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Ars Technica

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Wednesday July 18, 2018
21:00AI plus a chemistry robot finds all the reactions that will work
Simple robots have been part of chemistry for years. (credit: Greg Russ) Chemistry is a sort of applied physics, with the behavior of electrons and their orbitals dictating a set of rules for which reactions can take place and what products will remain stable. ...
20:32“An almond doesn’t lactate:î FDA to crack down on use of the word...
Almond milk (credit: Amazing Almonds) The US Food and Drug Administration seems to have soured on nondairy milk-alternative products that use the term “milkî in their marketing and labeling—like popular soy and almond milk products. In a talk hosted by Politico, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced Tuesday that the FDA will soon issue a new guidance on the use of the term. ...
19:58Why is InfoWars allowed on Facebook? Zuckerberg: Because it doesn’t...
Enlarge / Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., holds his phone after the morning session at the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Friday, July 13, 2018. ...
19:30Dealmaster: The best Amazon Prime Day deals that are still going on
Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. We'll be honest: the Dealmaster is still a bit woozy from the flurry of deals Amazon Prime Day threw at him. But today is a new day, which means there are new deals to discover. ...
19:10Israeli defense firm demos kamikaze drone bomb that can be called off
The Rotem 'suicide drone' in action. In early July, Israel Aerospace Industries demonstrated the Rotem UAS—a proof-of-concept quadcopter drone capable of providing both airborne surveillance and an explosive punch. The lightweight drone, which can be carried in a backpack and flown by one person, comes with a 'combat head' that turns it into a guided weapon. ...
16:05Rooftop solar could save utilities $100 to $120 per installed kilowatt
(credit: Lawrence Berkeley Labs) When you install rooftop solar panels, the electricity you create cuts into the amount of electricity the utility must provide to meet your needs. Add up the reduced demand of all the homes with solar panels, and you've got a pretty sizable amount of electricity that's no longer needed. ...
15:11Jeff Bezos said they’d test the heck out of New Shepard—he wasn’t...
Blue Origin live video With its ninth flight test, the New Shepard launch system put on quite a show on Wednesday morning. Flying from West Texas, the rocket and spacecraft ascended toward space before separating after about 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Then, three minutes into the flight, the spacecraft's escape motor fired to pull the spacecraft rapidly upward and away from the booster. ...
15:07VR rivals come together to develop a single-cable spec for VR headsets
USB Type-C, the most exciting boring connector in the industry right now. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Future generations of virtual reality headsets for PCs could use a single USB Type-C cable for both power and data. ...
15:00Ars on your lunch break: The toxic truths within our DNA
Enlarge / Don't you know that your DNA is toxic? (credit: Jive Records) Today we present the second installment of my interview with medical geneticist Robert Green about the promises and pitfalls that could lie in reading out your full genome. Part one ran yesterday—so if you missed it, click right here. ...
14:57Court denies Star Citizen backer’s $4,500 refund lawsuit
Enlarge A Star Citizen backer who went to small claims court seeking a refund of $4,496 he had put toward the long-delayed crowdfunded space sim has seen his case dismissed. Ken Lord, a data scientist from Colorado, had been a massive Star Citizen backer since the game first launched on Kickstarter in 2012. ...
14:37EU: Google illegally used Android to dominate search, must pay $5B fine
Enlarge / The Google search app on an Android portable device on February 5, 2018. (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto ) The European Commission today fined Google $5.05 billion (€4. ...
13:05Walmart may launch a video streaming service to battle Netflix, Amazon
Enlarge (credit: Walmart) Walmart may be the next giant to enter the video streaming wars, according to a report from The Information. The retailer is reportedly considering launching its own video streaming service to battle Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. But Walmart wants to undercut its competition by pricing its service at $8 per month—or lower. ...
11:36Blue Origin to subject its rocket to high-altitude escape test
Enlarge / New Shepard on the launch pad the morning of Mission 8, April 29, 2018. (credit: Blue Origin) 12:10pm ET Wednesday update. The test appears to have been a complete success. See our full report here. Original post: As it continues to progress toward human flights, Blue Origin will perform another potentially dangerous uncrewed test today of its New Shepard rocket and spacecraft. ...
