Items tagged with bot

Microsoft has been at the forefront of the machine-learning craze, having developed demos that are both neat and useful. About a year ago, the company released a tool that took a guess at your age, and just this past fall, it created a tool to help identify your emotions. The company has even developed a solution that can give a computer a sense of humor. There's seemingly no limit to where machine-learning can take us. Not all in this machine-learning realm can be perfect, though. Just last month, Microsoft had to pull a Twitter bot it called "Tay" from the internet after people managed to manipulate its "thoughts" for the worse. In no time, Tay became racist and sex-crazed, and we're pretty... Read more...
Few things on the Internet are both as necessary and annoying as CAPTCHAs, but it’s difficult to otherwise verify that a human being is attempting to access a site or send information. There have been and continue to be plenty of methods to improve CAPTCHAs, including an oddball empathy-based version, a twisted image that requires the user to drag sliders around to re-orient the image, taking the two-birds-with-one-stone approach of combining ads and CAPTCHAs, and more. One company that has developed a novel idea is AreYouAHuman, which offers a game-based verification system called PlayThru. The company describes PlayThru thusly: “PlayThru is the CAPTCHA replacement that makes people... Read more...
This one would make Vernon Reid proud -- or maybe not?  Regardless, here's a little something for Sunday night kick-back and amusement.  If you've ever played Guitar Hero and attempted Living Color's song, Cult of Personality on any setting but easy, you'll know why some axe-slinging musicians are called "heroes".  With his stylings classified as a hybrid "Metal Funk" fusion, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Reid as one of top 100 greatest guitarists of all time.  There's no question, in the game the song is a pretty steep challenge on the higher difficulty settings but not for Cyth Systems' Guitar Hero playing machine. ... Read more...
Pardon the headline mashup, but we're combing two automotive stories into one post here. While the two stories might not necessarily be directly related, they both shed light on different views of what the future of automobiles might look like. The first story is about the juicy tidbits General Motors (GM) has just revealed about the production-version of the Chevrolet Volt, and the second story is about a bloke who recently completed a successful test run of a self-guided, robotic Toyota Prius he built "in his spare time."        Credit: General MotorsChevrolet VoltAs part of GM's one-hundredth anniversary celebration today, the company finally unveiled the production version... Read more...
In case you missed the brouhaha on Monday, United Airlines' stock dropped from $12.50 to $3 per share in the matter of 15 minutes because of an Internet bot--and not just any old Internet bot--the king of all bots, the Google News crawler. The circumstances that led up the event were confusing, fingers were pointed every which way, and conspiracy theorists cried stock manipulation. Now that dust has settled somewhat, the pieces of the puzzle have started to come together in this odd series of events. Apparently the origins of this butterfly effect date back to December 10, 2002, when the Chicago Tribune published a story titled, "UAL Files For Bankruptcy," about United Airlines' 2002 bankruptcy... Read more...
A judge has sided with Blizzard in its lawsuit against the maker of a third-party leveling-app, Michael Donnelly of MDY Industries, which sells the WoWGlider (or MMO Glider) utility for $25.U.S. District Judge David Campbell ruled that because using the Glider 'bot is prohibited by Blizzard's World of Warcraft license, "Glider users therefore infringe Blizzard's copyright."He did, however, reject part of Blizzard's attempts to invoke the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's controversial anti-circumvention sections against Donnelly. (The DMCA follows a parallel track to traditional copyright law, meaning it's possible to infringe a copyright without violating the DMCA too.) The case is relatively... Read more...
The yet-to-be-released E.M.A. ("Eternal, Maiden, Actualization") fembot from Sega Toys has been generating quite a lot of buzz on the Internet since it was first announced last week. The decidedly female robot is 38cm tall and is capable of fluid movements via its "5 motors and 12 degrees of freedom." Those movements include dancing and kissing. But don't be fooled by her wily ways--she is also a lean, mean, fighting machine. Well, sort of. It turns out that the E.M.A. that Sega Toys announced is actually a localized version for Japan of the WowWee Femisapien Robot that was originally demonstrated at this last January's CES. In the spirit of fanning the flames of growing interest in the lady... Read more...
