Elon Musk quits AI ethics research group

Technology billionaire Elon Musk has quit the board of the research group he co-founded to look into the ethics of artificial intelligence.

In a blog post, OpenAI said the decision had been taken to avoid any conflict of interest as Mr Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, became “more focused on AI”.

He has been one of AI’s most vocal critics, stressing the potential harms.

Mr Musk will continue to donate to and advise the group.

In 2014, Mr Musk said AI was humanity’s biggest existential threat.

And in 2017, he said that the United Nations needed to act to prevent a killer robot arms race.

He founded OpenAI in December 2015, as a non-profit company working for “safer” AI.

OpenAI recently contributed to the Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence report, which warned AI was ripe for exploitation by rogue states, criminals and terrorists.

In the blog post, OpenAI said in the coming months it would lay out the issues and policies needed to ensure that AI “benefits all of humanity”.

It also announced some new donors, including video game developer Gabe Newell and Skype founder Jaan Tallin.

Go to Source

Arm Reveals More Details About Its IoT Platform Security Architecture

When it announced its Platform Security Architecture for IoT devices last year, Arm said that “security can no longer be optional.” Now, shortly after it announced the iSim SoC that’s supposed to connect more devices to the IoT, the company revealed more about the PSA framework.

The Internet Of Threats

Kaspersky co-founder Eugene Kaspersky called the IoT the “Internet of Threats” in 2015, and as we’ve seen in the years since, his description wasn’t too far off. Poorly secured IoT devices have enabled massive DDoS attacks that took out major internet services, and that may be just the beginning, because we’re still in the early days of IoT boom.

Arm promised to enable over a trillion internet-connected IoT devices by 2035. We don’t know yet what it could mean if malicious actors would control even a small fraction of that, but it probably won’t be a pretty sight.

To make things worse, attackers may have found even bigger incentives to take-over IoT devices: cryptojacking, which sees attackers take over target devices and use them to mine cryptocurrencies they can then sell for a profit. IoT devices may not be remotely as powerful as PCs, but if attackers took over several billion of them, they could probably make a decent amount of money.

The good news is that Arm seems to take this issue quite seriously, or at least more seriously than individual device makers seem to take it right now, because many of them tend to have little incentive to enable strong security for their devices. Arm has announced multiple security-oriented projects lately, including its CryptoIsland secure enclave IP family as well as the PSA.

Platform Security Architecture

According to Arm, the PSA aims to provide a holistic set of security guidelines for the IoT ecosystem, from chip makers to device developers, so they can successfully implement security features. When it launched the PSA framework last year, Arm announced three main components: IoT threat models and security analyses, hardware and firmware specifications, and a reference open-source device firmware.


Today, Arm announced the first stage of the PSA framework with the release of the first set of Threat Models and Security Analyses (TMSA) documentation. The company also published threat model analyses for three types of IoT products: a smart water meter, a web camera, and an asset tracking device. Device makers can look at these examples to see how they should implement security features with their IoT products.

Additionally, Arm announced that the first open-source build of its reference firmware called Trusted Firmware-M, which conforms with the PSA specification, will be released in March 2018. The company will continue to develop and improve the open-source firmware after the release, too.

Securing The Next Trillion IoT Devices

Arm still has some work to do to complete the launch of the PSA framework. The company’s plan is to start by releasing the first PSA architectural document, which is called the Trusted Base System Architecture-M (TBSA-M). The document is currently in active review with some key partners, and it provides guidance on hardware security features to silicon designers.

Another step in the evolution of the PSA framework will be building an ecosystem of developers interested in making PSA-compliant devices. Arm plans to enable high-level security APIs on which companies can depend when building secure IoT devices. The company is also working on a Compliance & Certification Program, which should make it easier for manufacturers to build secure devices and for consumers to identify which IoT devices are worth their money.

