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Tuesday January 16, 2018
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 (credit: Getty Images | Linda Braucht) A Senate bill to restore the recently repealed net neutrality rules now has support from 50 of 100 senators and would pass if one more Republican backs the effort.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. ...
11:30An appreciation of games that click back and change the gamers who...
Don't worry, no Ouya games snuck into this discussion. (It just happens to have a timeless, sleek controller because famous designer Yves Béhar came up with the concept.) Warning: This piece contains mild spoilers by referencing plot points for The Dig, Mass Effect, and Pillars of Eternity. ...
11:15Destiny 2 keeps on failing to bring me back
Enlarge / I'm sorry, it's just not doing it for me anymore guys. I don't know what to tell ya... (credit: Activision) It’s the second week of January and I’m playing Suikoden II, which turns 20 this year. That’s not completely absurd in the lull between the holiday season and the next glut of big new releases that demand my immediate attention. ...
11:00Artist transforms herself into a virtual assistant and obeys your...
Courtesy of Lauren McCarthy We love to talk about how our virtual assistants fail us. They allow parrots to order fire on Amazon and play porn channels to kids. Obviously, it's going to be quite some time before these machines will be as good as human assistants. That's why the quest to create personalities for assistive technology is a serious business. ...
Monday January 15, 2018
23:55Gut bacteria linked to cataclysmic epidemic that wiped out...
Enlarge / Entrance of Hernan Cortes into Mexico (credit: Kurz & Allison) In the wake of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, waves of epidemics slammed Mexico. By 1576, the population, which had been more than 20 million before the Spanish arrived, had crashed to two million. ...
21:22Shell invests in Nashville solar firm, but it’s no less an oil company
Enlarge / This photo represents a previous project completed by the Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch partnership. The 52 MW ac solar energy plant in Hazlehurst, Georgia incorporates 633,600 solar modules. (credit: PRNewsfoto/Silicon Ranch Corporation) On Monday, Royal Dutch Shell announced that it is going to acquire a 43. ...
20:25BitTorrent users beware: Flaw lets hackers control your computer
Enlarge (credit: Tavis Ormandy) There's a critical weakness in the widely used Transmission BitTorrent app that allows websites to execute malicious code on some users' computers. That's according to a researcher with Google's Project Zero vulnerability reporting team, who also warns that other BitTorrent clients are likely similarly susceptible. ...
20:05Spectre and Meltdown patches causing trouble as realistic attacks get...
Enlarge (credit: Simon Smith) Applications, operating systems, and firmware all need to be updated to defeat Meltdown and protect against Spectre, two attacks that exploit features of high-performance processors to leak information and undermine system security. The computing industry has been scrambling to respond after news of the problem broke early a few days into the new year. ...
19:20Whatever causes fast radio bursts is sitting in an intense magnetic...
Enlarge / The fast radio burst in question, FRB 121102, is located in the top-right portion of the image. On the left is a large supernova remnant. (credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (DeepSkyColors.com)) The Arecibo Observatory may be suffering along with the rest of Puerto Rico, but some of its data made a big appearance in last week's edition of Nature. ...
17:24Perfect Wi-Fi energy harvester gathers scant bounty
I am pretty nutty when it comes to energy efficiency. It upsets me to know that if the morons who built my house had used the latest information available at the time, my house would require almost no heating. One thing that really gets me excited is the prospect of reusing waste energy. ...
17:15The new 2019 G-Class: Mercedes-Benz reinvents the dinosaur
Jonathan Gitlin DETROIT—New cars today are as much wheeled, wearable computers as they are modes of transport. But if you wanted to pick a new vehicle that was as far away from the brave new connected mobility future we keep hearing so much about, you couldn't do much better than the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. ...
16:54City-owned Internet services offer cheaper and more transparent pricing
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Jonathan Kitchen) Municipal broadband networks generally offer cheaper entry-level prices than private Internet providers, and the city-run networks also make it easier for customers to find out the real price of service, a new study from Harvard University researchers found. ...
