27 Oct 2021

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Google Stadia introduces free trials with its own 'Hello Engineer' game

On top of announcing a Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot and a Doom Eternal update yesterday, Stadia appears to have added support for free game trials starting with its own exclusive title, 9to5Google has reported. Spotted by YouTuber Gem, the feature allows users on the free tier to get access to a 30-minute trial for Hello Engineer, before deciding whether to spend $20 buying it.

Hello Engineer is a new free game for Pro tier subscribers, but it costs $20 if you're on the free tier. Below buy/claim with Pro options, however, is a a new "Free trial" button that allows for 30 minutes of free play. Once launched, it starts a countdown timer from when you start the trial, rather than active playtime. At the end, Google asks if you'd like to purchase the game while saving your current progress, according to 9to5Google.

Google has yet to officially mention the new option and there's no word on whether it may expand to other games. You could, of course, trial any game available for free on the Pro tier with Google's 30-minute free trial of Stadia Pro. It would be nice, though, for all users to be able to try any game before deciding to buy it.

27 Oct 2021 9:25am GMT

Netflix's new 'Cowboy Bebop' trailer shows first footage from the show

Netflix has previously given us glimpses of its live-action adaptation of the classic anime Cowboy Bebop. Its latest trailer, however, shows actual footage from the series for the first time. You'll see scenes of the crew in action, from the time they met and decided to team up to the time they start hunting criminals in exchange for bounty. It shows fight scenes with Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda), their spaceship (the Bebop) and their corgi Ein. No Ed yet, unfortunately.

The streaming giant first announced its live-action adaptation way back in 2018, but it wasn't until earlier this year that production wrapped for season one. While the cast and crew have been shooting since 2019, production was paused after Cho got injured on set, and the coronavirus pandemic delayed things even further. Since then, Netflix has been preparing for its debut. In addition to releasing teasers for the show, the company has added all 26 episodes of the anime to its catalogue, so you can marathon all things Cowboy Bebop without having to hop services. (The anime is also available on Hulu.)

Netflix's live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop will start streaming on November 19th.

27 Oct 2021 8:41am GMT

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Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Wants To Build a Tourism Space Station Nearly As Big As the ISS

Blue Origin, the rocket and space tourism company founded by Jeff Bezos, is proposing a massive new commercial space station called "Orbital Reef" that could be used to host science experiments, vacation getaways, and potentially even in-space manufacturing. CNN reports: The company plans to work alongside startup Sierra Space to bring the space station to fruition, and Boeing plans to design a research module on the station, though there are no guarantees the companies can make it happen. Such projects are still exorbitantly expensive and risky, likely costing in the tens of billions of dollars and requiring multiple safe launches before a human ever even floats aboard. Blue Origin and Sierra Space plan to co-finance the space station, though executives declined to give an all-in cost estimate during a press conference Monday. They did add that they are expecting to sign on NASA as an anchor tenant, though it's not exactly clear how such a partnership could take shape. Blue Origin hopes Orbital Reef could be operational in the late 2020s, though it will have to get quite a bit done to make that happen. The company has only managed a few crewed suborbital flights so far, much like NASA first achieved back in the early 1960s, and it has yet to put a spacecraft in orbit, let alone a person. A space station would take a major leap. New Glenn, the Blue Origin-built rocket that is expected to be powerful and large enough to haul the biggest portions of the space station to orbit, is not yet operational, and its maiden flight was recently delayed to at least late 2022. The orbital reef will be able to host up to 10 people and will have roughly the same internal volume as the ISS.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27 Oct 2021 7:00am GMT

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Niantic's 'Pikmin Bloom' mobile game starts rolling out

Pokémon Go's creator has a new augmented reality mobile game, and this time, it's all about Pikmin. Niantic is now rolling out Pikmin Bloom worldwide, starting with Singapore and Australia where it's already live. Similar to Pokémon Go, you'll have to go out and interact with the real world enjoy the game. It's really more of a fun and colorful companion for daily walks or hikes, though, since it doesn't have battles and doesn't have the incentive of catching rare monsters like Pokémon Go does.