Go to Source

GogoToro Outlet Evaders review: A fun, powerful, and portable power bank

GogoToro Outlet Evaders review: A fun, powerful, and portable power bank | PCWorld

GGTR Outlet Evaders Power Bank

GGTR

“);});try{$(“div.lazyload_blox_ad”).lazyLoadAd({threshold:0,forceLoad:false,onLoad:false,onComplete:false,timeout:1500,debug:false,xray:false});}catch(exception){console.log(“error loading lazyload_ad “+exception);}});

GogoToro recently released a series of power banks inspired by classic video games: There’s the DexCharge, Cheeky-Charger, and Outlet Evaders. Each pack comes with a different color scheme, as well as a sheet of stickers for the user to customize the pack. For this review, I’m specifically evaluating the Outlet Evaders pack, available for $39 from GGTR’s site or Amazon.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of portable power banks. Go there for details on competing products and our testing methods.

Included in the box is the battery pack itself, a microUSB cable, a carrying case, and the previously mentioned a sticker sheet for decorating the pack.

The power bank comes in black with a single Space Invaders–inspired character on top. It’s small enough to fit into a coat pocket or backpack without being a burden, making it ideal for a night out or when traveling. A power button sits on the left side of the pack, and in front are two USB-A ports, with one colored orange to make it easy to tell which has Quick Charge 3.0 capabilities.

A microUSB port in the middle of the larger ports can be used to charge the pack itself. There’s also a USB-C port on the right side, but it can only be used to charge the pack. It’s an unfortunate decision, because during testing I did find myself wanting to use the USB-C port to charge a phone.

On the bottom of the pack are four indicator lights. When the power button is pressed, the lights turn on, white in color, and indicate how much of a charge the pack itself has left. In total, it took just under 4.5 hours to charge the Outlet Evaders pack from completely empty to full.  

With a total capacity of 10,000 milliamp-hours (37 Wh) our testing found the pack to have nearly 80-percent efficiency. More specifically, 79.38-percent. That puts the Outlet Evaders’ performance in the middle of all the packs we’ve tested.

Bottom line: GGTR’s Outlet Evader power bank performs respectably and has a sweet gaming theme, but it faces stiff competition because of its high price relative to its capacity.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
  • The GGTR Outlet Evaders pack is a bit pricey for its capacity, but it makes up for it with a sweet gaming theme and stickers.

    Pros

    • Stickers add a personal flair
    • Respectable efficiency
    • Compact size

    Cons

    • Priced a bit high for a pack of its capacity
    • USB-C port is only usable for charging the pack






Go to Source

SEC Warns Against Selling Stock During Security Incidents

Following the Equifax data breach and the Meltdown/Spectre scandals, the U.S. Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC) issued a warning reminding executives that trading stock during such incidents classifies as insider trading and is punishable by law. In both of those incidents the CEOs and other executives sold stock after learning about the security issues, but before the problems were publicly revealed.

SEC Warning

The SEC issued new guidance to clarify that company executives are not allowed to trade on insider information, such as knowing that their company suffered a data breach, until the information is made public.

The commission added that these are not new rules; they’ve been in place for a while. However, after several Equifax and Intel stock sales during the internal investigation of their respective security issues, the SEC thought it should issue a reminder:

Directors, officers, and other corporate insiders must not trade a public company’s securities while in possession of material nonpublic information, which may include knowledge regarding a significant cybersecurity incident experienced by the company.

Equifax Data Breach

Equifax experienced one of the most devastating data breaches in U.S. history, as the personal information of over 145 million Americans was exposed. Meanwhile, several executives, including the Equifax CEO at that time, Richard Smith, sold stock worth over $1.8 million after learning of the data breach and before making the information public.

However, despite the SEC issuing the new guidance and clarifying that this was illegal, it previously declined to investigate the Equifax executives for insider trading. The executives are still under criminal investigation by the Justice Department.

Intel’s Meltdown

Although Intel said that its CEO’s stock sale was “planned” for last fall, it turned out that Krzanich planned the sale only after learning about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities from Google. Again, this should not be allowed, according to the SEC’s new guidance, but for now it’s not clear if the agency is pursuing an investigation against Krzanich.

Either way, other companies were put on notice if they allow their executives to sell stock during internal security incident investigations, but how well the companies respect this new guidance may depend on how willing the SEC is to enforce its own rules when companies break them.

Go to Source

‘Warcraft III’ PTR Update Brings 24-Player Limit, World Editor Improvements

Last year, Blizzard added a Public Test Realm (PTR) for Warcraft III, and the studio is now using it to its full potential. In addition to more balance changes, the studio is testing some new features that could bring back veterans to the real-time strategy game that debuted in 2002.

