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Ars Technica

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Thursday January 18, 2018
14:27Meltdown and Spectre: Good news for AMD users, (more) bad news for...
Enlarge / Core M Broadwell (left) vs. Core M Skylake (right). (credit: Andrew Cunningham) The good news: Shortly after its initial release, Microsoft suspended shipping its Spectre and Meltdown Windows patches to owners of AMD systems after some users found that it left their systems unbootable. ...
14:08Amazon names 20 “finalistî cities in its new headquarters beauty pagean
Enlarge / And the finalists are... (credit: Amazon) This morning, Amazon posted its list of candidates under serious consideration for the company's second headquarters—a campus that the company expects to invest over $5 billion to build and will eventually house as many as 50,000 Amazon employees. ...
13:40Apple will give users the option to control their own battery’s destiny
Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon) Apple announced big economic plans yesterday, but CEO Tim Cook also touched upon what the company will do in the future to address the grievances brought by users about its recent iPhone performance-slowing controversy. ...
13:36Google’s Fuchsia OS on the Pixelbook: It works! It actually works!
(video link) Google currently has two OSes on the market: Android and Chrome OS. The company is never one to leave a successful product alone in the marketplace, though, so it's also developing a third operating system called 'Fuchsia.' When we last checked in on the experimental OS in May 2017, calling it an 'OS' was a bit of a stretch. ...
13:30Russia now looking to sell its prized rocket engines to China
Enlarge / The Atlas V rocket is powered by a single RD-180 rocket engine. (credit: United Launch Alliance) Ever since the Crimean crisis in 2014—precipitated by Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian-held peninsula—Congress has increased pressure on the US aerospace industry to end its use of Russian-made rocket engines. ...
Wednesday January 17, 2018
22:10Scientists racing to save vital medical isotopes imperiled by shabby...
Enlarge / A dose of Tc-99m to be used in an upcoming scan. (credit: Getty | Rene Johnston) There’s a mad dash for a vital radioactive isotope that’s used in about 50,000 medical procedures every day in the US, including spotting deadly cancers and looming heart problems. Currently, access to it hinges on a shaky supply chain and a handful of aging nuclear reactors in foreign countries. ...
21:24Nintendo’s Labo playset slaps the Switch into build-your-own cardboard ...
Enlarge / Labo looks like a trip, Nintendo. (credit: Nintendo) Nintendo has announced a new build-your-own-accessories line for the Switch console, dubbed Nintendo Labo. It will arrive on April 20 in the United States and Japan and April 27 in Europe. Labo's two playsets, the $69.99 Variety Kit and the $79. ...
21:20With HomePod around the corner, Siri’s “give me the newsî feature...
Enlarge (credit: Apple) When you say 'Hey Siri, give me the news' to your iOS device, Siri will now immediately begin playing a daily news update from a popular news podcast—NPR by default in the United States. ...
20:51Hackers can’t dig into latest Xiaomi phone due to GPL violations
Enlarge Yet another Android OEM is dragging its feet with its GPL compliance. This time, it's Xiaomi with the Mi A1 Android One device, which still hasn't seen a kernel source code release. Android vendors are required to release their kernel sources thanks to the Linux kernel's GPLv2 licensing. ...
20:40Apple to pay $38 billion in US taxes on overseas cash
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Gary Waters) Apple announced on Wednesday that it would pay $38 billion in taxes to the federal government as it brings cash earned overseas into the United States. The big payment is the result of President Donald Trump's tax cut bill, passed last month, which created a new, special tax rate for overseas cash. ...
20:20New botnet infects cryptocurrency mining computers, replaces wallet...
Enlarge / A cryptocurrency mining farm. (credit: Marco Krohn) Satori—the malware family that wrangles routers, security cameras, and other Internet-connected devices into potent botnets—is crashing the cryptocurrency party with a new variant that surreptitiously infects computers dedicated to the mining of digital coins. ...
19:45Fitbit Coach arrives on your TV with new Windows 10 and Xbox One apps
Enlarge (credit: Fitbit) Now that FitStar's transition to Fitbit Coach is officially complete, Fitbit is expanding the devices that support its revamped personal training app. The company announced that the Fitbit Coach apps for Windows 10 and Xbox One devices will be available for download later today. ...
19:32Report: GM and Waymo lead driverless car race; Tesla lags far behind
Enlarge / Cruise second-generation test vehicles, assembled at GM’s Lake Orion plant in Michigan. (credit: Cruise) In November, Waymo announced it would begin testing fully driverless vehicles with no one in the driver's seat. Then, last week, GM petitioned the federal government for approval to mass-produce a car with no steering wheel or pedals—with plans to release it in 2019. ...
