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No ‘GPT’ Trademark For OpenAI
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied OpenAI’s attempt to trademark “GPT,” ruling that the term is “merely descriptive” and therefore unable to be registered. From a report: […] The name, according to the USPTO, doesn’t meet the standards to register for a trademark and the protections a “TM” after the name affords. (Incidentally, they refused once back in October, and this is a “FINAL” in all caps denial … ⌘ Read more

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Your AI Girlfriend Is a Data-Harvesting Horror Show
“A lot of that AI chatbots that you spend days talking to push hard on getting more and more private information from you,” writes longtime Slashdot reader michelcultivo, sharing a report from Gizmodo.

“To be perfectly blunt, AI girlfriends and boyfriends are not your friends,” says Misha Rykov, a Mozilla Researcher from the company’s *Privacy Not Included project. “Alth … ⌘ Read more

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‘Damn Small Linux’ is Back - But Bigger
Back in 2006 Slashdot reported on a 50-megabyte “micro” distro called Damn Small Linux. (And in 2012 we wrote that it “rose from the dead” with a new release candidate.)

Now Damn Small Linux has been reborn again, according to its developer’s web site:

Creating the original DSL, a versatile 50MB distribution, was a lot of fun and one of the things I am most proud of as a personal accomplishment … ⌘ Read more

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Deep Abandoned Mine In Finland To Be Turned Into a Giant Gravity Battery
James Felton reports via IFL Science: One of the deepest metal mines in Europe – the Pyhasalmi Mine in central Finland – is to be turned into an enormous gravity battery capable of storing 2 megawatts of energy. […] Despite the cool name, the idea behind gravity batteries is really simple. During times when energy sources a … ⌘ Read more

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Scammer Poses As CFO in Deepfaked Meeting On Zoom, Steals $25 Million
Slashdot reader Press2ToContinue shared this report from WION:

: The Hong Kong branch of a multinational company has lost $25.6 million after a scammer used deepfake technology to pose as the firm’s chief financial officer (CFO) in a video conference call and ordered money transfers, according to the police, in what is being highlighted a … ⌘ Read more

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The Fossil Fuel Industry Knew About Climate Change Since 1954
The Guardian reports:

The fossil fuel industry funded some of the world’s most foundational climate science as early as 1954, newly unearthed documents have shown, including the early research of Charles Keeling, famous for the so-called “Keeling curve” that has charted the upward march of the Earth’s carbon dioxide levels. A coalition of oil and car … ⌘ Read more

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Linus Torvalds Has ‘Robust Exchanges’ Over Filesystem Suggestion on Linux Kernel Mailing List
Linus Torvalds had “some robust exchanges” on the Linux kernel mailing list with a contributor from Google. The subject was inodes, notes the Register, “which as Red Hat puts it are each ‘a unique identifier for a specific piece of metadata on a given filesystem.’”

Inodes have been the subj … ⌘ Read more

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Should You Flush With Toilet Lid Up Or Down? Study Says It Doesn’t Matter
doc1623 shares a report from Ars Technica: Scientists at the University of Arizona decided to investigate whether closing the toilet lid before flushing reduces cross-contamination of bathroom surfaces by airborne bacterial and viral particles via “toilet plumes.” The bad news is that putting a lid on it doesn’t result in any s … ⌘ Read more

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Amazon Prime Video Ads Start From Today - Up To 3.5 Mins Per Hour
An anonymous reader shares a report: Amazon Prime Video has been a free perk for those who subscribe to the ecommerce giant’s free shipping service, but if you’re a US Prime subscriber, things change from today. We first learned of the planned change back in September of last year, with the implementation date announced in an email to customers in De … ⌘ Read more

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Google Chrome Gains AI Features Including a Writing Helper
Google is adding new AI features to Chrome, including tools to organize browser tabs, customize themes, and assist users with writing online content such as reviews and forum posts.

