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New Open Source Granite Models, Watsonx Capabilities, and IBM Concert

Good morning! IBM unveiled major AI advancements at their THINK conference, including open-sourcing powerful coding models and introducing new enterprise AI tools. Researchers demonstrated a relay attack that can steal Teslas despite their keyless entry system. Kotlin 2.0 launched with a unified compiler that boosts performance across platforms.

New Open Source Granite Models, Watsonx Capabilities, and IBM Concert

IBM went big at their annual THINK conference, giving their watsonx AI platform a serious upgrade.

The craziest release was open-sourcing their Granite family of language models specifically designed for coding tasks like:

  • Modernizing legacy applications

  • Generating new code

  • Documenting projects

These code-focused Granite models are no joke, packing 3 to 34 billion parameters and training on a whopping 116 programming languages. Even better, they outperformed much larger open-source models on industry coding benchmarks.

IBM also unveiled a cool new project with Red Hat called InstructLab. It's a novel approach that uses synthetic data to customize and continuously evolve foundation models through an open ecosystem.

With InstructLab, developers can finetune models for their specific needs, contribute improvements over time, and keep the AI evolving through community collaboration.

IBM also announced:

  • New code assistants for enterprise Java apps and aging Z mainframes

  • Upgraded data governance and automation capabilities

  • Access to hot third-party models like Meta's Llama 3

  • Tighter integration with cloud giants AWS, Microsoft, and Salesforce

Last but not least, IBM teased a new product called Concert - an AI-powered central hub. Concert will provide insights and recommendations across your entire enterprise landscape - applications, infrastructure, data repositories, you name it.

So it's clear IBM is going all-in on open AI, powerful language models, and making the technology more accessible to businesses. Their THINK announcements showed an impressive commitment to that vision.

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Researchers Discovered That Teslas Are Easy To Steal Despite Adopting New Keyless Tech

So Tesla owners were pretty hyped when the company added ultra-wideband (UWB) radio tech for keyless entry on their newer models like the Model 3. The big selling point was that UWB can precisely measure distance, which should stop those annoying relay attacks where hackers can basically extend the signal range to unlock and steal your ride.

But here's the catch:

  • Researchers from this cybersecurity firm in Beijing called GoGoByte just showed they can still pull off a relay attack on the latest Model 3, even with UWB on board.

  • By relaying the Bluetooth signal from the owner's phone, they could unlock and fire up the Tesla from up to 15 feet away.

Now Tesla did respond saying: "This behavior is expected, as we are currently working on improving the reliability of UWB. UWB ranging will be enforced when reliability improvements are complete."

So in other words, they haven't actually implemented the UWB proximity checks for unlocking yet. The feature is there, but not being used for security. Until they push an update to legitimately use UWB ranging, their advice is to enable that PIN-to-drive option to add an extra security layer.

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Kotlin 2.0 Now Available With Stable Version of K2 Compiler

Kotlin 2.0.0 has arrived, and it's a major level-up for the language. The highlight is definitely the new stable K2 compiler unifying all the platforms Kotlin supports while providing a huge performance boost. It also lays the foundation for faster language evolution going forward.

Some other awesome changes in 2.0.0:

  • Smart casting improvements to track types more accurately across scopes like try/catch blocks

  • Better separation of common and platform code in multiplatform projects to prevent weird cross-platform bugs

  • Support for compiler plugins like the experimental Power-assert for more useful test failure messages

On the JVM side, lambda generation now uses invokedynamic by default to reduce binary sizes. And for native developers, you can now monitor GC pauses in Xcode Instruments using signposts.

The JavaScript crew gets some love too:

  • Modern JS compilation targeting ES2015

  • Suspending functions compiled to generators

  • Per-file output for smaller bundle sizes

The Gradle plugin has a neat new DSL for configuring compiler options across targets. And the standard library stabilizes handy APIs like enumEntries() and AutoCloseable.

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