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Windows XP source code leaks online in the most unusual of places (it’s 4chan)

Microsoft probably won’t be happy about that. It seems the source code for Windows XP has leaked online. In addition to Windows XP, the leak includes the source code for Windows Server 2003 and other Microsoft operating systems, ZDNet reports. Here’s where things get curious, though: the leak comes from 4chan, an online imageboard often associated with internet trolls and extremism. The source code appeared in the form of a 42.9GB torrent file posted to the notorious forum. In addition to XP and Server 2003, the contents of the torrent include older operating systems like Windows 2000, Embedded (CE 3, CE 4, CE 5, CE, 7), Windows NT (3.5 and 4). There’s also files from Microsoft’s very first OS, MS-DOS, as well as Windows 10, ZDNet adds. Microsoft has yet to address the leak, but experts have suggested the files appear to be authentic. Still, it’s worth noting many of the files leaked had already popped up online in the past, and the torrent file seems like a collection of previous items. The only newly leaked releases appear to be Windows XP, Server 2003, and Windows 2000. Things get even more bizarre, though. The leak features a selection of QAnon propaganda videos peddling Bill Gates conspiracy theories — a detail that has led some to believe the whole thing stunt is an elaborate stunt. We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update this piece accordingly if we hear back. Update: A Microsoft spokesperson told TNW, “We are investigating the matter.” Source…Continue readingWindows XP source code leaks online in the most unusual of places (it’s 4chan)

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India plans to earmark $4.6B to invest in EV battery makers

According to documents seen by Reuters, India’s government is putting aside $4.6 billion to incentivize companies that are looking to build battery manufacturing facilities. The move comes as part of a national push to promote electric vehicles and reduce fossil fuel dependency. As India isn’t a large oil producing country per capita — most of its fossil fuel is imported — switching to electric vehicles could save it a sizeable sum. A proposal drafted by a federal think tank chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, estimates the nation could save as much as $40 billion over the next 10 years if EVs are used widely. [Read: 5 things to know when you’re buying your first electric vehicle] The think tank suggested that the $4.6 billion should be paid out over the next decade, and the best way to use the fund is to channel in into companies manufacturing EV batteries. The incentives would include cash and infrastructure bonuses of $122 million over the next financial year, which would increase annually until the money is used up. “Currently, the battery energy storage industry is at a very nascent stage in India with investors being a little apprehensive to invest in a sunrise industry,” the proposal said. The proposal is yet to be reviewed by Prime Minister Modi‘s cabinet, it’s expected that they’ll do so in the coming weeks. Despite being the second most populated country in the world, India sells barely any electrically powered vehicles. According to the report, just 3,400 EVs were…Continue readingIndia plans to earmark $4.6B to invest in EV battery makers

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Why AI writing assistants are the next generation of style guides

These were literally a digital version of the book with a search box and hyperlinks between entries. To find what I was looking for, it helped to have a general idea of what was in there. Every team had someone who memorized the entry titles and numbers as a service to the rest of us. Also to show off. My interest grew in the experience of using style guides, how search worked, the classification and tagging of guidelines. We needed to think of the guidelines themselves as content and as part of our scope. Copy-paste all over the place Next came web sites known as “auto checkers.” They offered a growing variety of features like keyword extraction for tagging. Though, a whole website was dedicated to one feature alone. I had to leave Google Docs and bounce between a bunch of browser tabs to catch everything. My favorite for readability checks by Added Bytes, 2013. I had an opinion on the selected background. During those days, I managed a “very affordable” content marketing agency’s work. It required a heavy editing process. This involved taking their draft from Google Docs and pasting it into a plagiarism checker. Then pasting it into another site for reading level, making edits until it hit the target. Then to another for proofing and comments. By pure luck, I checked plagiarism first. Had I edited their content first, I would have missed that section they lifted from The New York Times. (I know!) Knowing where to…Continue readingWhy AI writing assistants are the next generation of style guides

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Ring’s new Always Home Cam is a surveillance drone for your home

