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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Facebook has a new job posting calling for chip designers

Facebook has posted a job opening looking for an expert in ASIC and FPGA, two custom silicon designs that companies can gear toward specific use cases — particularly in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

There’s been a lot of speculation in the valley as to what Facebook’s interpretation of custom silicon might be, especially as it looks to optimize its machine learning tools — something that CEO Mark Zuckerberg referred to as a potential solution for identifying misinformation on Facebook using AI. The whispers of Facebook’s customized hardware range depending on who you talk to, but generally center around operating on the massive graph Facebook possesses around personal data. Most in the industry speculate that it’s being optimized for Caffe2, an AI infrastructure deployed at Facebook, that would help it tackle those kinds of complex problems.

FPGA is designed to be a more flexible and modular design, which is being championed by Intel as a way to offer the ability to adapt to a changing machine learning-driven landscape. The downside that’s commonly cited when referring to FPGA is that it is a niche piece of hardware that is complex to calibrate and modify, as well as expensive, making it less of a cover-all solution for machine learning projects. ASIC is similarly a customized piece of silicon that a company can gear toward something specific, like mining cryptocurrency.

Facebook’s director of AI research tweeted about the job posting this morning, noting that he previously worked in chip design:

While the whispers grow louder and louder about Facebook’s potential hardware efforts, this does seem to serve as at least another partial data point that the company is looking to dive deep into custom hardware to deal with its AI problems. That would mostly exist on the server side, though Facebook is looking into other devices like a smart speaker. Given the immense amount of data Facebook has, it would make sense that the company would look into customized hardware rather than use off-the-shelf components like those from Nvidia.

(The wildest rumor we’ve heard about Facebook’s approach is that it’s a diurnal system, flipping between machine training and inference depending on the time of day and whether people are, well, asleep in that region.)

Most of the other large players have found themselves looking into their own customized hardware. Google has its TPU for its own operations, while Amazon is also reportedly working on chips for both training and inference. Apple, too, is reportedly working on its own silicon, which could potentially rip Intel out of its line of computers. Microsoft is also diving into FPGA as a potential approach for machine learning problems.

Still, that it’s looking into ASIC and FPGA does seem to be just that — dipping toes into the water for FPGA and ASIC. Nvidia has a lot of control over the AI space with its GPU technology, which it can optimize for popular AI frameworks like TensorFlow. And there are also a large number of very well-funded startups exploring customized AI hardware, including Cerebras Systems, SambaNova Systems, Mythic, and Graphcore (and that isn’t even getting into the large amount of activity coming out of China). So there are, to be sure, a lot of different interpretations as to what this looks like.

One significant problem Facebook may face is that this job opening may just sit up in perpetuity. Another common criticism of FPGA as a solution is that it is hard to find developers that specialize in FPGA. While these kinds of problems are becoming much more interesting, it’s not clear if this is more of an experiment than Facebook’s full all-in on custom hardware for its operations.

But nonetheless, this seems like more confirmation of Facebook’s custom hardware ambitions, and another piece of validation that Facebook’s data set is becoming so increasingly large that if it hopes to tackle complex AI problems like misinformation, it’s going to have to figure out how to create some kind of specialized hardware to actually deal with it.

A representative from Facebook did not yet return a request for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

Moto G6 Play and G6 Plus listed prematurely online – CNET

Carphone Warehouse, a UK-based phone retailer, puts the phones up on its page hours before they are expected to launch in Brazil, although the pages were quickly taken down.
Source: CNET

2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke diesel gets 30 mpg and tows like a beast – Roadshow

The 3.0-liter turbo diesel from Ford is the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup truck on the market…for now.
Source: CNET

TaskRabbit CEO posts statement as its app returns following a cybersecurity breach

After taking them down to investigate what it called a “cybersecurity incident,” TaskRabbit’s website and app are back online. The Ikea-owned platform for on-demand labor also posted an update from its chief executive officer Stacy Brown-Philpot about the incident.

“While our investigation is ongoing, preliminary evidence shows that an unauthorized user gained access to our systems. As a result, certain personally identifiable information may have been compromised,” she wrote.

