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Microsoft wants Sony to divulge confidential business details in FTC lawsuit


As part of the ongoing FTC lawsuit against Microsoft’s buyout of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has served Sony a subpoena to divulge confidential business details.


It means Sony may be forced to reveal confidential information on its future plans it would likely prefer to keep quiet.


The subpoena was issued on 17th January with a response date of 20th January, though this has been extended until 27th January for Sony to “move to limit or quash or otherwise respond to the subpoena”.

Eurogamer Newscast: What to look forward to in 2023!


“Negotiations between SIE and Microsoft as to the scope of SIE’s production and a
discovery schedule are ongoing,” reads the official filing, as reported by VGC.


How Sony responds will be known by the end of the week.


The subpoena comes as part of the United States government’s Federal Trade Commission suing to block Microsoft’s $69bn USD acquisition of Activision Blizzard, with claims it could suppress the competition.


“We continue to believe that this deal will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers,” Microsoft’s vice chair and president Brad Smith said in a statement. “We have been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC.”


In its response to the FTC, Microsoft claimed the lawsuit was unconstitutional as it violated the Fifth Amendment. It later admitted this was a mistake.





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Big Brother China Watching You Via Smart Bulbs, Fridges, Cars & Credit Cards

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“Trojan horse” technology poses a “widespread” threat to Britain’s national security, according to a report sent to the British government by Charles Parton

Big Brother China has the potential to spy on people by “weaponising” microchips embedded in cars, smart bulbs, credit cards and household appliances.

 “Trojan horse” technology poses a “widespread” threat to Britain’s national security, according to a report sent to the British government by Charles Parton, a former diplomat who advised parliament on Beijing.

Mr Parton spent 22 years of his diplomatic career working in or in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and has advised the Foreign Office and the European Union on Chinese affairs, as well as being Special Adviser to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on China.

The report says ministers have completely failed to understand the threat posed by the “widespread presence” of modules known as cellular IoT – a concern echoed by senior MPs. It calls on ministers to take immediate action to ban Chinese-made cellular IoT from goods sold in the UK before it is too late.

 “We are not yet aware of the threat,” said Charles Parton. “China has seen an opportunity to dominate this market, and if it does it can collect a lot of data as well as Also can make foreign countries dependent on them.”

“The risk is that, if Chinese companies continue to increase global market share and to edge out foreign companies, free and open countries will become dependent upon China for cellular IoT modules. Given the immense importance of these modules to modern industry and life, this would make other countries highly vulnerable to a threat to withhold supplies. Dependency is dangerous when it is in the hands of the CCP, a potential, if not actual, hostile power. More specifically the threat revolves around four areas: national security, economic prosperity, privacy, and values and human rights. Concerns include:

  • Degrading the performance or even sabotaging critical national infrastructure and key industries
  • Losing sovereign control over IoT and over capabilities in dependent technologies/industries
  • Unfair economic competition leading to the loss of domestic IoT industry
  • Losing sovereign control of strategic data
  • Enabling more espionage and theft of intellectual property
  • Sustained collection and misuse of personal information without consent
  • The potential for CCP security organisations to carry out detailed surveillance from within our societies (eg in smart cities)
  • The expansion and support of technological capabilities applied in human rights abuses in Xinjiang, wider China, and increasingly in third countries.”

Three Chinese companies – Quectel, Fibocom and China Mobile – already have 54 percent of the global market in devices and 75 percent by connectivity. Like all Chinese firms, they must hand over data to the Chinese government if ordered to, which means the Chinese Communist Party can get access to as many devices as they want.

Customers of the three Chinese firms include computing firms Dell, Lenovo, HP and Intel, carmaker Tesla and card payments firm Sumup.

Devices with modules include: laptop computer; voice controlled smart speaker; smart watches; smart energy meter; fridges, light bulbs and other appliances that can be controlled via the app; body-worn police cameras; doorbell cameras and security cameras; Bank card payment machines, cars and even hot tubs.

The modules collect data and then transmit it via 5G networks, giving China the opportunity to monitor the movements of intelligence targets including people, weapons and supplies, and to use the devices for industrial espionage. Millions of them are already in use in the UK.

