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Dubai’s RoboCafe is a boon to the COVID-wary

Nothing says social distancing quite like Dubai’s RoboCafe, where robots have replaced their human overlords.

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Nothing says social distancing quite like Dubai’s RoboCafe, where robots have replaced their human overlords.

Customers can place their orders with German-made robots, who then prepare and deliver it straight to their tables.

“It’s a good idea, especially right now,” said Emirati customer Jamal Ali Hassan, whose piping hot beverage was delivered with no spills. “Restaurant turnouts are low, so I would expect that this idea would be popular … You order online and the robot works in front of you and gets you whatever you want within minutes.”

RoboCafe has been in the works for more than two years, but its launch was delayed from March 2020 due to the pandemic. It finally opened last June, when restrictions in the United Arab Emirates were relaxed.

The RoboCafe was created with support from Dubai’s government artificial intelligence initiative. Humans are only called upon when there are glitches, or to sanitize surfaces.

“The client orders from the [touch] screen here, then everything is reliant on artificial intelligence, [the robot] sorts out the orders by table and places it on the small service bot, and the service bot delivers it to the customer,” said Executive Director, Rashid Essa Lootah.

German-made robots make the drinks, while the fully autonomous delivery bots are designed and made in the UAE.

“I’m a bit of a tech nerd, so seeing the little robots, like the roomba vacuum delivering food, and the different armatures — it’s like an assembly line in a car manufacturing plant,” said customer Vincent Marino.

Reporting by Abdelhadi Ramahi; Additional reporting by Tarek Fahmy,; Writing by Raya Jalabi,; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-emirates-technolog/dubais-robocafe-is-a-boon-to-the-covid-wary-idUKKBN2AA0TM

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Reuters

Internal data from breach circulating online -CD Projekt

Internal company data leaked during a February security breach is now being circulated on the internet, Polish video games maker CD Projekt (CDR.WA) said in a statement published on Thursday.

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Cd Projekt headquarters is pictured in Warsaw, Poland January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Internal company data leaked during a February security breach is now being circulated on the internet, Polish video games maker CD Projekt (CDR.WA) said in a statement published on Thursday.

The attack, which compromised some of its internal systems including the source code to its much-hyped game Cyberpunk 2077, dealt another blow to the Warsaw-based business after the game’s launch was beset by glitches.

“We are not yet able to confirm the exact contents of the data in question, though we believe it may include current/former employee and contractor details in addition to data related to our games,” the statement said.

It added that the company couldn’t confirm whether or not the data has been manipulated or tampered with since the breach.

Separately, video game maker Electronic Arts Inc (EA.O) said on Thursday that it is investigating a recent data breach, where some of its game source code and related tools were stolen.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/technology/internal-data-breach-circulating-online-cd-projekt-2021-06-10/

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U.S. seeks less costly clean hydrogen in climate fight

The Biden administration on Monday set a goal of reducing the cost of producing clean hydrogen, a fuel that could reduce dependence on others that emit greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 8, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Biden administration on Monday set a goal of reducing the cost of producing clean hydrogen, a fuel that could reduce dependence on others that emit greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

The Department of Energy (DOE) set a goal for hydrogen made with clean power, such as renewables and nuclear energy plants, by 80% to $1 per kilogram in a decade.

“Clean hydrogen is a game changer,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. “It will help decarbonize high-polluting heavy-duty and industrial sectors, while delivering good-paying clean energy jobs and realizing a net-zero economy by 2050.”

It was the first of a series of DOE initiatives to accelerate and innovate in clean energy called Energy Earthshots intended to help the economy reach that emissions goal.

Hydrogen can be used in fuel cells that have byproducts of water and heat instead of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. It has long been used as rocket fuel, in oil refining and to produce ammonia for fertilizers.

So-called green hydrogen, made by using renewable energy to power electrolysers to extract it from water, is backed by many governments for use in vehicles, ships and energy plants, but is currently too costly.

Today, however, the gas is mostly extracted from natural gas or coal, called grey hydrogen, in processes that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide.

The DOE issued a request for information on viable hydrogen demonstrations with requests due on July 7.

The United States can generate affordable electricity without producing carbon dioxide emissions by 2035 by deploying hydrogen or carbon capture technology, said a report released last September by a climate policy think tank.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/us-seeks-less-costly-clean-hydrogen-climate-fight-2021-06-07/

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Microsoft says error led to no matching Bing images for Tiananmen ‘tank man’

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Friday blamed “accidental human error” for its Bing search engine not showing image results for the query “tank man” in the United States and elsewhere after users raised concerns about possible censorship around the Tiananmen Square crackdown anniversary.

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People look at police officers standing guard at Victoria Park on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, June 4. REUTERS/Lam Yik

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Friday blamed “accidental human error” for its Bing search engine not showing image results for the query “tank man” in the United States and elsewhere after users raised concerns about possible censorship around the Tiananmen Square crackdown anniversary.

Users, including in the United Kingdom, Germany and Singapore, reported Friday that when they performed the search Bing returned the message, “There are no results for tank man.”

David Greene, civil liberties director at the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that content moderation was impossible to do perfectly and “egregious mistakes are made all the time.”

But he said it could be more sinister: “At worst, this was purposeful suppression at the request of a powerful state.”

Hours after Microsoft acknowledged the issue, the “tank man” search returned only pictures of tanks elsewhere in the world.

“Tank man” is often used to describe an unidentified person famously pictured standing before tanks in China’s Tiananmen Square during pro-democracy demonstrations in June 1989.

Microsoft said the issue was “due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this.”

Smaller search engines such as DuckDuckGo that license results from Microsoft faced similar issues around “tank man” searches and said they expected a fix soon.

Rival Google (GOOGL.O) showed many results for the famous image when the “tank man” search was performed on Friday.

A significant percentage of the Microsoft employees who work on Bing are based in China, including some who work on image-recognition software, according to a former employee.

China is known to require search engines operating in its jurisdiction to censor results, but those restrictions are rarely applied elsewhere.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

But he said it could be more sinister: “At worst, this was purposeful suppression at the request of a powerful state.”

Source: https://www.reuters.com/technology/microsoft-bing-raises-concerns-over-lack-image-results-tiananmen-tank-man-2021-06-04/

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