When Warcraft III was released, monitors used the 4:3 screen ratio. One of the ways Blizzard is attempting to modernize the game is by testing widescreen support. Specifically, it will add black vertical bars in menus to prevent stretching as well as bookends for the game’s interface. You can see the change for yourself, but be warned that you might have some issues with changing the resolution when playing in fullscreen mode.

In the past, you could play custom games with a maximum of 12 people. Blizzard is testing the ability to double that amount so that matches can hold up to 24 players. This also means that those who want to create their own maps can create larger areas. The game’s World Editor has new limits to map size, objects, and resources so that you can build massive arenas. Warcraft III is bound to feel much bigger after these changes.

For now, this latest version of the PTR is available only for the English version of the game. Blizzard also mentioned that this might be the final iteration of Warcraft III to support the Windows XP OS. You can check out the full details of the update on the game’s forum page.

These changes come in tandem with Blizzard’s announcement of the first Warcraft III Invitational tournament. Fourteen players from around the world will gather at the studio’s headquarters in Irvine, California from February 27 – 28. All of the updates to the game might be a sign of Blizzard’s intention to reveal some information on a potential remaster or sequel, and we’re bound to find out more at the upcoming tournament.

Name Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
Type Fantasy, Real-time strategy
Developer Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms Windows, MacOS
Where To Buy
Release Date July 3, 2002

Go to Source

LIVE: Sony Xperia XZ2 Live Stream & Live Blog from MWC 2018

On Monday morning at MWC 2018 Sony will unveil its new Android flagship phone. You can watch the live stream right here (we’ll embed it as soon as it’s available), and we will have journalists at the event blogging live – read on for the news you won’t get from the Sony live stream.

When is the Sony MWC 2018 live stream?

You’ll need to tune in at 8.30am CET (7.30am here in the UK) to watch Sony unveil its new hardware.

What will Sony announce at MWC 2018?

Sony will announce the successor to the Sony Xperia XZ1, which going by tradition should be called the Sony Xperia XZ1 Premium. However, an increasing number of rumours point to the Sony Xperia XZ2 or Sony Xperia XZ Pro. 

Should Sony announce the XZ2 now rather than waiting for September’s IFA show, it’s possible we’ll also see a Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact alongside it.

Whatever Sony announces, read our live blog below and you’ll be the first to know.

Sony MWC 2018 Live Blog

If you cannot see our live blog it is likely you are viewing a version of this page optimised for mobile. Please click here for the full version.

Read next: What to expect at MWC 2018


Go to Source

Metal Gear Survive review

Metal Gear Survive is the latest Metal Gear title developed and published by Konami, now available to buy around the world. Survive is the first open-world Metal Gear game to be developed following the departure of Hideo Kojima, the legendary Producer and Designer who has worked on the series for over three decades. Has the Metal Gear franchise lost its magic after the departure of Kojima, or does the survival aspect breathe new life into an ageing franchise?

We’ve spent around 12 hours playing Metal Gear Survive so far. We feel like this is enough for us to get an idea of what the game is like, although we’ll be playing much more in the coming days and will amend the review if necessary.

Platforms and pricing

Following a 22 February 2018 release, Metal Gear Survive is now available to play around the world on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Due to the nature of the game, Konami couldn’t justify a £50 price tag and as such, those interested can pick the game up pretty cheap. Those with consoles in the UK can head to Amazon (£25) or Game (£29.99), while those on PC can head to Steam (£34.99) or Green Man Gaming (£28.69).

For those over in the US, you can head to Amazon ($39.88), Best Buy ($39.99) or Steam ($39.99) to pick the game up.

Metal Gear Survive Review

Metal Gear Survive is set just after the events of Ground Zeroes, and is a spin-off from the timeline of The Phantom Pain. In this pseudo-historical timeline, a wormhole appears in the sky and promptly sucks Motherbase into its churning maw, and then into another dimension. If you’ve played any Metal Gear game, you probably won’t be batting an eyelid at any of this.

As a nameless soldier, referred to as the Captain, you must survive in this new and hostile world that has been overrun with a parasite that turns humans into ‘Wanderers’, aka zombies with Kuban Energy crystals for heads. And that’s the least weird type of enemy you’ll come across when exploring Dite – as you progress, you’ll come across various types of Wanderer, each with strengths and weaknesses that you need to figure out and take advantage of.

