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Britain's Universities in Existential Crisis?

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 11:00
Britain's university sector, a key contributor to the country's economy and global standing, is facing an unprecedented crisis that threatens its very existence, according to an analysis by Glen O'Hara, a professor of modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes University. Despite collectively generating over $61.1 billion in annual income and $28 billion in export earnings, universities across the UK are grappling with declining funding, widespread cuts, and internal divisions. The sector's annual losses stand at $2.55 billion, with one in four universities in the red. Job cuts have become a daily occurrence, with institutions such as Coventry, Goldsmith's, Kent, and Lincoln slashing staff numbers. The downsizing is primarily occurring through retirements and voluntary severance schemes, but the long-term outlook remains bleak. Experts cited in an analysis by Prospect magazine warn that without fundamental re-engineering and strategic direction, the sector risks a gradual decline, with some universities potentially facing bankruptcy. The government's focus on the "culture wars" has further divided the public from their local campuses, while the real crisis lies in the finance and organization of the sector. The frozen tuition fees for home students, coupled with unpredictable inflation, have left universities struggling to cover costs. Attempts to offset losses by recruiting more students in cheaper-to-teach subjects and attracting international students have reached their limits, with the latter now in decline. As the next government grapples with this crisis, stopgap measures such as small funding injections, slight fee increases, and encouraging university mergers may provide temporary relief.

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New Search experiences in EEA: Rich results, aggregator units, and refinement chips

GoogleWebmasterCentral - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 10:35

Following our latest update on our preparations for the DMA (Digital Markets Act), we're sharing more details about what publishers can expect to see in regards to new search results in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and how they can express interest in these experiences.

Categories: Web

Former Cisco CEO: Nvidia's AI Dominance Mirrors Cisco's Internet Boom, But Market Dynamics Differ

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 10:00
Nvidia has become the U.S.'s most valuable listed company, riding the wave of the AI revolution that brings back memories of one from earlier this century. The last time a big provider of computing infrastructure was the most valuable U.S. company was in March 2000, when networking-equipment company Cisco took that spot at the height of the dot-com boom. Former Cisco CEO John Chambers, who led the company during the dot-com boom, said the implications of AI are larger than the internet and cloud computing combined, but the dynamics differ. "The implications in terms of the size of the market opportunity is that of the internet and cloud computing combined," he told WSJ. "The speed of change is different, the size of the market is different, the stage when the most valuable company was reached is different." The story adds: Chambers said [Nvidia CEO] Huang was working from a different playbook than Cisco but was facing some similar challenges. Nvidia has a dominant market share, much like Cisco did with its products as the internet grew, and is also fending off rising competition. Also like Nvidia, Cisco benefited from investments before the industry became profitable. "We were absolutely in the right spot at the right time, and we knew it, and we went for it," Chambers said.

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We deb it - TradingView

Linux News - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 09:11
We deb it  TradingView
Categories: Linux

Security Bug Allows Anyone To Spoof Microsoft Employee Emails

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 09:00
A researcher has found a bug that allows anyone to impersonate Microsoft corporate email accounts, making phishing attempts look credible and more likely to trick their targets. From a report: As of this writing, the bug has not been patched. To demonstrate the bug, the researcher sent an email to TechCrunch that looked like it was sent from Microsoft's account security team. Last week, Vsevolod Kokorin, also known online as Slonser, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he found the email-spoofing bug and reported it to Microsoft, but the company dismissed his report after saying it couldn't reproduce his findings. This prompted Kokorin to publicize the bug on X, without providing technical details that would help others exploit it.

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China's DeepSeek Coder Becomes First Open-Source Coding Model To Beat GPT-4 Turbo

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 08:00
Shubham Sharma reports via VentureBeat: Chinese AI startup DeepSeek, which previously made headlines with a ChatGPT competitor trained on 2 trillion English and Chinese tokens, has announced the release of DeepSeek Coder V2, an open-source mixture of experts (MoE) code language model. Built upon DeepSeek-V2, an MoE model that debuted last month, DeepSeek Coder V2 excels at both coding and math tasks. It supports more than 300 programming languages and outperforms state-of-the-art closed-source models, including GPT-4 Turbo, Claude 3 Opus and Gemini 1.5 Pro. The company claims this is the first time an open model has achieved this feat, sitting way ahead of Llama 3-70B and other models in the category. It also notes that DeepSeek Coder V2 maintains comparable performance in terms of general reasoning and language capabilities. Founded last year with a mission to "unravel the mystery of AGI with curiosity," DeepSeek has been a notable Chinese player in the AI race, joining the likes of Qwen, 01.AI and Baidu. In fact, within a year of its launch, the company has already open-sourced a bunch of models, including the DeepSeek Coder family. The original DeepSeek Coder, with up to 33 billion parameters, did decently on benchmarks with capabilities like project-level code completion and infilling, but only supported 86 programming languages and a context window of 16K. The new V2 offering builds on that work, expanding language support to 338 and context window to 128K -- enabling it to handle more complex and extensive coding tasks. When tested on MBPP+, HumanEval, and Aider benchmarks, designed to evaluate code generation, editing and problem-solving capabilities of LLMs, DeepSeek Coder V2 scored 76.2, 90.2, and 73.7, respectively -- sitting ahead of most closed and open-source models, including GPT-4 Turbo, Claude 3 Opus, Gemini 1.5 Pro, Codestral and Llama-3 70B. Similar performance was seen across benchmarks designed to assess the model's mathematical capabilities (MATH and GSM8K). The only model that managed to outperform DeepSeek's offering across multiple benchmarks was GPT-4o, which obtained marginally higher scores in HumanEval, LiveCode Bench, MATH and GSM8K. [...] As of now, DeepSeek Coder V2 is being offered under a MIT license, which allows for both research and unrestricted commercial use. Users can download both 16B and 236B sizes in instruct and base avatars via Hugging Face. Alternatively, the company is also providing access to the models via API through its platform under a pay-as-you-go model. For those who want to test out the capabilities of the models first, the company is offering the option to interact. with Deepseek Coder V2 via chatbot.