The potential threat to national security is greater than that posed by Chinese-made components in mobile phone masts, prompting the government to ban Huawei products used in mobile infrastructure, a report published Monday by Washington-based consultancy OODA said.

Cellular IoTs – which stands for Internet of Things – are tiny modules used in everything from smart fridges to advanced weapons systems to monitor usage and feed data back to the owner and often the manufacturer using 5G.

Earlier this month it emerged that security services had destroyed ministerial cars and found at least one device hidden inside another component. There were apprehensions that China has the ability to use the module to monitor the activities of everyone from the Prime Minister down. But the problem goes well beyond ministerial cars, the report warns.

Delegates to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China – Xi Jinping.(photo:Xinhua/IANS)

The possibilities of espionage are huge. Coupled with artificial intelligence and machine learning to process massive amounts of data, the report suggests tracking US arms sales activities to find out whether China was selling arms to Taiwan, for example.  It can also serve to identify and address royal and diplomatic security officers, then monitor their cars during advance security sweeps to track visiting ministers.

The report also suggested that data collected from cellular IoT could be used to identify potential intelligence sources who handle sensitive information, then bribe them or use them to spy for China. Sabotage is another concern if China decides to attack national infrastructure by disabling the equipment.

Even innocuous applications such as agricultural machinery, which also use the equipment, can help the Chinese find weaknesses in Western supply chains, such as poor harvests of a particular crop, then undercut British suppliers. Seizing market share, making the West more dependent on Chinese exports.

Allowing China to form a monopoly on the manufacture of the equipment – ​​which is subsidised by the Chinese state to make them cheaper than Western competitors – would leave the West entirely dependent on China for the supply of the strategically important component.

The report says: “The data generated by automated logistics, manufacturing and transportation systems … can be invaluable as a means of ensuring that the holder’s economic interests prosper against those of a competitor.”

It says that the information gained from the cellular IoT “equivalent to a form of data-driven insider knowledge”.

The report by OODA recommended a full audit of government assets to replace equipment where necessary and suggested that companies operating in sensitive sectors like defence be asked to complete the work by the end of 2025.

The Internet of Things, described in the report as “the central nervous system of the global economy”, is used in applications ranging from security, manufacturing and transportation to supply chains, agriculture and smart homes. The data collected by the devices can be used for everything from planning energy supply to improving traffic flow or supply chain management, but it also has almost limitless uses if it falls into the wrong hands.

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TechScape: Is ‘banning’ TikTok protecting users or censorship? It depends who you ask | TikTok

The US battle with TikTok over data privacy concerns and Chinese influence has been heating up for years, and recent measures have brought college campuses to the forefront – with a number of schools banning the app entirely on campus wifi. Students have responded, of course, on TikTok. Taking advantage of viral sounds, they have expressed outrage at their favourite app being blocked at universities like Auburn, Oklahoma and Texas A&M in the past few months. “Do they not realize people in college are actually adults?” one user wrote. “We should make our own independent decision to use TikTok or not,” another said.

But how did we get here?

The actions come amid a cascade of TikTok bans by state and federal lawmakers in the US, who say the app’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, could collect sensitive user data and censor content that goes against the demands of the Chinese Communist party.

TikTok was first targeted in earnest by the Trump administration in 2020, with a sweeping executive order prohibiting US companies from doing business with ByteDance. That measure was later revoked by Joe Biden in June 2021, but the company’s problems were far from over. The current president stipulated that the US committee on foreign investment (CFIUS) conduct a security review of the platform and suggested a path forward to avoid a permanent ban. That review is ongoing, with no timeline released for a final decision.

Meanwhile, states have taken action of their own, with Congress passing a ban of TikTok on all federal devices in December and 31 individual states banning the app on government devices, most of which were passed in the last two months. Most of the campus bans have been carried out in states that have already passed their own rules against the app, but questions remain about how impactful such measures will be.

How does banning TikTok work?

Schools often block or regulate traffic to certain websites on campus wifi networks, including harmful content and pornography and such measures can extend to specific apps. Similar measures have been taken in the past like with controversial anonymous social media platform Yik Yak.

