Dudes n Beer – Week In The News April 3 2018

NBC News – YouTube shooting: Female suspect dead at firm’s HQ in San Bruno, California

The woman appeared to have killed herself and four patients were being treated for gunshot-related injuries, police said

 A woman opened fire at YouTube’s California headquarters Tuesday afternoon before apparently turning the gun on herself, authorities said. Four people were being treated for gunshot wounds.

Zuckerberg General Hospital told NBC News that it had received three patients and was expecting more, while Stanford Medical Center said it was expecting four or five patients. some may have been injured fleeing the building, authorities said,

San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said the woman appeared to have killed herself.

“It was very chaotic, as you can imagine,” Barberini said.

YouTube employees tweeted that they had evacuated the building in San Bruno, south of San Francisco, or were in hiding.

Barberini said San Bruno police began receiving multiple 911 calls of an “active shooter” at 12:46 p.m. (3:46 p.m. ET) and were on the scene within two minutes. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI said they also responded to the scene.

Marco Tartaglia, who works at a Walmart store near the complex on Cherry Street, told NBC Bay Area that he heard about 15 shots “from the direction of the YouTube building, from what sounded like inside.”

“We heard the shots first, and that immediately drew us over to the window to see what the heck’s going on, and next thing you know, you see people streaming out, just running, dozens of them, just running out the front exit,” Tartaglia said.

CBS San Fransico Bay Area – Active Shooter, Casualties Reported At YouTube Headquarters

Multiple people have been injured in an active shooting situation at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno Tuesday afternoon. The shooting appears to have happened in an outdoor cafe on the grounds of the facility.

Police were seen laying down evidence markers near the seating area of the cafe. Lines of employees were seen being led out of the building with their hands up. Police transmissions described two shooters, one female and one male.

Wall Street Journal – Tesla, Uber Deaths Raise Questions About the Perils of Partly Autonomous Driving

Humans were behind the wheel in fatal crashes, raising questions of complacency

Earlier this week, the Tempe, Ariz., police released a video of the fatal accident involving a pedestrian and an Uber self-driving vehicle. We asked experts to analyze the footage and explain what factors may have caused systems to fail. Photo: National Transportation Safety Board

Two recent fatal crashes of cars with varying levels of autonomous-driving technology are focusing attention on vehicles that vest control in both humans and machines.

U.S. investigators are still completing their probes of an Uber Technologies Inc. self-driving vehicle with a safety operator behind the wheel that hit and killed a pedestrian March 18 in Tempe, Ariz., and of a Tesla Inc. TSLA 5.67% Model X sport-utility with its semiautonomous system engaged that collided with a highway barrier on March 23 near Mountain View, Calif., fatally injuring its driver.

But both incidents have a troubling link, autonomous-vehicle specialists say: a human was at the wheel and could have taken control.

“This is what I’ve called the mushy middle of automation,” said Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina assistant professor of law and specialist on autonomous cars, referring to vehicles with some automation but still a driver at the wheel. “There will certainly be more incidents,” he said. “It’s dangerous when people feel safer than they actually are.”

Auto makers are gradually rolling out partially automated systems that pass control back and forth between vehicle and driver. General Motors Co. , Volkswagen AG’s Audi brand, and others have or plan to introduce systems that allow the driver to cede control of the car in certain situations, only to resume command at a moment’s notice.

Such automation could make driving safer. But some autonomous-vehicle experts and safety advocates worry that as long as the effort is a combination of human and machine, the robot assistance could also give drivers a false sense of confidence to turn their attention elsewhere.

Others, such as GM, say driver monitoring ensures a driver remains engaged, while Tesla has developed a series of alerts aimed at keeping hands on the wheel and emphasizes in its manuals that drivers need to remain alert and responsible for driving.

USA Today – Tesla says Autopilot self-driving system engaged in fatal crash

Tesla acknowledged Friday that its Autopilot partial self-driving system was engaged when one of its Model X electric crossover SUVs crashed a week ago, killing the driver.

Tesla said in a blog post on its website that it has been able to deduce from logs recovered from the SUV that the driver’s hands hadn’t been detected on the steering wheel for six seconds prior to the crash. It did not say that the Autopilot system was at fault in the accident.

Tesla’s disclosure is sure to figure in a National Transportation Safety Board inquiry into the accident. The agency said it sent two investigators.

