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Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft Come Together To Create Historic Partnership On AI

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 4:50pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: In an act of self-governance, Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, IBM, and Microsoft came together today to announce the launch the new Partnership on AI. The group is tasked with conducting research and promoting best practices. Practically, this means that the group of tech companies will come together frequently to discuss advancements in artificial intelligence. The group also opens up a formal structure for communication across company lines. It's important to remember that on a day to day basis, these teams are in constant competition with each other to develop the best products and services powered by machine intelligence. Financial support will be coming from the initial tech companies who are members of the group, but in the future membership and involvement is expected to increase. User activists, non-profits, ethicists, and other stakeholders will be joining the discussion in the coming weeks. The organizational structure has been designed to allow non-corporate groups to have equal leadership side-by-side with large tech companies. As of today's launch, companies like Apple, Twitter, Intel and Baidu are missing from the group. Though Apple is said to be enthusiastic about the project, their absence is still notable because the company has fallen behind in artificial intelligence when compared to its rivals -- many of whom are part of this new group. The new organization really seems to be about promoting change by example. Rather than preach to the tech world, it wants to use a standard open license to publish research on topics including ethics, inclusivity, and privacy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Kenshi Lore #4: The Swamplands

Mod DataBase (DB)'s News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 4:42pm

Next up for release in the Newlands map, we have the swamplands and the canyons to the south west of the current section... and you'll be pleased to know that the inhabitants are (relatively) Skeleton friendly too.

Spotify in Talks To Acquire SoundCloud

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 4:30pm
Janko Roettgers, writing for Variety: Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire rival music service SoundCloud, according to a report by the Financial Times. An announcement of the acquisition could be made soon, according to the Times. The acquisition would come just months after SoundCloud launched its own paid streaming service. A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment on the report when contacted by Variety; SoundCloud didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify is the market leader in the growing paid streaming business, disclosing earlier this month that it now has more than 40 million paying subscribers. Its biggest competitor is Apple Music with 17 million paying subscribers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Banks Adopting Blockchain 'Dramatically Faster' Than Expected

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 4:10pm
Banks and other financial institutions are adopting blockchain technology "dramatically faster" than initially expected, with 15 percent of top global banks intending to roll out full-scale, commercial blockchain products in 2017, IBM said on Wednesday. Reuters reports: The technology company said 65 percent of banks expected to have blockchain projects in production in three years' time, with larger banks -- those with more than 100,000 employees -- leading the charge. IBM, whose findings were based on a survey of 200 banks, said the areas most commonly identified by lenders as ripe for blockchain-based innovation were clearing and settlement, wholesale payments, equity and debt issuance and reference data. Blockchain, which originates from digital currency bitcoin, works as an electronic transaction-processing and record-keeping system that allows all parties to track information through a secure network, with no need for third-party verification.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Updated trailer

Mod DataBase (DB)'s News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 3:34pm

Updated Trailer and steam greenlight info for Cloak. Expected release Q2 2017.

Amazon Looking To Abandon UPS, FedEx In Favor of Its Own Delivery Service

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 3:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A report by The Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is building its own shipping service to replace FedEx and UPS, giving it more control over its packages and possibly allowing it to ship packages from other retailers. Amazon has said its own delivery services would be meant to increase its capacity during busier times of the year, like the upcoming holiday season. However, "current and former Amazon managers and business partners" claim that the company's plans are bigger than that. The initiative dubbed "Consume the City" will eventually let Amazon "haul and deliver" its own packages and those of other retailers and consumers. That delivery network would also directly compete with the likes of UPS and FedEx. It makes sense that Amazon would want to sell, ship, and deliver orders on its own. The report estimates that the company spent $11.5 billion on shipping just last year, amounting to 10.8 percent of sales. The shipping process is currently a bit convoluted: packages from Amazon warehouses get sent to one of two shipping routes, either FedEx or UPS, or to a sorting facility that lumps all packages with similar zip codes together. FedEx and UPS handle its shipments and deliver them to customers, while the packages at the sorting facilities either get delivered via USPS or by Amazon employees themselves. If Amazon were to have control over its shipments over longer distances, it's estimated that the company could save about $3 per package -- about $1.1 billion annually.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NBC Plans An “Italian Job” TV Series

Dark Horizons - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 3:04pm

NBC has handed out a script sale with a penalty attached to a TV series reboot of “The Italian Job,” the classic 1969 British heist film and its subsequent American 2003 remake.

