Category Archives: Science and Technology


Tesla Full Self-Driving Gets criticism from regulators

Early Saturday, Tesla began letting owners request its “Full Self-Driving” software, suggesting that thousands of drivers will soon be on the road with the unregulated and mostly untested capabilities.
It’s the first time the firm has allowed ordinary customers to update to self-driving software, despite the fact that the phrase is an exaggeration by industry and legal standards. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously stated that owners will be able to request the updated suite of sophisticated driver-assistance technologies Owners must agree to allow Tesla to track their driving habits using the company’s insurance calculation. Tesla published a thorough handbook outlining the criteria that will be used to assess drivers. “Beta access will be granted” if their driving is considered “good” during a seven-day period, Musk wrote on Twitter.
It’s the latest twist in a tale that has regulators, safety advocates, and relatives of Tesla crash victims worried about the technology’s potential for disaster if it’s released on real-world roads. Approximately 2,000 beta testers have had access to the technology up until now. This weekend, albeit they would not receive them immediately.

Those who have purchased the now-$10,000 software upgrade, as well as those who have paid a Tesla membership for around $100 to $200 per month — assuming they can first pass Tesla’s safety monitoring — will be able to get it this weekend.

Musk has stated that the technology is a “debatable” concept, claiming that “full self-driving must function in order for it to be a compelling value proposition.”

Investigators are already investigating into its predecessor, called Autopilot, which navigates vehicles from interstate on-ramp to off-ramp and can park and summon cars, all while being monitored by a driver. Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an inquiry into a dozen accidents involving parked emergency vehicles that occurred while Autopilot was turned on.
Autopilot’s capabilities are expanded to city streets with “Full Self-Driving,” which includes the capacity to guide the car turn-by-turn from point A to point B.

Requests for comment from Tesla and the NHTSA were not immediately returned. When comparing the modes using Tesla statistics and information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Tesla has consistently claimed that Autopilot is safer than driving a car manually.
“Autopilot is unquestionably safer” than traditional automobiles, according to Musk. The data isn’t exactly comparable, though, because Autopilot is only meant to be used on specific types of routes and in certain situations.

Tesla’s decision to quickly roll out the features to a wide number of customers has been criticized by regulators and industry colleagues, who believe the firm is rushing into a problem that requires thorough consideration and a focus on safety.
Despite its moniker, the new software does not meet the car industry’s or safety authorities’ definitions of “self-driving,” and drivers should remain vigilant while it is in use.

Before turning to Musk, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy stated, “I do believe their product is deceptive and generally contributes to more misuse and abuse.” “All I ask is that he emphasizes safety in the same way that he promotes innovation and new technology… Safety is equally as vital as, if not more crucial than, technological advancement.”

Tesla revealed its “safety score” system on its website shortly before the button’s availability, so drivers who wish to join up may evaluate it. It stated that drivers will be graded on a scale of 0 to 100, with the majority earning an 80 or higher. Drivers will be judged on five criteria, according to the company: forward collision warnings per 1,000 miles, occurrences of forceful braking, aggressive turning, hazardous following, and forced Autopilot disengagements. Tesla would then compute their score using a formula.

Tesla said, “These are combined to predict the risk of your driving resulting in a future collision.” It wasn’t immediately apparent what score would qualify as “excellent” in order to obtain Full Self-Driving, as Musk described it.
Musk has stated that drivers who use the company’s Autopilot software frequently will be rewarded. According to him, owners will be able to watch their progress in real time and will be instructed on how to meet the standards.

Chamber of Progress, a trade organization, took aim at Tesla’s promotion of the technology late last month.

The consortium, which is backed by Apple, Alphabet-owned Waymo, and General Motors-backed Cruise, claimed that Tesla’s cars “aren’t truly completely self-driving.” “The fundamental issue is that Tesla drivers, in case after instance, take their eyes off the road because they assume they are operating a self-driving car. They’re not.”

Tesla, according to Homendy, has demonstrated no active interest in enhancing the safety of its products. She claims the board has issued recommendations in response to deadly collisions in Williston and Delray Beach, Florida, as well as Mountain View, California, but that they have gone unheeded.
She stated, “Tesla has not responded to any of our queries.” “They’ve disregarded us – they haven’t reacted to us,” says the narrator.