While Brown-Philpot said that an outside forensics team is currently working to identify what information was compromised and will notify all affected users, she urged the platform’s customers and providers, called “taskers,” to monitor online accounts for suspicious activity and change passwords if they used the same login information on other services.

TaskRabbit will add several new security measures because of the incident. Brown-Philpot said they are working on ways to make their login process more secure, reduce the amount of data retained about customers and taskers and “enhance overall network cyber threat detection technology.”

The company will continue posting updates to a dedicated page on its website, which also includes a FAQ for taskers who were unable to complete jobs while the app was offline. TaskRabbit says people who were forced to reschedule or cancel tasks will be compensated.


Source: TechCrunch

Jeff Bezos says Amazon Prime now has over 100 million members – CNET

Amazon’s CEO reveals the number in his latest shareholder letter. Until now, that specific number had been kept a secret.
Source: CNET

ZTE postpones earnings report after being slapped with U.S. exports ban

ZTE will postpone the release of its quarterly earnings report after the United States government banned American companies from selling goods to the Chinese telecom and smartphone maker. In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, ZTE said that its earnings report, originally set to be released on Thursday, is now delayed to an undetermined date.

About a year ago, ZTE pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Its deal with the U.S. government included penalties and fines totaling more than a billion dollars, but allowed it to continue doing business with U.S. suppliers.

On Monday, however, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that ZTE had failed to follow the agreement’s terms. It accused the company of making false statements and failing to punish employees and senior management. As a result, the Department of Commerce slapped ZTE with a seven-year export restriction.

This is a huge blow to ZTE, which sources a significant portion of its most important components, including processors, from U.S. companies like Qualcomm . It also means ZTE may lose access to software licensed from Google, including Android.

This is the latest in ZTE’s string of entanglements with the U.S. government. Despite holding fourth place in the U.S. smartphone market share, after Samsung, Apple and LG, ZTE is under scrutiny by U.S. intelligence agencies, which believe that it and fellow Chinese smartphone maker Huawei may pose security concerns.


Source: TechCrunch

Nintendo Labo review – CNET

We spent a week with Labo and its crazy folding forms. Here’s what Nintendo’s ode to papercraft and robotics feels like.
Source: CNET

TaskRabbit back online after cyberattack, warns users to monitor their accounts

TaskRabbit is back online after a cyberattack forced the company to suspend its operation on Monday. The CEO says it’s still investigating the incident, and advises users to change their passwords and monitor their accounts.

The post TaskRabbit back online after cyberattack, warns users to monitor their accounts appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

California OSHA is looking into injury reports at Tesla

After a report by Reveal suggested that Tesla was underreporting workplace injuries at its Fremont plant, Tesla responded with a blog post calling the report “completely false” and pinning it all up as a “calculated disinformation campaign.”

Now California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (otherwise known as Cal/OSHA) is looking into things at the factory.

As first noted by Bloomberg, the agency won’t give specifics on why it’s looking into Tesla — but in a comment sent our way, they start off by mentioning the aforementioned report.

Here’s the statement sent to us by Cal/OSHA spokesperson Erika Monterroza:

Cal/OSHA takes seriously reports of workplace hazards and allegations of employers’ underreporting recordable work-related injuries and illnesses on the Log 300. Cal/OSHA currently has an open inspection at Tesla. While we do not disclose details of open inspections, Cal/OSHA’s inspections typically include a review of the employer’s Log 300, as well as a review to ensure that serious injuries are reported directly to Cal/OSHA within eight hours as required by law. Cal/OSHA’s regulations define a serious injury or illness as one that requires employee hospitalization for more than 24 hours for other than medical observation, or in which a part of the body is lost or permanent disfigurement occurs.

The “Log 300” mentioned here is part of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires employers with ten or more full time employees to report any serious workplace-related injury or illness, keeping said records for five years.

In a statement to Jalopnik regarding the investigation, Tesla notes that “Cal-OSHA is required to investigate any claims that are made, regardless of whether they have merit or are baseless (as we believe these are),” but that they’d be providing their “full cooperation”

We’ve reached out to Tesla for additional comment, but the company had not responded at the time of publishing. We’ll update this post if we hear back.


Source: TechCrunch

Here's what all the settings on your old washing machine really mean – CNET

Make sense of all the dials on your old-school machines to wash your clothes better.
Source: CNET

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