The small screen version follows a make-shift family of expert criminals who are forced out of retirement when an opportunity arises to get their beloved ‘patriarch’ out of jail.

At the core of this dysfunctional family is Charlie Croker, a charming ex-con who tried to go straight. However, like the rest of his crew, he can’t resist the adrenaline rush of the high-stakes heist world.

Rob Weiss (“Ballers,” “Entourage”) and Benjamin Brand will pen the script and executive produce. Donald De Line, who produced the 2003 film starring Mark Wahlberg and Ed Norton, will also produce this.

The series joins numerous other TV reboots in the works including “Taken,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Let the Right One In,” “The Lost Boys,” “L.A. Law,” “Varsity Blues” and “The Departed” and follows on from the recent launches of “Lethal Weapon” and “MacGyver”.

Source: The Live Feed

The post NBC Plans An “Italian Job” TV Series appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Justin Lin To Direct A “Hot Wheels” Film

Dark Horizons - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 3:03pm

“Fast Five” and “Star Trek Beyond” helmer Justin Lin has closed a deal to direct the “Hot Wheels” film based on Mattel’s car toyline and for his own Perfect Storm Entertainment banner, Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures.

At last report the story follows a washed-up Illinois State Trooper who, after a dangerous military device falls into the hands of a criminal, fights the man his father once put behind bars.

That version of the script, penned by Paul Attanasio, is likely out as a new writer is being sought. The film isn’t expected to be Lin’s next project. Hot Wheels is one of the world’s biggest toy brands with more than 5 billion tiny cars produced since 1968.

Source: Variety

The post Justin Lin To Direct A “Hot Wheels” Film appeared first on Dark Horizons.

D-Wave's 2,000-Qubit Quantum Annealing Computer Now 1,000x Faster Than Previous Generation

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 2:50pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Tom's Hardware: D-Wave, a Canadian company developing the first commercial "quantum computer," announced its next-generation quantum annealing computer with 2,000 qubits, which is twice as many as its previous generation had. One highly exciting aspect of quantum computers of all types is that beyond the seemingly Moore's Law-like increase in number of qubits every two years, their performance increases much more than just 2x, unlike with regular microprocessors. This is because qubits can hold a value of 0, 1, or a superposition of the two, making quantum systems able to deal with much more complex information. If D-Wave's 2,000-qubit computer is now 1,000 faster than the previous 1,000-qubit generation (D-Wave 2X), that would mean that, for the things Google tested last year, it should now be 100 billion times faster than a single-core CPU. The new generation also comes with control features, which allows users to modify how D-Wave's quantum system works to better optimize their solutions. These control features include the following capabilities: The ability to tune the rate of annealing of individual qubits to enhance application performance; The ability to sample the state of the quantum computer during the quantum annealing process to power hybrid quantum-classical machine learning algorithms that were not previously possible; The ability to combine quantum processing with classical processing to improve the quality of both optimization and sampling results returned from the system. D-Wave's CEO, Vern Brownell, also said that D-Wave's quantum computers could also be used for machine learning task in ways that wouldn't be possible on classical computers. The company is also training the first generation of programmers to develop applications for D-Wave quantum systems. Last year, Google said that D-Wave's 1,000 qubit computer proved to be 100 million times faster than a classical computer with a single core: "We found that for problem instances involving nearly 1,000 binary variables, quantum annealing significantly outperforms its classical counterpart, simulated annealing. It is more than 10^8 times faster than simulated annealing running on a single core," said Hartmut Neven, Google's Director of Engineering.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

UCP Plans A Hitchcock Anthology Series

Dark Horizons - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 2:37pm

Universal Cable Productions has announced plans to develop “Welcome to Hitchcock,” an anthology series based on the works of Alfred Hitchcock.

The company has closed a deal with the Alfred Hitchcock Estate to re-imagine the master filmmaker’s work with a series that will focus on a single season-long mystery or crime. Whether it will be direct adaptations or more likely new mysteries ‘in the spirit of’ is unclear.

Plans are in place for all potential future seasons to be produced in step with Hitchcock Estate. Vermilion Entertainment and 1492 Pictures/Ocean Blue Entertainment will produce with Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, Timmy Thompson and Todd Thompson serving as executive producers.

Source: Variety

The post UCP Plans A Hitchcock Anthology Series appeared first on Dark Horizons.

