When it comes to ISO performance, noise isn’t bad, even at ISO 800.
Amazon's latest brand protection report states it destroyed more than two million pieces of counterfeit goods last year and denied most would-be sellers from setting up shop in its online souk.
"In 2020, Amazon invested over $700m and employed more than 10,000 people to protect our store from fraud and abuse," said Dharmesh Mehta, veep of worldwide customer trust and partner support at Amazon, in the report [PDF], released this week. "As a result, the vast majority of our customers continued to only find authentic products in our store."
For what it's worth, Amazon ships billions of packages a year, and made $21.3bn in pure profit [PDF] in 2020. Having spent a fraction of that on tackling fraud – about three per cent – Bezos & Co say they made significant inroads into thwarting the scourge of knockoffs. In addition to intercepting and binning millions of phony goods, Amazon has set up a Counterfeit Crimes Unit to go after those trying to scam buyers.
OSIRIS-REx, the spacecraft carrying NASA’s first-ever asteroid sample, has started its two-year journey back to Earth, the space agency confirmed on Monday.
On Friday, ground control sent the commands directing the 2,110 kg (4,650 lb) vehicle to fire its main thrusters to get out of asteroid Bennu’s orbit and return to our planet. The team erupted in cheers on Monday after it received confirmation that OSIRIS-REx had successfully fired its engines at 2016 UTC, and was on its way.
"Mission navigation has received confirmation of burn cutoff. OSIRIS-REx is headed home with a souvenir of rocks and dusts from a 4.5-billion-year-old asteroid," the NASA team said.
The OpenPOWER Foundation, formed to promote IBM's open-source POWER instruction set architecture (ISA), on Monday said it is putting together a new working group to develop LibreBMC, claimed to be the first baseboard management controller (BMC) designed with open source software and hardware.
"The LibreBMC project came out of a desire to both utilize and showcase the fully open POWER cores, and apply software driven development to hardware design," said James Kulina, executive director of the OpenPOWER Foundation, in an email to The Register. "We determined the lowly BMC controller – something that the broader industry doesn’t think too much about – is a great use case that if successful will have a real positive impact."
BMCs monitor and manage devices in data centers. They collect sensor data like temperature, humidity, fan speed, power supply voltage, and provide administrative functions like remote access.
Kubecon A session on how to hack into a Kubernetes cluster was among the highlights of a Kubecon where the main events were generally bland and corporate affairs, perhaps indicative of the technology now being a de facto infrastructure standard among enterprises.
Kubecon Europe took place online last week with more than 27,000 attendees, according to Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which hosts the Kubernetes project among many others.
That is a substantial increase on the reported 13,000 or so at last year's event, which was also virtual. Kubernetes is huge, and if there was an underlying theme at the event it was that Kubernetes is becoming the standard runtime platform.
In Brief What do you know? The US Postal Service uses AI technology and have GPU servers running computer vision algorithms to track items being delivered across the country.
The system is called the Edge Computing Infrastructure Program (ECIP, pronounced EE-sip) and is designed to run inference operations on machine learning models using Nvidia’s GPUs. The USPS relies on deep-learning systems to perform image recognition tasks, and hopefully speed up the mail.
“It used to take eight or 10 people several days to track down items, now it takes one or two people a couple hours,” said Todd Schimmel, the manager who oversees ECIP and other USPS systems. Schimmel hopes USPS will deploy more algorithms that can detect if the correct postage stamp has been used for a package, and to automatically read barcodes even if they’re damaged.
Analysis Almost seven months after the brand splashed down in the UK market, mobile maker Vivo is making some bold promises about the longevity of its upcoming phones.
The Chinese company is promising at least three years of software and security updates for selected premium devices introduced after July.
And? It's underwhelming. When it comes to software updates, most smartphone vendors fare dismally. Three years is a decent figure, on par with the Android One programme, although slightly below what Samsung has provided newer Galaxy devices.
Linus Torvalds has closed the merge window for Linux 5.13 with the first release candidate, which includes initial support for Apple's M1 processor along with "a fair amount of stuff, all over the place."
The closing of the merge window means that the new code which has been accepted by the Linux development community as both desirable and sufficiently stable is included in the first release candidate for the new kernel, which is generally feature-complete. The work is now focused on stability and fixing problems, ahead of the stable release which usually follows within a couple of months.
On this occasion Torvalds said that "there's a lot in there," of which a third is auto-generated from hardware descriptions and 60 per cent driver changes. That still leaves room for a number of significant new features. Overall, there are 12,015 files changes, 631,309 insertions, and 246,239 deletions.
Fancy a stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS)? It is about to get a lot pricier for future private astronaut missions.
NASA last published its commercial pricing policy in 2019, and price tags included $22,500 per person per day for supplies such as food, air and exercise equipment. Life support (and using the toilet) came in at $11,500.
The agency has now said that the policy "did not reflect full reimbursement for the value of NASA resources", it was only there to stimulate the market and was planned to be "adjusted".
Microsoft has released an update for Rust for Windows (formerly Rust/WinRT) with completed support for Win32 and COM APIs.
Version 0.9 of the Rust language projection turned up last week and, according to Microsoft, gives "access to the entire Windows API surface in a language-idiomatic way."
It's a tacit admission that no matter how much Microsoft might hope it will, the Win32 API does not seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Even the most beloved of languages will struggle to avoid a dip into the API of yesteryear if it is to run efficiently on the Windows platform.
Nearly two years after Apple swallowed Chipzilla’s smartphone modem business for a cool $1bn, the company is reportedly set to start using its own home-grown baseband chips, starting with 2023’s iPhone.
The report comes from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities with a solid track record of gaining accurate inside information about Apple’s product movements. According to AppleTrack, Ming-Chi's tips have a 76.6 per cent accuracy rate.
In an investor's note, Ming-Chi wrote he expected the iPhone will start using modems designed in-house by “2023 at the earliest.” This echoed similar predictions expressed by analysts at Barclays.
Elon Musk has announced a SpaceX mission to the Moon paid for in Dogecoin, just a day after the cryptocurrency tumbled in response to the multibillionare calling it a "hustle" while he hosted Saturday Night Live.
The DOGE-1 mission is due to launch early next year as part of a rideshare aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. It will consist of a 40kg cubesat replete with camera, sensors and onboard computational systems aimed at gathering what sponsor Geometric Energy Corporation described as "lunar-spatial intelligence."
There is no indication how much the mission will actually cost (particularly considering the volatility of the currency involved). SpaceX charges $1m for a 200kg payload to a Sun Synchonous Orbit on a rideshare and describes its rates for flinging an object at the Moon as "affordable."
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