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Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

NASA probe shares first up-close look at sun’s atmosphere

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NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has made the closest-ever approach to a star (the sun) and shared an image of the sun’s atmosphere on Twitter on Wednesday. NASA’s image, captured Nov. 8, shows the corona, which is the sun’s outer atmosphere when the spacecraft was just 16.9 million miles from the star. The Parker Solar Probe’s WISPR instrument took the photo, in which Jupiter is seen as the bright object, according to NASA. The spacecraft also broke records for the fastest space probe, as it sends data back from its first solar encounter, Science News reported. Scientists gathered Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, DC, to speak about the data, the report said. “What we are looking at now is completely brand new,” solar physicist Nour Raouafi said at a news conference, according to Science News. “Nobody looked at this before,” said Raouafi, who also works at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. The spacecraft launched Aug. 12 and will make 24 close passes by the sun over the next seven years, Science News reported. The mission’s goal is to help solve the mystery of why the corona is about 300 times as hot as the sun’s surface,
Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

Bitcoin bandit extradited to California to face hacking charges

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Bitcoin bandit Nicholas Truglia was extradited Thursday to California to face charges he hacked into the phones of Silicon Valley bigwigs to try to steal their cryptocurrency. “I didn’t do it,” said Truglia, 21, as he was led to a waiting car by two burly deputy sheriffs. “The allegations are false.” The computer whiz allegedly stole $1 million from San Francisco father of two Robert Ross — all without leaving his luxury West 42nd Street pad, according to Santa Clara Superior Court records. Truglia pulled off the Oct. 26 heist using a scheme called SIM swapping. He persuaded cellular customer-service representatives to port his victim’s phone number to a number he controls, giving him unfettered access to the device and locking out the owner. Ross watched helplessly as his phone went dark and Truglia allegedly converted his cash in Coinbase and Gemini accounts into bitcoins and moved it to his personal account, officials said. The alleged con man tried to pull the same scam on Saswata Basu, CEO of the blockchain storage service 0Chain and Gabrielle Katsnelson, the co-founder of the startup SMBX. Court records show he took over their phones but wasn’t able to access their cryptocurrency.
Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Accused of ‘Hate Mongering’ in India

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Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey felt the swift backlash of social media after a photo of him holding a sign attacking the Indian caste system made its way online. The tweet showed a grinning Dorsey holding a sign — while posing for a photo with female journalists and activists — that read “smash Brahminical patriarchy,” referring to the highest Hindu caste. Several prominent Indians, including Infosys executive TV Mohandas Pai, accused Dorsey of “hate mongering” against Brahmins. “Tomorrow if @jack is given a poster with anti Semitic messages in a meeting, will his team allow him to hold it up?” Pai tweeted. “Why is that any different? Inciting hate against any community is wrong.” Twitter India’s office said the poster was handed to Dorsey by a Dalit activist — Dalits are at the bottom of the social hierarchy in Hinduism — while he hosted a closed-door discussion with a group of women to know more about their experience using Twitter. It added the poster was a “tangible reflection of our company’s efforts to see, hear, and understand all sides of important public conversations that happen on our service around the world.” Late Monday, Vijaya Gadde, chief legal officer at Twitter,
Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

You can now visit a black hole in virtual reality

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Black holes are scary. They’re like bottomless pits that nothing can escape from, even light and you probably wouldn’t want to get too close to one. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is thought to feature a supermassive black hole at its center. at a point known as Sagittarius A* and thanks to the wonders of virtual reality you can now visit it from the comfort of your couch. Researchers from Radboud University in The Netherlands teamed up with scientists at Germany’s Goethe University to produce an incredible VR simulation using data models, turning past observations and readings of the black hole into a visualization that puts you right next to it. The work was published in Computational Astrophsyics and Cosmology. “Synthetic images at four astronomically-relevant observing frequencies are generated from the perspective of an observer with a full 360∘ view inside the accretion flow, who is advected with the flow as it evolves,” the researchers write. “As an example, we calculated images based on recent best-fit models of observations of Sagittarius A*. These images are combined to generate a complete 360∘ Virtual Reality movie of the surrounding environment of the black hole and its event horizon.” Their aim was
Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

Artificial Intelligence is Racist, Sexist Because of Data it’s Fed

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Artificial intelligence is “shockingly” racist and sexist, a study has revealed. Researchers looked at a range of systems and datasets and found examples where AI had provided inaccurate information for women and minorities. In one example, the team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology looked at an income prediction system and discovered it was twice as likely to misclassify female employees as low-income and male employee as high-income. However, the team was able to adjust the system to make sure it was less biased. When researchers increased the dataset by a factor of 10, they found the mistakes decreased by 40 percent. Irene Chen, a Ph.D. student who wrote the paper with MIT professor David Sontag and postdoctoral associate Fredrik D. Johansson, said it comes down to using better data. She said: “Computer scientists are often quick to say that the way to make these systems less biased is to simply design better algorithms. “But algorithms are only as good as the data they’re using and our research shows that you can often make a bigger difference with better data.” In another example, researchers found an AI system’s ability to predict intensive care unit mortality was inaccurate for Asian patients. They
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Sheryl Sandberg denies Facebook paid anyone to create ‘fake news’