A Roy Orbison Biopic Is In The Works

Dark Horizons - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 2:34pm

Roy Orbison’s estate has pledged its cooperation in “The Big O: Roy Orbison,” the first estate-authorised biopic if the iconic singer who always wore sunglasses to cope with stage fright.

The story will follow Texas-raised Orbinson whose soaring, angelic voice was the envy of many singers after first breaking through with “Ooby Dooby” in 1956 and subsequent famed songs like “Crying,” “Only the Lonely,” “Oh Pretty Woman,” “You Got It,” “Running Scared,” “In Dreams,” and “Dream Baby”.

He also suffered great personal tragedy including his wife’s death in a motorcycle crash and both his sons in a house fire. After such loss, Orbison managed to rebuild his life and career. The movie package includes rights to virtually all of Orbison’s songs and recordings, most of which he wrote or co-wrote.

Ray Gideon & Bruce Evans (“Starman,” “Stand by Me”) are penning the script. Marty Katz, Alex Orbison and Roy Orbison Jr will produce while Wesley Orbison, Chuck Fleckenstein and Ron Moore will executive produce.

Source: Deadline

The post A Roy Orbison Biopic Is In The Works appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Molly Parker Joins “Lost in Space” Series

Dark Horizons - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 2:33pm

“Deadwood” and “House of Cards” actress Molly Parker has been cast as family matriarch Maureen Robinson in Netflix’s reboot of “Lost in Space” which Legendary is producing.

Parker will star opposite “Black Sails” lead Toby Stephens as her husband John Robinson in the ten-episode series which also includes Taylor Russell as Judy. June Lockhart and Mimi Rogers previously played the role in the 1960s TV series and 1998 film respectively.

The story will follow the Robinson family as they are forced to come together after being stranded light years from their intended destination. They find themselves battling a strange new alien environment and their own personal demons.

Zack Estrin serves as showrunner. The series was formally ordered in June and is set to premiere in 2018.

Source: TV Line

The post Molly Parker Joins “Lost in Space” Series appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Mamet To Adapt His Own “Speed-The-Plow”

Dark Horizons - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 2:31pm

David Mamet is set to direct his scripted adaptation of his own scathing 1988 stage play “Speed-The-Plow”. Michael Polish was originally slated to helm the project, but has had to exit with Mamet taking over.

The play follows newly minted studio chief Bobby Gould, who is under pressure to deliver a hit. His longtime colleague Charlie Fox gifts him with one that will enable the studio chief to land a superstar who always works for the competition.

This leads the men to Karen, an attractive temp secretary, and a bet on who’ll bed her. Turns out she is far smarter than they think, has an angle of her own and is not above stepping on them to climb the ladder. Joe Mantegna, Ron Silver and Madonna starred in the original play.

Randall Emmett, George Furla, and Irwin Winkler will produce and shooting is slated to begin in February.

Source: Deadline

The post Mamet To Adapt His Own “Speed-The-Plow” appeared first on Dark Horizons.

Verizon Technician Is Accused of Selling Customers' Call Records and Location Data To Private Investigator

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 2:10pm
A former Verizon technician who worked in Alabama is being accused of selling customers' private call records and location data to an unnamed private investigator. Authorities said the data was sold for more than four years, from 2009 to 2014. The Associated Press reports: [Daniel Eugene Traeger] logged into one Verizon computer system to gain access to customers' call records, authorities said. He used another company system known as Real Time Tool to "ping" cellphones on Verizon's network to get locations of the devices, according to the plea agreement. He then compiled the data in spreadsheets, which he sent to the private investigator for years, the court records show. "Between April 2009 and January 2014, the defendant was paid more than $10,000 in exchange for his provision of confidential customer information and cellular location data to the PL, an unauthorized third party," court records state. Though Traeger was based in the Birmingham area, the court records do not indicate whether the information that was sold involved Verizon Wireless customers in Alabama or elsewhere. He faces up to five years in prison, but prosecutors are recommending a lesser sentence since he accepted responsibility, according to terms of the plea agreement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Goshen Development Update 2

Mod DataBase (DB)'s News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 1:59pm

The latest update sees Landed Titles named (finally and at great cost to my mental health), unique Buildings, and the First Mercs.