Although Tesla’s Autopilot system is only a partial self-driving system — more like enhanced cruise control — the idea of cars driving themselves has fallen under scrutiny since an Uber car in self-driving mode struck and killed a woman walking a bicycle across a street in Tempe, Ariz.

The crash in Mountain View, Calif., not far from Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto, could renew questions about Autopilot, which was also engaged when a Model S sedan crashed into a truck and killed its driver in Florida last year.

In the latest crash, Tesla said Autopilot’s adaptive cruise control was in the minimum following distance setting and that the driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning as reminders to keep his hands on the wheel prior to crashing into the center divider. 

“The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken,” Tesla said.

Tesla defended Autopilot.

It said the first version would found by the government to reduce crash rates by up to 40% and that it’s only gotten better — Tesla flashes over-the-air update — since then.

It also says Tesla’s fatal crash rate on vehicles equipped with Autopilot is 3.7 times better than the national average.

“Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents – such a standard would be impossible – but it makes them much less likely to occur. It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists,” the automaker said in its post.

ScienceAlert – Are We All Quantum Computers? Scientists are Performing Tests to Find Out.

It’s possible that our own human brains are capable of performing advanced quantum computing calculations – and now scientists are conducting a series of detailed experiments to try and find out for sure.

It’s easy to think of computers and brains as similar – both process information, and make decisions, and deal with inputs and outputs. But some scientists think the incredible complexity of the brain can only be explained by quantum mechanics.

In other words, phenomena like quantum entanglement and superposition, all the knotty stuff of quantum physics, are actually regular occurrences inside our brains. Not everyone is so sure, but we might be about to get an answer either way.

“If the question of whether quantum processes take place in the brain is answered in the affirmative, it could revolutionise our understanding and treatment of brain function and human cognition,” says one of the team involved in running these tests, Matt Helgeson from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

If you’re new to the world of quantum computing, it builds on the ideas of quantum mechanics – ways of explaining the Universe at the smallest atomic scales, when the rules of classical physics no longer appear to fit.

The most crucial part of quantum computing you need to understand is the way that the regular bits or on/off switches of classical computers – all those 1s and 0s that store data – get replaced by qubits.

Wired – How Do You Know You Are Reading This? The Tricky Business of measuring consciousness.

The only thing you know for sure is that you are conscious. All else is inference, however reasonable. There is something in your head that generates experiences: the words you are reading on this page, the snore of a bulldog on a red carpet, the perfume of roses on a desk. Your experience of such a scene is exclusive to you, and your impressions are integrated into one unified field of perception. It is like something to be you reading, hearing a dog, smelling flowers.

But what is going on in the heads of other people, and do dogs or even computers have experiences too? Is it also like something to be them? If entities besides yourself are sentient, whence does consciousness come? Philosopher Dave Chalmers calls the question of how physical systems give rise to subjective experience the “hard problem” of consciousness. Many philosophers think the hard problem insoluble, because consciousness cannot be reduced to pulses in neurons in the same way bodily functions can be explained by gene expression. While our consciousness is the only thing we know, it is the most mysterious thing in the world.

Jason Pontin (@jason_pontin) is an Ideas contributor for WIRED. He is a senior partner at Flagship Pioneering, a firm in Boston that creates, builds, and funds companies that solve problems in health, food, and sustainability. From 2004 to 2017, he was editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review. Before that he was the editor of Red Herring, a business magazine that was popular during the dot-com boom. Pontin does not write about Flagship’s portfolio companies nor about their competitors.

Understanding consciousness better would solve some urgent, practical problems. It would be useful, for instance, to know whether patients locked in by stroke are capable of thought. Similarly, one or two patients in a thousand later recall being in pain under general anesthesia, though they seemed to be asleep. Could we reliably measure whether such people are conscious? Some of the heat of the abortion debate might dissipate if we knew when and to what degree fetuses are conscious. We are building artificial intelligences whose capabilities rival or exceed our own. Soon, we will have to decide: Are our machines conscious, to even a small degree, and do they have rights, which we are bound to respect? These are questions of more than academic philosophical interest.

Live Science – MIT Just Cut Ties with Nectome, the ‘100-Percent-Fatal’ Brain-Preserving Company

Space.com – India Loses Contact with New Communications Satellite Just Days After Launch

India lost contact with a communications satellite only days after the country launched the craft into space, according to multiple media reports and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Recovery efforts are ongoing as India faces its second possible mission failure in less than a year.

