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T Rex Skeleton Sells For More Than $5M At Zurich Auction

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BERN, Switzerland — Nearly 300 Tyrannosaurus rex bones excavated from three different locations in the United States and combined into a single skeleton were auctioned off in Switzerland on Tuesday for 4.8 million Swiss francs ($5.3 million), which was less than the estimated price.

The T. rex skeleton, which was crafted into an open-mouth position and measured 11.6 meters long (38 feet long) and 3.9 meters height (12.8 feet), sold for less than the expected range of 5 million to 8 million francs when it went under the hammer at the Koller auction house in Zurich.

Koller stated that Tuesday’s auction would be the first time such a T. rex skeleton would be auctioned in Europe. The 293-bone composite skeleton was the centerpiece of a 70-lot auction, and the skull was displayed adjacent to the auctioneer’s podium throughout.

“It could be that it was a composite — that’s why the purists didn’t go for it,” Karl Green, the auction house’s marketing director, explained over the phone. “It’s a reasonable price for the dinosaur.” I’m hoping it’ll be displayed in public somewhere.”

Green did not reveal the buyer’s identity but stated he was a “European private collector.” Koller estimated the sale cost 5.5 million Swiss francs (approximately $6.1 million) when the “buyer’s premium” and costs were factored in.

Rex

T. rex skeleton was crafted into an open-mouth position.

According to the promoters, the composite T. rex, “Trinity,” was created using specimens recovered from three sites in Montana and Wyoming’s Hell Creek and Lance Creek formations between 2008 and 2013.

According to Koller, “original bone material” comprised more than half of the rebuilt skeleton. The auction house stated that the skull was extremely uncommon and incredibly well-preserved.

“When dinosaurs died during the Jurassic or Cretaceous periods, their heads were frequently lost during deposition (of the remains into rocks).” Most dinosaurs have been discovered without their skulls,” according to Nils Knoetschke, a scientific adviser quoted in the auction catalog. “However, here we have authentic Tyrannosaurus skull bones from the same specimen.”

Between 65 and 67 million years ago, T. rex roamed the Earth. Research published in the journal Science two years ago suggested that approximately 2.5 billion dinosaurs ever existed. Hollywood blockbusters like the “Jurassic Park” saga have increased public intrigue with the predatory beast.

According to Koller, the two regions where Trinity’s bones came from were also the source of other T. rex skeletons that were auctioned off: “Sue” was purchased for $8.4 million over a quarter-century ago by Chicago’s Field Mu seum of Natural History, and “Stan” sold for over $32 million three years ago.

A triceratops skeleton known as “Big John,” which Guinness World Records deemed the world’s largest, was auctioned off for 6.6 million euros ($7.2 million) to a private collector in Paris two years ago.

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SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Elon Musk Announces Tesla Will Unveil A ‘Robotaxi’ On August 8

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Elon Musk has long expressed an interest in self-driving cars, stating they will be one of Tesla’s most essential products. Despite promises, self-driving cars have yet to be available.

On a Friday afternoon, when corporations typically bury the news, Musk stated on X that Tesla would showcase its robotaxi on August 8.

His post was brief and needed more details. “Tesla Robotaxi to be unveiled on 8/8,” the Tesla CEO (and X owner) wrote.

musk

Elon Musk Announces Tesla Will Unveil A ‘Robotaxi’ On August 8

Musk previously stated that Tesla would build a car without controls for human use. He has previously stated that Tesla cars with Full Self-Driving Capability will steadily improve their driving abilities through software updates. Musk has consistently stated that the cars will eventually be capable of operating as completely autonomous taxis, allowing their owners to earn money by giving taxi rides on their own.

So far, the business has outperformed several of Musk’s estimates about when genuine self-driving will be available.

Tesla announced five years ago, in April 2019, that it intended to start operating robotaxis by 2020. The business estimated that the self-driving cars would last 11 years and travel 1 million miles, earning the company and the car’s operators $30,000 per year.

However, Musk said that his track record of making forecasts is occasionally off by a long shot.

“The only criticism, which is valid, is that I am not always on time. But I get it done, and so does the Tesla team,” Musk remarked during the April 2019 event.

Full Self-Driving capabilities may be acquired with a new Tesla Model 3, for example, for an extra $12,000 over the car’s base price of around $40,000. Depending on the vehicle’s original configuration, it can also be purchased on a monthly subscription basis for up to $199.

In little gray print, Tesla’s online description states, “The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous,” implying that it is incapable of fully self-driving.

Musk claims the technology will one day make Tesla vehicles extremely valuable.

musk

Elon Musk Announces Tesla Will Unveil A ‘Robotaxi’ On August 8

“You can think of every car we sell or produce that has full autonomy capability as something that in the future may be worth five times what it is today,” he said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call last year.

Experts who have evaluated the technology say it is still far from being able to operate autonomously without human assistance.

Kelly Funkhouser, associate director of automotive technology for Consumer Reports, recently evaluated the system and stated that she is less concerned about its safety than the standard Tesla Autopilot, designed to provide more limited driving assistance primarily on highways. Ironically, this is due to the poor performance of full self-driving technology. Funkhouser compared it to relinquishing control of your automobile to a new teen driver.

“You’re not likely to tune out and become complacent or over-reliant on it,” she told me. “In fact, I would say you’re potentially more alert.”