In Pikmin Bloom, you'll find seedlings when you walk that you can pick up and grow into plant-like creatures that'll follow you around. The more you walk, the more Pikmin you can pluck and the more Pikmin will follow you around. Onscreen, you're depicted as a Mii avatar, with a bunch of creatures walking behind you and making more flowers bloom along your path. You'll also be able to collect items on your walks, including clothes Pikmin can wear and fruit you can feed your creatures to make flowers bloom on their heads.

Niantic CEO John Hanke said in the game's video announcement that the flowers the Pikmin make can be viewed by other players, so you can create shared gardens with your neighbors. Pikmin Bloom is now live for Android and iOS in Singapore and Australia, and it will be arriving in more countries and regions "shortly."

27 Oct 2021 5:24am GMT

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Apple's iPod Came Out Two Decades Ago

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Conversation: On October 23, 2001, Apple released the iPod -- a portable media player that promised to overshadow the clunky design and low storage capacity of MP3 players introduced in the mid-1990s. The iPod boasted the ability to "hold 1,000 songs in your pocket". Its personalized listening format revolutionized the way we consume music. And with more than 400 million units sold since its release, there's no doubt it was a success. Yet, two decades later, the digital music landscape continues to rapidly evolve. The iPod expanded listening beyond the constraints of the home stereo system, allowing the user to plug into not only their headphones, but also their car radio, their computer at work, or their hi-fi system at home. It made it easier to entwine these disparate spaces into a single personalized soundtrack throughout the day. [...] The rise of touchscreen smartphones ultimately led to the iPod's downfall. Interestingly, the music app on the original iPhone was called "iPod." The iPod's functions were essentially reappropriated and absorbed into the iPhone. The iPhone was a flexible and multifunctional device: an iPod, a phone and an internet communicator all in one -- a computer in your pocket. And by making the development tools for their products freely available, Apple and Google allowed third-party developers to create apps for their new platforms in the thousands. As of this year, mobile devices are responsible for 54.8% of web traffic worldwide. And while music piracy still exists, its influence has been significantly reduced by the arrival of streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube. These platforms have had a profound effect on how we engage with music as active and passive listeners. Spotify supports an online community-based approach to music sharing, with curated playlists. [...] As of February this year, more than 60,000 tracks were being uploaded to Spotify each day. The experience of listening to music will become increasingly immersive with time, and we'll only find more ways to seamlessly integrate it into our lives.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27 Oct 2021 3:30am GMT

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Bounty hunter Spike Spiegel is back on the hunt in Cowboy Bebop trailer

"If the cops and the bounty hunters don't get you, the Syndicate will."

27 Oct 2021 2:12am GMT

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US Regulators Exploring How Banks Could Hold Crypto Assets

A top U.S. bank regulator said U.S. officials are looking to provide a clearer path for banks and their clients that are looking to hold cryptocurrencies, in order to keep control over the fast-developing asset. Reuters reports: Jelena McWilliams, who chairs the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, told Reuters in an interview on Monday that a team of U.S. bank regulators is trying to provide a roadmap for banks to engage with crypto assets. That could include clearer rules over holding cryptocurrency in custody to facilitate client trading, using them as collateral for loans, or even holding them on their balance sheets like more traditional assets. "I think that we need to allow banks in this space, while appropriately managing and mitigating risk," she said in an interview on the sidelines of a fintech conference. "If we don't bring this activity inside the banks, it is going to develop outside of the banks. ... The federal regulators won't be able to regulate it." McWilliams' comments provide the fullest picture yet of what regulators are exploring as part of a cryptocurrency "sprint" team first announced in May. The goal of the team was to ensure cryptocurrency policy coordination among the three main U.S. bank regulators - FDIC, Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27 Oct 2021 1:40am GMT

