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UK Starts Drafting AI Regulations for Most Powerful Models
The UK is starting to draft regulations to govern AI, focusing on the most powerful language models which underpin OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Bloomberg News reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. From the report: Policy officials at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology are in the early stages of devising legislation to limit potenti … ⌘ Read more

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Song Lyrics Have Become Simpler and More Repetitive Over the Last Five Decades
Abstract of a paper on Nature: Music is ubiquitous in our everyday lives, and lyrics play an integral role when we listen to music. The complex relationships between lyrical content, its temporal evolution over the last decades, and genre-specific variations, however, are yet to be fully understood. In this wo … ⌘ Read more

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Security Engineer Jailed For 3 Years For $12M Crypto Hacks
An anonymous reader shares a report: Shakeeb Ahmed, a cybersecurity engineer convicted of stealing around $12 million in crypto, was sentenced on Friday to three years in prison. In a press release, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the sentence. Ahmed was accused of hacking into two cryptocurrency exchanges, and stealing around $ … ⌘ Read more

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Senator Warren Claims TurboTax ‘Relentlessly’ Upsells Customers in Letter To FTC
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has written a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, saying that TurboTax “continues to relentlessly upsell” customers while also directing them away from services that would otherwise be free. From a report: As noted in the letter, Warren’s staff analyzed TurboTax’s services using a … ⌘ Read more

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Sony’s PS5 Pro is Real and Developers Are Getting Ready For It
Sony is getting ready to release a more powerful PS5 console, possibly by the end of this year. After reports of leaked PS5 Pro specifications surfaced recently, The Verge has obtained a full list of specs for the upcoming console. From the report: Sources familiar with Sony’s plans tell me that developers are already being asked to ensure their game … ⌘ Read more

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iOS App Store’s First Game Boy Emulator Taken Down Just Days Later
An anonymous reader shares a report: Over the weekend, developer Mattia La Spina launched iGBA as one of the first retro game emulators legitimately available on the iOS App Store following Apple’s rules change regarding such emulators earlier this month. As of Monday morning, though, iGBA has been pulled from the App Store following controve … ⌘ Read more

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Telecom Fights Price Caps as US Spends Billions on Internet Access
AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon are quietly trying to weaken a $42.5 billion federal program to improve internet access across the nation, aiming to block strict new rules that would require them to lower their poorest customers’ monthly bills in exchange for a share of the federal aid. From a report: In state after state, the telecom firm … ⌘ Read more

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Apple Loses Mantle as World’s Biggest Phone Seller To Samsung as China Sales Drop
Apple has lost its spot as the world’s biggest mobile phone seller after a steep sales drop as South Korean rival Samsung retook the lead in the global market share. From a report: Samsung had been the biggest seller of mobile phones for 12 years until the end of 2023, when sales of Apple’s iPhone models overtook … ⌘ Read more

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Emissions Dropped 1.8% Every Year in California’s Bay Area. Researchers Credit EVs
An anonymous reader shared this report from the Los Angeles Times:

A network of air monitors installed in Northern California has provided scientists with some of the first measurable evidence quantifying how much electric vehicles are shrinking the carbon footprint of a large urban area. Researchers from UC Berk … ⌘ Read more

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Disneyland Adds ‘Stars Wars’ Touches (and New Droids) for ‘Season of the Force’ Event
A monthslong “Star Wars”-themed festival called Season of the Force is now happening at Disneyland — including John Williams compositions in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land during the park’s fireworks. SFGate reports:

Before the show starts, a voice rings through the land. “Black Spire Outpost has a … ⌘ Read more

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California Replaces Gas Plant with Giant, Billion-Dollar Grid Battery
Meanwhile, in Southern California, nonprofit news site Canary Media reports that an old gas combustion plant is being replaced by a “power bank” named Nova.

It’s expected to store “more electricity than all but one battery plant currently operating in the U.S.”

The billion-dollar project, with 680 megawatts and 2,720 megawatt-hours, wi … ⌘ Read more

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CNN Reporter ‘Still Haunted’ By Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
After nearly 11 years as CNN’s space correspondent, Miles O’Brien found himself in 2003 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida covering the launch of the space shuttle Columbia:

As part of the post-launch routine, NASA began sharing several replays of the launch from various cameras trained on the vehicle. And that was when we saw it. Producer D … ⌘ Read more

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America’s Legal System May Be ‘Closing In’ on Regulating Cryptocurrencies
A business columnist at the Los Angeles Times notes Sam Bankman-Fried’s judge issued another ruling “that may have a more far-reaching effect on the crypto business.

