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NASA's Swift Observatory May Have Suffered An Attitude Control Failure

Slashdot - 13 hours 32 min ago
After 17 years of relatively smooth sailing, NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory has entered safe mode after detecting a "possible failure" in one of the six reaction wheels used to change attitude. Engadget reports: While it's not clear exactly what (if anything) went wrong, NASA has halted direction-based scientific observations until it can either give the all-clear or continue operations with five wheels. This is the first potential reaction wheel problem since the Swift Observatory began operations in February 2005, NASA said. The rest of the vehicle is otherwise working properly. The Swift Observatory has played an important role in astronomy over the past two decades. It was primarily built to detect gamma-ray bursts and detects roughly 70 per day. However, it has increasingly been used as a catch-all observer across multiple wavelengths, spotting solar flares and hard-to-find stars. NASA won't necessarily run into serious trouble if Swift has a lasting problem, but it would clearly benefit from keeping the spacecraft running as smoothly as possible.

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Teen Becomes Youngest Woman To Fly Solo Round the World

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 10:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A British-Belgian teenager became the youngest woman to fly solo around the world on Thursday and the first person to do so in a microlight plane after a five-month, five-continent odyssey in her Shark ultralight. Nineteen-year-old Zara Rutherford landed back at Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in Belgium after flying 51,000 km (32,000 miles) over 52 nations since her Aug. 18 departure in the world's fastest microlight aircraft. "It's just really crazy, I haven't quite processed it," Rutherford, smiling broadly and cloaked in British and Belgian flags, told reporters. After the penultimate leg to a German village on Wednesday, she said it was an exploit she would never repeat. After North and South America, Rutherford was stuck for a month in Alaska because of weather and visa delays. A winter storm forced another long stop in far eastern Russia, before she travelled to South Asia, the Middle East and back to Europe. Her favorite flyovers were New York and an active volcano in Iceland, but there were moments when she feared for her life, including her flight across Siberia's frozen wastes and a narrow escape from entering North Korean air space during bad weather. "They have been testing missiles with no warning," she said of her concerns as she considered cutting across the reclusive authoritarian state during a detour from Russia to South Korea. [...] To meet criteria for a round-the-world flight, Rutherford touched two points opposite each other on the globe: Jambi in Indonesia and Tumaco in Colombia. Rutherford took the record from Afghan-born American Shaesta Wais, who in 2017 became the youngest woman to fly solo around the world at 30. The youngest male record holder, American Mason Andrews, was 18 when he did it in 2018. She also became the first Belgian to circumnavigate the world solo in a single-engine aircraft, getting through the long days by shuffling through a 40-hour playlist of songs. [...] Rutherford dreams of being an astronaut and hopes her voyage will encourage women in science, technology and aviation.

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Major Breakthrough As Quantum Computing In Silicon Hits 99% Accuracy

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 9:02pm
nickwinlund77 shares a report from SciTechDaily: UNSW Sydney-led research paves the way for large silicon-based quantum processors for real-world manufacturing and application. Australian researchers have proven that near error-free quantum computing is possible, paving the way to build silicon-based quantum devices compatible with current semiconductor manufacturing technology. [...] [The researcher's] paper is one of three published today in Nature that independently confirm that robust, reliable quantum computing in silicon is now a reality. This breakthrough is featured on the front cover of the journal. [Professor Andrea Morello of UNSW, who led the work] et al achieved 1-qubit operation fidelities up to 99.95 percent, and 2-qubit fidelity of 99.37 percent with a three-qubit system comprising an electron and two phosphorous atoms, introduced in silicon via ion implantation. A Delft team in the Netherlands led by Lieven Vandersypen achieved 99.87 percent 1-qubit and 99.65 percent 2-qubit fidelities using electron spins in quantum dots formed in a stack of silicon and silicon-germanium alloy (Si/SiGe). A RIKEN team in Japan led by Seigo Tarucha similarly achieved 99.84 percent 1-qubit and 99.51 percent 2-qubit fidelities in a two-electron system using Si/SiGe quantum dots. The UNSW and Delft teams certified the performance of their quantum processors using a sophisticated method called gate set tomography, developed at Sandia National Laboratories in the U.S. and made openly available to the research community. Morello had previously demonstrated that he could preserve quantum information in silicon for 35 seconds, due to the extreme isolation of nuclear spins from their environment. But the trade-off was that isolating the qubits made it seemingly impossible for them to interact with each other, as necessary to perform actual computations. Today's paper describes how his team overcame this problem by using an electron encompassing two nuclei of phosphorus atoms. The three papers from the UNSW team, Delft team and RIKEN group in Tokyo can be found at their respective links.