“And if you don’t solve things and continue to upgrade, that’s a problem,” she continued.

Following an examination into a 2018 incident in which a driver was killed when his car crashed into a highway barrier, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was asked to determine if Tesla’s technologies constituted an excessive safety risk.

NHTSA, according to Homendy, has to take a more active role in the problem. All crashes using driver-assistance systems must now be reported, according to the government.

Homendy stated, “It is incumbent on a federal regulator to take action and protect public safety.” “I am pleased that they have requested crash data from all manufacturers, and that they are starting with Tesla by requesting collision data for emergency cars. They must, however, do more.”

A continuous stream of videos from early beta tests have been circulating on Twitter, depicting the still-nascent Full Self-Driving system’s perplexity when confronted with unexpected impediments. Roundabouts and unprotected left turns have been found to cause problems for the system, as well as abruptly swerving toward pedestrians and crossing a double-yellow line into oncoming traffic.
“I want the best for Tesla, but going broad release is not the move, at least not right now,” the user said in the latter situation.
Others stated they had personally suffered as a result of Tesla’s fast software release and asked the firm to rethink.

Bernadette Saint Jean’s husband, Jean Louis, was murdered on the Long Island Expressway in July after a Tesla with autonomous features collided with him on the side of the road, according to NHTSA.

“Tesla should not be spreading its Autopilot or Traffic-Aware Cruise Control Systems until they can explain why my husband and all of those First Responders had to die and be injured,” Saint Jean, of Queens, said in a statement released through her attorney, Joshua Brian Irwin.

Source of information (The Washington Post)

Covid 19 Vaccination Drive from USA and Around the World

Regulators in the United States are expected to approve a third dosage of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine for adults aged 65 and over. According to Anthony Fauci, mRNA vaccinations will be given in a three-dose schedule.

In the face of increasing infections, Singapore recorded 1,457 Covid-19 cases and limited hospital visits to save capacity. Myanmar has extended vaccination eligibility to adults over the age of 55.

President Joe Biden of the United States has called on other countries to help substantially increase production of vaccines and treatments in order to help stop the epidemic. He stated that the United States will purchase additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to distribute to other countries.

According to a study, pregnant women who receive mRNA shots transfer significant amounts of antibodies to their kids. The first Chinese vaccine to give unambiguous effectiveness data against the variation generating recurrent waves of illnesses throughout the world was produced by Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc. and found to be 79 percent effective against the delta strain.

Key Developments

The number of cases has surpassed 229.4 million, while the number of deaths has surpassed 4.7 million. More than 6 billion doses of vaccine have been delivered, according to the Vaccine Tracker. After Sinovac and Astra Jab, Thailand claims that Pfizer has sparked a strong response. Why are there more children with the delta variant? CovidAlpha, delta, and more. The following are some of the reasons why viral variations generate concern: QuickTake

FDA to Authorize Third Pfizer Dose for SOme (6:05 a.m. HK)

According to a source familiar with the situation, the US Food and Drug Administration is planning to approve a third booster dosage of the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine soon.

People 65 and older, those most vulnerable to serious sickness, and those whose occupations put them at danger are anticipated to be given emergency clearance, according to the source.

According to the source, an announcement will be made on Wednesday.

UN Says Delegate Tested Positive (5:20 a.m. HK)

A delegate who was in the main hall of the General Assembly on Tuesday morning tested positive for Covid-19, according to the United Nations. While the UN did not say whose country the delegate represented, other heads of state who spoke at the time included US Vice President Joe Biden and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.

While in New York, two members of Bolsonaro’s entourage, including Brazil’s health minister, tested positive for Covid-19.

Staff who may have come into touch with the sick person will be contacted individually and led through the following measures, according to UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. Officials in New York have urged the UN to impose tighter criteria on visiting delegates, but the UN has refused to require proof of vaccination to enter its facilities.

NYC’s Vaccine Mandate for Teachers Cleared (5:06 a.m. HK)

Following a court challenge by labor unions, a state judge upheld New York City’s mandate that teachers be vaccinated.

Justice Laurence L. Love of the New York State Supreme Court removed a temporary restraining order that had prevented the vaccination requirement from going into effect while the issue was being contested.

