The FAA paused all domestic departures in the US on the morning of January 11th because its NOTAM or Notice to Air Missions system failed. Now we know why: deleted files. Contractors working on the Federal Aviation Administration’s NOTAM system, it seems, deleted some crucial files by accident. This resulted in delays and cancellations of thousands of US flights. The issue even impacted military flights that partially relied on FAA NOTAMs: Pilots reportedly had to call around to ask for potential flight hazards.
Apparently, its contractors were synchronizing a main and a back-up database when they “unintentionally deleted files” that turned out to be necessary to keep the alert system running. The FAA reiterated it has “so far found no evidence of a cyberattack or malicious intent.” We’ve all accidentally deleted a file, sure. It’s just never grounded the flights of an entire country.
– Matt Smith
The biggest stories you might have missed
Errors and a lack of disclosure created an uproar.
Tech publication CNET is halting its use of AI-written articles for the time being. “For now,” leadership has paused experiments with AI stories, telling staff during a question-and-answer call. Editor-in-chief Connie Guglielmo reportedly said future AI-related stories would include a disclosure that the publication uses automated technologies. There are a few reasons. Last week, Futurism noticed dozens of financial explainer articles on CNET appeared to have been written using “automation technology.” The disclosure was effectively hidden when you had to click the byline to see it. CNET claims humans “thoroughly” edited and fact-checked the work, but there appear to be multiple (and sometimes major) errors in stories.
Musk announced the offering on Saturday.
Twitter is working on a new, more expensive Blue subscription tier for users to browse the platform without seeing ads. “Ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in coming weeks,” Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted on Saturday afternoon. “Also, there will be a higher priced subscription that allows zero ads.” The existing subscription costs up to $11 per month, but the ability to see fewer ads is still listed as “coming soon.” At the same time, Twitter’s ad revenue has apparently plummeted. The Information reported that a senior Twitter manager told employees last Tuesday daily revenue was down 40 percent from the same day a year ago.
Avengers: End of Game.
Following a report of Marvel’s Avengers‘ imminent demise, the studio published a blog post on Friday announcing plans to stop supporting the live-service title after September 30th. Crystal Dynamics will release one final balance patch and shut down the game’s in-game cosmetics store on March 31st. The developer says cosmetics previously only obtainable through the marketplace will be free for all players who own a copy of the game.
On that same day, players will see their remaining credit balance converted to in-game collectibles and resources. The swift end of Marvel’s Avengers won’t come as a surprise to fans. In November 2020, two months after the game went on sale, publisher Square Enix said it had failed to recoup the cost of making the title. Then, last May, Square sold Crystal Dynamics to Embracer Group.
Atalante could help patients recover their walking gait.
The Food and Drug Administration has cleared Wandercraft’s Atalante exoskeleton for use in stroke rehabilitation. The machine can help with intensive gait training, particularly for people with limited upper body mobility that might prevent using other methods. The current-generation Atalante is a self-balancing, battery-powered device with an adjustable gait that can help with early steps through to more natural walking later in therapy. While the hardware still needs to be used in a clinical setting with help from a therapist, its hands-free use helps patients re-establish their gait, with or without arms. Wandercraft plans to deliver its first exoskeletons to the US during the first quarter.
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