The writing helper is similar to an AI-powered feature already offered in Google’s experimental search experience, SGE, which helps users draft emails in various tones and lengths. W … ⌘ Read more

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Now Musicians’ Union Threatens Possible Strike Over AI, Streaming Media
“After a year in which both actors and writers hit the picket lines, another Hollywood strike may be on the horizon,” reports CNN:

The American Federation of Musicians (AFM), a union representing musicians across the entertainment industry, will begin negotiations Monday on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture … ⌘ Read more

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Hans Reiser Sends a Letter From Prison
In 2003, Hans Reiser answered questions from Slashdot’s readers…

Today Wikipedia describes Hans Reiser as “a computer programmer, entrepreneur, and convicted murderer… Prior to his incarceration, Reiser created the ReiserFS computer file system, which may be used by the Linux kernel but which is now scheduled for removal in 2025, as well as its attempted successor, Reiser4.”

This week alanw ( … ⌘ Read more

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Plex To Launch a Store For Movies and TV Shows
Jay Peters reports via The Verge: Plex, known for its media server software and as a place to watch ad-supported content, is going to launch a store for to buy and rent movies and TV shows in early February, executives told Lowpass’ Janko Roettgers. “Most studios” are lined up for the store’s launch, and there are “plans to complete the catalog soon after,” Roettgers says. … ⌘ Read more

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LG Washing Machine Found Sending 3.7 GB of Data a Day
An LG washing machine owner discovered that his smart home appliance was uploading an average of 3.66GB of data daily. “Concerned about the washer’s internet addiction, Johnie forced the device to go cold turkey and blocked it using his router UI,” reports Tom’s Hardware. From the report: Johnie’s initial screenshot showed that on a chosen day, the device uploaded 3. … ⌘ Read more

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Chrome Updates Incognito Warning To Admit Google Tracks Users In ‘Private’ Mode
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Google is updating the warning on Chrome’s Incognito mode to make it clear that Google and websites run by other companies can still collect your data in the web browser’s semi-private mode. The change is being made as Google prepares to settle a class-action lawsui … ⌘ Read more

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OpenAI Quietly Deletes Ban On Using ChatGPT For ‘Military and Warfare’
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Intercept: OpenAI this week quietly deleted language expressly prohibiting the use of its technology for military purposes from its usage policy, which seeks to dictate how powerful and immensely popular tools like ChatGPT can be used. Up until January 10, OpenAI’s “usage policies” page includ … ⌘ Read more

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Startup Debuts Pocket AI Companion, Sells Out 10,000 In One Day
A startup called Rabbit sold out of its first batch of pocket AI companions a day after it was debuted at CES 2024. The company announced on X that it sold 10,000 units in just a day. “When we started building r1, we said internally that we’d be happy if we sold 500 devices on launch day,” Rabbit writes. “In 24 hours, we already beat that by 20x!” … ⌘ Read more

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Chinese Chess Champion Stripped of Title After Defecating In Hotel Bathtub
Agence France-Press reports: The world of Chinese chess is in uproar over rumors of cheating and a bad behavior scandal that saw the national champion stripped of his title on Monday after a victory celebration ended with him defecating in a hotel bathtub. Xiangqi, or Chinese chess, has been hugely popular for hundreds of yea … ⌘ Read more

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ChatGPT Exploit Finds 24 Email Addresses, Amid Warnings of ‘AI Silo’
The New York Times reports:

Last month, I received an alarming email from someone I did not know: Rui Zhu, a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University Bloomington. Mr. Zhu had my email address, he explained, because GPT-3.5 Turbo, one of the latest and most robust large language models (L.L.M.) from OpenAI, had delivered it to him. My contact i … ⌘ Read more

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Microsoft Ending Support For Windows 10 Could Send 240 Million PCs To Landfills, Study Finds
According to Canalys Research, Microsoft’s plan to end support for Windows 10 could result in about 240 million computers being sent to landfills. “The electronic waste from these PCs could weigh an estimated 480 million kilograms, equivalent to 320,000 cars,” adds Reuters. From the report: W … ⌘ Read more

