Posts Tagged: against

John McEnroe is playing tennis against a virtual version of himself on ESPN+

Michelob Ultra and ESPN have decided to use AI to answer an enduring question: what would happen if tennis legend John McEnroe played against himself? An upcoming ESPN+ special entitled "McEnroe vs. McEnroe" will feature the 63-year-old star, who retired from singles competition in 1992, playing against a complicated, AI-trained version of himself. 

According to TechCrunch, the process for the actual game is fairly involved. After the real McEnroe sends a ball over the net, the AI avatar responds to its direction and "swings" — at this point, a new ball is launched from a ball cannon, which is obscured by a smokescreen. The positioning of the ball cannon and smokescreen are designed to make the ball appear as if it's coming off the avatar's racket. The avatar itself is projected onto a hologram particle screen. This teaser below shows off a tantalizingly small amount of footage.

As for how this all came together, the real McEnroe spent a day with production company Unit 9, who used full-body motion capture and scans combined with Unreal Engine's MetaHuman Creator technology. Adweek says that the McEnroe avatar and its programming are based on five different points in McEnroe's career, including his debut in 1979, his ascent to the top of the sport in 1981, and his final year as a pro in 1992.

Besides the work with the real McEnroe, Unit 9 also analyzed hundreds of hours of footage from his career and recorded 308 different shots for the virtual avatar. Given that McEnroe is now 63, he'll be playing against a much younger version of himself — whether or not that means the AI will have the edge remains to be seen, of course. If this somewhat odd matchup has piqued your interest, TechCrunch says the special will air tonight, May 7th, on ESPN+ at 10PM ET. 

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ISPs end fight against California net neutrality law

In a win for net neturality, ISPs agreed to end their legal challenge to a 2018 Californa law that bars providers from throttling service. Telecom groups and California Attorney General Rob Bonta today jointly agreed to dismiss the case, reportedReuters

It’s fair that say that luck hasn’t exactly been on the telecom industry’s side. Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider its ruling that California’s law be upheld. And last year, the US DOJ dropped its own lawsuit over the net neutrality law, which the agency had filed during the Trump administration.

“Following multiple defeats in court, internet service providers have finally abandoned an effort to block enforcement of CA's net neutrality law. This is a win for California and for a free and fair internet,” wrote Bonta in a tweet.

After Trump-appointed FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai overturned the agency's net neutrality rules in 2017, California’s legislature decided to enact its own law. The state’s net neutrality law, which went into effect in August 2018, expanded on previous federal rules by banning the use of “zero-rating” by ISPs in an anti-competitive manner. Zero-rating occurs when an ISP exempts any of its affiliated services from eating away at a customer’s data caps. For example, AT&T Wireless once exempted HBO Max from the data caps of its internet customers. The company dropped this practice last year, and blamed the impact of California’s law. Digital rights groups like Electronic Frontier Foundation have argued that zero-rating is hostile to consumers, especially those from low-income households.

Federal net neutrality rules that were blocked under the Trump administration have yet to be restored by the FCC under President Joe Biden. That’s because the five-member panel is currently short one member, which they’ll need in order to vote on net neutrality. The agency is awaiting the Senate confirmation of Gigi Sohn. But thanks to intense lobbying from telecom groups and a number of Republicans (and moderate Democrats) in Congress, Sohn’s confirmation is stalled at present.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

The lawsuit against Fitbit claims that most of its wearables represent a burn risk

Back in March, we covered Fitbit’s recall of its overheating Ionic smartwatch for which the wearable brand was offering full $ 299 refunds and discounts if buying a replacement. Today brings the news of a new lawsuit that alleges that more than one Fitbit tracker or smartwatch is heating up and causing injuries, with fingers being […]

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Lawsuit accuses Google of fostering systemic bias against Black employees

A new lawsuit against Google accuses the company of fostering a "racially biased corporate culture" that offers Black employees lower pay and fewer opportunities to advance than their white counterparts, reports Reuters. Filed on Friday with a federal court in San Jose, California, the complaint alleges the company subjected former diversity recruiter April Curley and other current and former Black employees to a hostile work environment.

