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2023-11-29 22:22:16| Engadget

Consumer Reports has published an extensive ranking of vehicle reliability, and the results pour cold water on the dependability of EVs and plug-in hybrids. The survey says electric vehicles suffer from 79 percent more maintenance issues than gas- or diesel-powered ones, while plug-in hybrids have 146 percent more problems. The troubles portray the industrys growing pains with the relatively new technology as the planet sets record temperatures, and scientists warn of rapidly approaching deadlines to thwart global climate catastrophe. The survey polled CRs members about issues with their rides from the past year, gathering data on 330,000 vehicles. The publications data included models from 2000 to 2023, alongside a few (early launched) 2024 models. CR studied 20 trouble areas, including relatively minor issues like squeaky brakes or a broken interior trim and more problematic ones related to the transmission, engine or EV battery. The number of potential trouble areas varies by type: internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles have 17, EVs have 12, traditional hybrids have 19 and plug-in hybrids have all 20. The publication combined the data with its own track testing, owner satisfaction survey results and safety info. It then averaged it to assign each brand a numerical score (out of 100). The Lexus UX, a rare plug-in hybrid that scored well in the survey.Lexus Non-plugin hybrids scored well, with the survey indicating they suffer from 26 percent fewer issues than gas- and diesel-powered vehicles. CR highlighted the most reliable brands in that space, including the Lexus UX and NX Hybrid and Toyotas Camry Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid. If only plug-in hybrids (PHEV) could enjoy those ratings. Instead, their longer list of trouble spots led to 146 percent more problems than traditional gas-powered vehicles. Lowlights include the Chrysler Pacifica, which scored an abysmal 14 out of 100, and Audi Q5. However, several PHEVs defied the categorys expectations, including standouts like the Toyota RAV4 Prime and Kia Sportage. Several others, including the BMW X5, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Escape, scored average in reliability. Fully electric cars and SUVs, the vehicles many automakers aim to fill their dealership lots with by 2030, have mediocre average scores: 44 and 43, respectively. Electric pickups, the newest technology in the bunch, perhaps unsurprisingly scored worse with an average of 30. Lexus came out on top among EV brands. All but one of its models scored above average or better in CRs ratings. And the lone exception, the NX, still had an average score. Toyota also did well, including the 4Runner SUV, which CR describes as among the most reliable models in the survey. However, its electric Tundra pickup scored poorly. Other EVs with above-average scores include Acuras RDX and TLX. Photo by Roberto Baldwin / Engadget Once practically synonymous with electric vehicles, Tesla had overall scores in the middle of the pack (alongside brands like Chevrolet, Buick, Ram, Cadillac and Dodge). CR says the Elon Musk-led companys EV powertrains tend to fare better than those from traditional automakers. However, Ars Technica notes the companys reliability scores struggled more with things like bodywork, paint / trim and climate systems. Regionally speaking, Asian automakers enjoyed the highest average scores in the survey at a healthy 63. European companies were second with an average of 46, while US brands slumped with a somewhat disappointing score of 39.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/evs-are-way-more-unreliable-than-gas-powered-cars-consumer-reports-data-indicates-212216581.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-29 22:02:58| Engadget

Absurd Ventures, the new creative studio from Rockstar Games co-founder and ex-creative director Dan Houser, has announced its first projects. As it happens, neither of them are video games, at least not yet. The first of these two new universes is called American Caper, which will debut as a graphic novel. It will focus on two normal but damaged families who are mired "in a world of corrupt business, inept politics and bungling crime." Comic book artist Simon Bisley (ABC Warriors, Lobo) is illustrating the graphic novel. The other project is a 12-episode audio drama that's already in production. A Better Paradise is described as a near-future existential suspense thriller. Absurd Ventures is working with well-regarded audio company Q-CODE Media on the project. Absurd Ventures plans to reveal more details about both projects in the coming months. However, referring to both American Caper and A Better Paradise as "universes" suggests the company has plans to expand them into transmedia enterprises, which may just include video games. Meanwhile, we're just days away from getting our first proper glimpse at what has been keeping Houser's former colleagues at Rockstar busy for the last several years. The publisher will unveil the first trailer for the next Grand Theft Auto game in early December. Rumors suggest the reveal will take place at The Game Awards on December 7.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/rockstar-games-co-founder-dan-housers-next-projects-are-a-graphic-novel-and-an-audio-drama-210258054.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-29 21:30:25| Engadget