Adobe Brings New Creative Cloud Apps To M1 Macs and The Web

During Adobe Max 2021 today, the company announced new features for Creative Cloud's various iPad apps, two more applications running natively on Apple Silicon Macs, and new web versions of some apps, among other things. Ars Technica reports: Adobe said it is adding or improving AI-driven tools across the suite, including an updated Object Selection Tool for Photoshop on Desktop. And some AI tools previously seen in Photoshop, like the Sky Replacement tool, are headed to Lightroom on Mac, iPad, and iPhone for the first time. The iPad version of Photoshop will gain support for RAW images and is getting several new tools and the ability to convert layers into Smart Objects. Illustrator for iPad is getting some improvements, too, most notably the ability to vectorize images and track version history and revert to earlier iterations. Further, After Effects and InDesign are getting Apple Silicon support on recent Macs. It's not all about native applications, though -- Adobe announced this week that it will bring versions of Photoshop and Illustrator to the web. The web versions won't be as robust as the desktop versions, but they will let you make minor edits and provide a way to share and discuss work with colleagues or clients. The apps will allow users to review work and leave comments without launching a native version of Photoshop -- think of it a bit like a stripped-down version of InVision that exists directly inside the Creative Cloud ecosystem. Adobe also said it's launching a system built into Photoshop that can, among other things, "help prove that the person selling an NFT is the person who made it," reports The Verge. "It's called Content Credentials, and NFT sellers will be able to link the Adobe ID with their crypto wallet, allowing compatible NFT marketplaces to show a sort of verified certificate proving the art's source is authentic."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27 Oct 2021 1:00am GMT

Apple's Privacy Rules to Blame For Facebook's Lower Than Expected Quarterly Growth, Says Zuckerberg

Apple's privacy rules are "negatively affecting" Facebook, and its business, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed during its most recent earnings call. MacRumors reports: As a quick refresher, starting with iOS 14.5 and all newer versions of iOS and iPadOS, Apple requires that apps ask for users' permission to track them across other apps and websites. Under the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, the latest change gives users a choice on whether they wish to be tracked for ads or other purposes. [...] Continuing on its anti-Apple's privacy rules campaign, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quick to blame Apple for his company's lower than expected growth in the third quarter of the year. Kicking off the earnings call, Zuckerberg said Apple is "negatively affecting" Facebook but that he believes the company will be able to "navigate" the challenges Apple is presenting thanks to its long-term investments. "As expected, we did experience revenue headwinds this quarter, including from Apple's changes that are not only negatively affecting our business, but millions of small businesses in what is already a difficult time for them in the economy. Sheryl and Dave will talk about this more later, but the bottom line is we expect we'll be able to navigate these headwinds over time with investments that we're already making today." While Zuckerberg and the Facebook executive team hold Apple's changes accountable for this quarter's performance, it may also be an asset. Zuckerberg has in the past stated that ATT could ultimately help Facebook, and it's a sentiment he again repeated during the earning's call. Apple's changes, according to Zuckerberg, are making "e-commerce and customer acquisition less effective on the web." Still, Facebook could benefit from the lessened effectiveness as "solutions that allow businesses to set up shop right inside our apps will become increasingly attractive," Zuckerberg added. Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, also criticized Apple and its privacy rules, going as far as to claim that the new rules are negatively impacting Facebook while benefiting Apple's own advertising business: "We've been open about the fact that there were headwinds coming -- and we've experienced that in Q3. The biggest is the impact of Apple's iOS14 changes, which have created headwinds for others in the industry as well, major challenges for small businesses, and advantaged Apple's own advertising business." Despite Facebook facing an avalanche of pressure amid leaked internal documents and scrutiny, Sandberg pointed the finger at Apple for Facebook's lackluster performance this quarter. "Overall, if it wasn't for Apple's iOS 14 changes, we would have seen positive quarter-over-quarter revenue growth," Sandberg said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27 Oct 2021 12:20am GMT

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N64 collection goes live on Nintendo Switch, and it’s-a me, disappointment

"Better than Wii U" is faint praise for underwhelming emulation performance.