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Fed Releases Long-Awaited Study On a Digital Dollar

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 8:25pm
The Federal Reserve on Thursday released its long-awaited study of a digital dollar, exploring the pros and cons of the much-debated issue and soliciting public comment. CNBC reports: Billed as "the first step in a public discussion between the Federal Reserve and stakeholders about central bank digital currencies," the 40-page paper (PDF) shies away from any conclusions about a central bank digital currency, or CBDC. The report originally was expected in the summer of 2021 but had been delayed. Instead, it provides an exhaustive look at benefits such as speeding up the electronic payments system at a time when financial transactions around the world already are highly digitized. Some of the downside issues the report discusses are financial stability risks and privacy protection while guarding against fraud and other illegal issues. "A CBDC could fundamentally change the structure of the U.S. financial system, altering the roles and responsibilities of the private sector and the central bank," the report says. One primary difference between the Fed's dollar and other digital transactions is that current digital money is a liability of commercial banks, whereas the CBDC would be a Fed liability. Among other things, that would mean the Fed wouldn't pay interest on money stored with it, though because it is riskless some depositors may prefer to keep their money with the central bank. The paper lists a checklist of 22 different items for which it is soliciting public feedback. There will be a 120-day comment period. Fed officials say the report is the first step in an extensive process but there is no timetable on when it will be wrapped up. The paper released Thursday notes that the Fed's "initial analysis suggests that a potential U.S. CBDC, if one were created, would best serve the needs of the United States by being privacy-protected, intermediated, widely transferable, and identity-verified." However, the report also states that it "is not intended to advance a specific policy outcome and takes no position on the ultimate desirability of" the digital dollar. The report notes that the speed of the project is not a top priority. Instead, the authors of the report are focused on getting it right. "The introduction of a CBDC would represent a highly significant innovation in American money," the report says. "Accordingly, broad consultation with the general public and key stakeholders is essential. This paper is the first step in such a conversation." The Fed also said that it will not proceed without a clear mandate from Congress, preferably in the form of "a specific authorizing law."

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FAA Estimates 78% of US Planes Can Now Land At Airports With 5G C-Band

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 7:45pm
The FAA has announced that an "estimated 78 percent of the U.S. commercial fleet" have been cleared to land at airports with 5G C-band, even under low-visibility conditions. The Verge reports: The agency's statement comes after a week of controversy surrounding the rollout of AT&T and Verizon's upgraded cellular tech, which saw US airlines warning of "catastrophic disruption" to travel and shipping and some international airlines announcing they'd halt flights to some US airports. At issue are concerns that some radio altimeters won't properly ignore signals from the new 5G transmitters. While there are precautions that should keep this from happening, including creating buffer zones around airports, an incorrect altimeter reading could cause real problems during a low-visibility landing. Given the high stakes, the FAA has said that only planes with altimeters that it has tested and cleared will be allowed to land in sub-optimal conditions at airports where the new 5G tech has rolled out. [...] On January 16th, the agency announced that it had cleared two altimeters, which it bumped up to five on Wednesday. It said the cleared altimeters were installed in "some" versions of planes like the Boeing 737, 747, and 777. The FAA changed that language on Thursday, saying that the 13 cleared altimeters should cover "all" Boeing 717, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787, MD-10/-11, and Airbus A300, A310, A319, A320, A330, A340, A350, and A380 models. It also notes that "some" Embraer 170 and 190 regional jets are covered. The FAA is still predicting that some altimeters won't pass the test and will be "too susceptible to 5G interference." Planes equipped with those models won't be allowed to land at airports with the new 5G tech in low-visibility conditions -- which could prevent airlines from scheduling any flights using those planes to airports of concern, given the unpredictability of weather and the disruption such a diversion would cause.

