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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Many Xbox Ones aren’t working right now due to Xbox Live outage

If you just tried to turn on your Xbox One and were met with nothing but a black screen: you’re not alone.

A particularly bad outage in Xbox Live’s core services is causing the console to get stuck at boot. Microsoft is aware of the outage, and says they’ve “identified the cause”.

The issue seems to be impacting enough users that even Microsoft’s server status page is having a hard time staying up.

Xbox Live outages happen from time to time, but it’s quite unusual for said outages to keep the entire console from booting. In most cases, the console would just boot and then fail to access online services. This has lead many to assume that their console, itself, had somehow broken — but, at least hopefully, they’ll boot right up once Microsoft untangles this mess of an outage.

Some users who are on wired connections report that their consoles boot up after the ethernet cable is unplugged. Others on wireless connections say turning off their routers (so the Xbox doesn’t try to connect to Live over WiFi) let them boot up.

Many reports say that factory resetting does not help, so don’t trouble yourself with that.

Update: Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra blames the issue on a “deployment error” (meaning they went to push some new code, and something broke along the way), and says rebooting your console “in a few minutes” should fix it.


Source: TechCrunch

AutoComplete: The $300,000 Range Rover SV Coupe is dead video – Roadshow

Plus: The Ram 3500 gets its EPA certification and Toyota is giving Sirius XM to the people.
Source: CNET

2019 Lexus LC Inspiration heads to Chicago looking like a Coldplay song – Roadshow

No, I’m not referring to “Clocks.”
Source: CNET

MIT researchers are training a robot arm to play Jenga

Turns out training a robotic arm to play Jenga is a surprisingly complex task. There are, so to speak, a lot of moving parts. Researchers at MIT are putting a modified ABB IRB 120 to work with the familiar tabletop game, utilizing a soft gripper, force-sensing wrist joint and external camera to design a bot that can remove a block without toppling the tower.

The robot was trained with 300 attempts, rather than the thousands it would traditionally take, learning to cluster different attempts into groups as a kind of shorthand similar to how humans teach themselves. With each attempt the robot is pushing against the block, testing for tactile feedback to determine whether it’s a safe bet.

“Unlike in more purely cognitive tasks or games such as chess or Go, playing the game of Jenga also requires mastery of physical skills such as probing, pushing, pulling, placing and aligning pieces. It requires interactive perception and manipulation, where you have to go and touch the tower to learn how and when to move blocks,” says MIT assistant professor Alberto Rodriguez. “This is very difficult to simulate, so the robot has to learn in the real world, by interacting with the real Jenga tower. The key challenge is to learn from a relatively small number of experiments by exploiting common sense about objects and physics.”

The robot has gotten pretty good at making attempts, but the team is quick to note that it’s not quite ready to take on experienced players. Among other things, the robot isn’t able to determine strategic blocks that can sabotage the tower’s strength for upcoming turns. 


Source: TechCrunch

Rigetti launches the public beta of its Quantum Cloud Services

Rigetti Computing, one of the leading startups in the quantum computing space, today announced the public beta of its Quantum Cloud Services (QCS) platform. With this, developers can get access to Rigetti’s quantum processors, as well as all the classical computing resources necessary to build and test quantum algorithms on this hybrid platform.

Beta users will get $5,000 in credits toward running their programs on the platform. The platform itself consists of classical computing resources (you still need those as the quantum chips are essentially specialized co-processors) and Rigetti’s quantum chips, including two of its latest Aspen quantum processors. In order to run your algorithms on those chips, you’ll have to book time using the service’s online booking system.

The core of the user experience, though, is Rigetti’s Quantum Machine Image, which features all of the company’s tools for building quantum algorithms, including its Forest SDK and a simulator for testing code. That image then runs on a regular server in Rigetti’s cloud, but it’s tightly coupled with the company’s quantum computing resources.