Fauci Envisions Three-Dose Standard (3:55 p.m. NY)

According to Anthony Fauci, future delivery of mRNA vaccines such as those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. would likely require three doses from the start, rather than two doses plus a booster.

If adopted as predicted by a leading infectious disease specialist, the third injection would become part of the primary series, potentially altering the vaccine label and vaccination schedule.

Mormons Make Masks Mandatory in Temples (2:20 p.m. NY)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ senior leadership authorized the wearing of face masks in its temples throughout the world on Wednesday, as well as a renewed push for members to be vaccinated, citing the Mormon church’s history in previous pandemics.

Biden Calls on Wealthy Nations to Step Up (1:15 p.m. NY)

In a virtual meeting he convened Wednesday, President Joe Biden called on other countries to assist significantly expand production of coronavirus vaccines and treatments in order to halt the Covid-19 epidemic.

Biden said that the United States will purchase another 500 million doses of Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE’s vaccine for international distribution, bringing the total number of doses donated by the United States to 1.1 billion.

The leaders of the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, and Indonesia, as well as private-sector executives and representatives from non-governmental groups, are expected to attend the summit. One of the four sessions, on vaccinating the globe, was conducted by Biden, while another will be led by Vice President Kamala Harris.

MTA to Step Up Enforcement of Subway Masks (1 p.m. NY)

According to WABC-TV, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it will step up enforcement of its mask-wearing rules, citing new data that shows compliance is decreasing on subways, buses, and commuter trains.

According to the television station, MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren stated that although compliance was virtually universal in the early days of the pandemic, it has dropped to approximately 87 percent on the city’s subways.

MTA Police will provide one warning to riders to wear a mask, and if they do not, they will be summoned, Warren added.

Vaccinated Pregnant Women Pass on Protection (9 a.m. NY)

According to a research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Maternal Fetal Medicine on Wednesday, pregnant women who get mRNA vaccinations transfer significant levels of antibodies to their kids.

The study found that 36 newborns tested at birth all had antibodies to protect against Covid-19 after their mothers were vaccinated with shots from Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE or Moderna Inc., making it one of the first to measure antibody levels in umbilical cord blood to distinguish whether immunity is from infection or vaccines.

Romania Approves Booster Shots (8:36 a.m. NY)

Prime Minister Florin Citu said on Wednesday that Romania has approved booster injections from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. for people who had been properly vaccinated at least six months before. The shooting will commence on September 28.

Despite being in the middle of the worst wave of infections and hospitalizations since December, the eastern European country, which is one of the least vaccinated in the EU, recently had more than 700,000 doses expire.

China Covid Shot Effective Against Delta (8:31 a.m. NY)

In late-stage trials, a vaccine developed by Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc. was found to prevent 79 percent of cases of any severity caused by the delta variant, making it the first Chinese vaccine with clear efficacy data against the strain that is causing resurgent waves of infections around the world.

Remdesivir Averts Hospitalization in Study (8:30 a.m. NY)

In a late-stage worldwide trial, early therapy with Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir kept high-risk patients out of the hospital, indicating that the medication may be given to those recuperating at home.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial including 562 patients, a three-day course of the injectable antiviral, also known as Veklury, was linked to an 87 percent reduction in hospitalizations, according to Gilead. On Sept. 29, the results will be presented during a virtual medical symposium.

Malaysia Sets Vaccine Threshold for Travel (8:10 a.m. NY)

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement on Wednesday that after 90 percent of the adult population has been properly vaccinated, interstate travel would be resumed to help boost domestic tourism. The news comes only one day after the government reached its goal of fully inoculating 80 percent of people.

Moscow Reopens Wards as Cases Soar (7:43 a.m. NY)

Moscow reopened Covid-19 wards after new cases increased by 24% in the previous week, according to Ria Novosti, quoting Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova. According to her, hospitalizations were up 15%. The increase comes after President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party won a landslide win in legislative elections last weekend that were marred by rampant fraud, according to opponents.

Singapore Restricts Hospital Visits (6:13 a.m. NY)

Singapore will limit hospital ward visits for a month as part of a series of steps to conserve hospital capacity as cases grow, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Source of information (Bloomberg News)


Apple child-abuse scanner has major weakness, experts warn

Scientists have discovered a vulnerability in iOS’s built-in hash function, raising worries about the system’s integrity. The vulnerability affects Apple’s NeuralHash hashing technology, which enables it to search for precise matches of known child abuse photos without really owning or seeing the images.