In 2014, Google hired Curley to design a program to connect the company with Black colleges. Shortly afterward, she claims she was subjected to denigrating comments from her managers, who allegedly stereotyped her as an "angry" black woman while passing her over for promotions.

"While Google claims that they were looking to increase diversity, they were actually undervaluing, underpaying and mistreating their Black employees," Curley's lawyer told Reuters. The complaint notes Black people make up only 4.4 percent of employees at Google and approximately 3 percent of its leadership.

We've reached out to Google for comment.

Curley is not the first person to accuse Google of fostering a work environment hostile to Black employees and other people of color. In the aftermath of Timnit Gebru's controversial exit from the company, Alex Hanna, a former employee with the tech giant's Ethical AI research group, said she decided to leave Google after becoming tired of its structural deficiencies. "In a word, tech has a whiteness problem," Hanna wrote on Medium at the time. "Google is not just a tech organization. Google is a white tech organization."

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

I put the Galaxy S22 Ultra camera up against the S21 Ultra’s

Is the Galaxy S22 Ultra a worthy upgrade to the still excellent Galaxy S21 Ultra? We’ve put the camera and S Pen to the test to find out.
Android | Digital Trends

We compared Samsung’s One UI 4 against Android 12 on the Google Pixel 6 Pro

Samsung’s One UI 4 software is available now, and we compared it against Android 12 on the Pixel 6 Pro to see if it can compete with Google’s latest OS.
Android | Digital Trends

Facebook leak hints at its defense against a government-ordered breakup

Facebook is under intense regulatory pressure, and it appears to be bracing itself for the worst. The Wall Street Journal says it has obtained a document outlining Facebook’s defense if the government orders a breakup that would unload Instagram and…
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Qualcomm lost 3% of global smartphone chip market share in Q2 2020, against a backdrop of falling sales

Qualcomm lost 3% of global smartphone chip market share in Q2 2020 in a difficult market, which fell by 26%, according to the latest market share data. The report, by Counterpoint Research, explained that the main reason for the decline in smartphone chips is because of sharply reduced smartphone sales, due to the global pandemic. […]

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Judge dismisses Genius lawsuit against Google over ‘stolen’ lyrics

Last year, Genius made headlines when it used a "watermark" made up of alternating styles of apostrophes that spelled out "red handed" in Morse code to highlight what it said was Google scraping its annotated lyrics. While the move was clever, it has…
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Telegram is the latest company to file an EU antitrust complaint against Apple

If big tech thought that its antitrust reckoning would end with yesterday’s hearings, it’ll have its optimism sorely dented by what’s likely to follow. A number of smaller players are lobbing grenades over the fence in the hope of forcing regulators…
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Brazilian judge dismisses hacking charges against journalist Glenn Greenwald

Last month The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald faced criminal charges for breaking cybersecurity laws in Brazil. Now a judge has dismissed the hacking charges, linked to six people who allegedly stole information from the phones of public officials and j…
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Trump admin blocks expanded rules against inefficient lightbulbs

On Friday the Department of Energy announced it will not allow amended standards for incandescent lamps to go into effect. Following the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 there was talk of a "ban" on incandescent lights, but…
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Tesla warns employees against leaking info

Tesla has a rough history with leakers, and it's apparently eager to remind employees of that fact. CNBC said it had obtained an email from Tesla's security team (yes, the irony is thick) warning staff against leaking sensitive information. The messa…
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LG is the latest to join the South Korean FTC lawsuit against Qualcomm

LG has announced that they’ll be throwing their hat in the ring against Qualcomm with South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, who is currently in the midst of a lawsuit against the chip maker for unfair practices. The lawsuit has been going on for some time now over Qualcomm’s alleged patent abuse. The lawsuit was brought […]

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House Democrats to investigate Trump actions against Amazon, AT&T

Now that Democrats are poised to control of the House of Representatives, they're planning investigations into the Trump administration's actions against technology companies. Inbound House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff told Axios in a…
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Ticketmaster buys a blockchain company to guard against ticket fraud

Ticketmaster will soon have another way to fight bogus ticket sales: by hopping on one of the biggest tech bandwagons of 2018. It's acquiring Upgraded, a company that melds blockchain's distributed trust with encrypted barcodes to minimize the fraud…
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‘Minecraft’ mod fosters a collaborative effort against climate change