27 Oct 2021 12:08am GMT

26 Oct 2021

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The 'Dune' Screenplay Was Written In MS-DOS

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Oscar winning Dune screenwriter Eric Roth banged out the screenplay using the MS-DOS program Movie Master. Roth writes everything using the 30-year-old software. "I work on an old computer program that's not in existence anymore," Roth said in an interview in 2014. "It's half superstition and half fear of change." Roth wrote the screenplay for Dune in 2018 and explained he was still using Movie Master on a Barstool Sports podcast in 2020. That means Dune was written in an MS-DOS program. In the video, he pulled up a DOS window in Windows XP and booted up Movie Master 3.09 on an ancient beige mechanical keyboard. "So now I'm in DOS. Nobody can get on the internet and get this," Roth said. "I have to give them a hard copy. They have to scan it and then put it in their computers and then I have to work through their computer because you can't even email mine or anything. You can't get to it except where it is. It has 40 pages and it runs out of memory." [...] Roth also said the 40 page limit helps him structure his screenplays."I like it because it makes acts," he said. "I realize if I hadn't said it in 40 pages I'm starting to get in trouble." Another writer to use MS-DOS is George RR Martin, notes Motherboard. He apparently used MS-DOS program WordStar "to slowly write ever single Game of Thrones book."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 11:40pm GMT

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Promising-looking SETI signal turns out to be of human origin

Space junk may look like a supernova as SETI researchers struggle with a signal.

26 Oct 2021 11:14pm GMT

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TikTok Tells US Lawmakers It Does Not Give Info To China

During the company's first appearance at a U.S. congressional hearing, TikTok executive Michael Beckerman said it does not give information to the Chinese government and has sought to safeguard U.S. data. Reuters reports: Michael Beckerman, TikTok's head of public policy for the Americas, became the company's first executive to appear before Congress, testifying to a subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee. Republicans in particular pressed Beckerman on worries regarding TikTok's stewardship of data on the app's users. Senator Marsha Blackburn, the panel's top Republican, said she is concerned about TikTok's data collection, including audio and a user's location, and the potential for the Chinese government to gain access to the information. Blackburn questioned Beckerman on whether TikTok could resist giving data to China's government if material were to be demanded. "We do not share information with the Chinese government," Beckerman responded. Under questioning by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, Beckerman said that TikTok has "no affiliation" with Beijing ByteDance Technology, a ByteDance entity at which the Chinese government took a stake and a board seat this year. Beckerman also testified that TikTok's U.S. user data is stored in the United States, with backups in Singapore. "We have a world-renowned U.S. based security team that handles access," Beckerman said. Republican Senator John Thune said TikTok is perhaps more driven by content algorithms than even Facebook, as the app is famous for quickly learning what users find interesting and offering them those types of videos. Beckerman said TikTok would be willing to provide the app's algorithm moderation policies in order for the Senate panel to have it reviewed by independent experts.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 11:00pm GMT

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Kid COVID-19 vaccines get green light from FDA advisors

Despite the strong voting results, many advisors had concerns and caveats.

26 Oct 2021 10:26pm GMT

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Microsoft Is Force Installing PC Health Check In Windows 10

Microsoft has begun force installing the PC Health Check application on Windows 10 devices using a new KB5005463 update. BleepingComputer reports: PC Health Check is a new diagnostics tool created by Microsoft and released in conjunction with Windows 11 that provides various troubleshooting and maintenance features. However, its primary use has been to analyze a device's hardware to check if it's compatible with Windows 11. Microsoft says that users who do not want PC Health Check on their system can simply uninstall it using the Settings app. However, readers have told BleepingComputer that they have had to uninstall the application numerous times as the applications keep being reinstalled on the next check for updates. To make matters worse, when attempting to uninstall KB5005463, Windows 10 states that the update is not installed, when that is clearly untrue [...]. BleepingComputer has found a way to block the update from installing PC Health Check on your computer for those who do not want the application installed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 10:20pm GMT

