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Exclusive: Rare sale slashes $150 off the crazy-fast Mac Studio – TalkOfNews.com

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Rare sale slashes $150 off the crazy-fast Mac Studio

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Exclusive: Russia Helps Iran Launch Satellite, Promises It's Not Meant for Military Surveillance – TalkOfNews.com

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Russia Helps Iran Launch Satellite, Promises It's Not Meant for Military Surveillance

#Russia #Helps #Iran #Launch #Satellite #Promises #It039s #Meant #Military #Surveillance

News footage of the Khayyam satellite being launched from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Gif: Tasnim News Agency

A new Russian-made, Iranian-operated satellite launched to orbit on Tuesday, joining the growing cloud of devices circling the Earth. Though unlike your average SpaceX Starlink, the high-powered imaging satellite has U.S. intelligence officials biting their nails, concerned over what both Russia and Iran could be looking at down below.

Iran’s Khayyam satellite was launched into orbit on Tuesday morning, riding atop a Soyuz-2.1b rocket that took off from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, according to Iran’s state-affiliated Tasnim news agency. Iranian state news agency IRNA wrote that Khayyam, named after the 12th century Persian mathematician and poet, is already in its 310-mile-high (500-kilometer-high) orbit and is sending out its first bits of telemetry data.

The launch is part of a deal put together four years ago. U.S. officials previously told reporters that the satellite is equipped with Russian-made Konopus-V systems that include high-resolution cameras for looking down on the Earth. Officials even claimed that Russian space experts have trained Iranian ground crews who are planning to operate the satellite from a facility located in the Iranian city of Karaj.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the satellite has the U.S. intelligence community in a tizzy. The U.S. is fearful that the satellite might not only be used by Iran to monitor military targets in Israel and around the Middle East, but to also help Russia spy on targets for its ongoing brutal war in Ukraine, according to anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Indeed, WaPo cited two unnamed officials who said Russia would get first crack at the satellite’s imaging capability, operating it for several months to surveil potential military targets on the ground. Knowing Russia’s penchant for putting civilian targets in the line of fire, the potential for this new eye in the sky to pick out potential attack points is a sobering possibility.

But Iran has reportedly said it will have full operational control “from day one,” according to Al Jazeera. Instead, the the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) has said the digital orders sent to Khayyam will be encrypted and controlled by Iranian engineers and scientists. The orbiting satellite’s 3-feet (1-meter) resolution cameras will be used to monitor environmental data like radiation, among other scientific research targets, according to Reuters. Iran also said it may use the satellite to monitor the country’s borders.

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ISA crafted four other satellites prior to Khayyam. Previous systems have been restricted to resolutions between 16 and 33 feet (5 and 10 feet), according to IRNA. The state-run news further quoted Iran’s director of space operations, Alireza Naimi, who said Iran will need another four months before it’ll start showing off images from its satellite. State-run news previously reported that the reason the launch was handed over to Russia was on account of the satellite’s “heavy weight.”

But it’s easy to see why military analysts believe this bit of space cooperation between Iran and Russia offers a new frontier for east/west antagonisms. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently visited his erstwhile Iranian allies, where he was quoted warning against “western deception.”

Russia has recently butted heads with the U.S. over satellites. Last week, Russia launched the mysterious satellite designated Kosmos 2558, which experts told Gizmodo was potentially sent up to stalk a similarly mysterious American military satellite in its orbit.

Long-coveted cooperation between the U.S. and Russia was further frayed in late July when the latter threatened to leave the International Space Station way ahead of its planned decommissioning. While the country quickly walked back that outburst, reports showed the U.S. had been making plans for what they would need to do to safeguard their presence in low Earth orbit.


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Exclusive: Copyright law is going to get real interesting, y’all – TalkOfNews.com

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Copyright law is going to get real interesting, y’all

#Copyright #law #real #interesting #yall

As millions of people are playing with AI-powered image-generation tools like DALL-E and Midjourney, new works of art are generated by the billions. Many of them are curiosities, some of them are legitimately incredible works of art that I wouldn’t hesitate to stick on my wall. In fact, I did; I have a Meural digital art display, and it’s currently playing a rotation of some of the most interesting works of art Midjourney has generated for me.

The picture above made me think, though; the prompt for it is “Lovers, in the style of Banksy,” which is remarkably close, stylistically, as a lot of other Banksy works — it even put the frame on it for me, unprompted. With a small amount of manual retouching (or with a lot more experimentation), I am confident I could get Midjourney to generate a work that anybody would recognize as “a Banksy”.

The challenge becomes complex, and I’m going to be keeping a very close eye on the legal universe to see how this is going to evolve over time. There are a few obvious issues here, and a few less obvious ones, but a few of the curiosities I have right out of the gate are related to copyright and plagiarism.

Are we all just monkeys pressing shutter buttons?

If you are using a free or a trial account for Midjourney, you are granted a Commons Noncommercial 4.0 Attribution International License, which means that you’d be able to use the images as long as you don’t sell them or make money off them, and as long as you give credit (“attribution”) to Midjourney. If you pay for your account, the company says “You basically own all Assets you create using Midjourney’s image generation and chat services”.

In its terms of service, the company further specifies that you grant Midjourney a “perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicensable no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare Derivative Works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute text, and image prompts you input into the Services, or Assets produced by the service at your direction.” In other words, even if you “create” a new piece of art, and you have all rights to use the images the service creates, Midjourney also keeps its own license to use your works, including sublicensing.