But tech experts say these bans are quite easy to circumvent, as the app will only be banned on shared campus wifi and not on individual devices. To bypass the block, students can simply turn off wifi and use personal cellular data, as one expert told me in my story on the topic this week.

“This specific ban will likely count as barely an inconvenience for the students subject to it, and it would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, both technically and ethically, to enforce students using TikTok on their own personal devices,” said Mike Parkin, senior technical engineer at cybersecurity firm Vulcan Cyber.

An increased number of students exclusively using data rather than wifi could cause additional issues, like data networks being clogged on campuses, making student devices run more slowly and ineffectively.

“This is an extension of the clumsy and extreme state actions we have seen taken against TikTok at state levels,” said Angelo Carusone, president of the non-profit media watchdog Media Matters for America. “The ban will be ineffective and does nothing except score political points and tax already flimsy infrastructure.”

‘A red herring’?

Many internet freedom advocates have questioned the policies, saying they amount to censorship and are largely ploys for influence at a time when targeting Chinese technology is politically beneficial. Others say such actions will only ramp up in coming months as election season approaches and politicians try to outdo each other with new measures.

“It’s fertile ground, but TikTok is a red herring because such security concerns exist with all platforms,” Carusone said. “It ends up being a hyper-political issue that does not respond to actual threats.”

Meanwhile, many who oppose such measures have called for a broader effort to address some of the issues raised by TikTok’s recent legal battles, including the need for a national data privacy law, mandating data transparency, and encrypting messaging on social platforms. “These problems exist on every social media app out there, not just TikTok,” said Gillian Diebold of the Center for Data Innovation.

If you want to read the complete version of the newsletter please subscribe to receive TechScape in your inbox every Tuesday


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Viewpoint: Standards, not protectionism, will make the EU stronger in technology, MEP argues

Starting today, Science|Business is publishing a series of opinions on the now-popular policy notion of “strategic autonomy” – or more specifically, how it could affect EU research and innovation activities. We will also publish and discuss our special report on the topic at our annual Science|Business Network meeting February 6 and 7. We believe this to be a vital issue for international R&D policy – one which will shape the direction and productivity of science and technology for years to come.

The following viewpoint is based on a Science|Business interview with Maria da Graça Carvalho, one of the Parliament’s most active members on R&I policy.

 

To strengthen its technology base, Europe needs to pay more attention to setting good technical standards – both for its own marketplace and for global markets, argues a leading EU legislator.

“We must try to have European standards that become global standards,” says Maria da Graça Carvalho, former Portuguese science minister and now a member of the European Parliament’s research and internal market committees. With good standards, the market for European-based technology will grow faster, and EU industry will be stronger, she says in an interview with Science|Business.

Carvalho’s views are part of a major rethink of EU tech policy in the past few years: pushing for ways to make European tech industry strong and its supply chains more reliable. A major policy thrust so far, pushed by industry commissioner Thierry Breton among others, has been building Europe’s “strategic autonomy” in key technologies, through new tech funding and regulation. Critics, however, label it as old-fashioned protectionism.

But Carvalho, who has been the legislative leader, or rapporteur, on several research and innovation-related laws in recent years, argues that technical standards are key to any effort to build Europe’s tech strengths.

‘Don’t close doors’

Ideally, she says, “strategic autonomy is about completing the internal market, and completing our market with our neighbours, with standards.” For data sharing, cloud computing, driverless cars and other important technologies, “we still have a lot of different standards and rules” both within the EU and in global markets, that fragment trade opportunities. “The most important thing we have to do is, not to exclude others, not to close doors, but to build a strong internal market.”

“We should not be afraid of competition,” she argues. “We are still big exporters and we should continue to be big exporters. But if we close ourselves [from foreign competition], it’s very bad for Europe. We will shrink and we will become poor. So the way forward is to be open and try to influence the others.”