16:37Nintendo doesn’t seem to be “looking intoî VR very much anymore
Enlarge / It looks like this patent image that surfaced in 2016 is as close as we're going to get to a Nintendo-approved VR headset anytime soon. Readers with decent memories may remember early 2016, when Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said the company was looking into the virtual reality space at an investor's briefing. ...
16:18Reports of credit card fraud pile up from OnePlus customers
Enlarge Android OEM OnePlus says it's investigating claims of credit card numbers being stolen from customers who have purchased a phone from OnePlus' site. Over the weekend, a customer claimed on a thread on the OnePlus forums that recent credit card fraud he experienced was connected to his OnePlus purchase. ...
15:53The James Webb Space Telescope has emerged from the freezer
NASA After spending three months at a temperature of just 20 degrees Celsius above absolute zero, the massive James Webb Space Telescope emerged from a large vacuum chamber at the end of 2017. Now, after reviewing data from testing done there, scientists have given the instrument a clean bill of health, moving it one step closer to space. ...
15:24Hostile workplace accusations rock PlayStation developer Quantic Dream
A trio of French media reports over the weekend accuse high-profile PlayStation developer Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, the upcoming Detroit: Become Human) of fostering a 'toxic corporate culture' where inappropriate behavior and homophobic, racist, and sexist jokes were tolerated, if not encouraged. ...
15:121,000 Danish youths face charges for sharing 15-year-olds’ sex videos
Enlarge / The Nyhavn canal in Copenhagen, Denmark. (credit: Chad Sparkes) More than 1,000 young people are facing charges in Denmark after allegedly sharing two sexually explicit videos and a photograph involving underage subjects on Facebook Messenger. Danish police announced the charges on Monday morning, according to the Danish publication The Local. ...
13:52Ford shows new Ranger truck, a spicy SUV, and a McQueen Mustang in...
Ford DETROIT—On Sunday, Ford kicked off the start of the North American International Auto Show with a trio of new models. The event was in contrast to the company's appearance at CES; that was a forward-looking affair with a vision of the future; Detroit, rather, was all about real vehicles available soon. There was a new midsize truck with the return of the Ranger. ...
12:53Suspect in deadly Kansas “swattingî hoax charged with manslaughter
Enlarge / Swatting suspect Tyler Barriss depicted in a 2015 mug shot released by Glendale police. (credit: Glendale Police Department) A Los Angeles man accused of making a hoax phone call that led to the death of an innocent man in Wichita, Kansas, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. ...
Sunday January 14, 2018
20:00After false Hawaii missile notice, FCC launches investigation
On Saturday, January 13, Hawaiians received a terrifying message on their phones, repeated on television and radio stations, which had received a similar alert: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. ...
15:00How to keep a charity gaming marathon going for 160 hours straight
From your seat at home, an AGDQ run like this looks simple. Behind the scenes, though, is a constant swarm of action to get everything running smoothly. Of all the millions of video game streams that run each year on Twitch—from individuals at home to professional eSports tournaments—there's nothing quite like the Games Done Quick marathons. ...
14:00A gene that keeps track of how often it’s made into a protein
Enlarge / Ribosomes sometimes ignore one of these. (credit: Noirathsi’s Eye / Flickr) Folks in the Baranov lab in County Cork, Ireland, were just reviewing old data they had lying around—you, know, as one does on a slow, boring afternoon—and they noticed something weird. ...
13:00The Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame astounds us with a huge, rare collection
LAS VEGAS—When we weren't pounding the pavement at last week's overloaded CES trade show, we at Ars Technica took whatever opportunity we could to nerd out in uniquely Vegas style. That didn't mean dumping our spare quarters into a Lord of the Rings-themed slot machine; it meant hitching a ride to the Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame. ...
12:00When wildlife conservation meets war
Enlarge (credit: Calle v H / Flickr) Much of the world’s conflict happens in areas rich in biodiversity, and war makes conservation a complicated issue. In 2016, a group of researchers published a paper exploring important questions about conflict and conservation: can conflict be included in planning for protected areas? What strategies actually work when wildlife and warfare mix? The ...