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Xbox CEO Phil Spencer On Reviving Old Activision Games

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 7:02pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Washington Post: With its $68.7 billion acquisition of mammoth embattled video game publisher Activision Blizzard, Microsoft will be taking on a lot. It will be absorbing a company criticized by its employees for its workplace culture, one that is embroiled in lawsuits alleging gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment. Microsoft will also be taking on game development studios that have inched closer to unionization over the past several months. But it will also be adding an element that newly minted CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer sees as core to Microsoft's strategy for consumer acquisition: a slew of video games and long-abandoned franchises. The games created by Activision Blizzard's developers provide the centerpiece of Microsoft's strategic thinking around the acquisition. The titles are some of the most popular in the world. And those Activision Blizzard properties extend well beyond Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush. In discussing some of the intellectual properties owned by Activision Blizzard, Spencer's excitement may have mirrored the enthusiasm of a "StarCraft" player noticing the long-dormant franchise's logo in Microsoft's acquisition announcement. "I was looking at the IP list, I mean, let's go!" Spencer said. " 'King's Quest,' 'Guitar Hero,' I should know this but I think they got 'HeXen.' " "HeXen," indeed an Activision Blizzard property, is a cult hit first-person game about using magic spells. Microsoft's pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard also means owning the rights to many creations from gaming's past, including Crash Bandicoot, the original Sony PlayStation mascot. There's also the influential and popular Tony Hawk skateboard series and beloved characters like Spyro the Dragon. Toys for Bob, one of the studios working under the Activision Blizzard banner, successfully launched games like "Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time," but was later folded into supporting Call of Duty games. Spencer said the Xbox team will talk with developers about working on a variety of franchises from the Activision Blizzard vaults. "We're hoping that we'll be able to work with them when the deal closes to make sure we have resources to work on franchises that I love from my childhood, and that the teams really want to get," Spencer said. "I'm looking forward to these conversations. I really think it's about adding resources and increasing capability." Spencer said he's concerned about tech companies unfamiliar with the gaming industry barging in to the space, as opposed to the current, experienced competition against Nintendo and Sony. "They have a long history in video games," he said. "Nintendo's not going to do anything that damages gaming in the long run because that's the business they're in. Sony is the same and I trust them. [...] Valve's the same way. When we look at the other big tech competitors for Microsoft: Google has search and Chrome, Amazon has shopping, Facebook has social, all these large-scale consumer businesses. [...] The discussion we've had internally, where those things are important to those other tech companies for how many consumers they reach, gaming can be that for us." He added: "I think we do have a unique point of view, which is not about how everything has to run on a single device or platform. That's been the real turning point for us looking at gaming as a consumer opportunity that could have similar impact on Microsoft that some of those other scale consumer businesses do for other big tech competitors. And it's been great to see the support we've had from the company and the board."

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Google Hires PayPal Vet to Reset Strategy After Its Banking Retreat

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 6:20pm
Alphabet's Google has hired former PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg to run its payments division and set a new course for the business after it scrapped a push into banking. Bloomberg reports: The move is part of a broader strategy to team up with a wider range of financial services, including cryptocurrencies, said Bill Ready, Google's president of commerce. The business, known for the Google Pay system and mobile wallet, has largely avoided the crypto industry. The changes follow a major turnabout in October. Google had spent years planning a digital checking and savings service, lining up 11 banking partners for the launch. But that month the company nixed the proposed offering, called Plex. Instead, Google wants to become the connective tissue for the entire consumer finance industry, not just certain partners, according to Ready. "We're not a bank -- we have no intention of being a bank," Ready said in an interview. "Some past efforts, at times, would unwittingly wade into those spaces." Tom Noyes, an industry analyst, estimated in 2020 that Google accounted for 4% of contactless payments in the U.S., calling the service "largely a failure." As part of the overhaul, Google will focus more on being a "comprehensive digital wallet" that includes digital tickets, airline passes and vaccine passports, Ready said. He didn't provide an update on the current number of Google Pay users. The company is integrating payments more tightly with Google's shopping efforts, such as a feature that shows consumer loyalty cards and personal discounts directly in search results. Google also is trying to position itself as more welcoming to merchants than Amazon. In 2020, Google eliminated fees for retailers selling on its shopping service. Tiptoeing into crypto also could help Google entice users. Google has partnered with companies, including Coinbase and BitPay, to store crypto assets in digital cards, while still having users pay in traditional currencies. Ready said Google is looking to do more of these partnership, though the company still isn't accepting crypto for transactions. "Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to," he said. "As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we'll evolve with it."