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Risk of Penile Fractures Rises at Christmas, Doctors Find
An anonymous reader shares a report: It may be the season of loving and giving, but doctors have warned against embracing this spirit too enthusiastically – at least where sexual relations are concerned. They have discovered that the Christmas period is associated with a significantly increased risk of penile fractures – a medical emergency in which the er … ⌘ Read more

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Banks Use Your Deposits To Loan Money To Fossil-Fuel, Emissions-Heavy Firms
Banks lend your deposits to carbon-heavy industries, fueling climate change; savings of $1,000 create emissions equal to a New York-Seattle flight, reveals a new analysis. Wired: By switching to a climate-conscious bank, you could reduce those emissions by about 75 percent, the study found. In fact, if you moved $8,000 dollars – … ⌘ Read more

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Meet Ashley, the World’s First AI-Powered Political Campaign Caller
An artificial intelligence campaign volunteer named Ashley is being used to call thousands of Pennsylvania voters on behalf of Democrat Shamaine Daniels, “ushering in a new era of political campaigning in which candidates use technology to engage with voters in ways increasingly difficult to track,” reports Reuters. From the report: Like … ⌘ Read more

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1960s Chatbot ELIZA Beat OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 In a Recent Turing Test Study
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In a preprint research paper titled “Does GPT-4 Pass the Turing Test?”, two researchers from UC San Diego pitted OpenAI’s GPT-4 AI language model against human participants, GPT-3.5, and ELIZA to see which could trick participants into thinking it was human with the greatest success. B … ⌘ Read more

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BBC BASIC Is Back In a Big Way
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Hackaday: The BBC has a long history of teaching the world about computers. The broadcaster’s name was proudly displayed on the BBC Micro, and BBC Basic was the programming language developed especially for that computer. Now, BBC Basic is back and running on a whole mess of modern platforms. BBC Basic for SDL 2.0 will run on Windows, MacOS, x86 Linux, and even Raspb … ⌘ Read more

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Evernote Pushes Users To Upgrade
After making steep cuts to personnel earlier this year, Evernote’s Milan-based owner Bending Spoons is now experimenting with a new plan that would push more users to upgrade to paid versions of its service. From a report: The company confirmed to TechCrunch it’s been running a small test that placed limits on the number of notes free users could create, but said the new plan is not yet finalized. TechCrunch was al … ⌘ Read more

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Broadcom Lays Off VMware Employees After Closing Its $69 Billion Acquisition
After acquiring VMware for $69 billion, Broadcom is eliminating several positions at the virtualization technology company. Business Insider reports: Employees whose positions were eliminated received an email on Monday, viewed by Business Insider, that read: “Broadcom recently completed its acquisition of VMware. As part o … ⌘ Read more

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Plex Users Fear New Feature Will Leak Porn Habits To Their Friends and Family
Many Plex users were alarmed when they got a “week in review” email last week that showed them what they and their friends had watched on the popular media server software. From a report: Some users are saying that their friends’ softcore porn habits are being revealed to them with the feature, while others are horrified … ⌘ Read more

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World’s Richest 1% Emit As Much Carbon As Bottom Two-Thirds, Report Finds
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: The richest one percent of the global population are responsible for the same amount of carbon emissions as the world’s poorest two-thirds, or five billion people, according to an analysis published Sunday by the nonprofit Oxfam International. […] Among the key findings of this s … ⌘ Read more

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Is Capitalism Dead? Yanis Varoufakis Argues Capitalists are Now Vassals to ‘Techno-Feudalists’
Greek economist/politician Yanis Varoufakis “was briefly Greek finance minister in 2015,” remembers the Conversation. Now his new book asks the question, “What killed capitalism,” with the title’s first word providing an answer.
“Techno-feudalism.”