10:30A $225 GPS spoofer can send sat-nav-guided vehicles into oncoming...
Enlarge (credit: Zeng et al.) Billions of people—and a growing number of autonomous vehicles—rely on mobile navigation services from Google, Uber, and others to provide real-time driving directions. ...
10:15Using a virus to kill what antibiotics can’t
Enlarge / Phages on the surface of a bacterial cell. (credit: Dr. Graham Beards ) Due largely to overuse, we're at risk of seeing many of our antibiotics lose effectiveness, leaving us without a defense against a number of potentially fatal infections. ...
10:00Formula E ends its season—and an era—in Brooklyn
Enlarge (credit: Elle Cayabyab Gitlin) NEW YORK—Racing cars came to Red Hook this past weekend as Formula E held its season four finale, the NYC ePrix. Although the event is only in its second year, the Big Apple is fast feeling like home for these all-electric race cars, and once again we saw championship-deciding races play out against the Manhattan skyline. ...
09:00Judge slams FBI for improper cellphone search, stingray use
Enlarge / The seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hangs on a wall before a news conference at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 14, 2018. ...
Tuesday July 17, 2018
23:11Dealmaster: All the best Amazon Prime Day deals happening right now...
Update (7/17/2018 8:10pm ET): Prime Day is nearing its end, so we've made one last update, adding deals on Logitech mice, Netgear Arlo security cameras, and more. We've also included a section with quick links to any last-minute Lightning deals that may arise before things come to a close. Now if you'll excuse us, the Dealmaster needs to grab a stiff drink. ...
18:57Supposedly pristine South American forest had been pre-Columbian...
Enlarge / Lake Huila records centuries of environmental change in the Quijos Valley. (credit: Nicholas Laughlin) On the slopes of northern Ecuador's Quijo Valley, perpetual clouds shroud the canopy of a seemingly pristine tropical forest. But the beauty of the cloud forest hides a violent, tragic history. ...
17:30Doctors fear urgent care centers are wildly overusing antibiotics—for...
Enlarge / Here, have some antibiotics. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg) Popular urgent care centers may be the biggest—and most overlooked—culprits in the dangerous overuse of antibiotics in clinics, according to a new analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine. ...
17:01Investors are worried that Netflix is getting as big as it can get
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. (credit: JD Lasica) Netflix missed its subscriber growth targets by about a million subscribers in the three months ending in June, sparking concern among investors that there might be a saturation limit for the streaming platform. ...
16:00Google resurrects Google Now’s predictive cards, sticks them in the...
Google There's a big update coming to the Google Assistant for iOS and Android today. Google is resurrecting the predictive Google Now cards that used to exist in the pre-assistant era, and the company is sticking them in the Google Assistant interface. Before the transition to the Google Assistant and the Google (News) Feed, Google Now was one of the best parts of Android. ...
15:41Microsoft is making the Windows command line a lot better
The Windows 7 console didn't support VT codes, so it completely garbles the output of applications that depend on VT codes. The Windows 10 console, however, does support VT codes, making it much more capable. ...
15:00Ars on your lunch break: Robert Green on what darkness lurks in our DNA
Enlarge / No matter how many times you stick your head in a microwave, this probably won't happen. (credit: 20th Century Fox) This week we’re serializing yet another episode of the After On Podcast here on Ars. The broader series is built around deep-dive interviews with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists and tends to be very tech- and science-heavy. ...
14:36Chinese space official seems unimpressed with NASA’s lunar gateway
Enlarge / ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer joined Chinese colleagues in Yantai, China, to take part in their sea survival training on August 19, 2017. (credit: ESA) This week, the European and Chinese space agencies held a workshop in Amsterdam to discuss cooperation between Europe and China on lunar science missions. ...
14:28Bill to save net neutrality gets first Republican vote in US House
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Linda Braucht) The congressional bill to reinstate net neutrality rules has finally received support from a House Republican. US Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) today announced his support for the bill. ...
14:21Dealmaster: The best non-Amazon deals if Prime Day doesn’t matter to...
Update (7/17/2018 11:20am ET): We've updated our anti-Prime Day deals list with new discounts on the Nest Learning Thermostat, Google Pixelbook, Samsung 860 EVO SSD, and a nice sitewide discount code from eBay that slashes devices like the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X, and 9.7-inch iPad down to new lows. Have a look for yourself below. ...