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Facebook and Instagram May Help You Create and Sell NFTs

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 5:40pm
According to the Financial Times, Meta is developing ways to create, display and sell NFTs on Facebook and Instagram. TechCrunch reports: The company's Novi wallet technology would power much of the "supporting functionality," one tipster said. Instagram is reportedly testing a way to showcase NFTs, while Meta is also said to be discussing a marketplace that would help you buy or sell these digital collectibles. The company has already declined to comment, and the sources cautioned the effort was still early and could change.However, Instagram leader Adam Mosseri said in December that his social network was "actively exploring" NFTs. The technology is on the company's mind, at least. Twitter appears to have beat Meta to the chase. According to Engadget, the social media company is testing a new feature that allows NFT owners to authenticate NFTs displayed in their profile photos. It's currently only available for Twitter Blue subscribers, but the authentication symbol will be visible to everyone on Twitter.

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'Havana Syndrome' Unlikely Caused By Hostile Foreign Power, CIA Says

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 5:02pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: An initial CIA investigation into the mysterious set of symptoms known as Havana syndrome has found that it is unlikely to be the result of a worldwide campaign of attacks by a foreign power against US diplomats and spies. However, two dozen cases, including some of those originally afflicted in Havana in 2016, could not be explained and would be further studied for evidence of a possible attack, according to a senior CIA official who briefed the US press. "While we have reached some significant interim findings, we are not done," the CIA director, Williams Burns, said in a statement. "We will continue the mission to investigate these incidents and provide access to world-class care for those who need it." Since the original outbreak of the symptoms, which include hearing strange sounds, dizziness, loss of balance, nausea and memory loss, more than 1,000 cases have been studied around the world. The interim findings of a CIA investigation have found that the majority of cases could probably be attributed to a pre-existing medical condition, or environmental factors, or stress, the senior official said. The defense department and an independent panel of experts are conducting their own investigations which have yet to publish reports. A Havana syndrome victims support group said in a statement: "The decision to release the report now and with this particular set of 'findings' seems a breach of faith, and an undermining of the intent of Congress and the president to stand with us and reach a government-wide consensus as to what is behind this," a Havana syndrome victims group said in a statement. "This report was neither cleared nor coordinated through the interagency and must stand as the assessment of one agency [CIA] alone."

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NYC Mayor Adams Will Convert His City Paycheck To Cryptocurrency Via Coinbase

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 4:21pm
Following through on a plan he announced before he took office, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday that his first paycheck, which arrives on Friday, will be converted from US dollars into cryptocurrency. The transaction will take place on Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, and will convert Adams' pay into Bitcoin and Ethereum. From a report: "New York is the center of the world, and we want it to be the center of cryptocurrency and other financial innovations," Adams said in a statement. "Being on the forefront of such innovation will help us create jobs, improve our economy, and continue to be a magnet for talent from all over the globe."

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Senate Judiciary Committee Clears Tech-Focused Antitrust Bill

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 3:43pm
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the antitrust bill aimed at Apple, Meta Platforms, Amazon and Alphabet's Google, bringing the measure one step closer to consideration by the full Senate. From a report: The bill, S. 2992, sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley, would prohibit companies from giving an advantage to their own products on their platforms. Smaller competitors have said these so-called gatekeeper companies use unfair business practices to maintain their dominance. The affected companies warn that the legislation would hurt U.S. innovation by giving an advantage to foreign competitors, would risk user privacy and security and would damage products enjoyed by consumers.