FBI Raids Chinese Point-of-Sale Giant PAX Technology

An anonymous reader quotes a report from KrebsOnSecurity: U.S. federal investigators today raided the Florida offices of PAX Technology, a Chinese provider of point-of-sale devices used by millions of businesses and retailers globally. KrebsOnSecurity has learned the raid is tied to reports that PAX's systems may have been involved in cyberattacks on U.S. and E.U. organizations. Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, PAX Technology Inc. has more than 60 million point-of-sale terminals in use throughout 120 countries. Earlier today, Jacksonville, Fla. based WOKV.com reported that agents with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had raided a local PAX Technology warehouse. In an official statement, investigators told WOKV only that they were executing a court-authorized search at the warehouse as a part of a federal investigation, and that the inquiry included the Department of Customs and Border Protection and the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS). Several days ago, KrebsOnSecurity heard from a trusted source that the FBI began investigating PAX after a major U.S. payment processor started asking questions about unusual network packets originating from the company's payment terminals. According to that source, the payment processor found that the PAX terminals were being used both as a malware "dropper" -- a repository for malicious files -- and as "command-and-control" locations for staging attacks and collecting information. The source said two major financial providers -- one in the United States and one in the United Kingdom -- had already begun pulling PAX terminals from their payment infrastructure, a claim that was verified by two different sources. The source was unable to share specific details about the strange network activity that prompted the FBI's investigation. But it should be noted that point-of-sale terminals and the technology that supports them are perennial targets of cybercriminals.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 9:40pm GMT

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The 2022 Range Rover will come with both 'mild' and plug-in hybrid powertrains

Land Rover executives unveiled the latest iteration of the company's renowned flagship on Tuesday, showing off a strikingly well-appointed 5th generation SUV that's also surprisingly friendly to the environment, if not your budget.

The company's emphasis on modernism is on full display with the 2023 Range Rover's exterior. A gently sloping roofline contrasted against a rising sill line as well as other classic design details are joined by state-of-the-art amenities like retractable exterior door handles to help improve the vehicle's aerodynamic performance by nearly 12 percent compared to its previous iterations. The entire vehicle is built on Land Rover's new MLA-Flex architecture allowing for 11.6 inches of ground clearance and fording through more than 35 inches of water.

2023 Range Rover

Land Rover

An electronic air suspension, which debuted on the Range Rover back in 1992, will keep random road divots from detracting from the drive while the new Dynamic Response Pro system will electronically negate body roll during high speed cornering. Coolest of all, the 2023 Range Rover will offer 4-wheel steering, enabling the rear wheels to turn up to 7 degrees to help maintain stability while cornering as well as reducing the Range Rover's low-speed turning radius to rival that of a Honda Civic.

In terms of powertrains, the new Range Rover offers a slew of options. The base models will come with a 48V mild-hybrid 3.0L Turbocharged I6 - turning out 395 hp and 406 ft-lbs of torque - standard. Above that, a 523 hp (553 ft-lbs of torque) 4.4L Twin Turbo V8 is available as well. By the time the Range Rover hits US shores in 2023, Land Rover expects to offer it with an optional 434 hp plug-in hybrid engine capable of travelling up to 62 miles on electric power alone using its 38.2 kWh battery. And, come 2024, Land Rover has announced plans to offer its flagship with an all-electric drivetrain.

But the luxury shown off during Tuesday's livestream comes at a price. A very steep price. The entry level P400 SE starts at $104,000 ($110,000 if you opt for the 7 seater variant) and climes to a whopping $163,500 for the P530 First Edition with the long wheelbase. Preorders for the new Range Rover are already open and deliveries are expected to begin next spring.