The game features the familiar Metal Gear feel of action stealth, mixed with a heavy dose of scavenging, crafting, base building and, most importantly, survival.

The game runs on the Fox Engine and is built from the foundations of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, while the environment borrows heavily from the game’s open world of Afghanistan. This also comes across in the performance, which is very solid on the PS4 with no noticeable frame drops even in the more crowded areas.

Hunger and thirst

Aside from the building mechanics, the most immediate change you’ll notice from Phantom Pain is the introduction of a hunger and thirst system. These are displayed as a percentage at the bottom left of your screen, which ticks down over time. To make these values recover you must scavenge food and water from the landscape – ideally cooking things first at your campfire.

Your hunger and thirst have a large effect on your maximum health and stamina, so you’ll want to make sure you’re bringing some snacks along with you if you’re heading out into the world. And herein lies the biggest issue with Metal Gear Survive; it’s a challenge to find wildlife to hunt and eat because wildlife is scarce.

You’ll occasionally be presented with a side mission that’ll highlight the presence of wildlife, but they won’t respawn in the same place once killed, and there isn’t always a wildlife-orientated mission available. If you keep an eye out on your travels, you can find a handful of places throughout Dite where livestock does respawn every so often. It’s important to mark these on your map with a sticker so you can come back and stock up next time you’re feeling hungry.

We find the hunger aspect pretty punishing, and because it’s directly linked to your health, it limits what you can do in the field. At times, it almost felt as though we were exclusively undertaking hunting missions because we’d only be able to recover the amount of hunger lost while hunting, and rarely anything more. It’s not as bad with water as you have a spring right next to your base that you can collect water from and purify, although you’ll constantly be scavenging for empty bottles to use.

Admittedly, there has been mention of building farms on your base camp to preserve wildlife instead of killing them in the field, although we’ve not yet accessed this function. We’ll revise our commentary on the hunger mechanic if this provides better access to food.

Base Camp and crafting stations

As well as exploring the open world environment, you’re tasked with building up the destroyed base’s defences to fight off the occasional horde invasion – you’ll start off with basic fences, but you gain access to more advanced gadgets as you progress through the game.

It’s satisfying, watching your base grow from a desolate wasteland into a military complex complete with team members performing tasks while you’re out in the wild. It’s a long process though, as with most aspects of this game. It rewards the grind though, so if you’re willing to put the hours in, you can end up with a nearly impenetrable base.

Speaking of, your base provides access to a series of crafting stations, where you can create an ever-increasing array of gadgets, weapons, armour and buildings from items you scavenge throughout the world. As you progress through the game, you’ll gain access to increasingly-advanced crafting tables, providing better resources to keep you alive when exploring uncharted land.

It’s also where you level up your character – not by experience like in most games, but by harvesting Kuban Energy from the Wanderers you take down. Kuban Energy is the main currency of the game and is required to craft resources and level up, so it’s a good idea to take the time out to harvest any Wanderers that you come across.

Scavenging

That brings us to the next main feature of the game; scavenging. When on your travels, you have to scavenge everything you see in order to craft the items you need to survive. This may get a little tedious for some, although the excitement of wondering what I’d find in those abandoned buildings I come across is enough to encourage me to have a look.

In addition to scavenging bits of scrap, you’ll occasionally come across huge crates out in the world that contain valuable recipes for new (and often rare) weapons and gadgets, but there’s a problem; they’re all locked. These crates often come with a complementary horde of Wanderers nearby and if you make a mistake in the lock-picking process, you will alert them to your position, so try not to do that too often. You do have the option of smashing it open with your weapon, but again, stealth is the key to most elements of this game.

The issue is that unlike with most survival games, you can’t craft anything on the go. You have to travel back to Base Camp, at which point everything you’ve scavenged on your travels is added to your storage, and you can use one of the crafting benches mentioned earlier.

This forces you to think tactically about the task ahead; will I need fences to hold off hordes of Wanderers? Or should I sacrifice my trusty spear and take out a bow-and-arrow for a long-range, stealthy approach (ideal for bombers)? The issue is that sometimes I simply forget to craft something before I head out, or I require more than what I can carry, and without any way to access my storage in the field, it becomes incredibly difficult to fight swathes of Wanderers.

