Google employees demand the company pull out of Pentagon AI project

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Last month, it was revealed that Google was offering its resources to the US Department of Defense for Project Maven, a research initiative to develop computer vision algorithms that can analyze drone footage. In response, more than 3,100 Google employees have signed a letter urging Google CEO Sundar Pichai to reevaluate the company’s involvement, as “Google should not be in the business of war,” as reported by The New York Times.

Work on Project Maven began last April, and while details on what Google is actually providing to the DOD are not clear, it is understood that it’s a Pentagon research initiative for improved analysis of drone footage. In a press statement, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the company was giving the DOD a…

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A man who once tried to marry his laptop now wants to pull the plug on internet porn

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After being denied the right to marry his laptop not once but three times, an army veteran has a new target for in sight: internet porn. Chris Sevier’s putting personal pleasure aside — an admittedly challenging endeavor, given his history — and throwing his admittedly laughable reputation behind lobbying for legislation that would tax internet users for viewing porn on connected devices. The Electronic Frontier Foundation tracked comparable proposals across the country, revealing we could see about two dozen similar bills in 18 state legislatures this year. So far, none have passed. Each is slightly different, but offers the same…

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Sonos to temporarily pull ads from Facebook, Google and Twitter

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Earlier this week, Mozilla announced that it was pulling its Facebook ads in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and continued concerns over data security. Now Sonos has announced it will also be pulling ads, but not just from Facebook. For one…
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Apple Did Pull Calendar App That Mined Cryptocurrency From Mac App Store, Citing Excessive Use of Device Resources

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Yesterday, it was discovered that a Mac App Store app called Calendar 2 had implemented a cryptocurrency mining feature that users could elect to use to unlock in-app features rather than paying cash, raising questions about whether Apple planned to allow such apps in the Mac App Store.

Calendar 2 was mining a digital coin known as Monero, and initially, Apple was slow to respond to questions from Ars Technica about whether or not such a feature was permissible, resulting in the app staying in the Mac App Store for a good 24 hours after Apple knew of its existence. Shortly after widespread media reports about the cryptocurrency mining feature circulated the app disappeared from the Mac App Store, but at the time, it was not clear if it was Apple that removed the app or the app’s developer.

As it turns out, the app was indeed pulled by Apple. According to Greg Magarshak, CEO of Qbix, the company behind the Calendar 2 app, Apple removed the app from the Mac App Store for violating rule 2.4.2, which states that apps should not put an unnecessary strain on device resources.

Design your app to use power efficiently. Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources.

The Calendar 2 app was supposed to be using currency mining as an opt-in feature, but it was riddled with bugs causing the mining feature to use excessive resources and run regardless of whether or not users opted in, which is what drew so much attention to it. Just before the app was pulled from the Mac App Store by Apple, Magarshak promised to remove the feature from future versions of Calendar 2 because of these issues.

As of today, the Calendar 2 app is back in the Mac App Store. Magarshak said on Twitter that he worked with Apple to get a new version of the app released that has no mining features. As an apology for the snafu, all Calendar 2 users, new and old, will be provided with upgraded features for free for a year following the app’s next update. Calendar 2 uses should update immediately as the older version of the app continues to include the miner.

Magarshak tells MacRumors that Calendar 2 brought in approximately $2,000 from mining Monero, and the company says the funds will be used “towards improving features for our users going forward.”

Though the cryptocurrency mining feature made it past Apple’s review team and into the Mac App Store, it appears that based on Apple’s response and the rule violation cited, Apple will not be letting Mac App Store apps use background cryptocurrency mining as a way to unlock premium features within apps.

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Snapchat and Instagram pull Giphy stickers over racist GIF

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When Snapchat and Instagram introduced Giphy stickers for Stories, they expected to offer PG-rated GIFs that even their young patrons can use. Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned: both platforms have disabled the feature after users disc…
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Advertisers pull out of InfoWars’ YouTube channels

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Brands are once again beating a hasty retreat after learning that they were running ads on objectionable YouTube channels. Several big brands (including Acer, Alibaba, Fox, Nike and Paramount) have suspended ads from InfoWars' channels after CNN de…
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France bans smartphone use in cars even when you pull over

Road deaths have been on the rise lately in France and with nothing much else to pin it on, authorities are going after scofflaw drivers who text or call. It's now illegal to hold your phone on public roads even when you're pulled over to the side of…
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PullToClear lets you clear pending notifications with a pull gesture

PullToClear is a new free jailbreak tweak by iOS developer CreatureSurvive that lets you quickly and effortlessly every unread notification from either Notification Center or the Lock screen.

Once installed, you can pull down from either interface to reveal the hidden “Pull To Clear” action, as shown above. Pulling down further reveals the “Release To Clear” action…. Read the rest of this post here

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Watch a Tesla Model X Pull a Semi Truck Through Snow

Dashing Through the Snow

It can sometimes be difficult to detail the capabilities of a vehicle beyond its range, top speed, and — when it comes to electric vehicles — their battery capacity and charge time. Of course, there are some things we just inherently know to be true, like how SUVs are better suited for carrying more people/objects, and all-wheel drive is one’s best friend when driving in less-than-ideal terrain such a snow.

Snow was the challenge to overcome in a video posted to Facebook last week, in which a Tesla Model X manages to free up a stuck semi truck in Raleigh, North Carolina. Given the amount of snow the east coast was recently hit with, this probably won’t be the last time a vehicle is hindered by snow.

5,000 lb towing limit, lol. Ben #ModelX #Tesla #TeslaSemi #Snow #DualMotor

Posted by Kyle Conner on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The video, posted by Facebook user Kyle Conner, shows his friend Ben Spreen pulling the aforementioned semi truck up a hill to an area where it can get better traction. While the Model X itself is still sliding from side to side, it’s clear that the SUV is able to perform far better than the massive semi behind it.

Take It to the Limit

In a comment on Facebook, Spreen said the Model X was more than ready for the task: “No power limited at all. That really wasn’t hard on the car. I’ve driven it much harder without heat-soaking.”

A description written beneath the video pokes fun at the Model X’s towing limit of 5,000 lbs, and as Electrek noted the semi’s weight should be well above the SUV’s towing capacity. While the video doesn’t show the end of the endeavor, Conner claims the Model X did make it up the hill.

We suppose Tesla could point to videos like these to show just how capable their SUVs are, and how well they handle in the snow. As of June 2017, the Model X was the safest SUV on the market, but “strong enough to pull a semi through the snow” is a much better selling point. Even for those who aren’t facing inclement winter weather challenges, the SUV still has appeal: Tesla dropped the price of the Model X last year.

The post Watch a Tesla Model X Pull a Semi Truck Through Snow appeared first on Futurism.