Technology News Daily reports on the latest findings of Marshal's Threat Research and Content Engineering (TRACE) team, indicating that the Srizbi botnet comprises 49.4 percent of all spam for the week ending May 4, 2008--making Srizbi "the world's largest spam botnet." (Marshal is an e-mail and Internet-content security service provider.)"Srizbi is estimated to comprise at least 300,000 compromised computers and sends more than 60 billion spam messages per day. Recently, the botnet has been used to promote a range of products including watches, pens and male enlargement pills. Srizbi also actively distributes copies of its own malware in malicious spam campaigns using social engineering ploys... Read more...
It has been a somewhat slow weekend for tech news, but I just came across an interesting article over at the Live Science site that I wanted to share.  The article centers around a cutting edge MIT robotics project dubbed Nexi.What makes Nexi so interesting is that "she" has been designed to communicate with not only the spoken word, but with facial expressions too."MIT's Nexi robot expresses emotions the same way you do - with your highly mobile face. Nexi's head and face were designed by Xitome Design with MIT. The expressive robotics started with a neck mechanism sporting 4 degrees of freedom (DoF) at the base, plus pan-tilt-yaw of the head itself. The mechanism has been constructed... Read more...
Remember the days prior to self-serve? OK, maybe none of you are that old. Well, if the Dutch have their way, we may soon been seeing "Full Serve," "Self-Serve," and "Robot Serve" prices at gas stations.Dutch inventors unveiled on Monday a 75,000 euro ($111,100) car-fuelling robot they say is the first of its kind, working by registering the car on arrival at the filling station and matching it to a database of fuel cap designs and fuel types.A robotic arm fitted with multiple sensors extends from a regular gas pump, carefully opens the car's flap, unscrews the cap, picks up the fuel nozzle and directs it towards the tank opening, much as a human arm would, and as efficiently.$111K?  Seems... Read more...
Any time that a console is responsible for the bulk of a next-gen disc format's sales, we're willing to consider the possibility that most consumers just don't give a damn.  Yet, it seems that nearly ¾ of all North American Blu-ray Disc players are found in PS3s and more than a third of all HD DVD Drives are Xbox 360 HD add-on drives if the following numbers are accurate:“Microsoft does not openly share its sales figures on its accessories, though a company representative did say in June that it had reached 155,000 units sold – showing a slow but steady adoption rate of the HD DVD add-on.The HD DVD Promotional Group announced in November that it had sold more than 750,000 HD DVD players,... Read more...
Well, not exactly, but pretty close. The Turing Test is a proposition first offered in the 1950s that tests a computer's ability to fool a human into thinking it's another human, using only natural language text interaction. Well, now there's a Russian website named Cyberlover.ru that sells a software utility that engages women in flirtatious chatroom conversation, up to ten at a time, all the while harvesting personal information that the unwitting conversationalists offer up. An Australian anti-virus software firm, PC Tools, has warned that the software could be abused by identity fraudsters trying to harvest people's personal details online. The Russian site denied it was intended... Read more...
It is tough enough to get tickets for a top-flight concert under normal circumstances, but when some people are using bots to cut in line, should that practice be made illegal?IAC/InterActiveCorp's Ticketmaster earlier this year filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against RMG Technologies Inc., a small Pittsburgh-based company that runs TicketBrokerTools.com. According to papers filed with the lawsuit, RMG rents to scalpers software that can inundate Ticketmaster's computers with thousands of requests for seats, "in effect allowing them to cut in line," according to Joe Freeman, a Ticketmaster vice president.Last month, Ticketmaster filed a motion for a preliminary injunction... Read more...
For years the defense department and even some large corporations have utilized games as a method of teaching people various trade tasks.  It appears that miners are perhaps the newest recipients of 'video game' based training.Considering the staggering cost of serious mining equipment (think 7 and 8 figures each), the idea of training and even employment pre-qualification on a virtual platform might make sense.  It certainly seems that it makes sense to Caterpillar, who brought their video game 'simulation' to Peru this week for a mining convention.  Apparently the new training method earned some new fans:“Giant video games with throaty diesel engines powering monster-sized earth movers, excavators... Read more...