That means getting good technical standards adopted by EU trading partners, as well as the EU member states. Thus, she argues, it’s important for the EU to work with US authorities to develop standards – preferably inspired by Europe – that are acceptable to both sides, creating a huge trans-Atlantic marketplace for emerging technologies. That’s the best way for both regions to compete with China and others – and might actually induce the Chinese, aiming at a global market, to accept the EU-US standards and be more open with their own markets.

Exhibit 1: cloud services

As an example, she cites standards for cloud computing services. At present, the $60 billion EU market for cloud services is dominated by a few US-based multinationals: Amazon, Google and Microsoft – alongside several smaller, almost entirely non-European, players. Part of the problem for European competitors, some claim, is that it’s currently too expensive and difficult to switch from one cloud provider to another. In February 2022, the European Commission proposed a Data Act to encourage data sharing – and discourage barriers to switching suppliers. Various parliamentary committees are considering amendments to the act over the next few months; the internal market committee’s report is led by a Polish MEP, Adam Bielan.

In Carvalho’s view, stronger industry-wide standards on cloud services would help European companies. The same goes for other technologies, such as driverless cars or health data services. Standards are also needed for such politically charged technologies as those affecting climate, biodiversity, renewable energy, circular economy and critical raw materials.

To succeed, she says, the EU doesn’t have to have standards on every new technology. One possibility, “strategic interdependence”, entails the EU promoting those technologies in which it already has strength, while accepting that its trading partners may be stronger in other fields.

Whatever the sector, as the parliamentary debates unfold this year “the most important decision I will push for is free competition and fair competition world-wide,” Carvalho said.

Join the debate

If you are interested in finding out more about the views discussed in this article or contributing to the discussion, you can join our annual Science|Business Network conference, which takes place on 7 February this year. For more details, see here


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Hackers now spreading malware using Microsoft OneNote attachments

Microsoft OneNote is a free desktop digital notebook application that comes with Microsoft Office 2019 and Microsoft 365.

Hackers are now spreading malware using Microsoft OneNote attachments in phishing emails, infecting victims using remote access malware that can be used to install additional malware, steal passwords, or even cryptocurrency wallets. For years, attackers have distributed malware in emails via malicious Word and Excel attachments that launch macros to download and install malware, reports Bleeping Computer.

However, in July last year, Microsoft disabled macros by default in Office documents, rendering this method untrustworthy for malware distribution. Threat actors then quickly began using new file formats, such as ISO images and password-protected ZIP files, said the report.

These file formats quickly gained popularity, aided by a Windows bug that allowed ISOs to bypass security warnings and the popular 7-Zip (a free and open-source file archiver) utility’s failure to propagate mark-of-the-web flags to files extracted from ZIP archives.

However, these bugs were fixed by both 7-Zip and Windows recently, preventing users from opening files in downloaded ISO and ZIP files without scary security warnings, the report added.

Microsoft OneNote is a free desktop digital notebook application that comes with Microsoft Office 2019 and Microsoft 365.

Meanwhile, the tech giant banned cryptocurrency mining from its online services to protect all of its cloud customers, media reports said.

“Cryptocurrency mining can disrupt or even impair Online Services and its users, and is often associated with unauthorised access to and use of customer accounts,” Microsoft told The Register.

“We made this change to further protect our customers and mitigate the risk of disrupting or impairing services in the Microsoft Cloud,” it added.

Sign up for Cryptogram, an India-based free weekly newsletter on global crypto markets and Web3 technologies which promise to change our future. Sign up here. You can read our past editions here. Visit Giottus here.




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Republic Day Sale 2023: From iPhone to Google Pixel, check out best deals on flagship phones

Republic Day Sale 2023: Ahead of the 74th Republic Day, several e-commerce websites are offering huge discounts and offers on flagship smartphones. As a result, one can buy some of the most popular flagship smartphones at a discounted price. Some of the flagship phones which you can buy at huge discounts during the Republic Day Sale are Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, iPhone 13 and others. Check the details below:

OnePlus 10 Pro 5G

 