A Minecraft modder has added some fresh gameplay issues for players to deal with in the form of climate change. Nick Porillo's GlobalWarming mod alters the atmosphere based on certain actions like smelting ores. Temperatures will rise as carbon emiss…
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Spear-toting robot can guard coral reefs against invasive lionfish

Lionfish are threats to not only fragile coral reef ecosystems, but the divers who keep them in check. They not only take advantage of unsuspecting fish populations, but carry poisonous spines that make them challenging to catch. Student researcher…
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Australia task force will protect elections against cyberattacks

Governments around the world are taking various steps to prevent foreign elements from meddling with their elections. For some of them, it's to prevent foreign interference yet again — the US, for instance, might use paper ballot backups that will a…
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Disney’s lawsuit against Redbox may have backfired

Disney's attempt to prevent Redbox from buying its discs for rental and resale may have blown up in the House of Mouse's face. The Hollywood Reporter describes how District Court Judge Dean Pregerson sided with Redbox to shoot down a Disney-mandated…
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Expanding our work against abuse of our platform

As the CEO of YouTube, I’ve seen how our open platform has been a force for creativity, learning and access to information. I’ve seen how activists have used it to advocate for social change, mobilize protests, and document war crimes. I’ve seen how it serves as both an entertainment destination and a video library for the world. I’ve seen how it has expanded economic opportunity, allowing small businesses to market and sell their goods across borders. And I’ve seen how it has helped enlighten my children, giving them a bigger, broader understanding of our world and the billions who inhabit it.

But I’ve also seen up-close that there can be another, more troubling, side of YouTube’s openness. I’ve seen how some bad actors are exploiting our openness to mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm.

In the last year, we took actions to protect our community against violent or extremist content, testing new systems to combat emerging and evolving threats. We tightened our policies on what content can appear on our platform, or earn revenue for creators. We increased our enforcement teams. And we invested in powerful new machine learning technology to scale the efforts of our human moderators to take down videos and comments that violate our policies.

Now, we are applying the lessons we’ve learned from our work fighting violent extremism content over the last year in order to tackle other problematic content. Our goal is to stay one step ahead of bad actors, making it harder for policy-violating content to surface or remain on YouTube.

More people reviewing more content
Human reviewers remain essential to both removing content and training machine learning systems because human judgment is critical to making contextualized decisions on content. Since June, our trust and safety teams have manually reviewed nearly 2 million videos for violent extremist content, helping train our machine-learning technology to identify similar videos in the future. We are also taking aggressive action on comments, launching new comment moderation tools and in some cases shutting down comments altogether. In the last few weeks we’ve used machine learning to help human reviewers find and terminate hundreds of accounts and shut down hundreds of thousands of comments. Our teams also work closely with NCMEC, the IWF, and other child safety organizations around the world to report predatory behavior and accounts to the correct law enforcement agencies.

We will continue the significant growth of our teams into next year, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018.

At the same time, we are expanding the network of academics, industry groups and subject matter experts who we can learn from and support to help us better understand emerging issues.

Tackling issues at scale
We will use our cutting-edge machine learning more widely to allow us to quickly and efficiently remove content that violates our guidelines. In June we deployed this technology to flag violent extremist content for human review and we’ve seen tremendous progress.

  • Since June we have removed over 150,000 videos for violent extremism.
  • Machine learning is helping our human reviewers remove nearly five times as many videos than they were previously.
  • Today, 98 percent of the videos we remove for violent extremism are flagged by our machine-learning algorithms.
  • Our advances in machine learning let us now take down nearly 70 percent of violent extremist content within eight hours of upload and nearly half of it in two hours and we continue to accelerate that speed.
  • Since we started using machine learning to flag violent and extremist content in June, the technology has reviewed and flagged content that would have taken 180,000 people working 40 hours a week to assess.

Because we have seen these positive results, we have begun training machine-learning technology across other challenging content areas, including child safety and hate speech.