U.S. Judge Failla “cleared the Securities and Exchange Commission to proceed with its lawsuit alleging that the giant crypto broker and exchange Coinbase has been deal … ⌘ Read more

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Struggling Movie Exhibitors Beg Studios For More Movies - and Not Just Blockbusters
Movie exhibitors still face “serious risks,” the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday:
Attendance was on the decline even before the pandemic shuttered theaters, thanks to changing consumer habits and competition for people’s time and money from other entertainment options. The industry has demonstrated … ⌘ Read more

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Will the US-China Competition to Field Military Drone Swarms Spark a Global Arms Race?
The Associated Press reports:

As their rivalry intensifies, U.S. and Chinese military planners are gearing up for a new kind of warfare in which squadrons of air and sea drones equipped with artificial intelligence work together like swarms of bees to overwhelm an enemy. The planners envision a scenario … ⌘ Read more

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Axios CEO Believes AI Will ‘Eviscerate the Unprepared’ Among Media Companies
In the view of Jim VandeHei, CEO of Axios, artificial intelligence will eviscerate the weak, the ordinary, the unprepared in media,” reports the New York Times:

VandeHei says the only way for media companies to survive is to focus on delivering journalistic expertise, trusted content and in-person human connection. For Axio … ⌘ Read more

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Canonical Says Qualcomm Has Joined Ubuntu’s ‘Silicon Partner’ Program
Intel, Nvidia, AMD, and Arm are among Canonical’s “silicon partners,” a program that “ensures maximum Ubuntu compatibility and long-term support with certified hardware,” according to Web Pro News.

And now Qualcomm is set to be Canonical’s next silicon partner, “giving Qualcomm access to optimized versions of Ubuntu for its processors.”

… ⌘ Read more

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Stop ‘Harmful 5G Fast Lanes’, Legal Scholar Warns America’s FCC
America’s FCC votes on net neutrality April 25th. And the director of Stanford Law School’s “Center for Internet and Society” (also a law professor) says mostly there’s “much to celebrate” in the draft rules released earlier this month.

Mobile carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon that have been degrading video quality for mobile users will have to … ⌘ Read more

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Is PHP Declining In Popularity?
The PHP programming language has sunk to its lowest position ever on the long-running TIOBE index of programming language popularity. It now ranks #17 — lower than Assembly Language, Ruby, Swift, Scratch, and MATLAB. InfoWorld reports:

When the Tiobe index started in 2001, PHP was about to become the standard language for building websites, said Paul Jansen, CEO of software quality services vendor Tiobe. … ⌘ Read more

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APT Interface ‘Revamped’ For Ubuntu 24.10 and Debian Trixie with Colors and Columns
Ubuntu 24.10 [expected this October] and Debian GNU/Linux 13 “Trixie” [expected June-July 2025] “will feature a refined APT command-line interface,” reports 9to5Linux:

APT developer and Canonical engineer Julian Andres Klode took to LinkedIn to present the revamped APT interface powered by the upcoming APT 3.0 … ⌘ Read more

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Windows 11’s Beta Testers May Start Seeing Ads for Microsoft Store Apps
Engadget warns Windows 11 users that Microsoft is “exploring the idea” of putting ads in their Start menu. Sort of…

To be specific, it’s looking to place advertisements for apps you can find in the Microsoft Store in the menu’s recommended section….

At the moment, Microsoft will only show ads in this version if you’re in the US and … ⌘ Read more

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Two Boeing Whistleblowers Allege Disregarded Worker Concerns, Pressure For Speed
“Federal regulators are investigating a whistleblower’s claims about flaws in the assembly of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner,” NPR reported this week:

Longtime Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour went public Tuesday with claims that he observed problems with how parts of the plane’s fuselage were fastened together. Salehpour wa … ⌘ Read more

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AI Could Explain Why We’re Not Meeting Any Aliens, Wild Study Proposes
An anonymous reader shared this report from ScienceAlert:

The Fermi Paradox is the discrepancy between the apparent high likelihood of advanced civilizations existing and the total lack of evidence that they do exist. Many solutions have been proposed for why the discrepancy exists. One of the ideas is the ‘Great Filter.’ The Great … ⌘ Read more

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Fusion Experiment Demonstrates Cheaper Stellerator Using Creative Magnet Workaround
Popular Science reports that early last week, researchers at the U.S. Energy Department’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory revealed their new “MUSE” stellarator — “a unique fusion reactor that uses off-the-shelf and 3D-printed materials to contain its superheated plasma.”

The researchers’ announcement … ⌘ Read more

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Could a New Charge Double the Service-life of Li-Ion Batteries?
“An improved charging protocol might help lithium-ion batteries to last much longer,” writes Science Daily:

The best commercial lithium-ion batteries…have a service life of up to eight years. Batteries are usually charged with a constant current flow. But is this really the most favorable method? A new study by Prof. Philipp Adelhelm’s group a … ⌘ Read more

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