The device offers an LTPO screen of 6.7 inches with a refresh rate of 120Hz. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. In terms of camera, OnePlus 10 Pro 5G has a triple camera setup with a 48MP main camera, 50MP ultra-wide angle camera and 8MP telephoto lens. It has a 5000mAh battery with 80W SuperVOOC Flash Charge & 50W AirVOOC Wireless Flash Charge. MRP of this device is Rs 66,999 and one can buy it at just Rs 55,999 during the ongoing sale on Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

 

It is one of the best Android-powered phones available in the market. Despite being launched in February last year, this phone remains popular among smartphone users. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and comes with a 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen. It comes with a quad camera setup which consists of a 108MP primary lens backed by a 10MP periscope telephoto camera,  a 10MP telephoto sensor and a 12MP ultrawide lens. The device has a 5,000mAh battery that supports 45W fast charging. The 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage variant of Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is available for Rs 92,040 on Amazon.

iPhone 13

 

The device is powered by the Apple A15 Bionic chipset, the same chipset that powers the iPhone 14 non-pro variants. This is why the device is still in demand. It has a 6.1-inch Super Retina OLED display and comes with a dual camera setup that consists of a 12MP primary shooter and a 12MP ultrawide lens. The 128GB internal storage variant of the iPhone 13 can be purchased for Rs 62,999 from Flipkart.

ALSO READ | How to transfer data from old iPhone to new iPhone 14? Complete guide

Google Pixel 7

 

This is one of the best camera phones available in the market. It is powered by Google’s in-house developed Tensor G2 chipset based on the 5nm process. It has a 6.3-inch AMOLED display that offers a refresh rate of 90Hz. The device has a 4,355mAh battery and supports 20W wired and wireless charging. The 128GB RAM variant of the Google Pixel 7 can be purchased for Rs 51,400 during the Republic Day sale.

Nothing Phone (1)

 

This device is quite popular for its look. Nothing Phone (1) is powered by a Snapdragon 778G+ chipset and features a 6.55-inch 120Hz AMOLED. It comes with a 50MP primary camera on the back which is backed by a 50MP ultrawide sensor. The 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage variant of the phone is available at Rs 29,999.




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Tony Dungy

NBC should finally call time on Tony Dungy’s amiable right-wing zealotry | NFL

No sports league does more than the National Football League to encourage the stereotype of the glass-chewing, expletive-spewing coach. Tony Dungy, though, was more Kenneth Parcell than Bill Parcells – a soft-spoken, clean-cut ex-defensive back whose winning pedigree and strategic ingenuity rightly earned him pride of place among the titans of his profession. That Dungy is also a Black pioneer makes him especially useful to commissioner Roger Goodell’s efforts to “protect the [NFL] shield” from the seasonal assaults on its undying legacy of racial and gender inequality. Since transitioning to a lofty post-retirement role as co-host of NBC’s top-rated NFL telecasts, it’s been on the 67-year-old to serve up even-toned reassurances of the league’s commitment to fair play. But when it comes to Dungy’s personal views, the coach will happily talk tough.

Last Friday, Washington DC’s National Mall was the site of the March for Life, a pro-life rally that kicked off in 1974 – a year after Roe v Wade was decided. Interestingly, the rally was conceived by anti-abortionists on the left – first as a one off, then as a protest that would annually recur until Roe v Wade was overturned. But it’s long since been taken over by the right and turned into a political football. In 2020 Donald Trump became the first sitting president to attend the event in person. Dungy’s maiden appearance for the 50th edition of the March, the first since Roe was overturned, was no less noteworthy.

Reading from his iPhone, the coach, one of 20-odd keynote speakers, delivered a four-minute sermon on the power of prayer and its ability to compel nonbelievers to appreciate the significance of human life. He made a parable out of Damar Hamlin – the 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety whose heart stopped beating after a routine tackle. The real miracle, Dungy intoned, wasn’t the resurrectional medical care Hamlin received on the field and in hospital that put him on track for a full comeback. No, it was the TV cameras lingering on Buffalo and Cincinnati players knelt in prayer, the kind of devotion that the league once threatened to fine his teams for. It was that game getting canceled, despite its urgent on-field and financial impacts, because a life hung in the balance. “Even people who aren’t necessarily religious got together and called on God,” Dungy said. “Well, that should be encouraging to us.”