Combat

Combat; an important element in any survival game, especially when going up against incredibly powerful creatures. Overall, the combat in the game is true to the Metal Gear formula, as stealth is the key to move forward, while combat is the fall-back option. And even then, melee weapons like spears and machetes take priority over standard weaponry.

Oh, and did I mention that the Wanderers hurt? They do. A lot. If you get too close they will slap you and remove a good chunk of your health, and that’s just with one of them. Getting overrun is a very real possibility, and that’s something I really enjoyed. It forces you to think on your feet and adapt to the ever-changing situation; something that can be challenging with limited stamina, especially when in the Dust.

But in general, the controls felt slightly clunky to me; it’s clear that the Captain doesn’t have the same level of skill as Snake, which makes his attacks – and the ability to respond to incoming attacks mid-action – slow. This means that you can’t simply run into a group of Wanderers with a machete and come out unscathed; the longer animations and slower pace of combat mean you have to take a more tactical approach, and when combined with how much damage the Wanderers do, provides quite the challenge.

Open-world and the Dust

You’ll find yourself submerged in the Dust for the majority of the game, where, if you can believe it, it’s even tougher to survive. The dust is, as you’d imagine, a thick wall of dust where some of the most powerful enemies are lurking, including a monster that’d be better suited to the Shadow of the Colossus.

The issue is that the dust is toxic to humans, and requires you to wear an oxygen mask when exploring, providing another survival mechanic to keep an eye on. Once your oxygen hits zero, you’ll start to lose health and eventually, will die. The good news is that you can use crystals to create oxygen while in the dust if you’re running low, although it’ll slowly damage your oxygen tank to the point that it’ll no longer function.

The Dust does have benefits; namely the sea of resources it holds within. Although you’ll come across powerful and aggressive hordes of Wanderers on your travels, the amount of valuable resources – and potential crew members to recruit to Base Camp – makes it worth the risk. The issue is that with limited visibility, it’s incredibly easy to lose your bearings in the Dust and if it’s an area you’ve never explored before, you won’t have access to your GPS or waypoint markers to help you.

You’ll be able to spot nearby landmarks and Base Camp thanks to bright lights, so when in doubt, head towards the light. The digital fog of war in your map is only removed once you return to Base Camp and sync your iDroid with Virgil AT-9, at which point GPS becomes available in the areas you previously visited. It’s a bit of a clunky mechanic, and requires a lot of back and forth between the Dust and Base Camp. It also means that you can’t reliably mark any interesting spots you come across first-time-around on the map because you can’t find your exact location.  

The one saving grace is the Wormhole Teleporters that you come across on your travels. These short-range teleports allow you to easily get back to Base Camp, although it’s a risky business setting them up. Why? Activating teleports for the first time is a long and loud process that attracts nearby Wanderers, leaving you to fend them off while it powers up.

Clever use of your crafted gadgets is crucial for times like this, building fences and other defences around you to battle off the approaching hordes. Watching Wanderers start to slowly climb the fence in front of you, only to have it topple over under their weight is a very nice touch and really adds to their relentless – and slightly terrifying – vibe. Unlocking teleports and mining for Iris Energy are some of the better parts of the game, but once you’ve done it four or five times, it starts to get a little same-y.

Multiplayer

Before we go any further, we should mention that the game isn’t fully co-op like some assumed. While you can’t invite friends to explore Dite with you, you can take on scavenging missions together. The best part of multiplayer is that you can take all items with you, and all items earned in multiplayer can also be used in single-player, making multiplayer a great way to farm large amounts of resources.

The basic concept, in the easier missions (which aren’t that easy with level 20 Wanderers), is to protect the drill while it mines Iris Energy. As mentioned above, this will draw in large crowds of Wanderers that you must defend against in wave-based fashion. The waves get more difficult as they go on, but unlike in single-player, you get a brief period between waves where you can use crafting benches to craft more defences

As well as fighting off hordes, you’ll see a number side-missions pop up on the map that rewards you with some tasty loot – providing we could get back to defend the base fast enough after completing them. It’s great fun, especially when playing on headset where you can communicate a proper plan with your teammates, leading us to wonder how amazing it’d be to have your friends be able to join you in the main game.

Go to Source