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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg denied the social media giant has paid anyone to create “fake news” to deflect blame for its handling of the Russian interference in the 2016 elections by running stories critical of other tech companies. “We absolutely did not pay anyone to create fake news — that they have assured me was not happening,” Sandberg told “CBS This Morning” on Thursday. “And again, we’re doing a thorough look into what happened, but they have assured me that we were not paying anyone to either write or promote anything that was false. And that’s very important,” Sandberg added. Her comments were in response to a blistering report Wednesday in the New York Times that Facebook had hired Definers Public Affairs, a Republican opposition research firm, for the campaign. The Times also reported that the firm tried to go after critics, including by tying them to liberal billionaire donor George Soros, a frequent target of conservative anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Sandberg told CBS the firm was hired by “the communications team” and that she only learned about its work from the Times report. “Our strategy was to shore up the security on Facebook and make major investments there,” Sandberg told
Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

NASA’s Kepler telescope officially declared dead

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NASA’s elite planet-hunting spacecraft has been declared dead, just a few months shy of its 10th anniversary. Officials announced the Kepler Space Telescope’s demise Tuesday. Already well past its expected lifetime, the 9 1/2-year-old Kepler had been running low on fuel for months. Its ability to point at distant stars and identify possible alien worlds worsened dramatically at the beginning of October, but flight controllers still managed to retrieve its latest observations. The telescope has now gone silent, its fuel tank empty. Kepler discovered 2,681 planets outside our solar system and even more potential candidates. It showed us rocky worlds the size of Earth that, like Earth, might harbor life. It also unveiled incredible super Earths: planets bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. It even helped to uncover last year a solar system with eight planets, just like ours. “It has revolutionized our understanding of our place in the cosmos,” said NASA’s astrophysics director Paul Hertz. “Now we know because of the Kepler Space Telescope and its science mission that planets are more common than stars in our galaxy.” Almost lost in 2013 because of equipment failure, Kepler was salvaged by engineers and kept peering into the cosmos, thick
Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

Google employees plan walkout over handling of sexual misconduct claims

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Hundreds of Google employees reportedly plan to walk out of the company this week in protest of the CEO’s response to a report the company allegedly protected executives accused of sexual misconduct. The protest — in which employees reportedly plan to leave their desks at the same time — could happen Thursday, according to Bloomberg. It was initially reported by BuzzFeed News that more than 200 Google engineers are planning to participate in the demonstration. Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed in an email to employees Thursday that Google fired 48 people, including management, for sexual harassment over the last two years. The email, also signed by Eileen Naughton, vice president of people operations, was sent in response to a New York Times report that alleged the company rewarded Android creator Andy Rubin with a $90 million exit package after he was accused of sexual misconduct by an employee. Rubin vehemently denied the allegations on Twitter, claiming the newspaper’s report was a “smear campaign.” “The New York Times story contains numerous inaccuracies about my employment at Google and wild exaggerations about my compensation,” Rubin wrote, in part. “These false allegations are part of a smear campaign to disparage me during a
Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

Facebook hackers stole info from 29 million accounts

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Facebook revealed Friday that it had determined the major security breach it discovered late last month impacted the accounts of 30 million users. The company wrote in a blog post that 15 million users had their name and contact information details accessed by hackers, while 14 million had far more personal data exposed, including birthdates, friends lists, the last 10 places they checked into on the social network and their 15 most recent searches. All of those could help a fraudster pose as Facebook, the employer or a friend. They could then craft a more sophisticated e-mail aimed at tricking users into providing login information on a fake page or into clicking on an attachment that would infect their computers. An additional 1 million users had no information accessed. Facebook noted that the hack did not affect its popular Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms, and that no financial information was accessed. “We’re cooperating with the FBI, which is actively investigating, and asked us not to discuss who may be behind this attack,” Facebook said in a blog post. Theresa Payton, a former White House chief information officer and current CEO of security consulting firm Fortalice Solutions, said that it was
Tech World Breaking News| Future Information Technology News

New technologies will improve life but boost inequality

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New technologies from artificial intelligence to gene editing hold immense potential to improve people’s lives — but can also drive greater inequality and social dislocation, according to a UN report launched Monday. The World Economic and Social Survey 2018 focused on whether leading edge technologies can be used to meet UN goals for 2030 including ending extreme poverty, preserving the environment and promoting economic growth. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “frontier technologies — from DNA sequencing to 3D-printing, from renewable energy technologies to biodegradable plastics, from machine learning to artificial intelligence — present immense potential for the 2030 agenda.” “Good health and longevity, prosperity for all and environmental sustainability are within our reach if we harness the full power of these innovations,” he said in the foreword to the report. “However, these same technologies also raise serious concerns.” Guterres urged governments to adopt policies that ensure that frontier technologies “are not only commercially viable but also equitable and ethical.” While richer developed countries grapple with the opportunities of new technologies that can help eradicate disease and automate manual and repetitive tasks, the report said “many developing countries are yet to fully reap the benefits of existing technologies.” “A great technological