Dungy’s words, while cheered by tens of thousands of revelers, weren’t as enthusiastically received off the Mall – not least his wife, Lauren, waiting in the wings to follow him on stage and extoll the virtues of adoption. Progressive sports pundits took particular exception to the coach using Hamlin’s near-death experience as a Trojan Horse for his views on the termination of unborn fetuses. Dave Zirin, the Nation’s venerable sports columnist, called Dungy’s speech “obscene”. Beforehand, Keith Olbermann, the foundational ESPN sportscaster turned NBC politico, beseeched his former employer to cut ties with the coach. “He’s using you,” Olbermann tweeted.

All of this came after Dungy lit a firestorm earlier in the week with a hot non-sports take. In response to a Daily Wire tweet about Minnesota house members pushing a bill that would put menstrual products in boys’ school bathrooms, Dungy snarked, “some school districts are putting litter boxes in school bathrooms for students who identify as cats“ – furthering a exhaustively debunked anecdote that’s nonetheless become popular with Lauren Boebert, Joe Rogan and other self-styled “free-thinkers”. Danny Kanell, a clipboard-holding QB turned sports-talk host, was one notable member of the NFL to publicly defend Dungy, calling him “morally upright” while bashing news stories suggesting otherwise as “hatred of Christianity”. But that wasn’t enough to stop the all-out social media blitz from overwhelming the Hall of Fame coach.

Tony Dungy
Tony Dungy made headlines by speaking at the 50th March for Life Rally on Friday on the National Mall in Washington DC. Photograph: Bonnie Cash/UPI/REX/Shutterstock

After discreetly deleting his kitty litter jab and expressing contrition via a lawyered statement, Dungy returned to Twitter on Saturday to apologize anew and reestablish himself as a universal-loving Christian. And the extra effort might’ve resonated if the coach hadn’t also included a screenshot of the second sorry note in quotes inside a text message bubble that one can only presume was also generated by a spokesperson. Not surprisingly, the fumbled apology has given Dungy’s critics reason to pile on all over again. Worse, you’d never know this was the same coach who was once so masterful at doing things the right way.

As a pro in the 1970s, Dungy humbly accepted a conversion from quarterback to defensive back and became a key contributor on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl dynasty in 1978. In the early ’80s, after a three-year playing career, he transitioned over to the Steelers’ defensive coaching staff, was promoted to coordinator, and took a demotion to defensive backs coach in stride after a hard losing season.

By the mid-’90s, he was running the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and transforming them from a league doormat to a defensive dynamo with his Tampa 2 bend-but-don’t break defense. When he was ousted from that job in 2002, Dungy re-emerged with the Indianapolis Colts and turned that Peyton Manning-led juggernaut into a championship winner – the first directed by a Black head coach – with a 2007 victory in Super Bowl XL against Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, one of a long line of Black sideline generals to descend Dungy’s coaching tree. A decade ago, the success of Dungy’s lineage was presented as the first and last reason to hire non-white coaches.

But somewhere along the way, something in Dungy snapped. After his oldest son, James, took his own life in 2005, the coach went from speaking at conferences for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to fundraising for a think tank that opposes same-sex marriage. When Michael Sam, pro football’s first out gay player, was drafted by the St Louis Rams in 2014, Dungy said he wouldn’t not have wanted the University of Missouri linebacker on his team because of his sexual orientation and the potential distractions it might bring. Mind you, this is the same paragon of gridiron virtue who argued for Michael Vick to be rehired after the Pro Bowl quarterback was federally imprisoned for running a dog fighting ring; Dungy also said he’d welcome Ray Rice back into an NFL locker room after the Pro Bowl tailback was banished from the league for KO’ing his girlfriend.

All the while Dungy rates among the NFL’s worst television analysts, providing the least insight in the most monotone delivery. Only he could make the last minutes of Jacksonville’s wildcard comeback against San Diego about as thrilling as Ben Stein’s roll call in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. (Not even the great Al Michaels, clearly beaten down from announcing too many Thursday night games, could inject any more life into the broadcast.)

