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To use the Montreal subway (the Métro), you tap a paper ticket against the turnstile and it opens. The ticket works through a system called NFC, but what's happening internally? How does the ticket work without a battery? How does it communicate with the turnstile? And how can it be so cheap that you can throw the ticket away after one use? To answer these questions, I opened up a ticket and examined the tiny chip inside.

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Hey y'all, i recently had to rma my gs76 stealth after a hardware thing but when i got it back, my VR wouldnt work, i traced that to probably being a bios setting that got reset when the battery was removed, however, when i went into the MSI clickbios, it looked way different and i don't even have the setting im looking for anymore. In fact i have way, way less options than i did before for bios settings, this seems like an older version of the bios, updating from usb to the version on their website just gives me the same bios, idk what's happening.

for reference my bios used to look like this like this

and now it looks like this  like this

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The world's top two AI startups are ignoring requests by media publishers to stop scraping their web content for free model training data, Business Insider has learned.

OpenAI and Anthropic have been found to be either ignoring or circumventing an established web rule, called robots.txt, that prevents automated scraping of websites.

TollBit, a startup aiming to broker paid licensing deals between publishers and AI companies, found several AI companies are acting in this way and informed certain large publishers in a Friday letter, which was reported earlier by Reuters. The letter did not include the names of any of the AI companies accused of skirting the rule.

OpenAI and Anthropic have stated publicly that they respect robots.txt and blocks to their specific web crawlers, GPTBot and ClaudeBot.

However, according to TollBit's findings, such blocks are not being respected, as claimed. AI companies, including OpenAI and Anthropic, are simply choosing to "bypass" robots.txt in order to retrieve or scrape all of the content from a given website or page.

A spokeswoman for OpenAI declined to comment beyond pointing BI to a corporate blogpost from May, in which the company says it takes web crawler permissions "into account each time we train a new model." A spokesperson for Anthropic did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Robots.txt is a single bit of code that's been used since the late 1990s as a way for websites to tell bot crawlers they don't want their data scraped and collected. It was widely accepted as one of the unofficial rules supporting the web.

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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/17201348

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Archived link

Machinery used to manufacture Russian armaments is being imported into Russia despite sanctions. However, to properly function, machines require components, as well as “brains” — which must also be imported. Without the manufacturer’s key, the machine cannot start, and without the software, it cannot operate. So, if imports are banned, how are these systems entering the country?

How Russia operates Western machinery

A machine is activated using an activation key, which is issued by the manufacturer after the sale and delivery of the product. Due to sanctions, Western firms cut ties with Russian clients, meaning munitions factories cannot legally obtain machinery or keys. Meanwhile, certain machines are equipped with GPS trackers, which enable manufacturers to know the location of their products. So, how can sanctions be circumvented under these conditions? One option is purchasing a machine without a GPS (or disabling it), and using the machine in, say, China, at least on paper.

An IStories journalist posing as a client contacted the Russian company Dalkos, which advertised services for supplying imported machinery on social media. A Dalkos employee explained that they make “fictitious sales” of equipment from the manufacturer to a “neighboring country”: “We provide these documents to the manufacturer. They check everything and give us feedback. They either believe us, allowing us to resolve our [Russian] customer’s problem… or they don’t believe us, and we respond that we couldn’t [buy the machine].” After the company in the “neighboring country” contacts the Western manufacturer, the latter sends the machine’s specifications, indicating whether GPS tracking is installed or not. “If we know that location tracking is installed, enabling them to see that it’s going to Russia — hence meaning we won’t be able to activate it — we’ll just tell you upfront that we can’t deliver the equipment,” the supplier explained. If everything goes smoothly, the machine along with the keys will be purchased by an intermediary company, and then Dalkos will import it into Russia and activate it at the client’s facility.

If a problem occurs with the machine’s computer system, the client should inform Dalkos, which will pass the information to the intermediary under whom the order was registered, and they will contact the manufacturer. The Russian enterprise should not seek customer support from the manufacturer directly: “You will simply compromise the legitimacy of our legal entity, which presents itself as an organization not connected to the Russian Federation in any way.”

The Dalkos website indicates that the company supplies equipment from multiple Western firms, including Schaublin, DMG MORI, and Kovosvit MAS. According to customs data from 2023, Dalkos received goods worth 188 million rubles ($2,120,000) from Estonia through the Tallinn-based company SPE (coincidentally belonging to the co-owners of Dalkos, Alexander Pushkov and Konstantin Kalinov) — with a UAE company acting as the intermediary party.The imported goods included components produced by the German machine tool manufacturer Trumpf.

The Dalkos employee stated that the company has “skilled guys” who manage to successfully circumvent sanctions: “We must import and help enterprises in these difficult times somehow.” According to him, in 2023, the company imported equipment and components worth 4.5 billion rubles ($50 million), and this year has signed contracts worth 12.5 billion rubles ($141 million). According to SPARK, the company’s revenue reached approximately 4.4 billion rubles (almost $50 million) in 2023.