26 Oct 2021 9:33pm GMT

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Photoshop Will Get a 'Prepare as NFT' Option Soon

Adobe is launching a system built into Photoshop that can, among other things, help prove that the person selling an NFT is the person who made it. It's called Content Credentials, and NFT sellers will be able to link the Adobe ID with their crypto wallet, allowing compatible NFT marketplaces to show a sort of verified certificate proving the art's source is authentic. From a report: According to a Decoder interview with Adobe's chief product officer Scott Belsky, this functionality will be built into Photoshop with a "prepare as NFT" option, launching in preview by the end of this month. Belsky says attribution data created by the Content Credentials will live on an IPFS system. IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) is a decentralized way to host files where a network of people are responsible for keeping data safe and available, rather than a single company (somewhat similar to how torrent systems work). Adobe says that NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, KnownOrigin, and SuperRare will be able to integrate with Content Credentials to show Adobe's attribution information.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 8:58pm GMT

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Snap, TikTok and YouTube need to do more to protect children, lawmakers say

The Senate Commerce Committee just wrapped up another three-hour hearing about social media's effect on children and teens. But the latest hearing was different from previous ones in an important way: it featured representatives from TikTok, Youtube and Snap.

Though the three apps are some of the most popular apps among teens and younger users, all three have gotten less attention from lawmakers than Facebook and even Twitter. It was the first time TikTok and Snap had appeared at such a hearing. All three companies tried to head off criticism by drawing distinctions between their platforms and Facebook, which has recently drawn comparisons to tobacco companies. And each company promised new features to ramp up parental controls and other child protections on their service.

YouTube VP Leslie Miller said the company was working on a new feature that would allow parents to "choose a locked default autoplay setting" in the YouTube Kids app, in addition to other new parental controls. She didn't provide further detail, but said it would launch "in the coming months."

Snap also said it was working on new features for parents, with Jennifer Stout, the company's VP of Global Public Policy, saying the features would be "rolling out very soon." She said the update would allow parents to view information about how their children are using Snapchat, such as who they spend the most time chatting with and what their privacy and location settings are.

TikTok said it would add additional controls to allow parents and children to better customize their feeds, but was light on specifics. "We're investing in new ways for our community to enjoy content based on age appropriateness or family comfort," said Michael Beckerman, the company's VP of Public Policy, "We're developing more features that empower people to shape and customize their experience in the app."

But the senators of the Commerce Committee seemed unimpressed by these promises. Throughout the hearing, they pushed the companies on issues like algorithmically-boosted content about eating disorders and self harm on YouTube and TikTok. Snap's Stout was pushed on what the company is doing to stop drug dealers on its platform.

Several Republican senators also pushed Beckerman on TikTok's ties to Chinese parent company ByteDance, and how it handles US user data. In one particularly memorable exchange, Senator Ted Cruz said Beckerman was dodging questions about TikTok's affiliation with a company called Beijing ByteDance Technology, which reportedly has links to the Chinese government. Beckerman also deflected questions about what data TikTok collects by saying Facebook and Instagram collect more data about users than TikTok does.

Though Facebook wasn't officially part of the hearing, disclosures from whistleblower Frances Haugen were referenced several times. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who at a previous hearing said Facebook and other companies were facing a "big tobacco moment," said that "tech is not irredeemably bad like big tobacco."

But he said that the companies need to do much more than prove they are "different" from Facebook. "I understand from your testimony that your defense is 'we're not Facebook,'" he said. "Being different from Facebook is not a defense. That bar is in the gutter. It's not a defense to say that you are different."

26 Oct 2021 8:48pm GMT

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Blizzard cancels 2022 BlizzCon amid harrassment scandal fallout

Feb. show nixxed in favor of "supporting our teams and progressing development."

26 Oct 2021 8:35pm GMT

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GM will install as many as 40,000 community EV charging stations

GM is close to launching a new wave of electric vehicles, and it's making sure the charging infrastructure is in place to keep those EVs on the road. The automaker has launched a community charging initiative that will install as many as 40,000 Level 2 charging stations across North America. The program will give dealers up to 10 chargers they can place at "key locations" in their neighborhoods, such as apartments, colleges and businesses. The units won't be limited to GM EV drivers.

