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Save on gaming accessories: Level-up with these deals

ZDNet

Sure, you can train for a well-paid tech job in order to buy more gaming gear. Or you can just grab some of these excellent gaming accessories while they're on sale! These are the devices that should be at or near the top of your shortlist. Maximize your gaming experience with superior professional audio that lets you hear every movement, every footstep, so you can easily calculate the positions of your opponents. It has premium cushioned earpads and a detachable mic. For a limited time only, get HCG1 Pro Gaming Headset for $88.39 (reg.


IGEA, AMTA, and John Deere use intellectual property arguments to bash right to repair

ZDNet

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), and machinery manufacturer John Deere have once again pushed back on the proposal that any right to repair changes need to be introduced in Australia. In its response to the Productivity Commission's right-to-repair draft report, IGEA knocked back support for several of the recommendations that were put forward. These include enabling the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to develop and publish estimates of the minimum expected durability for products, such as video game consoles and devices, and requiring manufacturers to include additional mandatory warranty text that state entitlements to consumer guarantees under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) do not require consumers to use authorised repair services or spare parts. It repeatedly cited in its latest submission [PDF] that making changes would "cause confusion for consumers", pointing out for instance that additional text may "erroneously cause consumers to believe that their entitlements under the voluntary warranty (as opposed to the guarantees) do not require consumers to use authorised repair services or spare parts (which may not necessarily be true)". As part of providing additional information to the Productivity Commission, IGEA added that if manufacturers were required to make additional repair information available where they could bypass Trusted Platform Modules, it would open up the potential for the information to be "weaponised" by malicious actors, particularly as there are no licensing or certification schemes for electronic repairers that would help manufacturers discern between legitimate and illegitimate repairers. IGEA also took the opportunity to defend video game console manufacturers saying that it is in the "financial interest" of console makers that customers have "well-functioning and reliable devices that last for years".


Chipmaker Ampere to acquire AI startup OnSpecta

ZDNet

Chipmaker Ampere on Wednesday announced its plan to acquire OnSpecta, a startup whose software accelerates AI inference workloads in the cloud and the edge. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. OnSpecta, founded in 2017 and headquartered in Redwood City, Calif, has already collaborated with Ampere. The OnSpecta Deep Learning Software (DLS) has proven to accelerate Ampere-based instances running popular AI-inference workloads by 4x. Last year, Ampere started shipping its Altra processor, an Arm-based server chip for cloud computing and hyperscale data centers.


Alexa is becoming the anti-Windows

ZDNet

For years, Microsoft's end-user product introductions have been anchored in facilitating users' "flow". The term, popularized by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihaly and referenced in dozens of publications on improving productivity and removing distraction, describes a mental state of optimal performance where one is engaged with a task to the point where the rest of the world dissolves away from one's consciousness. "Flow" is the name of the default theme in Windows 11. Our civilization would be unrecognizable without the creations of those who have been so fervently engaged. Even for those who rarely or don't attain the flow ideal, personal computing has been driven by creation since its earliest days.


Microsoft buys 'spend intelligence' vendor Suplari to bolster Dynamics 365

ZDNet

Microsoft has acquired Suplari, a Seattle-based vendor that provides "spend intelligence" information for managing supplier spending for an undisclosed amount. Microsoft announced the deal on July 28. Microsoft plans to bring together the Suplari Spend Intelligence Cloud with Microsoft Dynamics 365, its ERP/ CRM offering, which already includes a number of "insights" modules. Microsoft officials said Suplari helps companies transform data from sources like contracts, purchase orders, invoices, expenses and such into actionable insights. From Microsoft's blog post on the Suplari acquisition: "Together with Dynamics 365, the Suplari Spend Intelligence Cloud will help customers maximize financial visibility by using AI to automate the analysis of current data and historical patterns from multiple data sources. It will also help customers enhance financial decision-making by predicting the best spend management actions moving forward."


OpenAI proposes Triton language as an alternative to Nvidia's CUDA

ZDNet

Graphics processing units from Nvidia are too hard to program, including with Nvidia's own programming tool, CUDA, according to artificial intelligence research firm OpenAI. The San Francisco-based AI startup, which is backed by Microsoft and VC firm Khosla ventures, on Wednesday introduced the 1.0 version a new programming language specially crafted to ease that burden, called Triton, detailed in a blog post, with the link to GitHub source code. OpenAI claims Triton can deliver substantial ease-of-use benefits over coding in CUDA for some neural network tasks at the heart of machine learning forms of AI such as matrix multiplies. "Our goal is for it to become a viable alternative to CUDA for Deep Learning," the leader of the effort, OpenAI scientist Philippe Tillet, told ZDNet via email. Triton "is for machine learning researchers and engineers who are unfamiliar with GPU programming despite having good software engineering skills," said Tillet.