Varoufakis argues that we no longer live … ⌘ Read more

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iOS 17.2 Hints At Apple Moving Towards Letting Users Sideload Apps
9to5Mac has found evidence in the iOS 17.2 beta code that hints the company is moving towards enabling sideloading on iOS devices. From the report: iOS 17.2 has a new public framework called “Managed App Distribution.” While our first thought was that this API would be related to MDM solutions for installing enterprise apps (which is already p … ⌘ Read more

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US Debt Interest Bill Rockets Past a Cool $1 Trillion a Year
An anonymous reader writes: US Treasuries may face renewed selling pressure into the new year if one measure of the nation’s swelling debt repayment bill is any guide. Estimated annualized interest payments on the US government debt pile climbed past $1 trillion at the end of last month, Bloomberg analysis shows. That projected amount has doubled in the p … ⌘ Read more

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Google Only Improves Products Under Pressure, US Argues
Google – under fire in court for allegedly resting on its laurels thanks to its 90% market dominance – only made an effort to beef up the quality of its search engine in the European Union after being hit by a record antitrust fine, according to internal documents revealed in the US Justice Department’s monopolization case against the tech giant. From a report: T … ⌘ Read more

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Court Rules Automakers Can Record and Intercept Owner Text Messages
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Record: A federal judge on Tuesday refused to bring back a class action lawsuit alleging four auto manufacturers had violated Washington state’s privacy laws by using vehicles’ on-board infotainment systems to record and intercept customers’ private text messages and mobile phone call logs. The Se … ⌘ Read more

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Euclid Telescope: First Images Revealed From ‘Dark Universe’ Mission
AmiMoJo shares a report from the BBC: Europe’s Euclid telescope is ready to begin its quest to understand the greatest mysteries in the Universe. Exquisite imagery from the space observatory shows its capabilities to be exceptional. Over the next six years, Euclid will survey a third of the heavens to get some clues about the nature of so … ⌘ Read more

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Scientist Claims Quantum RSA-2048 Encryption Cracking Breakthrough
Mark Tyson reports via Tom’s Hardware: A commercial smartphone or Linux computer can be used to crack RSA-2048 encryption, according to a prominent research scientist. Dr Ed Gerck is preparing a research paper with the details but couldn’t hold off from bragging about his incredible quantum computing achievement (if true) on his LinkedIn profil … ⌘ Read more

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‘Stupid’ Daylight Saving Time Ritual Continues. But Why?
Many Americans want to abolish Daylight Saving Time, reports NBC News:
Since 2018, nearly all states have passed or entertained legislation that would drop the twice-a-year time shift. And 19 states have passed laws or resolutions in support of year-round daylight saving time, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. But there’s a caveat: … ⌘ Read more

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Artists May ‘Poison’ AI Models Before Copyright Office Can Issue Guidance
An anonymous reader writes: Artists have spent the past year fighting companies that have been training AI image generators—including popular tools like the impressively photorealistic Midjourney or the ultra-sophisticated DALL-E 3—on their original works without consent or compensation. Now, the United States has promised to finally g … ⌘ Read more

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Amazon Made $1 Billion Through Secret Price Raising Algorithm, Says FTC
Amazon used a secret algorithm to boost prices to U.S. households by more than $1 billion, says the FTC in ia new court filing. “The FTC lawsuit was filed in September but many details were withheld until Thursday when a version of the lawsuit with fewer redactions was made public in U.S. District Court in Seattle,” notes Reuters. From … ⌘ Read more

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Cloudflare Dashboard and APIs Down After Data Center Power Outage
An ongoing Cloudflare outage has taken down many of its products, including the company’s dashboard and related application programming interfaces (APIs) customers use to manage and read service configurations. From a report: The complete list of services whose functionality is wholly or partially impacted includes the Cloudflare dashboard, the C … ⌘ Read more