These chargers will also be available to buy directly both through dealerships and online. GM ultimately plans three chargers, including a basic 11.5kW/48-amp model, a "premium" version of that charger (with touchscreen and camera) and a more powerful 19.2kW/80-amp model. The community effort starts in 2022 and is part of a larger $750 million investment through Ultium Charge 360.

Level 2 charging isn't very fast. This is more like a wall charger you'd buy for your home (where overnight charging is fine) than a speedy option like a Tesla Supercharger or Electrify America's fast stations. The distribution also isn't quite as good as it sounds. Dealers may want to install multiple stations in one location to minimize queuing.

This could still be welcome news. Many charging network expansions focus on high-powered chargers intended for long-distance trips. GM's community program caters more to daily driving, where you might just need top-ups. It could be particularly useful for some apartments, though. Residents in those buildings rarely have options to recharge at home, and this might make EVs practical without foisting expenses on building owners and tenants.

26 Oct 2021 8:12pm GMT

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150 People Arrested in International Darknet Opioid Probe

Some 150 people were arrested worldwide and more than $31.6 million in cash and virtual currencies were seized during a 10-month international investigation into opioid trafficking through darknet marketplaces, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday. From a report: The massive probe, called "Operation Dark HunTor," spanned three continents and led to the recovery of about 234 kilograms (over 500 pounds) of illegal drugs, including enough fentanyl to cause more than 4 million lethal doses, according to deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco. A darknet is encrypted online content that can only be accessed with specific browsers and is primarily used to purchase or sell illegal goods or services, especially illegal drugs. 65 people were arrested in the United States, one in Bulgaria, three in France, 47 in Germany, four in the Netherlands, 24 in the United Kingdom, four in Italy and two in Switzerland. Prosecutors allege the suspects were responsible for tens of thousands of illegal sales across the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 8:10pm GMT

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WhatsApp's iOS-to-Android history transfer tool rolls out to Pixel devices

After debuting on Samsung Galaxy devices at the start of September, WhatsApp's cross-platform chat history transfer feature is now rolling out to the wider Android ecosystem. Starting today, you can move your entire message history, including any voice memos, photos and videos, from an iPhone to an Android device.

However, unlike with Samsung phones, where the feature is available on devices running Android 10 and above, here it's limited to phones with Android 12. Effectively, that means it's only accessible to those with Pixel devices at the moment, but Google says it will also soon come to new smartphones that launch with its latest mobile OS. As before, the process also isn't as straightforward as other chat apps offer. You'll need a Lightning to USB-C cable to connect your two phones together. What's more, it involves a QR code you need to scan when first setting up your new Android phone.

26 Oct 2021 7:55pm GMT

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FCC kicks China Telecom Americas out of US, cites Chinese government control

China Telecom Americas ordered to stop providing service in US within 60 days.

26 Oct 2021 7:44pm GMT

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AT&T's Confusing 5G Plus Expansion Confirms T-Mobile Was Right All Along

AT&T's new 5G Plus expansion gives T-Mobile the perfect "I told you so" moment. From a report: AT&T currently offers two "flavors" of 5G: 5G Plus over the high-band mmWave spectrum and regular 5G, which is comparable to 4G LTE. Now, a blog post details that AT&T is bolstering 5G Plus with the mid-band C-band spectrum in 2022 -- a concept that T-Mobile has been preaching for years. Former T-Mobile CEO John Legere slammed AT&T for not having a mid-band spectrum in 2019, stating that 5G needs a low-band, mid-band, and high-band spectrum to work efficiently. This is because that high-band mmWave 5G offers the fastest speeds over shorter distances, making it best for highly concentrated areas. Conversely, low-band 5G provides the bare minimum for speed over wider areas. Offering 5G service with no in-between isn't ideal -- a mid-band range serves as the median between both spectrums.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 7:27pm GMT

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Adobe brings new Creative Cloud apps to M1 Macs and the web

Also, the iPad version of Photoshop is getting RAW image support.