Two gadgets every pro drone pilot needs

ZDNet

Profession drone pilots needs to consider that they will be generating huge amounts of data in the form of photos and video. High quality images, along with 4K and even 5.4K video takes up a crazy amount of space, and if you don't plan for it right at the start, you're quickly going to get swamped by it. I've been a pro-am photographer for years and know just how quickly gigabytes can fill up, but even that didn't prepare me for getting into drone photography and videography. Must read: Why you need to urgently update all your iPhones, iPads, and Macs - NOW! There's are two aspects to handling the photos and video once they have been captured onto high-quality microSD cards (I only use SanDisk Pro or Extreme Pro cards from reputable suppliers -- cheap cards can't handle the data speeds needed for 4K and 5.4K, and fake cards are hugely unreliable). The first is ingesting the data off the cards, and the second is storage.


It's time to standardize robotic surgery

ZDNet

The global surgical robotics market is expanding rapidly and may soon be worth $120B. But is the medical training ecosystem ready for the shift to robot-assisted surgeries? As more surgeons use robots in the OR, the approach for training on them and using them needs to be standardized. The truth is that all surgeons aren't approaching this innovative tech the same way. Standardized best practices are what set surgeons and patients up for success, and will help to make robotic surgery safer in the future.


Australia's digital minister avoiding legislating AI ethics and will remain voluntary framework

ZDNet

Australia's Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy Jane Hume has assured the country's AI ethics framework will remain voluntary for the foreseeable future. As part of her address during the virtual CEDA AI Innovation in Action event on Tuesday, Hume explained there were sufficient regulatory frameworks in place and that another one would be unnecessary. "We already have a very strong regulatory framework; we already have privacy laws, we already have consumer laws, we already have a data commissioner, we already have a privacy commissioner, we have a misconduct regulator. We have all those guardrails that already sit around the way we run our businesses," she told ZDNet. "AI is simply a technology that's being imposed upon an existing business. It's important that technology is being used to solve problems. The problems themselves haven't really changed, so our regulations certainly have to be flexible enough to accommodate technology changes … we want to make sure that there's nothing in regulations and legislation that prevents the advancement of technology. "But at the same time, building new regulations for technology, unless we can see a use case for it, is something that we would be reluctant to do, to over legislate and overprescribe." The federal government developed the national AI ethics framework in 2019, following the release of a discussion paper by Data61, the digital innovation arm of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The discussion paper highlighted a need for development of AI in Australia to be wrapped with a sufficient framework to ensure nothing is set onto citizens without appropriate ethical consideration. Making up the framework are eight ethical principles: Human, social and environment wellbeing; human-centred values in respect to human rights, diversity, and the autonomy of individuals; fairness; privacy protection and security of data; reliability and safety in accordance with the intended purpose of the AI systems; transparency and explainability; contestability; and accountability. Hume believes the principles have been designed in a way that make them "kind of universal" and therefore industry would be willing to adopt them voluntarily. "There's nothing in there that people would feel uncomfortable with, there's nothing that's too prescriptive … these are all things that we would expect.


New AI tools aim to improve live-stream content moderation

ZDNet

While Facebook, Twitter, Google and other popular web-service providers are busy deploying legions of people to mitigate online toxicity in the forms of hate speech, bullying, and sexual/racial abuse, two lesser-known companies have come together in a new research and development project to try and resolve these problems in the live-streaming video industry. The Meet Group, which develops software for interactive dating websites, and Spectrum Labs, which makes an AI-based audio-content moderation platform, on July 27 announced an expansion of their partnership to include a significant R&D commitment into voice moderation aimed at protecting users from online toxicity in TMG's live-streaming applications. The Meet Group owns several mobile social networking services including MeetMe, hi5, LOVOO, Growlr, Skout, and Tagged. The company has registered millions of mobile daily active users and facilitates tens of millions of conversations daily. Its mobile apps are available on iOS and Android in multiple languages.