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How AI Conquered Poker

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 3:05pm
Good poker players have always known that they need to maintain a balance between bluffing and playing it straight. Now they can do so perfectly. From a report: One of the earliest and most devoted adopters of what has come to be known as "game theory optimal" poker is Seth Davies's friend and poker mentor, Jason Koon. On the second day of the three-day Super High Roller tournament, I visited Koon at his multimillion-dollar house, located in a gated community inside a larger gated community next to a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. On Day 1, Koon paid $250,000 to play the Super High Roller, then a second $250,000 after he was knocked out four hours in, but again he lost all his chips. "Welcome to the world of nosebleed tourneys," he texted me afterward. "Just have to play your best -- it evens out." For Koon, evening out has taken the form of more than $30 million in in-person tournament winnings (and, he says, at least as much from high-stakes cash games in Las Vegas and Macau, the Asian gambling mecca). Koon began playing poker seriously in 2006 while rehabbing an injury at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he was a sprinter on the track team. He made a good living from cards, but he struggled to win consistently in the highest-stakes games. "I was a pretty mediocre player pre-solver," he says, "but the second solvers came out, I just buried myself in this thing, and I started to improve like rapidly, rapidly, rapidly, rapidly." In a home office decorated mostly with trophies from poker tournaments he has won, Koon turned to his computer and pulled up a hand on PioSOLVER. After specifying the size of the players' chip stacks and the range of hands they would play from their particular seats at the table, he entered a random three-card flop that both players would see. A 13-by-13 grid illustrated all the possible hands one of the players could hold. Koon hovered his mouse over the square for an ace and queen of different suits. The solver indicated that Koon should check 39 percent of the time; make a bet equivalent to 30 percent the size of the pot 51 percent of the time; and bet 70 percent of the pot the rest of the time. This von Neumann-esque mixed strategy would simultaneously maximize his profit and disguise the strength of his hand. Thanks to tools like PioSOLVER, Koon has remade his approach to the game, learning what size bets work best in different situations. Sometimes tiny ones, one-fifth or even one-tenth the size of the pot, are ideal; other times, giant bets two or three times the size of the pot are correct. And, while good poker players have always known that they need to maintain a balance between bluffing and playing it straight, solvers define the precise frequency with which Koon should employ one tactic or the other and identify the (sometimes surprising) best and worst hands to bluff with, depending on the cards in play.

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Amazon Heads To the Mall With Prototype Clothing Store

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 2:22pm
First, Amazon competed with malls. Now, it's moving inside one. From a report: The online retailing giant said Thursday that it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall later this year. It's the latest foray into brick-and-mortar for Amazon, which already sells more than 10% of all clothes in the U.S. The store, which will sell women's and men's clothing as well as shoes and other accessories, will open at Americana at Brand, a mall in Glendale, California. The entry into malls could become another threat to traditional clothing sellers because of the data and shopper insights Amazon may gain, experts say. Amazon says its algorithms will spit out real-time recommendations as shoppers keep scanning items that they see. Shoppers can also fill out an online survey of their preferences for style and fit. The store will be about 30,000 square feet, similar in size to a Kohl's, but about one-third the size of other department stores like Macy's. However, it will offer more than double the number of styles as traditional stores do because only one of each piece of clothing will be on display, with the rest in the back room. Items are chosen by Amazon curators who also use feedback provided by millions of customers shopping on Amazon.com.

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London Mayor Wants Daily Driving Charge of Up To $2.7

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 1:44pm
London's mayor says he needs to charge drivers a "small" daily fee of up to 2 pound ($2.73) for "all but the cleanest vehicles" to help hit climate change targets. From a report: The road pricing proposal is part of a push by Sadiq Khan to encourage people towards public transport, walking, cycling or electric vehicles. The RAC called the plan "poorly timed" with cleaner vehicles being "too expensive for most people." Longer term, Mr Khan says he needs to bring in a pay-per-mile system. He is also considering charging drivers from outside the capital who wish to travel into Greater London, widening out the current charging zone. Mr Khan said he was "not willing to put off action."

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Starving Afghans Use Crypto To Sidestep US Sanctions, Failing Banks, and the Taliban

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 1:05pm
NGOs looking to provide emergency aid to Afghanistan are turning to cryptocurrency. From a report: When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August of last year, Fereshteh Forough feared that the group would close her school in Herat, the country's third-largest city. Code to Inspire, an NGO Forough founded, was teaching computer programming to young Afghan women, and the Taliban oppose secondary education for women. Months later, the picture is much different -- and worse -- from what Forough imagined. The school survived, becoming mostly virtual, but has transformed from a coding boot camp into a relief organization. The biggest risk for Forough's students wasn't lack of education, it was hunger. Forough looked for a way to provide emergency checks to the women but was stymied by banks that don't want to risk violating severe U.S. sanctions. JPMorgan Chase repeatedly blocked her attempts to transfer money, she said, and she grew increasingly alarmed by students who said they couldn't access cash at local Afghan banks -- many of which have closed or imposed strict withdrawal limits. In response, she turned to cryptocurrency to provide monthly emergency payments to help students afford enough food to survive. [...] There are several advantages to using crypto: Afghans fleeing the Taliban can take their assets with them without risk. Humanitarian agencies seeking to bypass banks and discreetly avoid the Taliban can provide cash directly to those in need. Smugglers and intermediaries who may steal or try to resell aid packages can be circumvented if aid is given directly through a digital transaction.

