Amazon Will No Longer Support the Echo Look, Encourages Owners To Recycle Theirs

“Amazon is discontinuing its Echo Look camera, a standalone device that gave owners fashion advice using artificial intelligence and machine learning,” reports The Verge. The gadget raised eyebrows when it was first announced as it included a virtual assistant with a microphone and a camera specifically designed to go somewhere in your bedroom, bathroom, or wherever the hell you get …

Eye-Catching Advances in Some AI Fields Are Not Real

silverjacket writes: A story in this week’s issue of Science. Artificial intelligence (AI) just seems to get smarter and smarter. Each iPhone learns your face, voice, and habits better than the last, and the threats AI poses to privacy and jobs continue to grow. The surge reflects faster chips, more data, and better algorithms. But some of the improvement comes …

EU’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue To Fall As Coal Ditched

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU continued their fall in 2018, the latest year for which comprehensive data is available, according to a new report from Europe’s environment watchdog. Emissions fell by 2.1% compared with 2017, to a level 23% lower than in 1990, the baseline for the bloc’s emission cuts …

Biotech Startup Aims to Make Use of Humanity’s Genetic Outliers

pacopico writes: A startup called Variant Bio has quietly been going around the world for the past couple of years, looking for genetic outliers. We’re talking about people with super high metabolisms, amazing eyesight, the ability to hold their breaths for really long times. Variant wants to sequence their DNA and come up with a new class of drugs based …

Amazon Sellers Are Marking Products As ‘Collectible’ To Get Around Price Gouging Rules

Amazon has suspended thousands of third-party sellers for price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic, but sellers have found a loophole to avoid detection when raising prices: labeling their products as “collectibles,” even if there’s no conceivable way they could be. The Verge reports: Take this Bowflex dumbbell set, which my colleague Casey Newton encountered while browsing Amazon. Before it sold …

Senator Ted Cruz Calls For Criminal Investigation of Twitter

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Axios: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), in a letter Friday to the Justice and Treasury departments, is calling for a criminal investigation of Twitter over allegations the company is violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. Twitter is already under fire from President Trump for adding fact checks and a warning label, respectively, to misleading and …

Michigan State University Network Breached In Ransomware Attack

Netwalker ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operators have reportedly breached Michigan State University’s network, threatening to leak private files to the public if they don’t pay a ransom in time. BleepingComputer reports: A countdown timer on the attacker’s website shows that the university has about six days to comply or “secret data” will become public. The site set up by the Netwalker ransomware …

Western Digital gets sued for sneaking SMR disks into its NAS channel

Enlarge / Hattis Law isn’t pulling any punches in the allegations made in its class-action lawsuit, specifically calling WD out not only for using SMR technology in less-than-ideal devices, but flatly accusing them of outright deception in the process. (credit: Hattis Law) All three of the surviving conventional hard drive vendors—Toshiba, Western Digital, and Seagate—have gotten caught sneaking disks featuring Shingled …

Google To Enable the Chrome Anti-Notification Spam System in July 2020

Google announced this week plans to enable its new anti-notification spam system in Chrome over the summer, with the release of Chrome 84, on July 12, 2020. From a report: Known internally as the “quieter notification permission UI,” this Chrome component works by blocking sites from showing notification requests, which are hidden under an icon in the Chrome URL bar …