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Ars Technica

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Monday November 20, 2017
17:44Nebraska approves controversial Keystone XL pipeline with conditions
Enlarge / This is the pipeline pumping station for the Keystone operations in Steele City, Nebraska. Steele City is a strategic location for the Keystone Pipeline projects. (credit: Michael S. ...
16:51Did Disney push for EA’s Battlefront microtransaction decision?
Enlarge In the immediate wake of last week's surprise announcement that EA and developer DICE were temporarily removing microtransactions from Star Wars: Battlefront II, VentureBeat reported that no less than Disney CEO Bob Iger called EA CEO Andrew Wilson to discuss the roiling controversy over the in-game purchases. ...
16:30Verizon may sign new deal with NFL to expand game streaming rights
Enlarge (credit: Daniel Spiess) Verizon and the National Football League are in talks to sign another streaming rights deal. According to a Bloomberg report, the wireless provider and the NFL are close to finalizing a new deal that would let Verizon stream games to Internet-connected TVs, tablets, and phones. ...
16:23Amid soaring drug prices, FDA reverses stance and cracks down on cheap ...
Enlarge / Sixty-one-year-old US citizen Shirley Wilford hops the border to buy prescription drugs in a pharmacy in Hemmingford, Canada. (credit: Getty | Darren McCollester) Late last month, the Food and Drug Administration raided nine stores in Central Florida that help customers illegally order affordable prescription drugs from verified pharmacies overseas, particularly those in Canada, ...
15:16Uber is taking a big risk by ordering 24,000 cars from Volvo
Enlarge (credit: Uber) Uber has signed a deal with Volvo for 24,000 XC90 sport-utility vehicles for delivery between 2019 and 2021. With this deal—worth about $1 billion—Uber is essentially betting the company on a self-driving future. It's a big, risky bet for Uber, which lost $2. ...
14:43Come February, Amex users won’t be able to pay with a Jawbone Up4
(credit: Valentina Palladino) Jawbone may have switched gears to medical devices, but there are some Up fitness trackers still out there. Those who use the Up4, Jawbone's most advanced tracker and one of the last it debuted before pulling out of the consumer-wearable market, won't be able to use its NFC payment feature for much longer. ...
13:52Exoskeletons won’t turn assembly line workers into Iron Man
Ford Drop the word 'exoskeleton' into conversation, and you typically conjure up images from Aliens, or Iron Man foiling whoever it is he's supposed to foil with augmented power. Fanciful as that may seem, exoskeletons are finding their way into everyday manufacturing. But they're not being used to perform 'feats of strength.' Reality is more mundane—and much more repetitive. ...
13:35America’s oldest rocket just made its penultimate flight
ULA The Delta II rocket first launched in 1989, making it the oldest US orbital launch system still flying today. However, the heritage of this launch system is much older still. The Delta II rocket's first stage is derivative of the Thor intermediate range ballistic missile—the first operational ballistic missile used by the United States Air Force in the 1950s. ...
13:30Marvell Technology to buy chipmaker Cavium for about $6 billion
Enlarge (credit: Google) In another consolidation move in the semiconductor industry, chipmaker Marvell Technology announced it will acquire competitor Cavium Inc. for approximately $6 billion. It's estimated that the combined company will generate about $3.4 billion in annual revenue. ...
13:00OnePlus 5T review—An outstanding combination of specs, design, and...
Ron Amadeo After launching the OnePlus 5 earlier this year, OnePlus is back with an end-of-year upgrade for the device. The OnePlus 5T takes a winning formula—high-end specs with a low price tag and a metal body—and reworks the front of the phone to dedicate as much space as possible to the screen. ...
12:38Delhi smog levels drop from severe to very poor—you know,...
Enlarge / A man wears a face mask as he takes part in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017 in New Delhi on November 19, 2017. (credit: Getty | SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP) Despite extremely dangerous levels of air pollution smothering Delhi and creating “gas chamberî conditions, thousands took to the streets to run a half marathon Sunday. ...
10:00Pixel Buds review: OK Google, go back to the earbud drawing board
Enlarge (credit: Sam Machkovech) Find me a critic who would recommend any company's first-ever earbuds priced at $159, and I will find you that critic's sordid history of wire-transfer scams on Craigslist. Headphones and earbuds have to cater to so many tricky, subjective variables: various ear fits, sound preferences, and desired features. ...
Sunday November 19, 2017
20:00Archaeologists find mysterious, 4,000-year-old dog sacrifices in Russia
A map of the area on the northern Russian steppes where the sacrificial dogs were found. The Krasnosamarskoe settlement was a tiny ritual center, part of the larger Indo-European Srubnaya culture in the late Bronze Age. ...