During these “difficult times,” Dalkos assists enterprises in Russia’s military-industrial complex. IStories analyzed the company’s financial documents and found that, in 2023, its clients included the Dubna Machine-Building Plant (drones), Uralvagonzavod (tanks), and the Obukhov State Plant (air defense).

What if a machine is required but it has built-in GPS? According to the Dalkos employee, the company’s “multi-billionaire” clients have found technical specialists who can disable GPS trackers. This topic is widely discussed on machinery chat forums. Our journalist tracked down a company that offers machine modernization services, promising to disable a GPS for between half a million to a million rubles ($5600 - $11,200).

How Russia uses Western software

Humans communicate with machines via a computer. Designing a part requires Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software; to manufacture it, Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software is required, and so forth. These and other programs are integrated in a special digital environment, not dissimilar to how we install individual applications on iOS or Android operating systems. The environment in question is called PLM — Product Lifecycle Management, which refers to the strategic process of managing the lifecycle of a product from design and production to decommissioning. Nowadays, systems simply cannot function without PLM.

In Russia, the PLM market is dominated by Siemens (Germany), PTC (USA), and Dassault (France). Naturally, all these companies were linked to the military-industrial complex (for example, here and here) and now, formally at least, comply with sanctions. The IStories journalist, under the guise of a client, spoke with several Russian PLM suppliers.

An employee at Yekaterinburg-based PLM Ural — a long-time supplier of Siemens PLM — said that they still have licenses available: “We have a pool of perpetual licenses that we’re ready to sell. The only problem is that they can’t receive the latest software updates. I think they’re from 2021 or 2022.” According to him, these versions will function for another 10-15 years, but if problems occur, the company’s own specialists will resolve them. “They [Siemens employees] can’t disable it [PLM] because the file works completely autonomously. They don’t have access. Such closed-loop PLM solutions are installed in many defense enterprises,” stated the PLM Ural employee.

A Russian PLM specialist confirmed to IStories that this is exactly how it works. Additionally, according to him, PLM distributors can unlawfully reuse the same license across several factories if their manufacturing processes are unconnected. The possibility of such a scheme was confirmed by another specialist.

The Dassault Systemes website continues to reference its Moscow office. Our journalist contacted the establishment before being redirected to the Russian IT company, IGA Technologies. A company employee recommended the purchase of a PLM 3Dexperience system. According to him, their firm has a partner in the Netherlands who can access the software, “because we are an official partner of Dassault.” However, the Russian client does not purchase the software program per se: “From a documentation standpoint, it’s processed as a service provision. But it isn’t a software purchase. We don’t sell any software because it is, in fact, pirated.” “This is a well-established practice,” — the employee clarified — “I have more than ten clients currently using the system. We started doing this after the sanctions were imposed, which caused issues with license keys. And we had deals that were approved and paid for before the sanctions were introduced... but they couldn’t deliver the keys to us.”

IStories identified Dassault’s partner in the Netherlands — Slik Solutions (formerly IGA Technologies) — via their website. It is primarily owned by the Russian company Implementa (per the company’s own disclosure in 2022), while a third of Implementa is owned by IGA Technologies (according to current data from the Russian company register).

“We can still contact technical support in the West for various issues, and they actually respond,” revealed an employee at IGA Technologies. However, according to him, this is not a particularly sought after service, since PLM works so faultlessly on servers that the need to source an upgrade is unlikely: “The system is so effective that it could automate the whole of Roscosmos for ten years without interruption.”

According to IGA Technologies’ financial documents for 2023 acquired by IStories, its clients include the NL Dukhov All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Automatics (nuclear munitions), the Raduga State Machine-Building Design Bureau (missiles), the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering (submarines), and the Kirov Plant Mayak (anti-aircraft missiles).

PLM from the American software giant PTC is sold in Russia by Productive Technological Systems (PTS), whose clients include enterprises in the military-industrial complex. A PTS employee reassured us that if critical problems arise that cannot be resolved by the Russian contractors’ technical support team, their company will contact the manufacturer: “We have access to PTC’s technical support, and we can contact them if necessary. Generally, we support all the systems ourselves because we understand how they work.”

PTS’ financial documents indicate that its clients included the MNPK Avionika (missiles and bombs), the NL Dukhov All-Russian Research Institute of Automatics (nuclear munitions), and the Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics (munitions).

Responses without answers

IStories attempted to contact all the companies mentioned in this article.

Trumpf was the only manufacturer to respond with a generic statement reminiscent of those given by other large Western manufacturers. Trumpf asserts that they comply with all sanctions and officially exited Russia in April 2024, but it cannot speak for its buyers, who may buy or resell products anywhere. For instance, the Estonian company SPE has not received goods directly from Trumpf since 2018, but nothing prevents it from trading through other dealers. The same is true of Dalkos, which has been a client since 2016.

PLM Ural replied that it stopped selling licensed Siemens PLM software in 2022.

So far, no one else has responded.

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