When you think of supercomputers, you usually imagine a bunch of IBM looking fellows and ladies wearing white lab coats and clutching clipboards in a clean room next to a big  rack of silicon. But that's old-fashioned thinking;  New Zealand computer scientist Peter Gutman did some calculations, and the most powerful supercomputer in the world right now just might be the Storm Worm botnet. And criminals didn't put it together to play chess with Gary Kasparov. Malware researchers tracking the threat are privately awed by the sheer volume of spam with social engineering lures to malicious executables. “It’s nonstop, never-ending,” said a virus analyst at a major computer security firm.... Read more...
If it's not the best, it's one of the best, spyware removers available - and it's got the best price possible - free.  SpyBot Search & Destroy 1.5 has been released, after a few delays. We have to admit, it was delayed a few times, mostly because we always had some new feature we wanted to implement in mind, but now it's finally here: we're proud to announce the availability of Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.5. This new version features a lot of improved detection mechanisms (which in parts were already made available through the regular 1.4 updates in the past months), improved Operating System support (Windows Vista integration, restored support for Windows 95, more compatibility... Read more...
Everything gets automated eventually. At first, businesses strive for efficiency in workers, and then when the work becomes too boring and repetitive, they go all the way to having a machine of some sort do it. But that could never happen to writing software code, could it?  Charles Simonyi thinks it could, and his company Intentional Software is trying to do just that with its Domain Workbench. Simonyi's five-year-old startup, Intentional Software, is making software so smart that you can simply tell it what you want to do. Lay down a few basic parameters, and it will write its own code. No programming skills are necessary. "Experts [in other fields] can be much more innovative... Read more...
A few days ago rumors circulated that the gPhone would be launching within two weeks.  Now, aside from the fact that the gPhone is most likely the only thing that will make sites like this stop talking about the iPhone, is there any truth to the gPhone rumor? The grapevine is buzzing this week over the "gPhone," Google's long-rumored mobile device that has been in the works for some time now. And while some of the rumors may carry more merit than others, history has shown that when news picks up, something is on the way.Is a gPhone actually coming? At this point, we think the Magic 8-Ball is saying "Yes." This week's tips come after months of similar rumors that have only gotten louder... Read more...
Professor Robert Wood of Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences considers the life-sized robotic fly small, agile, and, from a military perspective, inconspicuous. With funding offered by the U.S. Military, Harvard researchers spent seven years working on it. Composed of lightweight carbon joints, the bug moves like an actual fly, with wings that beat 110 times per second. As it only weighs as much as the head of a pin and has a wingspan of just 3 cm, the U.S. Defense Department intends to use the robot for military surveillance operations. No word on speed or range of the gizmo. As for commercial availability, we highly doubt it. After all, the most obvious purpose of... Read more...
Just when you thought it was safe to open your browser: "The Department of Justice and FBI today said ongoing investigations have identified over 1 million botnet crime victims. The FBI is working with industry partners, including the Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University, to notify the victim owners of the computers. Microsoft and the Botnet Task Force have also helped out the FBI. Through this process the FBI may uncover additional incidents in which botnets have been used to facilitate other criminal activity, the FBI said in a statement." It's actually quite troubling to think that either these 1 million+ people either didn't use proper protection... Read more...
It seems that the world of mobile computing just gets more popular and devices get smaller and/or more powerful.  Now it appears that in addition to Intel joining the UMPC crowd with a long-term roadmap, AMD is planning to rise up to offer challenge: "Early last year, Microsoft revealed its ultra mobile computing platform. Smaller than a laptop but larger than a PDA, Microsoft's Origami project set the playing field for others to follow. At the time, Origami was positioned as an Internet browsing device with rudimentary multimedia capabilities. Unfortunately, the Origami project never materialized in any sort of substantial offering, but then again Microsoft has a bit of a hit-or-miss history... Read more...
Is it a hairdryer or a shower head?. Actually it's neither. Shown in the photo is the C2 comfort device from Herman Miller and is part of “The Be Collection.” Though it looks simple, it is armed with patented technologies that enhance one’s personal climate experience. The C2 allows users to personalize air temperature and enhance air quality via its particulate air filter that is Greenguard-certified. “The C2 is 41 percent recyclable, and businesses can count it toward environmental certification using the points-based LEED system. It also uses 90 percent less energy than a typical space heater.” The optimal operating distance is 18 inches and can increase the air temperature by up to 32... Read more...
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