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Elon Musk promises demo of a working Neuralink device on Friday – The Verge

Elon Musk has said that his secretive neurotech firm Neuralink will demonstrate a working “device,” presumably a brain-machine interface, at 6PM ET on Friday. Musk has spoken repeatedly about his belief that BMI devices are needed to help humans keep up with AI by supplementing our brainpower, but right now, his goal is much simpler: to create an implantable device that lets people control phones or computers with their mind.

Musk initially announced the August 28th “progress update” back in July, and has now offered more details on what will be shown. He says the update will include the unveiling of a second-generation robot designed to attach the company’s technology to the brain, and a demo of neurons “firing in real-time,” though it’s not clear exactly what is meant by this.

Even compared to Musk’s other ventures like Tesla and SpaceX, Neuralink is ambitious. The company wants to connect to the brain using flexible electrodes thinner than a human hair that it calls “threads.” Current BMI devices use stiff electrodes for this job, which can cause damage. But inserting flexible electrodes is a much more delicate and challenging task, hence the company’s focus on building a “sewing machine” like robot to do the job.

Eventually, Neuralink hopes to make the installation process for BMIs as non-invasive as Lasik eye surgery, even removing the need to use general anesthetic. Musk has previously spoken about the need for an automated Lasik-like process for BMIs to overcome the constraints and costs involved with needing to use highly trained neural surgeons. But this isn’t ready to be shown off yet, according to Musk. “Still far from LASIK, but could get pretty close in a few years,” Musk tweeted in response to a followup question about the event.

Many scientists have welcomed Musk’s involvement in this medical field, because of the huge potential of BMIs to help paralyzed individuals and those with neurological disorders. Others have cautioned that his claims for the future utility of these devices are far from proven, and his timescales for progress overly optimistic. Neuralink said last year it would start clinical trials by the end of 2020, but has not given any further updates on this goal.

Neuralink is yet to officially announce how you’ll be able to watch Friday’s event, but keeping an eye on the company’s YouTube channel seems like a safe bet.

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Instagram promises

Instagram promises to fix bug after being exposed by always accessing the camera on iOS 14 – 9to5Mac

We have already covered here some apps that were caught accessing users’ clipboard thanks to a new feature of iOS 14, but that’s not all. The next major update to Apple’s mobile operating system also indicates when an app is using the camera or microphone, and that has just exposed Instagram’s app.

According to some reports shared on social networks by users who have already installed iOS 14, the camera’s indicator stays on when the Instagram app is open. Even if the user is not using the camera, as when scrolling through the photo feed, the green dot shows that the app is accessing the camera in the background.

The expected behavior, of course, is for the app to access the camera only when necessary — such as when you open the Instagram Stories composer. However, Instagram told The Verge that this behavior is just a bug.

“We only access your camera when you tell us to — for example, when you swipe from Feed to Camera. We found and are fixing a bug in iOS 14 Beta that mistakenly indicates that some people are using the camera when they aren’t,” the spokesperson said. “We do not access your camera in those instances, and no content is recorded.”

According to the company, the system sometimes understands that the user has swiped the finger to open the in-app camera, which is not always the case. Instagram promises to fix this problem in a future update of its iOS app.

Casually browsing Instagram when suddenly the new iOS 14 camera/microphone indicator comes on. Then control panel ratted out the app behind it. This is going to change things. #iOS14 pic.twitter.com/EnTIRsqq3R

— KevDoy (@KevDoy) July 17, 2020

The privacy features of iOS 14 aren’t even available to the general public yet, but they have already caused trouble for some developers. More recently, LinkedIn was sued by being caught reading the content of the users’ clipboard without authorization — the company also says that was a bug.

iOS 14 is currently available as a beta release and it’s expected to be available to everyone this fall.

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promises Riverdale

Riverdale boss promises to “do better” to honour Vanessa Morgan – digitalspy.com

Riverdale has apologised to Toni Topaz actress Vanessa Morgan after she said she was paid the least on the show.

The star is the only Black series regular, and earlier this week hit out at the negative portrayal of Black people in the media.

In response, Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre Sacasa has apologised and said the show must “do better” in a Twitter statement that has since been retweeted by Morgan.

toni topaz vanessa morgan riverdale

The CW

Related: RuPaul’s Drag Race stars join together for special show in support of Black Lives Matter

“We hear Vanessa,” he said. “We love Vanessa. She’s right. We’re sorry and we make the same promise to you that we did to her. We will do better to honour her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of colour.

“Change is happening and will continue to happen. Riverdale will get bigger, not smaller. Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it.

“All of the Riverdale writers made a donation to [Black Lives Matter LA], but we know where the work must happen for us. In the writers’ room.”

'riverdale' star vanessa morgan

Paul Archuleta / Getty Images

Related: Friends star David Schwimmer reunites with ex-wife to share message of support for Black Lives Matter protest

It comes in the wake of widespread global protests in support of Black Lives Matter following the death of George Floyd.

Morgan’s co-star Cole Sprouse revealed earlier this week that he was arrested while taking part in a protest.

Riverdale season 4 airs on Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW in the US. In the UK, you can stream via Netflix every Thursday.


For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.


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