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Archer and Australian Missile Corp to develop sovereign defence capabilities

ZDNet

Archer Materials has announced signing a deal with the Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) that will see the former work on the development of sovereign defence capabilities. The Australian Missile Corporation is a subsidiary of NIOA, a Defence prime contractor and the largest Australian-owned supplier of weapons and munitions to Defence. Archer is developing quantum computing processor chip technology, and said it currently possesses advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities that will be of benefit to a future sovereign guided weapons enterprise. The non-binding letter of intent Archer has signed with AMC will be focused on its 12CQ quantum computing chip technology. The agreement forms part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's AU$1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise initiative which he said will support missile and guided weapons manufacturing for use across the Australian Defence Force. The initiative will receive a total of AU$270 billion over the next decade to strengthen Australia's defence forces through high-tech submarines, new fighter jets, hypersonic weapons, and advanced munitions.


Accenture acquires German engineering consulting firm umlaut

ZDNet

Accenture on Monday announced that it's acquiring German engineering consulting firm umlaut. The services and consultancy company said the purchase will expand its engineering capabilities in the areas of cloud, AI and 5G. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Umlaut's technology expertise span traditional and digital engineering services, including testing and validation of smart connected products, strategy and organizational consulting, hardware product development and software development. More than 4,200 engineers and consultants from umlaut will join Accenture's Industry X services group, which aims to combine Accenture's data and digital knowhow with engineering digitization services.


Amazon Echo Show 8: How one big feature changes everything

ZDNet

Last week, Amazon sent me a brand new, second generation Echo Show 8. I've been an Echo Show user since nearly the beginning, and have been closely watching the evolution of all the Alexa devices. The original Echo Show, introduced almost exactly four years ago, had a 7-inch 1024x600 screen. The first generation Echo Show 8, introduced in November of 2019, had an 8-inch 1280x800 screen. Technically, the screen on that first generation Echo Show 8 was a bit bigger, and the resolution a bit better than the original Echo Show, but if you look at the one that lives on top of our water heater in the laundry room and then look at the one that lives on top of our microwave, the only way you'd be able to tell is take out a ruler and measure it. Speakers were better on the first generation Echo Show 8 than they were on the original Echo Show. Oddly enough, the camera on the Echo Show 8 was a measly 1 megapixel camera, a big step down from the original Echo Show's 5 megapixel imager.


Surgery digitized: Telesurgery becoming a reality

ZDNet

There's been a lot of talk around the topic of telesurgery and how far we are from this being a feasible reality. CEO of Asensus Surgical Anthony Fernando says this future is possible through 5G but this infrastructure has to be available everywhere. Moreover, the fundamentals of robotic-assisted surgical practices need to be widespread before we can progress further. How and why tech's big players are poised to give the industry its biggest shakeup in decades. Companies like Asensus have taken steps to digitize the interface between the surgeon and patient through "performance-guided surgery"--the convergence of surgical technology and augmented intelligence.


What is 6G, if anything? A guide to what to expect, from whom, and when

ZDNet

If there is to be a "6G Wireless," its proponents will need to learn some significant lessons from the era of 5G. Already, 5G Wireless as a market strategy is four years old. The R&D divisions of telecommunications firms whose 5G rollouts are well under way, are now looking ahead to whatever the next version of wireless may be. . . So far, what they're seeing may be a bit far out. It's a capital improvement project the size of the entire planet, replacing one wireless architecture created this century with another one that aims to lower energy consumption and maintenance costs. "6G must deliver an outcome that is aligned with real needs," remarked David Lister, Head of 6G Research and Development Technology at Europe's Vodafone Group, "and deliver outcomes that are sustainable and commercially driven." Lister was speaking at an annual conference called the 6G Symposium. Yes, there is already an annual 6G Symposium. Back in 1998, the leading stakeholders in global telecommunications formed the 3GPP consortium, to officially designate which technologies belong to a "G" and which don't.


Dentist charged by SEC for digital token project fraud, pump-and-dump AI stock scheme

ZDNet

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged a Florida national for his alleged role in three separate securities fraud scams. Simple steps can make the difference between losing your online accounts or maintaining what is now a precious commodity: Your privacy. Edgar Radjabli, a former dentist, controlled Apis Capital Management LLC., marketed as an advisory firm that the SEC says was unregistered. Through this company, Radjabli allegedly controlled Apis Tokens as a managing partner, an offering called the "first tokenized hedge fund" which was based on the Stellar platform. Apis Tokens were touted as a way for investors to access the ACM Market Neutral Volatility Strategy fund by converting cryptocurrency including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) into Apis Tokens and stakes in the fund.


Now Google is using AI to design chips, far faster than human engineers can do the job

ZDNet

In only six hours, the model could generate a design that optimizes the placement of different components on the chip. A team of researchers from Google has unveiled a new AI model that can come up with complex chip designs in hours – a burdensome, intricate task that typically takes months for human engineers to complete. The researchers used a dataset of 10,000 chip layouts to feed a machine-learning model, which was then trained with reinforcement learning. It emerged that in only six hours, the model could generate a design that optimizes the placement of different components on the chip, to create a final layout that satisfies operational requirements such as processing speed and power efficiency. The method's success is such that Google has already used the model to design its next generation of tensor processing units (TPUs), which run in the company's data centers to improve the performance of various AI applications.


Nvidia acquires AV mapping company DeepMap to bolster its DRIVE platform

ZDNet

Nvidia is acquiring autonomous vehicle mapping company DeepMap to bolster the capabilities available of its DRIVE software. DeepMap's technology utilizes crowdsourced data from vehicle sensors to build high-definition maps that update continuously as the car drives. Ali Kani, vice president and general manager of Automotive at Nvidia, said DeepMap has "a proven track record and are entrepreneurial, nimble and engineering-focused. DeepMap meets a deep need in the industry, and together we will develop and extend these capabilities." Nvidia said it plans to continue working with DeepMap's partner ecosystem while also investing in new capabilities and services.


Singapore researchers tap human body as medium to power wearables

ZDNet

Singapore researchers say they have developed a way to tap the human body as a medium to draw energy and power wearables. The technology draws power from a single device, such as a mobile phone placed in a pocket, to wirelessly charge other wearables placed on the body. It also could be used to extract unused energy from electronic appliances in homes or offices to power wearables, said the team from National University of Singapore's (NUS) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The engineers developed the technology alongside the university's N.1 Institute for Health, which comprises academics in neuro-engineering who use machine learning and artificial intelligence to facilitate clinical trials. The researchers built a system that encompasses a receiver and transmitter, each embedded with a chip that enables wireless powering across the entire human body.


Industrial AI pioneer C3.ai partners with analytics upstart Snowflake

ZDNet

C3.ai, the twelve-year-old Silicon Valley startup that is bringing machine learning forms of AI to various industries such as oil and gas, on Wednesday said it is partnering with data analytics upstart Snowflake, the cloud-based vendor of data warehouses and other wares. The duo promised to take customers from start to production deployment of apps in one month. The arrangement provides for Snowflake users to "be provided with access to the C3 AI Suite and pre-built C3 AI applications that address a range of industries and enterprise AI use cases," the two companies said. C3.ai's chief product officer, Houman Behzadi, said the partnership "will create significant time and operational efficiencies for Snowflake's customers and solidify Snowflake as the operational data platform of choice for enterprise AI applications." Snowflake's leader of its product efforts, Christian Kleinerman, commented that the collaboration "will accelerate the development and deployment of complex AI and machine learning use cases," adding that the "C3 AI Suite and C3 AI's pre-built enterprise-grade models significantly speed and simplify the development of enterprise AI applications."