GSAT-6A initially launched as planned on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket Thursday (March 29) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, near the Bay of Bengal on India’s southeast coast. At first, the satellite behaved normally, but then ISRO lost contact with GSAT-6A at an undisclosed time on March 31 (Indian time). Communications ceased after the satellite finished the second of three planned engine-firings meant to raise its orbital altitude around Earth. 

The engine at first fired as planned for 53 minutes, ISRO said on its website yesterday (April 1). But then, GSAT-6A went silent. “When the satellite was on course to normal operating configuration for the third and the final firing, scheduled for April 1, 2018, communication from the satellite was lost,” ISRO officials said in a statement.

Yahoo News – Parkland students return from spring break to clear backpacks and TSA-style checkpoints

Students returning from spring break to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Monday were greeted with metal barriers and clear backpacks — new safety measures put in place in the wake of February’s mass shooting at the school.

More than 3,000 transparent backpacks and lanyards for identification cards were distributed to Stoneman Douglas students on Monday morning. Students were told to report to school without backpacks. Those carrying sports equipment or band instruments were asked to leave their items with teachers or coaches before the start of classes. Extra police officers have been stationed at the school since the Feb. 14 massacre.

School officials say the mandatory backpacks and entry checkpoints are temporary — part of a pilot safety program that may be expanded throughout the school district.

ABC News – Exchange student who threatened school shooting had 1,600 rounds: Police

Over 1,600 rounds of ammunition and a semiautomatic firearm were found after a student was arrested for threatening to shoot up a Pennsylvania school, officials said Monday.

An Tso Sun, an exchange student from Taiwan, was arrested last week and charged with terrorist threats with the intent to terrorize another, according to Upper Darby Police.

Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said Sun bought the parts for the firearm online and “put it together” himself.

“It was a weapon capable of firing,” Chitwood said.

Boxes of ammunition are seen on display during a press conference where Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told the media about weapons and ammunition found to be in possession of An Tso Sun, April 2, 2018.

Among the recovered ammunition were 225 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition; 663 rounds of 9mm ammunition; 295 rounds of AR-15 ammunition; and 425 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, according to Chitwood.

On the day of his arrest, Sun’s host mother, who has not yet been identified, allegedly packed up the ammunition and the weapon, and gave them to another person, Chitwood said.

“She went back to the house and loads all the ammo and the gun into a black bag. She then takes that to another person at another location,” Chitwood said, “She didn’t give it to the police.”

Investigators recovered the objects last Thursday after receiving a tip. Chitwood did not say where they found them.

CBS News – Man falsely accused in Parkland shooting suing Alex Jones, InfoWars for defamation

A Massachusetts man is suing Alex Jones after the conspiracy theorist and conservative radio host’s website InfoWars misidentified him as the gunman in an article about the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre.

Marcel Fontaine, 24, filed a lawsuit in Texas court Monday naming Jones, InfoWars, parent company Free Speech Systems, LLC and Infowars employee Kit Daniels as defendants. Fontaine is seeking damages after he says InfoWars falsely identified him as the shooter and posted photos of him in several versions of an article on InfoWars’ website.

Seventeen people were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 when former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire in a building on campus. Cruz was arrested shortly after the shooting and has confessed to the crime.

Fontaine’s suit claims a now-deleted InfoWars article including his photo published on Feb. 14 “conveyed the impression that the photograph depicted the suspected Douglas High School shooter.” It says the article, along with Fontaine’s photo, spread across social media. Fontaine said he was then threatened and ridiculed online.

Wired – A Flawed Study Shows How Little We Understand Crispr’s Effects

Biotech has been betting big on Crispr, the gene-editing technique that promises to snip away some of humanity’s worst diseases. But last May, a small case study suggested the much-hyped technology might actually be quite dangerous—and pop went the Crispr bubble, briefly tanking shares of Crispr companies like Editas Medicine, Intellia Therapeutics, and Crispr Therapeutics.

It was an overreaction, as so many market spikes and dips turn out to be; the company CEOs were quick to push back, and scientists and journalists soon pointed out flaws in the paper that misconstrued cause and effect. After nearly a year of continued criticisms, and failures to reproduce the results, the authors conceded that the skeptics might be right. Last week, the journal that published the paper, Nature Methods, finally retracted it.