The other quirk is that “Midjourney is an open community that allows others to use and remix your images and prompts whenever they are posted in a public setting.” Which means that even if you spend a bunch of time creating very finely tuned prompts of what you created, another user can use your image as the base for their own experimentation, and in theory create derivative works that are extremely similar to “yours”.

Now, imagine a world where you generate some really cool art. You develop a unique style that “only you” are able to create using Midjourney’s tools, and you decide to sell them, whether as NFTs, prints or what have you. Because of the license agreement you have with Midjourney, the company could start selling or licensing “your” artworks. It probably won’t; that would be pretty bad business. But another user could further evolve “your” style and images and start selling their own artworks based on those.

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There’s another edge case as well; in theory, with the same prompts and the random seed that’s used for generating the images, you could end up with someone else generating the same, or a very similar, image as what you created. They could start selling that image, and we end up with a really curious situation where two people genuinely created an image that they thought was their own original but accidentally end up with extremely visually similar graphics.

Then there’s the issue of plagiarism. At the top of this article, I “created” something that’s recognizable as a “Banksy”. That artist in particular is interesting because his identity is unknown, and he is a fervent anti-capitalist, which means he’s relatively unlikely to a) come out of hiding and b) sue me for “creating a Banksy”. Besides, there are a lot more fake Banksys out there that were created with stencils and spray paint, that would be more sensible to go after. The point remains, however; there are a fair few contemporary artists out there with very distinctive styles, and over time, the AI will learn to emulate many of them. These styles are not copyrighted, but they could very well be trademarked in one way or another. And even if it wouldn’t be “illegal” to plagiarize the style of another artist, I can totally see how an artist with a distinctive style would be miffed if some nerd such as myself suddenly started selling NFTs in their style.

One example; I challenged Midjourney to create “a colorful graffiti mural of Batman and Robin in Beautiful, Downtown, Oakland, California,” and ended up with this. Now I’m not familiar enough with individual graffiti styles to recognize this as the potential work of a specific artist, but it’s not unthinkable that I’ve accidentally plagiarized someone with that prompt.

It becomes a question of who created a certain work of art. A few years ago there was a curious case of a monkey taking selfies with a photographer’s camera. Personally — and even if it is hard for the monkey to represent itself in court to defend its rights — I think that a monkey pressing the shutter button and having creative input into the way the image looks deserves its own copyright. The courts went the other way after a long and drawn-out process.

It leaves me to wonder; are we all just monkeys pressing shutter buttons, or do we “own” the copyright due to the amount of our own creativity we add to the process, even in a situation where very few of us — including Midjourney itself — are able to explain the exact process of how a particular image came to be generated.


I asked Midjourney to generate an image with the prompt “a monkey taking a photo with a SLR camera, photo-realistic, hyper-detailed –ar 16:9 –s 1250”. It is almost as if the AI knew I was trying to make a point — in this case, it even signed its work, albeit illegibly. Image Credits: Haje Kamps (opens in a new window) / Midjourney (opens in a new window)

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Exclusive: Sony’s uniquely designed LinkBuds with open ring design launched in India for Rs 19,990 – TalkOfNews.com

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Sony’s uniquely designed LinkBuds with open ring design launched in India for Rs 19,990

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Sony recently launched a new TWS or truly wireless earbuds in India called the Sony LinkBuds. The LinkBuds come with a rather unique new open-ring design that helps with audio transparency, great fit, and comes with a whole load of features.

Sony says by leveraging the unique design of the LinkBuds, its sensor and spatial sound technologies, Sony is creating new sound experiences together with their partners for a number of applications, such as AR gaming, sound AR navigation, quick access to music, and more usability.

The earbuds feature a 12mm driver comes with 360 Reality Audio support and packs Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 and DSEE for superior audio quality. The design of the earbuds is not only unique but offers audio transparency. Sony claims that the earbuds can offer up to 17.5 hours of battery life on a single charge.

We take a look at the new Sony LinkBuds’ price in India, specifications, and availability.

Sony LinkBuds: Price in India and availability
The Sony Linkbuds has been launched at a price of Rs 19,990. However, customers can pre-book the LinkBuds at an introductory price of Rs. 12,990 and avail of benefits of up to Rs. 7,000. This is inclusive of Rs. 2,000 cashback on select debit and credit cards). This offer is valid until 12th August 2022.

The Sony Linkbuds will be available across a number of retail stores such as Sony Center across India. It will also be available across other major electronic stores and other e-commerce websites in India.

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Sony LinkBuds: Specifications
Sony Linkbuds come with 12mm open-end drivers. The newly developed ring driver has an open diaphragm for audio transparency, which will allow users to seamlessly hear the sounds around. Their new design makes LinkBuds the perfect companion for a range of uses, including working from home, listening to music, gaming and more.

The Linkbuds weigh 4 grams and comes with sizes of fitting supporters to suit different ear shapes. The earbuds also come with adaptive volume control. The feature lets you to listen to your favourite tracks at a comfortable volume and in a variety of environments, to enhance the open-air listening experience.  

The LinkBuds are said to come with a long-lasting battery. The earbuds offer 5.5 hours on a single charge. The charging case stores another 12 hours to deliver a total of 17.5 hours, which can easily last you more four-five days with moderate usage.


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