We’ve all heard about surveillance drones, but those are usually matters of international espionage, not security for your home. Amazon‘s Ring wants to change that: the company today announced the Always Home Cam, a drone that helps you keep an eye on your home while you’re gone. It sounds like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie, but it’s arriving next year for $250. The drone is able to operate autonomously, though users can direct it to different rooms and paths. Like vacuum robots, it maps your home so you can tell it where to go without it bumping into too many things(the propellers are enclosed for protection, too). The device is meant to allow you to survey your entire home without needing multiple cameras — something that could be particularly useful for people with large homes; suburban America comes to mind. It films in 1080p, and can be can also be set to activate when Ring detects a disturbance or to travel along pre-set routes. I can see it being useful for monitoring your pets more closely (assuming it doesn’t freak them out) or checking to see if you left the stove on. It is limited to indoor operation, however, so it won’t be able to keep an eye on, say, a large plot of land. In case you’re worried about the camera stalking you while you’re home too, Amazon notes the camera’s view is blocked while the unit is docked for charging. It’s also designed “to hum at a…Continue readingRing’s new Always Home Cam is a surveillance drone for your home

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Among Us is too popular for a sequel, apparently

The creators of the unexpectedly popular multiplayer game Among Us today announced that, just a month after announcing it, they’re scrapping a planned sequel. Instead they’re going to pour resources into making their late bloomer into a better game. Exciting news!https://t.co/W2TyA4O1hC — InnerSloth (@InnerslothDevs) September 23, 2020 If for some reason you haven’t heard about it already, Among Us is a party game in which imposters attempt to murder crewmates on a spaceship, with the crewmates attempting to identify the imposters. If you’ve ever played the game Werewolf, you’ve got the gist of it. But that description doesn’t cover the social intelligence and deceptive skills it takes to play this game well — which is what makes it so interesting to play and watch. I’m not kidding about the “late bloomer” part. Among Us was originally released in 2018, to modest acclaim — but it wasn’t exactly setting the world alight. The developers gamely plugged away at improvements, and it  According to a Kotaku report, gamers in South Korea, Brazil, and Mexico discovered the game and quickly spread it throughout their network of friends and streamers. It’s been getting more play on Twitch for a few months now, and is currently the most popular game on the site — beating out the likes of Fall Guys, Fortnite, and Warzone. The developers initially seemed interested in leveraging this newfound interest to make a sequel, but are now walking back on that. According to the developer’s blog, it’s because they wanted to improve the original rather than pour resources into a new game: “The main reason we are shooting for a sequel is because the…Continue readingAmong Us is too popular for a sequel, apparently

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GPT-3’s bigotry is exactly why devs shouldn’t use the internet to train AI

“Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” – Dr. Ian Malcolm, fictional character, Jurassic Park. It turns out that a $1 billion investment from Microsoft and unfettered access to a supercomputer wasn’t enough to keep OpenAI’s GPT-3 from being just as bigoted as Tay, the algorithm-based chat bot that became an overnight racist after being exposed to humans on social media. It’s only logical to assume any AI trained on the internet – meaning trained on databases compiled by scraping publicly-available text online – would end up with insurmountable inherent biases, but it’s still a sight to behold in the the full context (ie: it took approximately $4.6 million to train the latest iteration of GPT-3). [Read: Are EVs too expensive? Here are 5 common myths, debunked] What’s interesting here is OpenAI’s GPT-3 text generator is finally starting to trickle out to the public in the form of apps you can try out yourself. These are always fun, and we covered one about a month ago called Philosopher AI. This particular use-case is presented as a philosophy tool. You ask it a big-brain question like “if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, do quantum mechanics still manifest classical reality without an observer?” and it responds. In this case: It’s important to understand that in between each text block the web page pauses for a few moments and you see a text line…Continue readingGPT-3’s bigotry is exactly why devs shouldn’t use the internet to train AI

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Nikola stock down 80% since all-time high