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People Are Speaking With ChatGPT For Hours, Bringing 2013’s ‘Her’ Closer To Reality
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In 2013, Spike Jonze’s Her imagined a world where humans form deep emotional connections with AI, challenging perceptions of love and loneliness. Ten years later, thanks to ChatGPT’s recently added voice features, people are playing out a small slice … ⌘ Read more

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Caltech Ends Its Wi-Fi Lawsuit Against Apple and Broadcom
An anonymous reader shared this report from the Verge:

Caltech has had some ups (winning $1.1 billion) and some downs (losing the $1.1 billion award and being ordered to a trial on damages) since suing Apple and Broadcom in 2016 over Wi-Fi patents. Reuters reported this week that Caltech is dropping its yearslong lawsuit against Apple and Broadcom, about two … ⌘ Read more

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FBI Abused Spy Law 280,000 Times In a Year
The FBI misused surveillance powers granted by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) over 278,000 times between 2020 and early 2021 to conduct warrantless searches on George Floyd protesters, January 6 Capitol rioters, and donors to a congressional campaign, according to a newly unclassified court opinion. The Register reports: On Friday, the US Foreign Intelligenc … ⌘ Read more

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Discord Discloses Data Breach After Support Agent Got Hacked
Discord has informed users of a data breach that occurred after a third-party support agent’s account was compromised, exposing user email addresses, messages exchanged with Discord support, and any attachments sent as part of the tickets. Discord immediately disabled the account and worked with the customer service partner to prevent similar incidents in … ⌘ Read more

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Metaverse Could Contribute Up To 2.4% of US GDP By 2035, Study Shows
A study commissioned by Meta has found that the metaverse could contribute around 2.4% to U.S. annual GDP by 2035, equating to as much as $760 billion. Reuters reports: The concept of the metaverse includes augmented and virtual reality technologies that allow users to immerse themselves in a virtual world or overlay information digitally on … ⌘ Read more

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China Invites Venezuela To Join Moon Base Project
China has invited Venezuela to join its lunar research station project as the country works to gain partners for the endeavor. SpaceNews reports: Venezuela would be the first country to join China and Russia in the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), which is planned to be constructed in the early 2030s using super heavy-lift launch vehicles. The launches will fol … ⌘ Read more

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Cryptocurrencies Add Nothing Useful To Society, Says Nvidia
The US chip-maker Nvidia has said cryptocurrencies do not “bring anything useful for society” despite the company’s powerful processors selling in huge quantities to the sector. From a report: Michael Kagan, its chief technology officer, said other uses of processing power such as the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT were more worthwhile than mining crypto … ⌘ Read more

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Germany Urges Loophole for EU Ban on Fossil-Fuel Cars: Synthetic Carbon-Captured Fuels
CNN reports:
When EU lawmakers voted to ban the sale of new combustion engine cars in the bloc by 2035, it was a landmark victory for climate. In February, the European Parliament approved the law. All that was needed was a rubber stamp from the bloc’s political leaders.

Then Germany changed its mind.
… ⌘ Read more

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Microsoft Is Testing a Built-In Cryptocurrency Wallet For the Edge Browser
Microsoft appears to be testing a built-in cryptocurrency wallet for Edge, according to screenshots pulled from a beta build of the browser. Ars Technica reports: The feature, which the screenshots say is strictly for internal testing, was unearthed by Twitter user @thebookisclosed, who has a history of digging up present-but-disab … ⌘ Read more

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Amazon Tax Structure Like Something Out of a Bond Movie, EU Says
Amazon’s efforts to minimize its taxes in the European Union were given a code-name evocative of a spy thriller with British agent 007, according to an EU lawyer, who claimed the arrangements broke the bloc’s state-aid rules. From a report: “Project Goldcrest – it sounds like the title of a James Bond movie, but it is not,” it’s the name “Amazon gave … ⌘ Read more

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