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The Israeli spyware maker in the Pegasus surveillance scandal said Friday it was investigating reports the firm’s technology was used to target iPhones of some US diplomats in Africa.

Apple has begun alerting people whose phones were hacked by NSO’s spyware, which essentially turns handsets into pocket spying devices and sparked controversy this year after reportedly being used on activists, journalists and politicians.

“On top of the independent investigation, NSO will cooperate with any relevant government authority and present the full information we will have,” the firm said in a statement.

Circa 2018 c:

Shoes made from stone may sound uncomfortable and something the Flintstones might wear. However, thanks to innovative technology, it is possible to transform ordinary stone into a flexible and paper-thin material. German companies Roxxlyn and Nat-2 decided to work together and use this material to create the world’s first sneakers made from natural stone!

When we think about stone, we think about hard and sturdy material, rather than something flexible. However, Roxxlyn, an expert in creating ultra-light design pieces from stone, developed a technology to use stone to make all kinds of accessories and design pieces, from phone cases to belts, and now sneakers.

The process begins with slicing real stone into thin layers. When these have been extracted, they are flexible and smooth. The pieces are then machined into shape using diamond tools. The layer is engraved on the top surface using a high performance laser. The now created piece is sanded and cleaned from dust and grime by hand. Through a complicated technology, stone slates are made flexible.

In a new study published in Science, researchers have developed a new method for detecting infrared light by changing its frequency to a corresponding frequency in the range of visible light.

Electromagnetic waves have a characteristic frequency and wavelength that are inversely proportional; as one increases, the other decreases. Measured in Hertz (Hz), human eyes can perceive light frequencies between 400 and 750 trillion Hz, or terahertz (THz). Smartphone cameras can detect down to 300 THz, and other detectors used in fiber-optic cables can detect around 200 THz.

OAKLAND/LOS ANGELES, Calif., Dec 2 – Andy Chanley, the afternoon drive host at Southern California’s public radio station 88.5 KCSN, has been a radio DJ for over 32 years. And now, thanks to artificial intelligence technology, his voice will live on simultaneously in many places.

“I may be a robot, but I still love to rock,” says the robot DJ named ANDY, derived from Artificial Neural Disk-JockeY, in Chanley’s voice, during a demonstration for Reuters where the voice was hard to distinguish from a human DJ.

Our phones, speakers and rice cookers have been talking to us for years, but their voices have been robotic. Seattle-based AI startup WellSaid Labs says it has finessed the technology to create over 50 real human voice avatars like ANDY so far, where the producer just needs to type in text to create the narration.

To say we’re at an inflection point of the technological era may be an obvious declaration to some. The opportunities at hand and how various technologies and markets will advance are nuanced, however, though a common theme is emerging. The pace of innovation is moving at a rate previously seen by humankind at only rare points in history. The invention of the printing press and the ascension of the internet come to mind as similar inflection points, but current innovation trends are being driven aggressively by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, AI is empowering rapid technology advances in virtually all areas, from the edge and personal devices, to the data center and even chip design itself.

There is also a self-perpetuating effect at play, because the demand for intelligent machines and automation everywhere is also ramping up, whether you consider driver assist technologies in the automotive industry, recommenders and speech recognition input in phones, or smart home technologies and the IoT. What’s spurring our recent voracious demand for tech is the mere fact that leading-edge OEMs, from big names like Tesla and Apple, to scrappy start-ups, are now beginning to realize great gains in silicon and system-level development beyond the confines of Moore’s Law alone.

Light is an electromagnetic wave: It consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields propagating through space. Every wave is characterized by its frequency, which refers to the number of oscillations per second, measured in Hertz (Hz). Our eyes can detect frequencies between 400 and 750 trillion Hz (or terahertz, THz), which define the visible spectrum. Light sensors in cell phone cameras can detect frequencies down to 300 THz, while detectors used for internet connections through optical fibers are sensitive to around 200 THz.

At , the energy transported by light isn’t enough to trigger photoreceptors in our eyes and in many other sensors, which is a problem given that there is rich information available at frequencies below 100 THz, the mid-and far–. For example, a body with surface temperature of 20°C emits infrared light up to 10 THz, which can be “seen” with thermal imaging. Also, chemical and biological substances feature distinct absorption bands in the mid-infrared, meaning that we can identify them remotely and non-destructively by infrared spectroscopy, which has myriads of applications.

Qualcomm kicked off its annual Snapdragon Technology Summit with its new premium smartphone SoC dubbed the Snapdragon Series 8 Gen 1. As expected, the new SoC improves performance and efficiency in every aspect of the chip, but enhancements in AI and image processing are especially important for the next generation of premium smartphones.

The new Series 8 Gen 1 SoC follows the previous Snapdragon 888 generation as Qualcomm’s premium smartphone SoC. And yes, there is a new naming convention with this generation. Rather than continuing to count up until the company runs out of numbers for new products, Qualcomm changed the naming convention to that basic series number (Series, 8, 7, 6, and 4) followed by a generational number, similar to what the company began doing with its Snapdragon 8CX SoCs for PCs. Since this is the first generation of smartphone SoCs to use the new nomenclature, the new family of devices will be “Gen 1”. For now, however, the company only announced the premium chip — the Series 8 Gen 1.

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Research has long strived to develop computers to work as energy efficiently as our brains. A study, led by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, has succeeded for the first time in combining a memory function with a calculation function in the same component. The discovery opens the way for more efficient technologies, everything from mobile phones to self-driving cars.

In recent years, computers have been able to tackle advanced cognitive tasks, like language and image recognition or displaying superhuman chess skills, thanks in large part to artificial intelligence (AI). At the same time, the is still unmatched in its ability to perform tasks effectively and energy efficiently.

“Finding new ways of performing calculations that resemble the brain’s energy-efficient processes has been a major goal of research for decades. Cognitive tasks, like image and voice recognition, require significant computer power, and mobile applications, in particular, like mobile phones, drones and satellites, require energy efficient solutions,” says Johan Åkerman, professor of applied spintronics at the University of Gothenburg.