The low energy alone would be reason enough for NBC to at least bench Dungy. But he remains a prominent part of the network’s NFL coverage and figures to remain so next season. Sticking by dodgy NFL analysts is a routine play for NBC. Lead announcer Mike Tirico has a graveyard of sexual allegations from his ESPN days, and so does fantasy man Matthew Berry; Michele Tafoya, NBC’s longtime NFL reporter, made a full heel turn to anti-woke punditry after retiring from the sideline. It’s hardly a shock that Dung – a rich, platformed member of the jockocracy–would espouse conservative Christian ideology, or that he’d be tempted to draw sports analogies in his rhetoric. But as long as Dungy has the NFL for a bully pulpit, he’s no less polarizing a football man than Rush Limbaugh was during his brief ESPN stay. Dungy can speak his mind all he wants; you won’t read me telling him to stick to sports. But the NFL might want to think about finding a new human shield. This one’s lost his integrity.


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How to dry laundry: Dry clothes with ‘brilliant’ sheet hack – dries in ‘half the time’

It can be incredibly frustrating when your laundry doesn’t dry when it’s been on the airer for days, especially when more dirty laundry is building up. With the rising cost of living affecting households, drying wet clothing may be even harder this year. To help other mums struggling to dry laundry, a mum has shared a hack online.

Posting on the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips forum on Facebook, which has more than 109,000 members, one mum suggested using a bed sheet to dry clothing.

Jordan Burden wrote: “I was always told if the ground is dry, no matter the season, your clothes will dry too, just takes a little longer.

“Little trick I learnt when winter comes is to get your clothes airer and a spare bed sheet and wrap it around the clothes airer.

“Attach it to the radiator or a heated fan and it traps the heat and dries the clothes quicker.”

READ MORE: Time of day when cost of doing laundry can be ‘50%’ cheaper

A TikTok superstar also recommended this drying hack, @cleanwithjen, who has more than one million followers on the app.

Jen told her fans: “Clothes drying hack! Now the wet weather is here, here is a little hack to get your clothes drier quick if you are using a normal clothes horse!”

It is important the bed sheet is big enough to cover the airer, a king-size sheet should do the job.

Fans, instead of heaters, can also help to dry clothing under a sheet, and this may be even cheaper than using a heater.

READ MORE: World’s ‘most dangerous’ plants could be lurking in your garden

With the rising cost of living, there are also other ways to help dry wet laundry without using the heating or a tumble dryer.

Daniel Nezhad, Director of UK Radiators, explained: “Ventilate the area…contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t opt to trap the heat in your home by keeping the windows and doors shut tight.

“When there are wet clothes filling the area, this will dampen the air in the room and make it near impossible for laundry to dry in good time.

“If the clothes are wet, and the air is wet, you’re giving the laundry no chance to lose its moisture.

“Plus, you could be causing some real structural damage to your home by encouraging damp spots and even mould to form. Instead, crank open the windows and let the outside air in. This will allow the moisture to escape and prevent the room from getting too clammy.”

Although an initial investment, dehumidifiers can help to get rid of excess moisture in the air, drying clothes in a shorter amount of time. The expert said: “These nifty little devices ensure that your property doesn’t get too damp and can be perfect for preventing mould.”

When it comes to placing clothing on the rack, it is important to make sure the clothes are strategically placed. This involves making sure longer and bulkier items are placed towards the top, taking care to avoid any clothing dragging on the floor.

Daniel also recommended checking items of clothing to make sure socks and underwear haven’t made their way into them in the wash.




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Microsoft invests $13.2 billion in ChatGPT maker OpenAI

NEW YORK – Microsoft is investing US$10 billion (S$13.2 billion) in OpenAI, whose artificial intelligence (AI) tool ChatGPT has lit up the Internet since its introduction in November, amassing more than a million users within days and touching off a fresh debate over the role of AI in the workplace.

The new support, building on the US$1 billion that Microsoft poured into OpenAI in 2019 and another round in 2021, is intended to give Microsoft access to some of the most popular and advanced AI systems. Microsoft is competing with Alphabet, Amazon.com and Meta Platforms to dominate the fast-growing technology that generates text, images and other media in response to a short prompt.