Traders continue to reject Nikola stock following the departure of its founder Trevor Milton, with shares in the electric vehicle rogue now trading 80% below its record high set in June. Nikola stock opened Thursday trade at $18.10, down 47% since Milton’s resignation just four days ago. In terms of market value, traders reckon Nikola is now worth just $6.91 billion — one-fifth of what it was at its peak. Tesla, the original EV company named after the famed inventor, is also struggling to maintain value. The Elon Musk-led carmaker has shed more than $126 billion from its market cap since its record close on August 31, representing more than a quarter of its value. Unlike the hubbub swallowing Nikola, a lukewarm response to Tesla‘s Battery Day presentation on Tuesday seems the most likely culprit for its recent 15% share price slide. Still, there’s no doubt that both EV stocks have been incredibly volatile. At their all-time highs, Nikola’s and Tesla‘s share prices were up 810% and 480% respectively for the year, and have both dropped considerably since their peaks. [Read: Tesla stock dives after Elon Musk cools ‘Battery Day’ hype] But even with an abdicating founder, Nikola is still in the green for 2020. In fact, the company’s share price is still roughly double what was at the start of January. Stock market prices at their daily closes. Purple line is the NASDAQ 100. Chart made with Flourish. Tesla, on the other hand, opened Thursday trade at $363.80; down 27% from its all-time…Continue readingNikola stock down 80% since all-time high

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England and Wales finally get contact-tracing app — bit shit, but it’ll do

After months of delays, U-turns, technical issues, and criticism from privacy campaigners, the UK government has finally launched its contact-tracing app in England and Wales. The revamped NHS COVID-19 app uses Bluetooth to track the time people spend near other users and the distance between them. When an individual falls ill, they can report it in the app, which then alerts anyone who’s been close to them. If the system’s algorithm calculates that their contact was high-risk, they’ll be told to self-isolate. They can also use the app to access local risk alerts, QR check-in at venues, a symptom checker, and test booking. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock urged everyone in the UK who’s over 16 to now download the app from Google Play and the App Store: We are at a tipping point in our efforts to control the spread of this virus. With infection rates rising we must use every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology. In a press release published today, the Department of Health and Social Care stressed the app was developed “with user privacy and data security at its heart.” [Read: Are EVs too expensive? Here are 5 common myths, debunked] To protect personal data, the system generates a random ID for every user’s smartphone that’s exchanged with other handsets via Bluetooth rather than by GPS. These IDs then regenerate frequently to add further privacy.  In addition, the app doesn’t hold personal information other than the first half of each user’s postcode, which is used for local…Continue readingEngland and Wales finally get contact-tracing app — bit shit, but it’ll do

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Where are all the self-driving cars we were promised?

Did you know Aaron Jefferson, VP of Product at self-driving tech company Luminar, is speaking at TNW2020 this year? Check out his session: What’s needed to get safe self-driving cars on the road? here. When it comes to self-driving vehicles, we’ve been promised a lot in recent years. They are supposed to rescue us from the monotony of tedious driving. They are supposed to make our roads safer. They are supposed to be here already, but they’re not. In the past year, the challenging reality of getting fully autonomous vehicles on the road has set in and tech is having to take a more considered approach. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz decided that there is more of a future in electric vehicles than self-driving ones. Daimler’s chair at the time said, “True self-driving cars in the public domain are still a long way off, and subject to market pressures of whether customers will actually pay a premium for the technology.” [Read: 5 things to know when you’re buying your first electric vehicle] Certain vocal individuals in the industry claim that they’re close to, or have already figured out how to make self-driving cars a reality. The same individuals also promised that there would be “one million robotaxis” on the roads this year, and yet, there are none. There’s also the question of how we define autonomous vehicles. Industry definitions spread the term across many levels, which, for the average reader, does little to clarify what autonomy actually is, but rather conflates fully autonomous…Continue readingWhere are all the self-driving cars we were promised?

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How to hide pages of apps in iOS 14

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. The new iOS 14 has a lot of updates centered around customizing your screen layout. No longer are you fettered by the app tile uniformity of iOSes past. Now you can customize your screen with large widgets, or stacks of them. Also, most crucially, if you don’t want certain apps to take up room on your phone’s pages, you can hide them — whole pages of them, in fact. We all have that one page or folder of apps on our iPhones, populated entirely by apps we use rarely but don’t want to get rid of for one reason or another. For mine, it’s populated by apps like Uber and Airbnb — considering I have my own car and haven’t traveled much since the pandemic started, I have not either app touched in months but I feel the need to keep them on my phone just in case. Luckily iOS doesn’t require you to keep that little app purgatory on your phone anymore, at least not visibly. Now you can hide it while still keeping it on your phone in case you ever need it. Here’s how you do it. In order to access the option to hide an app page, long-press on any part of your screen to bring up edit mode, also known as the “everything is wiggling” mode. Once you’re in edit mode,…Continue readingHow to hide pages of apps in iOS 14