But that doesn’t mean that Crispr has been given the all-clear. The now-retracted paper claimed that Crispr caused nearly 2,000 unexpected mutations—ten times previously observed off-target rates—in two mice that it cured of blindness. But just as that evidence should never have been enough to squash Crispr’s clinical potential, neither does retracting said paper prove it. If anything, the kerfuffle just proves how young the field is. There’s so little published data about the potential for Crispr’s unintended cuts that this single, flawed paper had an outsized effect on perception of the field. Can Crispr be safely used in humans? Retraction or not, it’s still an open question.

TechCrunch – Snap introduces group video calls for up to 16 people

Snapchat has today introduced a new group video chat feature, letting users chat with up to 16 of their closest friends. If users need more people in the chat (which, for those of us who have large conference calls, sounds awful!), Snap is also offering group voice calls with up to 32 participants.

The feature is relatively simple. Just tap the video icon in a group chat to get started, or start up a call with a few people and invite new friends to join.

As one might expect, Snapchat’s crown jewel filters will also be available to use within a group video chat.

Folks that aren’t camera ready can easily toggle between voice and video to just voice.

Gizmodo – Apple Reportedly Killing Laptops With Intel Inside, the Hackintosh, Dreams

Piling onto months of rumors, Mark Gurman and Ian King of Bloomberg News are reporting that Apple plans to move to Apple-built CPUs for its computers, ending the use of Intel CPUs in Apple hardware. Apple is currently the third-largest maker of computers in the US and the loss for Intel would be significant. But it would also mean some major, and potentially unpleasant, changes for end users.

The reported initiative to use Apple CPUs in all Apple computers by 2020 is, according to Bloomberg, known as Kalamata internally at the company. The move is supposedly part of a larger strategy to ensure that all Apple devices—phones, tablets, laptops, and so on—work together more seamlessly.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard these rumors about Apple chucking Intel and turning MacBooks into glorified iPads, but Gurman is notorious for his sources within Apple and information leaked to him is often correct. It’s possible Apple may indeed leave behind the largest chipmaker, and this would only extend an already rough year for Intel, which started things off in January with the news that its CPUs, going back over the last decade, are subject to significant security flaws, before being trounced, critically by its once and former rival in the CPU space, AMD.

Intel has also struggled to roll out new CPUs in a timely annual fashion, with the current, 8th Generation of CPUs beginning their rollout in August 2017 and continuing to this day—in fact some notable CPU types from the company still haven’t been announced, which might leave Apple and other desktop and laptop makers a little perturbed. If you can’t release your cool new laptop because Intel hasn’t released a chip that would actually work in it, then you might look elsewhere.

News.Com.AU – Telepathic superhumans with ability to read anyone’s mind could be real by 2038

A leading surgeon claims within the next two decades, chips could be implanted in our brains which would give us the ability to read each other’s minds.

Superhumans with the ability to communicate using just their brains could be walking the Earth within two decades.

That’s according to a top surgeon who believes it’s only a matter of time until our brains are connected to the internet, reports The Sun.

Dr Eric Leuthardt of Washington University thinks that telepathy — or brain-to-brain communication — could be a reality.

“A true fluid neural integration is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when,” the neurosurgeon explained during an interview with MIT Technology Review.

“If it’s 10 or 100 years in the grand scheme of things, it’s a material development in the course of human history.”

He explained that telepathy won’t just mean chatting with our brains — but reading other people’s minds too.

The easiest way to achieve this goal, he believes, is to keep shrinking down computers until we can fit a powerful one into our brains.

“At the pace at which technology changes, it’s not inconceivable to think that in a 20-year time frame, everything in a cell phone could be put into a grain of rice,” he said.

NBC News – Data breach at Saks, Lord & Taylor compromises customer payment data

The owner of Lord & Taylor and Saks said Sunday that a data breach at its department stores compromised customer payment data.

In a statement, Hudson’s Bay Company said the breach hit Saks Off 5th, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor stores in North America.

“HBC has identified the issue, and has taken steps to contain it,” the statement said.

The company did not immediately provide additional details about how many customers were affected, but it said they would not be liable for charges and would be offered free identity protection services.