Greater transparency
We understand that people want a clearer view of how we’re tackling problematic content. Our Community Guidelines give users notice about what we do not allow on our platforms and we want to share more information about how these are enforced. That’s why in 2018 we will be creating a regular report where we will provide more aggregate data about the flags we receive and the actions we take to remove videos and comments that violate our content policies. We are looking into developing additional tools to help bring even more transparency around flagged content.

A new approach to advertising on YouTube
We’re also taking actions to protect advertisers and creators from inappropriate content. We want advertisers to have peace of mind that their ads are running alongside content that reflects their brand’s values. Equally, we want to give creators confidence that their revenue won’t be hurt by the actions of bad actors.

We believe this requires a new approach to advertising on YouTube, carefully considering which channels and videos are eligible for advertising. We are planning to apply stricter criteria, conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should. This will also help vetted creators see more stability around their revenue. It’s important we get this right for both advertisers and creators, and over the next few weeks, we’ll be speaking with both to hone this approach.

We are taking these actions because it’s the right thing to do. Creators make incredible content that builds global fan bases. Fans come to YouTube to watch, share, and engage with this content. Advertisers, who want to reach those people, fund this creator economy. Each of these groups is essential to YouTube’s creative ecosystem—none can thrive on YouTube without the other—and all three deserve our best efforts.

As challenges to our platform evolve and change, our enforcement methods must and will evolve to respond to them. But no matter what challenges emerge, our commitment to combat them will be sustained and unwavering. We will take the steps necessary to protect our community and ensure that YouTube continues to be a place where creators, advertisers, and viewers can thrive.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

YouTube Blog

Vizio is filing a huge $100 million lawsuit against a flailing LeEco

LeEco is going out with a bang, not a whimper. After trying and failing to acquire Vizio, the company started tumbling downhill in the financial department pretty quickly. We’ve seen desperate financing attempts, layoffs, and all kinds of other moves that paint a pretty clear picture that LeEco is in deep trouble. To make matters […]

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Qualcomm seeks U.S. iPhone ban in latest move against Apple

A few years ago a huge legal battle between Samsung and Apple dominated headlines as the two giants worked to move to the top of the smartphone market. Since then, things have taken a turn for the better and the companies mostly limit their competitive nature to the market. Over the past few months though, […]

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Intel and Samsung back FTC lawsuit against Qualcomm

The Federal Trade Commission kicked off 2017 by targeting Qualcomm over allegedly anti-competitive behavior, and unsurprisingly, companies the chipmaker competes with agree. Intel and Samsung filed briefs supporting the FTC lawsuit, claiming that Qua…
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Cog Systems’ custom, super-secure HTC One A9 phone protects against malware

Cog Systems, a mobile software security firm, has designed a custom system for the HTC One A9 phone that protects against malicious apps and viruses. It’ll ship to select retailers in the coming months.

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Mobile–Digital Trends

Game developers take a stand against Trump’s immigration ban

The opposition to the Trump administration's immigration ban has spread far and wide. Video game developers are joining the chorus against what some see as an unconstitutional policy put forth with no thought or consideration of the outcome. For a nu…
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The Mpow Armor Plus Bluetooth speaker is built like a tank and steeled against the elements

We take a look and listen to Mpow’s nearly indestructible speaker to find out if the Armor Plus’ sound quality stacks up to its resilience.

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Mobile–Digital Trends

Banks can bring class-action suit against Target over data hack

Target's legal woes continue to mount over its now-infamous data breach in 2013, which exposed the credit card numbers and personal information for as many as 70 million shoppers. A District Court judge in Minnesota ruled on Wednesday that Target w…
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Theater community rages against AT&T for ill-conceived tweet

In this session of Failed Marketing 101, AT&T upsets the theater community with a recent tweet that insinuated you should use your phone to watch football during a theater performance. As you can imagine, that tweet didn’t go over very well.

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Mobile»Digital Trends

You could play against Maria Sharapova at the U.S. Open, thanks to this amazing VR experience

Ever wondered how it would be to return the tennis serve of a champion? If you’re headed to the U.S. Open later this month, you may have the chance to find out — without having to set foot on the court itself, or risk embarrassing yourself in front of the crowd when you don’t even […]

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Wearables»Digital Trends