Several businesses, notably Waymo, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and General Motors affiliate Cruise, are developing autonomous ride-sharing systems.

musk

Elon Musk Announces Tesla Will Unveil A ‘Robotaxi’ On August 8

Cruise has halted its testing after one of its self-driving cars struck and dragged a pedestrian. According to an internal inquiry, corporate personnel did not adequately disclose the occurrence to regulators. The corporation is under investigation by the Department of Justice for the event.

Waymo recently had to recall its vehicles after two collided with the same tow truck within minutes of each other.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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OpenAI Reveals Voice Engine, But Won’t Yet Publicly Release The Risky AI Voice-Cloning Technology

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SAN FRANCISCO — OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is entering the voice assistant market and demonstrating new technology that can clone a person’s voice, but claims it will not be released publicly due to safety concerns.

The artificial intelligence startup introduced its new Voice Engine technology on Friday, less than a week after filing a trademark registration for the moniker. The business claims it can replicate a person’s voice from a 15-second audio of them conversing.

openai

OpenAI Reveals Voice Engine, But Won’t Yet Publicly Release The Risky AI Voice-Cloning Technology

OpenAI intends to preview it with early testers “but not widely release this technology at this time” because of the risks of misuse.

The San Francisco-based company said in a statement, “We recognize that generating speech that resembles people’s voices has serious risks, which are especially relevant in an election year.”

openai

OpenAI Reveals Voice Engine, But Won’t Yet Publicly Release The Risky AI Voice-Cloning Technology

In New Hampshire, officials are investigating robocalls issued to hundreds of voters shortly before the presidential primary. The calls contained an AI-generated voice impersonating President Joe Biden.

Several startup companies now market voice-cloning technology, some of which are available to the general public or specific commercial customers such as entertainment studios.

openai

OpenAI Reveals Voice Engine, But Won’t Yet Publicly Release The Risky AI Voice-Cloning Technology

According to the AI compnay, early Voice Engine testers have pledged not to impersonate someone without their agreement and to reveal that the voices are AI-generated. The company, best known for its chatbot and image-generator DALL-E, used a similar strategy when unveiling but not publicly distributing its video-generator Sora.

However, a trademark application submitted on March 19 indicates that OpenAI intends to enter the speech recognition and digital voice assistant market. Eventually, upgrading such technologies could allow OpenAI to compete with other speech products like Amazon’s Alexa.

source – (AP)

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United CEO Tries To Reassure Customers Following Multiple Safety Incidents

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United Airlines is attempting to reassure passengers following a spate of accidents on its Boeing jets this year. In a statement to customers, the airline states that safety is “at the center of everything that we do.”

“While they are all unrelated, I want you to know that these incidents have captured our attention and sharpened our focus,” CEO Scott Kirby wrote in a Monday morning statement to customers.

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United CEO Tries To Reassure Customers Following Multiple Safety Incidents

On Friday, a United Boeing 737-800 landed in Medford, Oregon, missing an underside fuselage panel.

Earlier this month, United experienced four mishaps, all involving Boeing jets. A United Boeing 737-900ER blew flames from its engine after takeoff from Houston, a Boeing 777 lost a wheel during takeoff from San Francisco, a Boeing 737 Max slipped off a runway in Houston, and a United Boeing 777 trailed hydraulic fluid as it left Sydney.

“Our team is reviewing the details of each case to understand what happened and using those insights to inform our safety training and procedures across all employee groups,” Kirby continued.

The airline is extending pilot training by one day, retooling training for new mechanics, and “dedicating more resources to supplier network management.”

Passengers witnessing a run of negative articles about the airline and its Boeing jets may consider booking elsewhere. In its letter, the airline is attempting to keep consumers from departing. As of the end of last year, 81% of the jets used on United’s mainline operations were manufactured by Boeing, compared to little more than half of the jets in rivals Delta and American Airlines’ mainline fleets.

Aside from the problems on  flights, the most dramatic Boeing incident this year featured an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9, which lost a door stopper on a January 5 flight, resulting in a gaping hole in the plane’s side. And last week, a Latam Airlines flight from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand, fell unexpectedly, throwing some passengers to the cabin ceiling.

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United CEO Tries To Reassure Customers Following Multiple Safety Incidents

Investigators are still investigating the causes of both events, but a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board showed Boeing left the bolts required to keep the door plug in place on the 10-week-old Alaska Air jet. Boeing asserted that an incident in the cockpit rather than a problem with the aircraft’s systems may have caused the Latam accident.

The age of the aircraft in the United incidents suggests that the problem could be with their staff rather than Boeing’s well-documented quality faults. For example, Boeing purchased the jet that lost its panel on a Friday trip in 1998. So, Boeing’s quality difficulties are likely unrelated to that occurrence.

However, Boeing’s issues have impeded United’s operations. Due to the FAA’s production slowdown, it has halted hiring a new class of pilots since it will receive fewer new planes from Boeing this year, as previously promised. In January, the Alaska Air incident grounded its 737 Max 9 jets for three weeks.

united

United CEO Tries To Reassure Customers Following Multiple Safety Incidents

Furthermore, approval of a new generation of Boeing jets, the 737 Max 10, ordered by United, has been delayed due to the company’s quality and safety issues.

Kirby told investors last week that United is considering purchasing more jets from Boeing competitor Airbus. He also stated earlier this year that the Alaska Air incident was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” on United’s plans to receive deliveries of the Max 10 in the near future.’

SOURCE – (CNN)

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