 USA Today – ‘Affluenza teen’ Ethan Couch, who killed four people in crash, released after serving two years

The Texas man known for his “affluenza” defense when he was given probation for killing four people in a 2013 drunken-driving crash was released on Monday after serving two years for violating his probation. 

Ethan Couch, who is now 20, has almost fulfilled a 720-day sentence for violating his original probation. He was convicted of killing four people in a drunken driving accident in 2013 when he plowed a pickup truck into a group of good Samaritans helping a stranded driver. 

A psychologist testifying for the defense suggested Ethan suffered from “affluenza,” a term supposedly meant to indicate that because of a wealthy, affluent upbringing devoid of consequences, he wasn’t capable of knowing right from wrong, or fully accepting responsibility.

Juvenile Judge Jean Boyd eventually sentenced Couch to rehab and 10 years of probation.

“As far as any other cases I’ve dealt with, he’s in a class by himself,” said Richard Alpert, a former DWI prosecutor in Tarrant County who went up against Couch in juvenile court.

Ethan’s release comes just days after his mother, Tonya, was arrested  Wednesday when her bond was revoked. Court documents say she failed a urine analysis test for drugs.

The 50-year-old was out on bond after allegedly helping her son flee to Mexico in late 2015, when the then-teen was in jeopardy of violating his own probation after a Twitter video of him at a beer pong party went viral.

BBC News – Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: Anti-apartheid campaigner dies at 81

South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died aged 81.

She and her former husband Nelson Mandela, who were both jailed, were a symbol of the country’s anti-apartheid struggle for three decades.

However, in later years her reputation became tainted legally and politically.

Crowds of mourners and political figures flocked to her home in Soweto, in Johannesburg, after news of her death broke.

Family spokesman Victor Dlamini confirmed earlier on Monday that Mrs Mandela “succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones” following a long illness, which had seen her go in and out of hospital since the start of the year.

The Times London – London murder rate beats New York as stabbings surge

London overtook New York in murders for the first time in modern history in February as the capital endured a dramatic surge in knife crime.

Fifteen people were murdered in the capital, against 14 in New York. Both cities have almost exactly the same population.

London murders for March are also likely to exceed or equal New York’s. By late last night there had been 22 killings in the capital, according to the Metropolitan police, against 21 in the US city.

Eight Londoners were murdered between March 14 and March 20 alone and the total number of London murders, even excluding victims of terrorism, has risen by 38% since 2014.

Derby Telegraph – Independent witnesses report silent ghost plane which ‘turned the sky dark’

Separate reports of a mysterious ghost plane have emerged in Derbyshire where witnesses have seen a dark, silent shape’ sweep across the sky.

Onlookers have stated they have seen a dark shape in the sky at around 6.45pm on Monday night at different locations across the county.

Mark O’Brien believes he saw a quiet, low-flying plane fly above him after picking his daughter up from her swimming lesson in Ripley.

He said: “It was so low, it must have been only been around two or three houses high. I thought it was going to crash at one point but it was large and very quiet.

BuzzFeed News – Growth At Any Cost: Top Facebook Executive Defended Data Collection In 2016 Memo — And Warned That Facebook Could Get People Killed

Facebook Vice President Andrew “Boz” Bosworth said that “questionable contact importing practices,” “subtle language that helps people stay searchable,” and other growth techniques are justified by the company’s connecting of people.

On June 18, 2016, one of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s most trusted lieutenants circulated an extraordinary memo weighing the costs of the company’s relentless quest for growth.

“We connect people. Period. That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it,” VP Andrew “Boz” Bosworth wrote.

“So we connect more people,” he wrote in another section of the memo. “That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies.

“Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.”

The explosive internal memo is titled “The Ugly,” and has not been previously circulated outside the Silicon Valley social media giant.

Andrew Bosworth talks about the new Facebook messaging service at an announcement in San Francisco, Nov. 15, 2010.

The Bosworth memo reveals the extent to which Facebook’s leadership understood the physical and social risks the platform’s products carried — even as the company downplayed those risks in public. It suggests that senior executives had deep qualms about conduct that they are now seeking to defend. And as the company reels amid a scandal over improper outside data collection on its users, the memo shows that one senior executive — one of Zuckerberg’s longest-serving deputies — prioritized all-encompassing growth over all else, a view that has led to questionable data collection and manipulative treatment of its users. You can read the full post below. Facebook was unable to provide comment at the time of publication.

 

 

 

 

 

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