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Google is Building an AR Headset

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 12:17pm
Meta may be the loudest company building AR and VR hardware. Microsoft has HoloLens. Apple is working on something, too. But don't count out Google. The Verge: The search giant has recently begun ramping up work on an AR headset, internally codenamed Project Iris, that it hopes to ship in 2024, according to two people familiar with the project who requested anonymity to speak without the company's permission. Like forthcoming headsets from Meta and Apple, Google's device uses outward-facing cameras to blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world, creating a more immersive, mixed reality experience than existing AR glasses from the likes of Snap and Magic Leap. Early prototypes being developed at a facility in the San Francisco Bay Area resemble a pair of ski goggles and don't require a tethered connection to an external power source. Google's headset is still early in development without a clearly defined go-to-market strategy, which indicates that the 2024 target year may be more aspirational than set in stone. The hardware is powered by a custom Google processor, like its newest Google Pixel smartphone, and runs on Android, though recent job listings indicate that a unique OS is in the works. Given power constraints, Google's strategy is to use its data centers to remotely render some graphics and beam them into the headset via an internet connection. I'm told that the Pixel team is involved in some of the hardware pieces, but it's unclear if the headset will ultimately be Pixel-branded.

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Sony Expects Microsoft To Keep Activision Games Multiplatform

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 11:51am
Sony said Thursday that it expected Microsoft to ensure that games from Activision Blizzard are available on non-Microsoft videogame platforms if Microsoft completes its proposed acquisition of Activision. From a report: "We expect that Microsoft will abide by contractual agreements and continue to ensure Activision games are multiplatform," a Sony spokesman said Thursday. Activision supplies some of the most popular games for Sony's PlayStation game console, including the Call of Duty series. After Microsoft on Tuesday announced its acquisition plan, some analysts raised the possibility that Activision games might be available exclusively for Microsoft's own Xbox console and its subscription videogame services in the future.

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Elon Musk's Brain Implant Company Is Inching Toward Human Trials, Report Says

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 11:11am
Elon Musk's brain implant company Neuralink is now hiring a clinical trial director, an indication that the company's longstanding goal of implanting chips in human brains is coming closer. Bloomberg: The trial director position would oversee the startup's long-promised human trials of its medical device, according to the listing. Neuralink's brain implant -- which Musk has said already allows monkeys to play video games with their thoughts alone -- is intended to help treat a variety of neurological disorders, such as paralysis. The job description for the position, based in Fremont, California, promises that the applicant will "work closely with some of the most innovative doctors and top engineers" as well as with "Neuralink's first Clinical Trial participants." It also indicates that the job will mean leading and building "the team responsible for enabling Neuralink's clinical research activities," as well as adhering to regulations. Last month, Musk told the Wall Street Journal that Neuralink hoped to implant its device in human brains sometime in 2022.

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Bank of Russia Calls for Full Ban on Crypto

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 10:27am
Russia must ban cryptocurrencies, the country's central bank said in a report released Thursday. From a report: The report, "Cryptocurrencies: trends, risks, measures," was presented during an online press conference with Elizaveta Danilova, the director of the Bank of Russia's Financial Stability Department. The report says cryptocurrencies are volatile and widely used in illegal activities such as fraud. By offering an outlet for people to take their money out of the national economy, they risk undermining it and making the regulator's job of maintaining optimal monetary policies harder, the report says. The bank, therefore, suggest Russia needs new laws and regulations that effectively ban any crypto-related activities in the country. In particular, cryptocurrency issuance and organization of its circulation in Russia must be banned. The ban should apply to exchanges, over-the-counter trading desks and peer-to-peer platforms. An existing ban on using crypto for payments should be reinforced, and punishment should be introduced for buying or selling goods, services and labor by Russian individuals and businesses, the report suggests.

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Locations and Contact Data on 515,000 Vulnerable People Stolen in Red Cross Data Breach

Slashdot - January 20, 2022 - 9:41am
A cyberattack targeting a contractor working for the International Committee of the Red Cross has spilled confidential data on more than 515,000 "highly vulnerable" people, many of whom have been separated from their families due to conflict, migration and disaster. From a report: The Red Cross did not name the contractor, based in Switzerland, which it uses to store data nor say what led to the security incident, but said that the data comes from at least 60 Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies. In a statement, the international organization pleaded with the attackers not to publicly share or leak the information given the sensitivity of the data.

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