Saturday January 13, 2018
14:00Review: Fallout: The Board Game
Enlarge / Two letters short of being truly S.P.E.C.I.A.L.! Also, note the V.A.T.S. dice. (credit: Charles Theel) Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com. ...
13:15The detailed toys and rare collectibles that keep watch over our home...
Thanks to Ars Technica's unique staff-from-all-over arrangement, we don't often see how our coworkers organize their home offices. There's also the matter of us being a bunch of overgrown children who keep, and proudly display, all kinds of toys, action figures, dolls, and other nerdy decorations in our home offices. ...
12:24The Usenet Deep Space 9 recapper who helped inspire modern TV criticism
In 1993, TV—and TV writing—were much different entities than what we know today. (credit: Tony Young) Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, Exhibit 5,768: the current golden age of TV has clearly inspired a golden age of TV writing. ...
11:25Did Twitter engineers just admit to shadow-banning conservatives? Nope
Enlarge / James O'Keefe. (credit: Gage Skidmore) James O'Keefe is a conservative activist who has made a name for himself with hidden camera investigations of supposedly liberal organizations. ...
Friday January 12, 2018
17:40GM wants to ditch the manual controls from its test cars in 2019
Enlarge / Notice anything wrong with this picture? It's a little disconcerting to see the interior of a Bolt EV without the driver controls. (credit: General Motors) General Motors is getting ready to ditch the driver for good—at least in its newest R&D vehicles. ...
17:25Microsoft opens the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update floodgates
Enlarge / Oddly, Microsoft's Mixed Reality house has no windows. (credit: Microsoft) After being out for a little under three months, Microsoft has moved the Fall Creators Update to full availability, signaling that the company believes it to be ready for corporate deployments. ...
17:17Games with pornographic ads sneak into the Play Store, get 3 million...
Enlarge / AdultSwine's operation flow. (credit: Check Point Research ) Sixty games were booted off the Play Store after security firm Check Point discovered that they contained pornographic ads and malicious components. Before their removal, the games were downloaded between 3 million and 7 million times, according to the download metrics on the Play Store. ...
15:43Netflix, Amazon, and major studios sue maker of “free TVî box
Enlarge (credit: The Dragon Box) Netflix, Amazon, and the major film studios have sued the makers of 'The Dragon Box,' a device that connects to TVs and lets users watch video without a cable TV or streaming service subscription. Joining Netflix and Amazon as plaintiffs in the suit are Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. ...
15:28Researcher finds another security flaw in Intel management firmware...
Meltdown and Spectre are not the only security problems Intel is facing these days. Today, researchers at F-Secure have revealed another weakness in Intel's management firmware that could allow an attacker with brief physical access to PCs to gain persistent remote access to the system, thanks to weak security in Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) firmware—remote 'out of band' ...
15:16Bungie promises to rebalance Destiny 2’s loot boxes, raids
Enlarge (credit: Bungie, Inc.) In its first development roadmap update of 2018, Destiny developer Bungie is promising to rebalance Destiny 2's microtransaction and raids systems to give players more satisfying rewards that are less dependent on luck. ...
15:09Boeing, SpaceX have razor-thin margins to fly crew missions in 2018
Enlarge / Commercial Crew Astronaut Eric Boe examines hardware during a tour of the SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California. (credit: NASA) Almost since the beginning of the commercial crew program in 2010, the old and new titans of the aerospace industry have been locked in a race to the launch pad. Boeing, with five decades of aerospace contracts, represented the old guard. ...
14:08It looks like the Galaxy S9 is getting a variable aperture camera
Enlarge / The Samsung Galaxy S8+. (credit: Ron Amadeo) The latest in the never-ending string of Samsung Galaxy S9 leaks has to do with the device's box. Reddit user minhvn shared an image of what appears to be a Galaxy S9 box, and it looks pretty legit to us. With the expectation that the Galaxy S9 will look a lot like the Galaxy S8, the box shows all the specs you would expect: a 5. ...
13:28After Logan Paul incident, Google Preferred YouTube videos will face...
Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images) After punishing one of its fastest-growing creators this week, Google is reportedly planning on scrutinizing YouTube videos that are part of its most lucrative advertising program. ...
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