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The AI Era: Expanding marketing and creative potentialThe AI Era: Expanding marketing and creative potentialVice President / General Manager, Ads

GoogleBlog - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 07:45
How generative AI will enhance creativity and performance for marketers to unlock an infinite universe of ideas.How generative AI will enhance creativity and performance for marketers to unlock an infinite universe of ideas.
Categories: Technology

Satellite 'Megaconstellations' May Jeopardize Recovery of Ozone Hole

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 05:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: When old satellites fall into Earth's atmosphere and burn up, they leave behind tiny particles of aluminum oxide, which eat away at Earth's protective ozone layer. A new study finds that these oxides have increased 8-fold between 2016 and 2022 and will continue to accumulate as the number of low-Earth-orbit satellites skyrockets. The 1987 Montreal Protocol successfully regulated ozone-damaging CFCs to protect the ozone layer, shrinking the ozone hole over Antarctica with recovery expected within fifty years. But the unanticipated growth of aluminum oxides may push pause on the ozone success story in decades to come. Of the 8,100 objects in low Earth orbit, 6,000 are Starlink satellites launched in the last few years. Demand for global internet coverage is driving a rapid ramp up of launches of small communication satellite swarms. SpaceX is the frontrunner in this enterprise, with permission to launch another 12,000 Starlink satellites and as many as 42,000 planned. Amazon and other companies around the globe are also planning constellations ranging from 3,000 to 13,000 satellites, the authors of the study said. Internet satellites in low Earth orbit are short-lived, at about five years. Companies must then launch replacement satellites to maintain internet service, continuing a cycle of planned obsolescence and unplanned pollution. Aluminum oxides spark chemical reactions that destroy stratospheric ozone, which protects Earth from harmful UV radiation. The oxides don't react chemically with ozone molecules, instead triggering destructive reactions between ozone and chlorine that deplete the ozone layer. Because aluminum oxides are not consumed by these chemical reactions, they can continue to destroy molecule after molecule of ozone for decades as they drift down through the stratosphere. Yet little attention has yet been paid to pollutants formed when satellites fall into the upper atmosphere and burn. Earlier studies of satellite pollution largely focused on the consequences of propelling a launch vehicle into space, such as the release of rocket fuel. The new study, by a research team from the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, is the first realistic estimate of the extent of this long-lived pollution in the upper atmosphere, the authors said. [...] In 2022, reentering satellites increased aluminum in the atmosphere by 29.5% over natural levels, the researchers found. The modeling showed that a typical 250-kilogram (550-pound) satellite with 30% of its mass being aluminum will generate about 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of aluminum oxide nanoparticles (1-100 nanometers in size) during its reentry plunge. Most of these particles are created in the mesosphere, 50-85 kilometers (30-50 miles) above Earth's surface. The team then calculated that based on particle size, it would take up to 30 years for the aluminum oxides to drift down to stratospheric altitudes, where 90% of Earth's ozone is located. The researchers estimated that by the time the currently planned satellite constellations are complete, every year, 912 metric tons of aluminum (1,005 U.S. tons) will fall to Earth. That will release around 360 metric tons (397 U.S. tons) of aluminum oxides per year to the atmosphere, an increase of 646% over natural levels. The study is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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Astronomers Detect Sudden Awakening of Black Hole For First Time

Slashdot.org - Wed, 06/19/2024 - 02:00
Astronomers are observing the sudden awakening of a giant black hole in the constellation of Virgo. "Decades of observations found nothing remarkable about the distant galaxy in the constellation of Virgo, but that changed at the end of 2019 when astronomers noticed a dramatic surge in its luminosity that persists to this day," reports The Guardian. "Researchers now believe they are witnessing changes that have never been seen before, with the black hole at the galaxy's core putting on an extreme cosmic light show as vast amounts of material fall into it." From the report: The galaxy, which goes by the snappy codename SDSS1335+0728 and lies 300m light years away, was flagged to astronomers in December 2019 when an observatory in California called the Zwicky Transient Facility recorded a sudden rise in its brightness. The alert prompted a flurry of new observations and checks of archived measurements from ground- and space-based telescopes to understand more about the galaxy and its past behavior. The scientists discovered the galaxy had recently doubled in brightness in mid-infrared wavelengths, become four times brighter in the ultraviolet, and at least 10 times brighter in the X-ray range. What triggered the sudden brightening is unclear, but writing in Astronomy and Astrophysics, the researchers say the most likely explanation is the creation of an "active galactic nucleus" where a vast black hole at the centre of a galaxy starts actively consuming the material around it. Active galactic nuclei emit a broad spectrum of light as gas around the black hole heats up and glows, and surrounding dust particles absorb some wavelengths and re-radiate others. But it is not the only possibility. The team has not ruled out an exotic form of "tidal disruption event," a highly restrained phrase to describe a star that is ripped apart after straying too close to a black hole. Tidal disruption events tend to be brief affairs, brightening a galaxy for no more than a few hundred days, but more measurements are needed to rule out the process.

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