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Neuralink’s Mind Pong, Google vs Oracle And More In This Week’s Top News

Neuralink’s Mind Pong, Google vs Oracle And More In This Week’s Top News

Last year, in a much hyped event, Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a brain-chip company gave a demonstration of a lightweight brain implant called THE LINK, which promised a pain free,  superintelligent future. This week, Neuralink did give a glimpse of that future. In a video released by the company, we can see a primate playing “mind pong” on a screen. 

The nine-year-old monkey, called Pager, has two Neuralink devices on each side of his brain, which were mounted six weeks ago. According to Neuralink, Pager learned how to use a joystick to move a cursor to targets on a screen in exchange for a banana smoothie delivered through a straw. 

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The “Link” recorded Pager’s neuron activity and then fed the data to a decoder algorithm, which learnt Pager’s hand movement in relation with the cursor on the screen. Once calibrated the monkey was able to move the cursor, instead of relying on the joystick, which was unplugged anyway.

Musk said the first Neuralink product will allow a paralyzed human to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using their thumbs. According to Musk, people are in effect already “cyborgs” because they have a tertiary “digital layer” thanks to phones, computers and applications.

White House Set To Host The Chip Makers

According to reports, the White House will be hosting more than a dozen heavyweights from the chip industry that include Samsung, TSMC and, also companies like Alphabet and Ford who play a significant role in the global economy. The White House virtual summit on Monday, is aimed at addressing the global semiconductor shortage, which has caused troubles for carmakers, PC makers and more. According to the White House, the virtual summit will be hosted by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and NEC Director Brian Deese, joined by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, according to the White House. Participants will discuss how to strengthen the U.S. supply chain for semiconductors.

Google Dodges Oracle

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled a decision in favor of Google, which was fighting a decade long, multibillion-dollar battle with Oracle. The court over turned a lower-court ruling for Oracle, which accused Google of infringing its copyrights on the Java software platform. The court ruled that Google’s copying of some Java API code was fair use. The court decided that Google’s copying did not violate the copyright law. The origin of this case began in 2005, when Google acquired Android, Inc., a startup firm. Back then, software developers were lining up to learn Java programming language; a language invented by Sun Microsystems; the predecessor of Oracle. The talks between Sun and Google didn’t go as planned. Google decided to build its own platform for the mobile applications. But, Google wanted these new swarm of developers who are familiar with Java to come on board. So, they also copied roughly 11,500 lines of code from the Java SE program for an API. This landmark judgement is a huge relief for developers across the world who rely on open source tools to build other tools.

According to Kent Walker, Google’s chief legal officer, this ruling provided a legal certainty to the next-gen developers. “Innovation happens by standing on each other’s shoulders and that is what’s going on here. The idea of fair use is beneficial for everyone in the industry,” Walker said in an interview.

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FBI Foils AWS Bomb Attack

The FBi arrested  28-year old American who goes by the name Seth Aaron Pendley for allegedly plotting to shut down “70% of the internet”. His plan was to blow up the AWS data centers in Smith Switch Road in Ashburn, Virginia. According to reports, he was planning to bomb servers he believed were used by the FBI, CIA, and other US federal agencies. His plot also included taking down the “oligarchy” currently leading the United States.

“We would like to thank the FBI for their work in this investigation. We take the safety and security of our staff and customer data incredibly seriously, and constantly review various vectors for any potential threats. We will continue to retain this vigilance about our employees and customers,” said AWS. 

China Tightens Screws On Alibaba

According to reports, China’s antitrust regulator imposed a fine equivalent to $2.8 billion against Alibaba Group for abusing its dominant position over rivals and merchants on its e-commerce platforms. Jack Ma’s company has come under scanner ever since the failed multi-billion dollar IPO listing. Ma allegedly took a sabbatical from the media. With this antitrust penalty, the Chinese government has sent a message to the flourishing tech companies that the state still comes first. “Alibaba accepts the penalty with sincerity and will ensure its compliance with determination,” the company said.

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