What is wrong with Apple Child-abuse Scanner

An iOS developer named Asuhariet Ygvar released code for a Python version of NeuralHash on GitHub on Tuesday. How to extract NeuralMatch files from a current macOS or iOS build is also documented on GitHub.

According to early testing, it can withstand picture scaling and compression but not cropping or rotation, Ygvar said on Reddit. It should help us better understand NeuralHash and its possible problems before it’s activated on all iOS devices.

They created a collision: two pictures with the same hash

After the code was made public, additional serious vulnerabilities were found. Cory Cornelius created an algorithm collision: two pictures with the same hash. If the results stand up, it will be a major flaw in Apple’s new encryption.

iOS devices now have a new mechanism for preventing child abuse images. As part of the new approach, iOS will compare local files against hashes of child abuse images compiled by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The technology limits scans to iCloud pictures and sets a threshold of 30 matches discovered before an alert is issued. However, privacy activists are still worried about the consequences of searching local storage for illicit content, and the latest discovery has heightened worries.

While the collision is substantial, exploiting it in reality would be difficult. Collision attacks discover identical inputs that generate the same hash. In Apple’s system, this means creating an image that triggers CSAM alerts even if it isn’t a CSAM picture. Accessing the NCMEC hash database would involve creating over 30 colliding pictures and sneaking them onto the target’s phone. Only Apple and NCMEC would get an alert, which would readily identify the pictures as false positives.

The shortcoming will only increase criticism of the new reporting method. A proof-of-concept collision, like the SHA-1 collision in 2017, generally means the underlying method should be abandoned. Apple may update the algorithm or make more gradual adjustments to minimize future threats. Requests for response from Apple went unanswered.

A wider range of demands for Apple to abandon its plans for on-device scanning have grown in the weeks after the announcement. A petition titled “Tell Apple: Don’t Scan Our Phones” was started by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Tuesday. It had almost 1,700 signatures at press time.

Get other technological news at SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY here!

Man hunts down stolen scooter using Apple AirTags

Dan Guido refused to give up when his electric scooter was stolen on the night of Aug. 2. Two Apple AirTags had been hidden inside the black car by the Brooklyn cybersecurity CEO, who had covered them with black duct tape. He went out the following day with the assistance of the little Bluetooth trackers to find the scooter. He was successful, which is a spoiler.

How Did Apple AirTags Work?

Guido works for Trail of Bits, a cybersecurity research and consulting company headquartered in New York City that serves customers in the military, technology, finance, and blockchain sectors. In a series of tweets on Monday, he detailed his search for the scooter, including both the difficulties and the triumphs. Guido wrote, “My scooter was taken last week.” “I concealed two Airtags within it, unbeknownst to the thief. Today, I was able to locate the scooter using the Apple Find My network and UWB direction finding.”

Guido attempted to seek the help of the New York City Police Department the following day, but they refused to cooperate if he entered shops or knocked on doors. Guido wrote, “They weren’t acquainted with Airtags and assumed I was recruiting them to steal stuff.” A request for comment was not immediately returned by Apple or the New York City Police Department.

Guido claimed he had to rush to catch a flight to Las Vegas for the Blackhat security conference. Guido stated in a tweet that he believed it was the end of the road, believing that the AirTags’ loud characteristics would expose their cover.

In June, Apple said that it has begun sending out upgrades to its AirTags, which force them to emit noise if they are away from their owners for more than 8 hours within a window. After three days, they had previously sounded.

Fortunately, no one found the monitoring devices for the remainder of the week, so Guido was free to continue his search when he returned home from the conference on August 9.

He claims he ran across another roadblock with the NYPD, but after some persuasion, two policemen decided to take him to the scooter’s location.

Then they came upon something interesting: an e-bike shop.

Guido got a ping after entering the building, notifying him that the illusive scooter was close by. After that, he was reunited with it.

Guido provided advice for AirTag users at the conclusion of his thread so that they, too, may be prepared in the event that their Bluetooth-enabled items are stolen.

For More News go to Science & Technology Here!