Amazon has hopped on the same bandwagon on which many major tech companies have hitched a ride this year by debuting its own image generator. AWS customers can now check out a preview of Titan Image Generator on the Bedrock console. They can either enter a text prompt to create an image from scratch or upload an image and edit it. Amazon says the tool can produce large volumes of studio-quality, realistic images at low cost. It claims the AI can generate relevant images based on complex text prompts while ensuring object composition is accurate and that there are limited distortions. This, according to the company, helps with "reducing the generation of harmful content and mitigating the spread of misinformation." Those looking to edit an image can isolate areas in which they want to add or remove details. They can, for instance, replace the background or swap an object in a subject's hand. The AI can also extend an image's borders by adding artificial details, much like the Generative Expand feature in Photoshop. Amazon says Titan applies an invisible watermark to images that it generates. The company says this will "help reduce the spread of misinformation by providing a discreet mechanism to identify AI-generated images and to promote the safe, secure and transparent development of AI technology." It claims that the watermarks are resistant to modifications. According to a demo of the image generator, the AI can also generate a description of the image or relevant text to use in a social media post. News of the image generator emerged at Amazon's AWS re:Invent conference, at which the company also showed off its latest AI chips and revealed a business-centric AI chatbot called Q. The company recently started offering advertisers a tool that lets them add AI-generated backgrounds to product images.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/amazon-now-has-its-own-ai-image-generator-203025475.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-29 21:20:25| Engadget

Content platform Substack just released a spate of new video capabilities, placing it in direct competition with YouTube and Patreon, among others. The video tools include a direct upload option, which is handy, and customizable paywalls for content creators. Before this, users were forced to upload videos to YouTube and embed a link. The upload tool is now readily accessible via the dashboard. Itll even automatically split the audio and video for podcasters who want to court both audiences.  As for the paywall options, you now get the same level of flexibility available to non-video users. Content creators can select a slice of the video to give away for free, locking the rest behind a paywall. The free preview segment should transition smoothly into a prompt to become a paying subscriber. Theres also a new AI tool that generates transcripts from videos, for those who like to, gasp, read. The transcript is automatically created alongside the video upload and users can post it to the main feed. Additionally, viewers can click anywhere on the transcript to jump to that section of the video. Video sharing has gotten a much-needed upgrade. Viewers can create their own custom clips sourced from any video. This creates a shareable link that includes branded visuals at the end featuring the creators logo and URL, so there will be no obvious thievery. Obviously, viewers can quickly share links to the entire clip if they want. Users can even directly download videos for publication on services like TikTok and Instagram. Again, that bumper will be there to give credit to the original creator. The company wrote in a blog post that these new tools, taken together, make it so the friction in starting a media business based on video has been reduced to almost zero. To commemorate the launch, Substack is rolling out a number of exclusive video shows. Theres a food culture program with chef Nancy Silverton, a talk show starring actress Amber Tamblyn and a news program anchored by Chris Cuomo, among many others. Substack has certainly been busy adding new features. The platform recently unveiled a Twitter-esque feature called Notes and last year launched a chat feature to make it more of a social space.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/substack-adds-new-video-tools-to-compete-with-patreon-and-youtube-202025605.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-29 21:05:46| Engadget

A team of researchers was able to make ChatGPT reveal some of the bits of data it has been trained on by using a simple prompt: asking the chatbot to repeat random words forever. In response, ChatGPT churned out peoples private information including email addresses and phone numbers, snippets from research papers and news articles, Wikipedia pages, and more. The researchers, who work at Google DeepMind, the University of Washington, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California Berkeley, and ETH Zurich, urged AI companies to seek out internal and external testing before releasing large language models, the foundational tech that powers modern AI services like chatbots and image-generators. Its wild to us that our attack works and shouldve, wouldve, couldve been found earlier, they wrote, and published their findings in a paper on Tuesday that 404 Media first reported on. Chatbots like ChatGPT and prompt-based image generators like DALL-E are powered by large language models, deep learning algorithms that are trained on enormous amounts of data that critics say is often scraped off the public internet without consent. But until now, it wasnt clear what data OpenAIs chatbot was trained on since the large language models that power it are closed-source. When the researchers asked ChatGPT to repeat the word poem forever, the chatbot initially compiled, but then revealed an email address and a cellphone number for a real founder and CEO, the paper revealed. When asked to repeat the word company, the chatbot eventually spat out the email address and phone number of a random law firm in the US. In total, 16.9 percent of the generations we tested contained memorized [personally identifiable information] the researchers wrote. Using similar prompts, the researchers were also able to make ChatGPT reveal chunks of poetry, Bitcoin addresses, fax numbers, names, birthdays, social media handles, explicit content from dating websites, snippets from copyrighted research papers and verbatim text from news websites like CNN. Overall, they spent $200 to generate 10,000 examples of personally identifiable information and other data cribbed straight from the web totalling several megabytes. But a more serious adversary, they noted, could potentially get a lot more by spending more money. The actual attack, they wrote, is kind of silly. OpenAI patched the vulnerability on August 30, the researchers say. But in our own tests, Engadget was able to replicate some of the papers findings. When we asked ChatGPT to repeat the word reply forever, for instance, the chatbot did so, before eventually revealing someones name and Skype ID. OpenAI did not respond to Engadgets request for comment.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/a-silly-attack-made-chatgpt-reveal-real-phone-numbers-and-email-addresses-200546649.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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