18:56“Free TVî box lawyer says video industry is “digging its own graveî
Enlarge / The Dragon Box. (credit: Dragon Media) The entertainment industry is lining up against the maker of a 'free TV' box in a lawsuit that alleges piracy, but the defendant's lawyer says the industry is in for a difficult and dangerous fight. 'I think this is a very, very dangerous lawsuit by plaintiffs,' lawyer Erik Syverson told Ars yesterday. ...
18:40The 2019 Audi A7 is a sleek-looking fastback with some pretty cool tech
Jonathan Gitlin DETROIT—It's fair to say that this year's North American International Auto Show has been a little lackluster. But one of the standouts was the North American debut of the new Audi A7. The previous model was—to my eyes—Audi's best-looking model, and I was worried that its successor wouldn't live up. Happily, that isn't the case. ...
18:01Immigrant-friendly policies make most whites feel welcomed, too
Enlarge (credit: National Park Service) Immigration policy in the US has grown increasingly contentious, seemingly pitting different communities and ideologies against each other. But a new study suggests that a large majority of Americans appreciate a welcoming policy toward immigrants. Only a specific minority—white conservatives—generally feels otherwise. ...
17:51NASA’s internal schedule for the commercial crew program is pretty grim
Enlarge / Despite her smiles here, NASA's commercial crew program manager has concerns about schedules for Boeing and SpaceX. (credit: NASA) Publicly, both Boeing and SpaceX maintain that they will fly demonstration missions by the end of this year that carry astronauts to the International Space Station. ...
17:38Meteor lights up southern Michigan
Enlarge / That's no moon! Early last night local time, a meteor rocketed through the skies of southern Michigan, giving local residents a dramatic (if brief) light show. It also generated an imperceptible thump, as the US Geological Survey confirmed that there was a coincident magnitude 2.0 earthquake. ...
17:05Selling used PC games through the blockchain? We’re not buying it...
Enlarge / A foolproof plan! (credit: Aurich / Getty) Companies in industries ranging from iced tea to image processing to fast-casual dining are jumping on the recent blockchain-mania as a way to try to revolutionize often-moribund businesses. ...
16:26How gold nanoparticles may make killing tumors easier
Enlarge / Nanoparticles (black dots) sit in the remains of a cell they've helped kill. (credit: University of Michigan) One of the ways to kill a cancer is to cook it, since heat can kill cells. The trick, of course, is to only cook the cancer and not the surrounding tissue. ...
15:04If you can’t beat them… Lamborghini joins the SUV set
Jim Resnick Let me pre-empt you. 'Why?' you ask. 'You're Lamborghini, not Range Rover!' Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments
14:39Cryptocurrency bloodbath continues as bitcoin falls below $10,000
Enlarge (credit: Oliver Mallich) Bitcoin fell below the psychologically significant level of $10,000 on Wednesday morning, marking a second day of double-digit declines for the virtual currency. One bitcoin is now worth $9,700, less than half its peak value of $19,500 achieved just last month. Bitcoin's fall is part of a broader cryptocurrency sell-off. ...
13:54YouTube raises subscriber, view threshold for Partner Program...
(credit: Flickr: Rego Korosi ) After a tumultuous 2017, YouTube is making yet another change to its guidelines surrounding channel monetization and advertiser approval. ...
13:30The impromptu Slack war room where ‘Net companies unite to fight...
Enlarge / The early disclosure of Meltdown and Spectre by Google and the fumbled responses by hardware vendors left cloud companies scrambling to react. So they united to fight the dumpster fire of poor communication and bad patches. (credit: US Air Force) Meltdown and Spectre created something of a meltdown in the cloud computing world. ...
00:12Google Chrome extensions with 500,000 downloads found to be malicious
Enlarge (credit: ICEBRG) Researchers have uncovered four malicious extensions with more than 500,000 combined downloads from the Google Chrome Web Store, a finding that highlights a key weakness in what's widely considered to be the Internet's most secure browser. Google has since removed the extensions. ...
Tuesday January 16, 2018
21:48The Windows 10 control panel modernization continues: Fonts get some...
Enlarge / The Settings app is gaining new powers to control your PC's settings. (credit: Thurrott.com) The Windows user interface has a certain archaeological quality to it. While the upper layers tend to be new—using the styling and conventions of the day—dig a little deeper and you can find elements that are decades old. ...