17:10Infosec star accused of sexual assault booted from professional...
Enlarge / Morgan Marquis-Boire, then a security researcher at the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs’ Citizen Lab, seen here on July 24, 2012. (credit: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg via Getty Images) A well-known computer security researcher, Morgan Marquis-Boire, has been publicly accused of sexual assault. ...
15:02Some Instacart workers to strike over pay that can be as low as $1 per ...
Enlarge / Kaitlin Myers, a shopper for Instacart, studies her smartphone as she shops for a customer at Whole Foods in Denver. Myers received a grocery list for a shopper and then completed the shopping on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. (credit: Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon) OAKLAND, Calif. ...
14:00What I learned visiting my first live eSports tournament
Kyle Orland At this point, I don't have much patience for the argument that eSports fans should stop watching other people play video games and just play those games themselves. For one, it's an argument that few people make about spectator sports like basketball and football, where the skill difference between a pro and a novice is roughly the same as in eSports. ...
12:41How an unpaid UK researcher saved the Japanese seaweed industry
Enlarge / A nori farm off the coast of Japan. (credit: H. Grobe) The tasty Japanese seaweed nori is ubiquitous today, but that wasn't always true. Nori was once called “lucky grassî because every year's harvest was entirely dependent on luck. Then, during World War II, luck ran out. No nori would grow off the coast of Japan, and farmers were distraught. ...
Saturday November 18, 2017
12:00Pandemic Legacy: Season 2—The world’s “best board gameî gets better
Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com. How do you follow the most popular board game ever made? In a world where three separate versions of Smurfs Monopoly exist, Pandemic Legacy: Season One (PL:S1) isn’t the biggest-selling game of all time—but it has topped the popularity charts at Board ...
11:30Pentagon contractor leaves social media spy archive wide open on Amazon
(credit: Wikipedia) A Pentagon contractor left a vast archive of social-media posts on a publicly accessible Amazon account in what appears to be a military-sponsored intelligence-gathering operation that targeted people in the US and other parts of the world. The three cloud-based storage buckets contained at least 1. ...
10:30Iconic hacker booted from conferences after sexual misconduct claims...
Enlarge / John Draper, seen here in 2011. (credit: campuspartycolombia) John Draper, a legendary figure in the world of pre-digital phone hacking known as 'phreaking,' has been publicly accused of inappropriate sexual behavior going back nearly two decades. ...
Friday November 17, 2017
22:20Weekend code warriors prepare to clash in Codewarz
Enlarge / Obviously a Codewarz competitor. (credit: Alain Daussin/Getty Images) If you didn't have any weekend plans yet—or maybe even if you did—and you're interested in scratching your programming itch, there's something to add to your calendar. ...
20:30Dealmaster: The Black Friday tech deals that might actually be worth...
Enlarge / Get ready for lots of ads like this. (credit: Best Buy) Update (9/20/2017 9:20 AM ET): Updated to mark various deals that have gone live since this article's publication. Original post: Brace yourself for Walmart fights and snarky tweets about capitalism, because Black Friday is nearly here. ...
20:24How to fix a program without the source code? Patch the binary directly
Enlarge (credit: Flickr user: Ivan T) When a company like Microsoft needs to fix a security flaw in one of its products, the process is normally straightforward: determine where the bug lies, change the program's source code to fix the bug, and then recompile the program. But it looks like the company had to step outside this typical process for one of the flaws it patched this Tuesday. ...
19:45Hairy situation: DC’s rail system may be taken down by human shedding
Enlarge / The DC Metro, when it's not on fire. (credit: Getty | Bill Clark) For residents of our nation’s capital, news of a fire on the city’s rapid transit system—the Washington Metro—is not surprising. It catches fire and smokes quite regularly. At some points last year, there were reports of more than four fires per week (although there’s some dispute about that rate). ...
18:42Argentine Navy diesel sub disappears, NASA plane joins in search
NASA The US Navy and NASA have joined the search for an Argentine Armada (navy) diesel-electric attack submarine—the ARA San Juan (S-42)—and its crew of 44 sailors missing in the Southern Argentine Sea. The last contact with the TR-1700 class sub, built in 1983 by the German shipbuilder Thyssen Nordseewerke, was on November 15. ...
18:33Tax bill that passed the House would cripple training of scientists
Enlarge / Whatever you made in that flask, it's going to cost you. (credit: Oak Ridge National Lab) Yesterday, the US House of Representatives passed its version of a tax bill that would drop corporate tax rates and alter various deductions. ...
17:30Man gets threats—not bug bounty—after finding DJI customer data in...
