Digital killed the video star – MTV files of over a decade erased. Hashtag Trending, for Thursday, June 27, 2024

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A model with 1 million tokens changes the face of open source AI. Lawsuits are already being filed on the CDK car dealership software hack. Reports are emerging that the Federal Reserve has been hacked again, but this time on a massive scale, Walmart takes pricing digital and for those who remember MTV, that’s all you can do. All data about MTV has been wiped.

All this and more on the “digital killed the video star” edition of Hashtag Trending.  I’m your host Jim Love, let’s get into it.

If you think that open-source AI is a poor substitute the commercial models, AI startup Gradient and cloud platform Crusoe have made a significant breakthrough in language model technology, extending the context window of open-source Llama-3 models to 1 million tokens. This development puts their model on par with proprietary giants like Google’s Gemini.

Leo Pekelis, Chief Scientist at Gradient AI, explained that this advancement allows for more comprehensive tasks, such as analyzing entire codebases at once, which is crucial for enterprise applications.

The team leveraged open research from various institutions worldwide, including Berkeley AI Research and labs in Singapore and Shanghai. They used Meta’s Llama 3 as their base model and employed distributed attention techniques to manage memory and compute costs efficiently.

Crusoe’s customized GPU clusters, particularly their L40S setup, were instrumental in making the training process cost-effective and timely.

The extended context window opens up new possibilities for AI applications and the fact that this is open-source could reshape the open source LLM arena, making hugely powerful AI available to a wide range of innovators and companies.

Sources include: VentureBeat

Well, that was fast. The first lawsuits are emerging on the CDK Global, the auto dealership software provider than has been hacked.

A Florida man, Yuriy Loginov, has filed a potential class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming it failed to adequately protect customers’ sensitive personal information.

CDK Global, which serves about 15,000 car dealerships across North America, was hit by a cyberattack last Wednesday. The breach forced dealerships to revert to manual operations and is expected to take several more days to resolve.

While the full extent of the data compromise remains unclear, cybersecurity experts saying anyone who recently purchased a car from a dealership using CDK’s software should assume their data may have been exposed.

Loginov’s lawsuit alleges that CDK should have anticipated and prevented such an attack. He claims his personal information, including Social Security and financial details, is now at risk. The plaintiff is seeking damages and protective measures like data monitoring services.

Sources include: qz.com

Notorious ransomware gang LockBit has claimed a major breach of the U.S. Federal Reserve, potentially compromising 33 terabytes of sensitive banking data. The group posted on its leak site that authorities have until June 25 to pay an undisclosed ransom, or the data will be made public.

If confirmed, this could be one of the biggest banking hacks in U.S. history. The Federal Reserve, operating 12 banking districts across major cities, hasn’t yet issued a statement on the claim.

John Bambenek, a cybersecurity consultant, noted, “It’s pretty rare for a ransomware group to publicly dunk on a ransomware negotiator,” referring to LockBit’s taunt about the negotiation process.

However, experts urge caution. Agnidipta Sarkar from ColorTokens pointed out that LockBit has made false claims about breaching federal bodies in the past.

While LockBit has a history of high-profile attacks on organizations like Boeing and ICBC Bank, the veracity of this claim remains unconfirmed. As we await official word from the Federal Reserve, this situation underscores the ongoing threat of cyberattacks on critical financial institutions.

But should we be shocked about a Federal Reserve hack? We need to remember that the Federal Reserve admitted it had detected more than 50 cyber breaches between 2011 and 2015, with several incidents described internally as “espionage”, according to Fed records.

Sources include: CSO Online and   The Guardian

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is making a significant change to its pricing system. By 2026, all 2,300 Walmart stores will replace traditional sticker price tags with digital shelf labels, or DSLs. The company says this aims to streamline operations and improve customer experience.

Currently, Walmart stores carry over 120,000 products, each requiring manual price updates for new items, markdowns, and “Rollbacks.” The new DSL system will dramatically reduce the time needed for price changes, from days to just minutes.

However, this efficiency has raised concerns about potential surge pricing. Walmart spokesperson Cristina Rodrigues assures customers, “The DSL program is not designed for dynamic pricing. Walmart adheres to everyday low prices.”

Suspicions about surge pricing are not unrealistic. As electronic menus have been introduced to fast food restaurants, customers have complained about surge pricing.

Greg Cathey, Walmart’s senior VP of transformation and innovation, further clarified: “It is absolutely not going to be ‘One hour it is this price and the next hour it is not.'”

The company emphasizes that this technology will primarily benefit employees, allowing them to spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time assisting customers. As retailers adapt to changing consumer behaviors, Walmart’s digital pricing approach could set a new standard in the industry.

Source include: Fortune

Paramount has erased MTV.com from the internet, wiping out over two decades of music journalism and cultural history. The website, once a hub for music news, interviews, and political coverage, has been reduced to a mere placeholder for reality TV show schedules.

This digital purge follows the shutdown of MTV News on television last year, marking the end of an era that saw MTV as a cultural force in music, entertainment, and politics since the early ’90s. The news division, featuring iconic personalities like Kurt Loder and Serena Altschul, was instrumental in shaping generational discourse.

Former MTV writers and contributors are expressing outrage and disbelief. Kathy Iandoli called it “proof that no one has any idea of what the hell they are doing right now,” while Patrick Hosken lamented, “Eight years of my life are gone without a trace.”

It’s not the only time a corporate has erased history.  When the New York Observer was bought by Jared Kushner hundreds of articles went missing.

But for many, MTV was a huge part of their lives and certain reflects an swath of modern entertainment history.

While some MTV journalists attempted to save some info, the reality is that almost everything is lost.

This is as a stark reminder of the fragility of digital content and the importance of preserving journalistic work. It also raises questions about corporate responsibility in maintaining cultural archives and the long-term consequences of prioritizing short-term profits over historical preservation.

And that’s our show for today.

 

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a daily news show, with a weekend interview show we call the Weekend Edition.

 

Show notes are at technewsday.ca or .com  – either one works.

 

We love your comments.  Contact me at editorial@technewsday.ca

 

I’m your host Jim Love, have a Thrilling Thursday.

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