21:15Epic admits that Fortnite’s success may seal another F2P game’s fate
Enlarge / Paragon sure can look cool, but in terms of gameplay, fans argue that updates have left something to be desired. (credit: Epic Games) Epic Games' Fortnite proved to be one of 2017's weirdest gaming success stories. ...
20:53DNA from an escaped slave who ended up in Iceland ID’d in his...
Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images) Hans Jonatan left Denmark in 1802 and eventually started a new life as an immigrant in Iceland. But he was an unusual Icelander. Unlike most Icelanders—and even most immigrants to Iceland—Hans Jonatan was mixed-race and a former slave. ...
20:1721 states sue FCC to restore net neutrality rules
Enlarge / FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn addresses protesters outside the Federal Communication Commission building to rally against the end of net neutrality rules on December 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. ...
20:05A little more power and a lot more battery for the BMW i8’s mid-life...
Jonathan Gitlin DETROIT—Although we've been covering the auto industry for almost four years, probably my favorite car remains one of the first that we reviewed here at Ars: the BMW i8. ...
19:44Hackers seem close to publicly unlocking the Nintendo Switch
Enlarge / At the 34C3 conference, hacker Derrek shows the soldered FPGA setup that helped him find the decryption key necessary to unlock the system's binaries. (credit: Chaos Computer Club / YouTube) When it comes to video game consoles, it's only a matter of time before even the most locked-down system gets unlocked by hackers for homebrew coding (and, potentially, piracy). ...
19:19Chromecast and Google Homes reportedly overloading home Wi-Fi [Updated]
Enlarge / The Google Home Mini, the original Google Home, and the Google Home Max. (credit: Google) Update: Google has posted a support page for this issue promising a fix tomorrow (1/18). ...
18:10Dealmaster: Get a new 15-inch Dell laptop with a Core i7 for $580
Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, the Dealmaster has returned from his weekend break with another list of sweet, beautiful deals in tow. For a relatively random Tuesday in January, today's crop of deals is surprisingly strong: For one, we've got the latest iteration of Dell's Inspiron 15 5000 laptop down to $580. ...
17:47Bitcoin plunges—now down 47 percent from December peak [Updated]
Enlarge (credit: Pxhere) Bitcoin's value plunged on Tuesday, falling to $10,300—the lowest value the virtual currency has seen in 2018. Bitcoin's value is down almost 25 percent over the last 24 hours, and down 47 percent from December's all-time high of around $19,500. Bitcoin's fall was part of a broader crypto-currency selloff. ...
17:00The interface to send out a missile alert in Hawaii is slightly less...
Enlarge / A morning view of the city of Honolulu, Hawaii is seen on January 13, 2018. Social media ignited on January 13, 2018 after apparent screenshots of cell phone emergency alerts warning of a 'ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii' began circulating, which US officials quickly dismissed as 'false. ...
16:45Found: New Android malware with never-before-seen spying capabilities
Enlarge (credit: portal gda) Last year, researchers found what at the time was quite possibly the world's most sophisticated espionage app ever written for the Android mobile operating system. ...
16:31“Rocketî Madsen formally charged with murder of Kim Wall aboard sub
Enlarge / The UC3 Nautilus in early sea trials in 2008. (credit: Frumperino) Today, Peter Madsen—the inventor, engineer, and owner of the world's largest amateur-built submarine and head of the eponymous 'Rocket Madsen Space Lab'—was formally charged with murdering Kim Wall, a Swedish freelance journalist who had been writing an article about Madsen. ...
15:33All Democrats and one Republican support net neutrality bill in Senate
Enlarge / Democrats vs. Republicans. (credit: Getty Images | Linda Braucht) A Senate bill to restore the recently repealed net neutrality rules now has support from 50 of 100 senators and would pass if one more Republican backs the effort. The measure has backing from all 49 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, including 47 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats. Sen. ...
14:28Neuron cascade may be akin to neutral selection in evolution
Enlarge (credit: Miguel Navarro / Getty Images) 'I am sorry, but your brain suffers from avalanches' is a diagnosis that should be a thing. The cure should involve a St. Bernard digging neurons out from under piles of neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, everyone's brain suffers from avalanches. Indeed, I can safely diagnose anyone who does not suffer from avalanches as dead. ...
13:01Beware a bottled booger blast—they can blow up your throat, doctors...
Enlarge / Picture shows a woman about to sneeze holding a handkerchief in her hand. (credit: Getty | Bettmann) Ah… AHHH… Choose wisely when it comes to handling that impending sneeze. Holding one in can lead to some serious damage, British doctors report Monday in BMJ Case Reports. ...
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