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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pixelbook Review: Not Your Father's Laptop - Finally a reviewer who understands Chrome OS and the case for a high end Chromebook

Ban killer robots, experts urge Australian and Canadian leaders

"Pioneers in robotics and artificial intelligence have called on the Australian and Canadian governments to ban killer robots ahead of a United Nations meeting on weapons this month.

Leading researchers from the countries urged prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Justin Trudeau respectively to take a stand against autonomous weapons, arguing that their development and use crossed a “clear moral line.”

Artificial intelligence can be used to make weapons that operate without human oversight, giving them the ability to loiter in an area and make life or death decisions without approval from a military controller.

“If developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever before, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend,” the letter to Turnbull states. “The deadly consequence of this is that machines, not people, will determine who lives and dies.”

The letters are signed by hundreds of specialists including Toby Walsh, an AI professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Geoffrey Hinton, an AI pioneer who runs Google’s Brain Team in Toronto, and Ian Kerr, professor of ethics, law and technology at the University of Ottawa.

In August, many of the world’s top robotics and AI scientists called on the United Nations to ban killer robots and so halt the arms race now underway to build autonomous weapons. The race threatens to usher in a “third revolution in warfare” after gunpowder and nuclear weapons, the researchers warned in an open letter.

The military is one of the largest funders of AI research, and while the technology could be used to make mine-clearing robots or unmanned vehicles that deliver supplies, fully-automated offensive weapons would effectively become weapons of mass destruction, the scientists state.

“One programmer would be able to whole control armies of weapons,” said Walsh “They are the perfect weapons to suppress a civilian population. Unlike humans who have to be persuaded to commit atrocities, these will be cold, calculating weapons that will do whatever they are programmed to do.”

Arms manufacturers have already built highly autonomous weapons for the military, from robotic sentries and autonomous tanks to flying drones that can track and strike targets. The systems are designed to operate under human supervision. Compared with nuclear weapons, AI-powered weapons are likely to be cheap and simple to make, meaning they could easily find their way onto weapons black markets.

The letters to the Australian and Canadian governments coincide with the UN’s conference this month on the convention on certain conventional weapons, which aims to restrict or prohibit weapons that are excessively injurious or indiscriminate."

Ban killer robots, experts urge Australian and Canadian leaders

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

OnePlus 5T review: polished to a T - The Verge

"OnePlus is one of those beguiling companies that seem to promise impossibly wonderful things. Flagship products at budget prices. The assiduous elegance of an iPhone at the attainable cost of a midrange Motorola. It’s a company that constantly flirts with the “too good to be true” label, sometimes delivering on its lofty claims and at other times failing to live up to its own hype.

I like the new OnePlus 5T for many of the same reasons that I like OnePlus itself. This device is full of all the right ideas — hardware design, software responsiveness, and overall usability — and if I were tasked with the job of assembling a phone, my specification would read a lot like the OnePlus 5T does on paper. In practice, this phone isn’t the total fulfillment of every objective that OnePlus set for itself, nor every promise the company has made. But it’s damn close. It takes the imperfect OnePlus 5 from five months ago and fixes much of what ailed it. This is the most refined OnePlus phone yet...."

OnePlus 5T review: polished to a T - The Verge

FCC's Pai moves to eliminate net neutrality regulations - CNET - This is a direct attack on the open internet and a gift to large telecommunication companies like Xfinity, Verizon and Time Warner



"The Federal Communications Commission is planning a full repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules, handing the broadband and wireless industries a big victory in the war against government oversight of the internet.

On Tuesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued his proposal for dismantling the 2015 net neutrality regulations, which ensure all traffic on the internet is treated equally, and prevent broadband and wireless providers from blocking or slowing online content. Pai has also eliminated the legal foundation that gives the FCC oversight over internet services providers.

The federal government will stop 'micromanaging the internet' under the proposal, Pai said in a statement. Instead, broadband providers will be required to be 'transparent' about how they manage their networks to allow consumers and businesses to buy the service they need."

(Via.) FCC's Pai moves to eliminate net neutrality regulations - CNET:

OnePlus 5T Review: Get this one!

Pixel 2 XL - New Update Screen Comparison