12:00Tempest 4000 finally lives after delays, legal threats—but what’s up...
Enlarge / This is a 2018 title screen, we swear. (credit: Atari / Llamasoft) Ever since 1994's Tempest 2000, British game developer Jeff Minter has been inextricably linked to Atari. ...
08:003D-printed gun lawsuit ends after 3+ years—in gun publisher’s favor
A still from Cody Wilson's latest video shows this example of 3D-printed handguns (these are mock-ups pictured, not actual handguns). (credit: Defense Distributed) Defense Distributed, the 3D-printing gun activist group, has secured a settlement with the Department of State that will enable it to legally distribute its CAD files of firearms on its DEFCAD website, putting an end to a ...
Monday July 16, 2018
22:29Developer faces prison after admitting admin software was really a RAT
A Kentucky man has pleaded guilty to federal charges he developed, marketed, and provided technical support for a 'remote access trojan,' or RAT—that is, software he knew customers used illegally to take control of other people’s computers. ...
21:50The Essential Phone at $250 is the best smartphone deal of the year
It's Amazon Prime Day, and that means a large collection of deals that may or may not be a great value. We have a big post covering much of the tech stuff, but I wanted to highlight this insane Essential Phone deal that lets you have a 2017 flagship smartphone for $250. Less than a year ago, this phone was $700. A comparable Snapdragon 835 phone from Samsung (the Galaxy S8) is $500. ...
21:18News of Trump passing cognitive test may make it harder to detect...
Enlarge / US President Donald Trump answers questions about the 2016 US election during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. ...
20:30Dangerous plutonium stolen from rental car in a hotel parking lot
(credit: Alex Proimos / Flickr) Two workers from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory lost an undisclosed amount of plutonium and cesium from a rental car parked overnight in a San Antonio, Texas, hotel parking lot in a neighborhood known for car break-ins and other crimes, according to an article published Monday by the Center for Public Integrity. ...
20:15D-Wave’s quantum computer successfully models a quantum system
Enlarge (credit: D-Wave Systems) D-Wave's hardware has always occupied a unique space on the computing landscape. It's a general-purpose computer that relies on quantum mechanical effects to perform calculations. And, while other quantum-computer makers have struggled to put more than a few dozen qubits together, D-Wave's systems have already scaled to more than 2,000 addressable bits. ...
19:25Suspect behind bitcoin exchange that “catered to criminalsî ordered to...
Enlarge / Courts in Thessaloniki, Greece, rules extradition of the Russian bitcoin master suspect Alexander Vinnik to France after the French authorities request. ...
18:54Microsoft killing off the old Skype client, adding built-in call...
Enlarge / Skype 8.0. (credit: Microsoft) Skype's development history is a bit checkered; a wide range of clients has been developed with disparate features and a lack of clarity over direction. ...
18:25Ajit Pai deals major setback to Sinclair/Tribune merger
Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai with his oversized coffee mug in November 2017. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg) Sinclair Broadcast Group's acquisition of Tribune Media Company has run into a major roadblock at the Federal Communications Commission. ...
12:10Britain joins the microlaunch space race with a new rocket and...
Orbex/Anders Břggild The United Kingdom has entered the race to develop low-cost, high-volume rockets for small satellites. Orbex, a British-based company with subsidiaries and production facilities in Denmark and Germany, announced Monday that it has raised $40 million from public and private sources to develop what it is calling the 'Prime' launch vehicle. ...
12:00Roku wants to grab audiophiles with its new wireless speakers for Roku
Roku Roku focuses heavily on its licensing programs, which allow OEMs to make TVs, soundbars, and other devices that use Roku software and work seamlessly with Roku devices. But now, Roku's getting into the audio business with an in-house product: the company announced the Roku TV Wireless Speakers today, a set of two HomePod-esque speakers designed to work exclusively with Roku TVs. ...
Sunday July 15, 2018
13:00After indictment, Russian hackers’ lives “changed forever,î...
Enlarge / US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (C) holds a news conference at the Department of Justice July 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian intelligence agents for hacking computers used by the Democratic National Committee, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other organizations. ...
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