At the same time, OpenAI needs Microsoft’s funding and cloud computing power to crunch massive volumes of data and run the increasingly complex models that allow programs like DALL-E to generate realistic images based on a handful of words, and ChatGPT to create astonishingly human-like conversational text. 

While Microsoft did not give details of the new investment, a person familiar with the discussions, who asked not to be identified because the information is not public, said it totals US$10 billion over multiple years. Microsoft shares gained 1 per cent to US$242.58 in New York on Monday. 

The deal will give a boost to Microsoft’s Azure cloud, while providing OpenAI with additional specially designed supercomputers to run its complex AI models and fuel its research.

The Azure usage fuelled by this deal is key for Microsoft as it battles to expand that business, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Anurag Rana. “This could even help Microsoft close the gap further with Amazon Web Services,” he said, referring to Amazon’s market-leading cloud service. 

OpenAI noted on Monday that it uses Microsoft’s cloud-based service Azure to train all its models and that Microsoft’s investment will allow it to accelerate its independent research. Azure will remain the exclusive cloud provider for OpenAI, the company said. 

As with Microsoft’s previous investment in OpenAI, much of the value of the deal will take the form of Microsoft giving OpenAI the Azure cloud computing horsepower needed to run its AI systems, said two people familiar with the deal. 

The deal has a complicated structure because investors in OpenAI are limited in the return on their investment since it is a “capped-for-profit” company. Microsoft will get nearly half of OpenAI’s financial returns until its investment is repaid up to a predetermined cap, one of the people said.

All profits beyond what is owed to investors and employees are returned to OpenAI, which is governed by the OpenAI non-profit organisation.

Microsoft plans to use OpenAI’s models throughout consumer and corporate products and release new categories of products based on OpenAI’s work, the two companies said in blog posts. 

Microsoft is currently using the developer’s language AI to add automation to its Copilot programming tool, and wants to add such technology to its Bing search engine, Office productivity applications, Teams chat program and security software.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella is deepening Microsoft’s ties with OpenAI as Google, which has long been essentially untouchable in search, suddenly appears vulnerable. The Alphabet unit’s prevailing model of keyword queries uses search engines to comb the Web for specific terms, and then lets users make their own decisions as to what information is useful. 


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Don’t junk this e-invitation of Amreli cybercrime cop’s wedding | Rajkot News

RAJKOT: Even before guests and relatives flood him with marriage presents, Nayan Savaliya, a constable with cybercrime cell in Amreli, has handed out an invaluable return gift to all his near and dear ones – a wedding invite that will save them from cyberfrauds in the future!.
Savaliya, who will be marrying his lady love Dhara, a constable with the command and control centre, has latched on to the latest fad of e-invitations. But instead of the unleashing creativity in designs, he has dedicated 20 out of the total 27 pages to types of cyberfrauds, their modus operandi and how not to fall prey to cybercrooks.
Savaliya, who joined the police force three years ago, has lucidly explained the cyberfrauds and their modus operandi which people can easily understand. He has also detailed the laws protecting people from cyberfrauds and how victims can contact the police.
“I got the idea to do something different in the marriage invitation from my cousin who also made a creative invitation a few years ago. I am working with the cybercrime department and it’s my duty as a cop to make people aware about online thugs, so I prepared all the information in simple Gujarati language and attached it with invitation,” Savaliya told TOI.
He has enumerated reasons why cybercrooks succeed in trapping gullible people who fall prey either out of greed, fear or complacency. Savaliya has explained the meaning of cyber bullying, how hacking is done, how people become victims through social media, financial and job frauds, data theft, phishing, email spoofing, sextortion, instant loan app fraud, fake calls online selling platform fraud, remote access app fraud and all the other MOs registered in various police stations till the date.
The cop has also provided guidance on precautions to protect oneself from becoming the victim of cyber frauds. He has also given details on data protection through proper use of privacy settings in devices like mobiles, laptops and social media accounts.
The cop has also enlightened people on approaching the police, given helpline numbers along with laws protecting people from cyberfrauds.




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