Author: techno

Qualcomm claims its on-device voice recognition is 95% accurate

A sign on the Qualcomm campus is seen in San Diego, California, U.S. November 6, 2017.

At the Re-Work Deep Learning Summit in Boston, Chris Lott, an artificial intelligence researcher at Qualcomm, gave a glimpse into his team’s work on a state-of-the-air voice recognition program. The system, which works locally on a smartphone or other portable device, comprises two kinds of neural networks: a recurrent neural network (RNN) wh…Read More

PlayStation Network is down as Memorial Day weekend begins

You may have trouble getting into Fortnite and other games on your PlayStation 4 because PlayStation Network is down as Memorial Day Weekend begins in the United States. Gamers on social media are complaining about connectivity errors on the PSN service. This is preventing players from accessing online multiplayer services and other games that requ…Read More

AI Weekly: AI can be misused, but it’s also a force for good

This week, Amazon drew widespread condemnation for selling its Rekognition AI-powered recognition technology to law enforcement agencies. According to the ACLU, at least one local law enforcement agency used the technology, which can recognize as many as 100 faces in a single image, to build a database of more than 300,000 mugshots that its deputie…Read More

Russian unit, GRU officer linked to 2014 shoot-down of airliner over Ukraine

Enlarge / Eliot Higgins (C), founder of online investigation group Bellingcat, addresses a press conference on findings within research on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Scheveningen, The Netherlands, on May 25, 2018. – The Netherlands and Australia on May 25 accused Moscow of being behind the 2014 shooting down of flight MH17 over war-torn eastern Ukraine with the loss of 298 lives, in a move which may trigger legal action. (credit: REMKO DE WAAL / Getty Images)

Officials from the Netherlands and Australia today formally stated that they are convinced Russia was responsible for the deployment of the “Buk” anti-aircraft missile system that shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (ML17) in 2014.  The announcement came a day after a Dutch-led joint investigation team released a report on their findings, which concluded the missile had belonged to the Russian Army’s 53rd anti-aircraft brigade, which was based outside the city of Kursk, north of the Ukrainian border.

Physical evidence collected by investigators, along with radar track and flight recorder data, pointed to the use of a specific warhead type associated with Buk surface-to-air missiles. Paint transferred from fragments of the missile to the aircraft’s fuselage was matched with recovered parts of the missile.

Russia has long denied that any of its military equipment ever crossed the border into eastern Ukraine, and the Russians presented several alternative scenarios—including blaming the downing of the airliner on a Ukrainian Air Force pilot. The Russians at first claimed to have radar evidence proving their allegation, but the country then said it was lost—only to claim they had found it again just two days before the Joint Investigative Team’s 2016 press conference. The separate target that Russia claimed to have identified on radar was actually part of ML14’s fuselage breaking away after the missile detonated.

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Cubism is a tranquil VR puzzler about building abstract shapes

Cubism is an elegant puzzler about building 3D shapes in virtual reality. It’s the latest game from indie developer Thomas Van Bouwel, who previously worked on the VR game Panoptic, and it will launch later this year for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. A free demo is on Steam and I tried it at the VRLA…Read More

AI marks the beginning of the Age of Thinking Machines

GUEST: Every day brings considerable AI news, from breakthrough capabilities to dire warnings. A quick read of recent headlines shows both: an AI system that claims to predict dengue fever outbreaks up to three months in advance, and an opinion piece from Henry Kissinger that AI will end the Age of Enlightenment. Then there’s the father of AI…Read More

VentureBeat is looking for an AI reporter

VentureBeat has a job opening for an AI reporter with experience covering tech news via a wide variety of story types, including breaking news, analysis, and features. This is a full-time position. We’re looking for a person in the Bay Area. You have to enjoy covering the business of technology, but more important is a critical eye, an abilit…Read More

FBI tells router users to reboot now to kill malware infecting 500k devices

(credit: Linksys)

The FBI is advising users of consumer-grade routers and network-attached storage devices to reboot them as soon as possible to counter Russian-engineered malware that has infected hundreds of thousands devices.

Researchers from Cisco’s Talos security team first disclosed the existence of the malware on Wednesday. The detailed report said the malware infected more than 500,000 devices made by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP, and TP-Link. Known as VPNFilter, the malware allowed attackers to collect communications, launch attacks on others, and permanently destroy the devices with a single command. The report said the malware was developed by hackers working for an advanced nation, possibly Russia, and advised users of affected router models to perform a factory reset, or at a minimum to reboot.

Later in the day, The Daily Beast reported that VPNFilter was indeed developed by a Russian hacking group, one known by a variety of names, including Sofacy, Fancy Bear, APT 28, and Pawn Storm. The Daily Beast also said the FBI had seized an Internet domain VPNFilter used as a backup means to deliver later stages of the malware to devices that were already infected with the initial stage 1. The seizure meant that the primary and secondary means to deliver stages 2 and 3 had been dismantled, leaving only a third fallback, which relied on attackers sending special packets to each infected device.

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