain's Chicago Business and Chicago Tribune. While Google has opened pop-up stores in the past, this would be its first permanent location. Ad Age reports: In 2015, Google abandoned plans to open a store in New York City, after spending $6 million renovating the 131 Greene St. location, Crain's New York Business reported at the time. The Chicago store would give Google a bricks-and-mortar location to show off its expanding line of products, including Pixel phones, Daydream VR headsets, Nest products and more. The location Google is eyeing in Chicago is just a few blocks from Google's Midwest headquarters. The Fulton Market neighborhood, part of Chicago's West Loop, is formerly a meatpacking district. It has been transformed in recent years and is now home to some of Chicago's hottest restaurants. The report notes that there's still a future in brick-and-mortar locations, citing Amazon's interest in Whole Foods and the fact that retail stores have been a key part of Apple's strategy. Microsoft operates stores in 35 states.

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Construction Begins On $1 Billion Telescope That Will Take Pictures 10 Times Sharper Than Hubble's

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 09:00
The $1 billion Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile is officially under construction with a scheduled date of operation in 2024. The telescope "will have an array of seven enormous mirrors totaling 80 feet in diameter, giving it 10 times the precision of the Hubble telescope," reports Quartz. "Among its advances is technology to help it correct for the distorting effect of Earth's atmosphere by using software to make hundreds of adjustments per second to its array of secondary mirrors." From the report: The project's architects, a consortium of universities and institutions in the U.S., Korea, and Australia, chose to build in Chile's Atacama desert for its clear, dry skies. Astronomers will use the Magellan Telescope to study the origins of elements and the birth of stars and galaxies, and to examine planets that have been identified as potentially harboring life. Mother Nature Network has an article highlighting nine of the largest new telescopes expected to begin operation in the next decade.

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Apple Pulls 25,000 Apps From China Amid a Barrage of State-Media Criticism

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 07:30
Apple has pulled more than 25,000 illegal apps from its App Store in China after coming under fire from state media for not doing enough to filter out banned material. From a report: "Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China," Apple said in a statement Monday. "We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store." The removals were reported earlier by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday, which said 25,000 apps were pulled. Apple didn't confirm that number. It offers more than 1.8 million apps in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Removing 25,000 apps would amount to about 1.4% of that total.

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BitTorrent Founder Bram Cohen Has Left the Company

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 07:05
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Bram Cohen, a co-founder of BitTorrent, the company which oversees the development of eponymous P2P protocol, has left its board, he told TorrentFreak. The revelation comes weeks after the file-sharing service provider said it had been acquired by blockchain startup Tron. It remains unclear exactly when Cohen, who also served as a lead engineer at the firm for years, made the decision to part ways with the company. He hinted to TechCrunch last year that, as of August, he was no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. The departure of Cohen underscores BitTorrent's long battle to find a lucrative business model. The company, the services of which are used by more than 100 million customers, has long struggled to find new applications of its platform and avenues to bring home some cash. In 2016, the company announced a mobile music and video streaming service [called] BitTorrent Now, which it abruptly shut down months later while also firing its co-CEOs. Last year, the company shut down its much hyped live streaming service BitTorrent Live, which Variety described as a brainchild of Cohen.

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Vitamin D, the Sunshine Supplement, Has Shadowy Money Behind It

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 05:30
The New York Times tells the story of Dr. Michael Holick, a Boston University endocrinologist "who perhaps more than anyone else is responsible for creating a billion-dollar vitamin D sales and testing juggernaut." From the report: Dr. Holick's role in drafting national vitamin D guidelines, and the embrace of his message by mainstream doctors and wellness gurus alike, have helped push supplement sales to $936 million in 2017. That's a ninefold increase over the previous decade. Lab tests for vitamin D deficiency have spiked, too: Doctors ordered more than 10 million for Medicare patients in 2016, up 547 percent since 2007, at a cost of $365 million. But few of the Americans swept up in the vitamin D craze are likely aware that the industry has sent a lot of money Dr. Holick's way. A Kaiser Health News investigation for The New York Times found that he has used his prominent position in the medical community to promote practices that financially benefit corporations that have given him hundreds of thousands of dollars -- including drug makers, the indoor tanning industry and one of the country's largest commercial labs. In an interview, Dr. Holick acknowledged he has worked as a consultant to Quest Diagnostics, which performs vitamin D tests, since 1979. Dr. Holick, 72, said that industry funding "doesn't influence me in terms of talking about the health benefits of vitamin D." There is no question that the hormone is important. Without enough of it, bones can become thin, brittle and misshapen, causing a condition called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. The issue is how much vitamin D is healthy, and what level constitutes deficiency.

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Apple's Amsterdam Store Evacuated After iPad Battery Explodes

Mon, 20/08/2018 - 03:11
Slashdot readers radi0man and DeBaas report of an exploding iPad battery in Apple's Amsterdam store. DeBaas writes: An exploding iPad led to the Amsterdam Apple store being evacuated, as reported by 9to5mac and local news in dutch. The store reopened after the fire brigade ventilated the store. 9to5Mac notes that this is the third evacuation this year of an Apple store due to an exploding battery -- the other two were from iPhones. The iPad and its punctured battery were put in a container of sand after it exploded. No major injuries were reported, however, "three employees who experienced trouble breathing were treated by first responders," reports 9to5Mac.

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