HP To Issue 'Optional Firmware Update' Allowing 3rd-Party Ink

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 1:30pm
Soon after the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a letter to HP, calling for them to apologize to customers for releasing firmware that prevents the use of non-HP ink cartridges and refilled HP cartridges, the company has responded with a temporary solution. HP "will issue an optional firmware update that will remove the dynamic security feature" for certain OfficeJet printers. Ars Technica reports: HP made its announcement in a blog post titled "Dedicated to the best printing experience." "We updated a cartridge authentication procedure in select models of HP office inkjet printers to ensure the best consumer experience and protect them from counterfeit and third-party ink cartridges that do not contain an original HP security chip and that infringe on our IP," the company said. The recent firmware update for HP OfficeJet Pro, and OfficeJet Pro X printers "included a dynamic security feature that prevented some untested third-party cartridges that use cloned security chips from working, even if they had previously functioned," HP said. For customers who don't wish to be protected from the ability to buy less expensive ink cartridges, HP said it "will issue an optional firmware update that will remove the dynamic security feature. We expect the update to be ready within two weeks and will provide details here." This customer-friendly move may just be a one-time thing. HP said it will continue to use security features that "protect our IP including authentication methods that may prevent some third-party supplies from working." Without the optional firmware update, printers will only be able to use third-party ink cartridges that have an "original HP security chip," the company said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Verdant Skies - September Developer Update

Mod DataBase (DB)'s News - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 1:12pm

Since the last public showing at 2D Con, nearly every aspect of the game has been improved. New music has been composed, artwork has been repainted, game mechanics have been reprogrammed, and new events have been written! We've added rainfall, new water shaders, and a new user interface.

Cloudflare: We Can't Shut Down Pirate Sites

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 12:45pm
CloudFlare has said it cannot shut down piracy websites. The CloudFlare's response comes two months after adult entertainment outfit ALS Scan filed a complaint at a California federal court two months ago in which the company accused the CDN service of various counts of copyright and trademark infringement. From a TorrentFreak report:"CloudFlare is not the operator of the allegedly infringing sites but is merely one of the many intermediaries across the internet that provide automated CDN services, which result in the websites in question loading a bit faster than they would if they did not utilize CDN services." If Cloudflare terminated the accounts of allegedly infringing websites, the sites themselves would still continue to exist. It would just require a simple DNS reconfiguration to continue their operation. "Indeed, there are no measures of any kind that CloudFlare could take to prevent this alleged infringement, because the termination of CloudFlare's CDN services would have no impact on the existence and ability of these allegedly infringing websites to continue to operate," Cloudflare writes. As such, the company argues that it's not "materially contributing" to any of the alleged copyright infringements.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The United Nations Will Launch Its First Space Mission In 2021

/. - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 12:06pm
The United Nations will send its first ever mission to space in 2021. It said it intends to send Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft into a two-week, low-Earth orbit flight in 2021. Sierra Nevada had signed the UN as a partner in June. Motherboard adds:As detailed for a small crowd at the International Astronautical Congress yesterday, the goal of the 2021 UN mission is to make space accessible to developing member states that lack the resources to develop a standalone, national space program. "One of UNOOSA's core responsibilities is to promote cooperation and the peaceful uses of outer space, but our work is about more than that," said Simonetta Di Pippo, the director of UNOOSA. "We have the vision of bringing the benefits of space to humankind, and that means helping developing countries access space technologies and their benefits."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Final “Rogue One” Trailer With “Doctor Strange”

Dark Horizons - Wed, 09/28/2016 - 11:27am

We had the teaser and the full trailer, now it seems a third and final trailer for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is set to hit at the end of next month.

During a presentation at Kino Expo International in St. Petersburg, Disney’s Russian subdivision marketing director Elena Brodskaya reportedly revealed that the ‘Rogue One’ final trailer would be attached to prints of “Doctor Strange” according to Star Wars News Net.

The “Doctor Strange” film is following a familiar Disney & Marvel pattern in that it will open in many international markets a week earlier than in the United States with Russia getting it on October 28th.

This would also match the timeline of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which had its final trailer hit in October alongside the start of ticket pre-sales. Disney has yet to announce an on-sale date for “Rogue One” tickets.

In related news, it has been confirmed that “The Fall” actress Valene Kane is playing Lyra Erso, the mother of Felicity Jones’ main character Jyn Erso, in the upcoming film. Kane herself says the new film has a “really edgy independent vibe.”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hits cinemas around the world on December 16th.

The post Final “Rogue One” Trailer With “Doctor Strange” appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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