Enlarge / A security researcher says he was trying to play fair with DJI's bug bounty program. DJI calls him a hacker who exposed customer data. DJI, the Chinese company that manufactures the popular Phantom brand of consumer quadcopter drones, was informed in September that developers had left the private keys for both the 'wildcard' certificate for all the company's Web domains and the ...
17:15The world of Skyrim is thrilling and flawed in VR [Updated]
Enlarge / The disembodied hand of fate falls on you, tree! Since consumer-grade virtual reality became a thing last year, there has been some criticism over the lack of lengthy, meaty VR experiences that can draw players in an epic story for dozens of hours. ...
17:02New Tesla Roadster sounds impressive, but it’s not the only game in...
Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson) On Thursday night, Elon Musk upstaged his own semi truck launch with the news that Tesla is going to build a new performance car, the Roadster. The specs certainly have the Internet ablaze this morning: a 200kWh battery and 620-mile (1,000km) range, 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, the standing quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds, and a top speed of 250mph. ...
16:55Apple’s HomePod speaker isn’t coming out this year
Enlarge / Look at this happy couple enjoying voice commands and high quality audio in their home! (credit: Apple) In a statement to CNBC this morning, Apple said its HomePod smart speaker will be released in 2018, not by the end of this year as originally announced. ...
16:51Bitcoin is hitting new highs—here’s why it might not be a bubble
Enlarge (credit: Bullion Vault) In early September, one Bitcoin was worth almost $5,000. Then the Chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrency investments, and Bitcoin's value plunged 40 percent in a matter of days, reaching a low below $3,000. But Bitcoin bounced back. By early November, one Bitcoin was worth almost $8,000. ...
16:10Robocalls from spoofed Caller IDs may soon be blocked by phone...
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | vladru) Phone companies are now authorized to be more aggressive in blocking robocalls before they reach customers' landlines or mobile phones, but you might have to pay for the new blocking capabilities. ...
15:11Swiss lab develops genetic tool kit to turn any cell into a tumor...
Enlarge / T cells latch on to a cancer cell before killing it. (credit: NIH) We've made some impressive advances toward inducing the immune system to attack cancers. One of these techniques, using CAR-T cells, is amazing. CAR-T cells are made by inserting receptors that recognize cancerous cells into a leukemia patient’s own T cells. ...
15:01First-ever marijuana overdose death? Let’s review what “potential...
Enlarge / Even this baby is annoyed. (credit: Getty | VW Pics) The US Drug Enforcement Administration plainly reports that no death from an overdose of marijuana has ever been reported—a tidbit often repeated by cannabis enthusiasts when discussing the potential harms of the popular drug. But this week, many news outlets coughed up headlines saying that the famous fact had gone up in smoke. ...
13:32Apple reportedly working with Intel to put 5G modem in future iPhones
Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon) While it will be some time before 5G LTE becomes standard, Apple is thinking ahead about how to best incorporate 5G technology into its iPhones. According to a Fast Company report, Apple has been working with Intel to incorporate the chipmaker's 5G modems in future iPhones while talks with Qualcomm, the world's biggest modem supplier, have been 'limited. ...
13:28Converting natural gas to hydrogen without any carbon emissions
Enlarge / Hard to believe that this stuff could cut carbon emissions. (credit: Department of Energy) The boom in natural gas production has been essential to the drop in carbon emissions in the US, as methane, the primary component of natural gas, releases more energy for each carbon atom when burned than other fossil fuels. ...
12:00Justice League review: Who will avenge these shortchanged heroes?
Enlarge / Someone is (thankfully) missing here, and his name rhymes with 'hot-mud-sand.' (credit: Warner Bros.) This week's feature-length Justice League film benefits as much as it suffers from a 'can't get any worse' reputation. ...
10:30Star Wars: Battlefront II review: Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope,...
Enlarge / The pull of the Force is strong with things like an impeccably rendered Millennium Falcon. (I mean, gosh, that's purty.) But Star Wars: Battlefront II can't paint over most of its failings. (credit: EA / DICE) I've tried to give the new video game Star Wars: Battlefront II a fair shake, and I tried to do so through three types of fandom, at that. ...
09:03If NYPD cops want to snoop on your phone, they need a warrant, judge...
Enlarge (credit: Sergi Reboredo/VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images) A New York state judge has concluded that a powerful police surveillance tool known as a stingray, a device that spoofs legitimate mobile phone towers, performs a 'search' and therefore requires a warrant under most circumstances. ...
04:24Tesla promises a new wicked-fast $200,000 Roadster
Tesla HAWTHORNE, CALIF.—At tonight's Tesla Semi event we got a lot more than a vague truck design. After a short presentation of the Semi's intended specs, one of the trucks backed onto the stage and a new red Roadster rolled out. 'The foundation of the whole company was the Roadster,' Musk told the crowd of employees. ...
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