Developers also get access to the first set of quantum applications written by various Rigetti partners, like Zapata Computing, a company that specializes in algorithms for quantum computing. Those applications range from a tool for compressing quantum data to QuantumFreeze to some basic machine learning applications. There’s also a game where you help a penguin navigate a frozen lake that’s pocketed with holes. You can either make classical moves or split the penguin into a superposition of states. Why not, I guess.


Source: TechCrunch

This smart, agile MIT robot plays a mean game of Jenga – CNET

Researchers have created a robot that combines vision and touch to remove blocks without toppling the wooden tower.
Source: CNET

A Robot Teaches Itself to Play Jenga. But This Is No Game

A machine is mastering the complex physics of Jenga. That’s a big step in the daunting quest to get robots to manipulate objects in the real world.
Source: Wired

Fortnite is about to have a live concert and everybody is invited – CNET

After some pretty major (intentional?) leaks, it appears DJ Marshmello will be playing Pleasant Park on Saturday.
Source: CNET

Google’s also peddling a data collector through Apple’s back door

It looks like Facebook is not the only one abusing Apple’s system for distributing employee-only apps to sidestep the App Store and collect extensive data on users. Google has been running an app called Screenwise Meter, which bears a strong resemblance to the app distributed by Facebook Research that has now been barred by Apple, TechCrunch has learned.

In its app, Google invites users aged 18 and up (or 13 if part of a family group) to download the app by way of a special code and registration process using an Enterprise Certificate. That’s the same type of policy violation that led Apple to shut down Facebook’s similar Research VPN iOS app, which had the knock-on effect of also disabling usage of Facebook’s legitimate employee-only apps — which run on the same Facebook Enterprise Certificate — and making Facebook look very iffy in the process.

Google’s Screenwise Meter app for iPhones. (Images: Google)

First launched in 2012, Screenwise lets users earn gift cards for sideloading an Enterprise Certificate-based VPN app that allows Google to monitor and analyze their traffic and data. Google has rebranded the program as part of the Cross Media Panel and Google Opinion Rewards programs that reward users for installing tracking systems on their mobile phone, PC web browser, router, and TV. In fact, Google actually sends participants a special router that it can monitor.

Originally, Screenwise was open to users as young as 13, just like Facebook’s Research app that’s now been shut down on iOS but remains on Android. Now, according to the site’s Panelist Eligibility rules, Google requires the primary users of its Opinion Rewards to be 18 or older, but still allows secondary panelists as young as 13 in the same household to join the program and have their devices tracked, as demonstrated in this video here (which was created in August of last year, underscoring that the program is still active):

Unlike Facebook, Google is much more upfront about how its research data collection programs work, what’s collected, and that it’s directly involved. It also gives users the option of “guest mode” for when they don’t want traffic monitored, or someone younger than 13 is using the device.

Putting the not-insignificant issues of privacy aside — in short, many people lured by financial rewards may not fully take in what it means to have a company fully monitoring all your screen-based activity — and the implications of what extent tech businesses are willing to go to to amass more data about users to get an edge on competitors, Google Screenwise Meter for iOS appears to violate Apple’s policy.

This states, in essence, that the Enterprise Certificate program for distributing apps without the App Store or Apple’s oversight is only for internal employee-only apps.

Google walks users through how to install the Enterprise Certificate and VPN on their phone. Developers seeking to do external testing on iOS are supposed to use the TestFlight system that sees apps reviewed and limits their distribution to 10,000 people.

We have reached out both to Apple and Google for a comment on why this app is either the same, or different to the app Facebook had been distributing.

If Apple considers this a violation of its Enterprise Certificate policy, it could shut down Screenwise’s ability to run on iOS. And if it truly wanted to punish Google like it did Facebook, it could invalidate the certifications for all of Google’s legitimate apps that run using the same certificate.

That could throw a wrench into Google’s product development and daily work flow that could be more damaging than just removing one way it gathers competitive intelligence.

We’ll update this post as we learn more.


Source: TechCrunch

Last chance for great TV deals for watching the big game – CNET

A 55-inch for $330! A 75-inch for $1000! An HD projector for under $450! But act fast, because time is running out for these deals to ship in time for the big game.
Source: CNET

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