Study: classic Hollywood’s studio system gave rise to sharp gender disparity

The post-system presence of more female producers, directors helped break the cycle.
2020-05-30 18:45:03 preview's
Google Says It Inadvertently Removed Ability To Visit URLs From 'Image Search' AMP Pages

DevNull127 writes: Wednesday someone calling themself "Zenexer" complained on Twitter that Google "appears to be phasing out the ability to visit the original URL from an AMP page. Tapping the info icon in the top left used to provide the option to visit the real URL. Currently only an issue in Image Search." "This is an oversight," tweeted Malte Ubl, the Google software engineer who created AMP (and a member of its Technical Steering Committee), citing a conversation he'd had with the Image Search team, who said they'd be adding back the feature soon. "Sorry about that and thanks for the report!" When asked about a timeline for a possible fix, he responded "Sorry, no way to do it in fewer than a couple days." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-30 18:45:03 preview's
Cisco Discloses Security Breach That Impacted VIRL-PE Infrastructure

Thursday Cisco disclosed a security breach that impacted a small part of its backend infrastructure and two of its commercial products also bundling the SaltStack software package as part of their firmware. ZDNet reports: Cisco said that hackers used a vulnerability in the SaltStack software package, which Cisco bundles with some products, to gain access to six servers... The six servers provide the backend infrastructure for VIRL-PE (Internet Routing Lab Personal Edition), a Cisco service that lets users model and create virtual network architectures to test network setups before deploying equipment in real situations. "Cisco identified that the Cisco maintained salt-master servers that are servicing Cisco VIRL-PE releases 1.2 and 1.3 were compromised," the company said Thursday. Cisco said it patched and remediated all hacked VIRL-PE servers on May 7, when it deployed updates for the SaltStack software. However, the issue isn't localized to Cisco's backend infrastructure alone. Cisco says that two of its commercial products also bundle the SaltStack software package as part of their firmware. These are the aforementioned Cisco VIRL-PE, and Cisco Modeling Labs Corporate Edition (CML), another network modeling tool. Both VIRL-PE and CML can be used in Cisco-hosted and on-premise scenarios. In case companies use the two products on location, Cisco says CML and VIRL-PE need to be patched. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-30 16:45:03 preview's
IPv6 Adoption Hits 32%. Will Stats Show How Many Returned to the Office?

Long-time Slashdot reader Tim the Gecko writes: Google's IPv6 connectivity stats topped 32% last Saturday for the first time. But the main story has been the midweek stats. Most mobile phone networks and a good chunk of residential broadband have migrated to IPv6, but the typical corporate network where people used to spend their 9 to 5 is largely IPv4-only. There used to be a big dip in the IPv6 stats during the working week, but widespread working from home has halved that dip, with the typical midweek IPv6 connectivity for Google queries moving upwards from 26% to 29%. Looking at this graph will be a good way of checking how fast people are returning to the office. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-30 13:45:02 preview's
Is Star Wars Dying?

The fanbase is fractured and the future seems unclear.
2020-05-30 09:15:03 preview's
Comcast, Charter and ViacomCBS Join Forces to Make TV Commercials More Targeted

wyattstorch516 writes: Comcast has spun off its blockchain division and is now partnering with Spectrum Reach (the advertising sales division of Charter Communications) and Viacom. Customized ad delivery in the TV space has significantly lagged the technology for online video providers such as Youtube. Blockgraph holds out the promise that will allow advertisers to target key demographics while safeguarding subscriber information. Can this help prop up the declining broadcast video market? One-third of Blockgraph will now be owned by each company. Blockgraph Chief Executive Jason Manningham says the platform will help brands and ad-inventory sellers match data sets without sharing too much personal data on the viewers. "For instance, if a car maker buys a data set of people in the market for a car, it could use Blockgraph's technology to match that list up with cable subscribers based on their home address," reports The Wall Street Journal, citing Manningham. "The car company could use this data either to learn which programs and time of day draw more viewers from their desired audience, or to buy ads targeted only at households on the in-market list." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-30 06:15:01 preview's
Amazon Will No Longer Support the Echo Look, Encourages Owners To Recycle Theirs

"Amazon is discontinuing its Echo Look camera, a standalone device that gave owners fashion advice using artificial intelligence and machine learning," reports The Verge. The gadget raised eyebrows when it was first announced as it included a virtual assistant with a microphone and a camera specifically designed to go somewhere in your bedroom, bathroom, or wherever the hell you get dressed. From the report: The Look's companion app and the device itself will stop functioning on July 24th. Between now and July 24th, 2021, Look users can back up their images and videos by making a free Amazon Photos account. (People with existing Photos accounts will have their media backed up automatically.) Anyone who wants to delete all their existing photos and videos will have to do so before the July 2020 deadline; otherwise, they'll have to call Amazon's customer service to have them deleted. They can currently delete them through the Look app. Amazon points out that much of the Echo Look's functionality is now included in the Amazon Shopping app, including Style by Alexa, which involves the AI offering fashion pointers. The company says people should download the app to keep consulting with Amazon, and they should also recycle their Look through Amazon's program. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-30 03:15:01 preview's
Eye-Catching Advances in Some AI Fields Are Not Real

silverjacket writes: A story in this week's issue of Science. Artificial intelligence (AI) just seems to get smarter and smarter. Each iPhone learns your face, voice, and habits better than the last, and the threats AI poses to privacy and jobs continue to grow. The surge reflects faster chips, more data, and better algorithms. But some of the improvement comes from tweaks rather than the core innovations their inventors claim -- and some of the gains may not exist at all, says Davis Blalock, a computer science graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Blalock and his colleagues compared dozens of approaches to improving neural networks -- software architectures that loosely mimic the brain. "Fifty papers in," he says, "it became clear that it wasn't obvious what the state of the art even was." The researchers evaluated 81 pruning algorithms, programs that make neural networks more efficient by trimming unneeded connections. All claimed superiority in slightly different ways. But they were rarely compared properly -- and when the researchers tried to evaluate them side by side, there was no clear evidence of performance improvements over a 10-year period. The result [PDF], presented in March at the Machine Learning and Systems conference, surprised Blalock's Ph.D. adviser, MIT computer scientist John Guttag, who says the uneven comparisons themselves may explain the stagnation. "It's the old saw, right?" Guttag said. "If you can't measure something, it's hard to make it better." Researchers are waking up to the signs of shaky progress across many subfields of AI. A 2019 meta-analysis of information retrieval algorithms used in search engines concluded the "high-water mark ... was actually set in 2009." Another study in 2019 reproduced seven neural network recommendation systems, of the kind used by media streaming services. It found that six failed to outperform much simpler, nonneural algorithms developed years before, when the earlier techniques were fine-tuned, revealing "phantom progress" in the field. In another paper posted on arXiv in March, Kevin Musgrave, a computer scientist at Cornell University, took a look at loss functions, the part of an algorithm that mathematically specifies its objective. Musgrave compared a dozen of them on equal footing, in a task involving image retrieval, and found that, contrary to their developers' claims, accuracy had not improved since 2006. "There's always been these waves of hype," Musgrave says. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-30 01:45:02