26 Oct 2021 7:23pm GMT

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Blizzard cancels BlizzConline 2022 amid sexual harassment scandal

Blizzard won't host a BlizzConline event in early 2022 as it previously said it would. Back at the end of May, when it canceled BlizzCon 2021, the studio said its plan was to put on a global event at the start of 2022 that would feature both in-person and online components. Now that won't happen.

"Any BlizzCon event takes every single one of us to make happen, an entire-company effort, fueled by our desire to share what we create with the community we care about so much," the company said. "At this time, we feel the energy it would take to put on a show like this is best directed towards supporting our teams and progressing development of our games and experiences."

Without directly referencing the sexual harassment scandal that has rocked the studio in recent months, Blizzard notes it plans to take time to "reimagine" BlizzCon. "Whatever the event looks like in the future, we also need to ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible," it said.

It's no surprise Blizzard wants to rework the event. One of the most serious allegations made by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing involved BlizzCon. According to the agency, the annual show was the site of the infamous "Cosby Suite" where Blizzard employees, including former World of Warcraft creative director Alex Afrasiabi, allegedly sexually harassed women.

26 Oct 2021 7:20pm GMT

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Homebuilder hopes 3D printing will solve worker shortages, tests tech in 100 homes

Additive manufacturing could speed building process but still has a ways to go.

26 Oct 2021 6:50pm GMT

feedSlashdot

'Dune' Sequel Greenlit by Legendary and Warner Bros.

Denis Villeneuve will get the chance to create the second film of his planned two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert's "Dune," Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. said Tuesday. From a report: The news comes after Villeneuve's "Dune" tallied $41 million at the domestic box office during its debut over the weekend, a solid haul considering the film also launched on HBO Max Friday. Globally, the film hauled in $220 million. While Warner Bros. seemed keen to greenlight a second film for Villeneuve, Legendary owns the cinematic rights to the novel and had to be onboard in order to continue the story on the big screen. The second film is expected to follow Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) as he joins the Fremen and works to bring peace to the desert planet of Arrakis. "Dune: Part Two" will debut on Oct. 20, 2023.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 6:49pm GMT

feedEngadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

'Dune: Part Two' arrives October 20th, 2023

It didn't take long to greenlight a follow-up to Denis Villeneuve's Dune. Legendary Pictures has confirmed plans to release Dune: Part Two, saying it was "excited to the continue the journey." The studio expects the movie to premiere October 20th, 2023, and it's safe to presume Part Two will cover the back half of Frank Herbert's classic novel.

The move isn't shocking. Villeneuve clearly wanted to finish telling Paul Atreides' story, but the movie also fared better than expected. Deadlinenoted that Dune racked up $41 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend. That's not as strong as movies like Shang-Chi ($71.4 million) and a far cry from pre-pandemic openings, but it's the best opening for a Warner Bros. movie with simultaneous theatrical and HBO Max releases this year.

It's not yet clear how much the HBO Max launch helped (or hindered) Dune's theatrical premiere. However, Villeneuve won't have to worry about a simultaneous streaming release for Part Two. Warner Bros. is returning to theater-first openings starting in 2022. Like it or not, you'll have to brave the crowds and buy tickets if you insist on watching the follow-up as soon as possible.

This is only the beginning...

Thank you to those who have experienced @dunemovie so far, and those who are going in the days and weeks ahead. We're excited to continue the journey! pic.twitter.com/mZj68Hnm0A

- Legendary (@Legendary) October 26, 2021

26 Oct 2021 6:44pm GMT

FCC revokes China Telecom's ability to offer services in the US

The Federal Communications Commission has revoked the ability of China Telecom Americas to operate in the US. Citing national security concerns, the agency voted unanimously in favor of a proposal it had been considering since the end of 2020. With today's order, the company, a subsidiary of China's largest state-owned carrier, has 60 days to discontinue telecom services in the US.

Following a proceeding that involved input from the Justice Department, the FCC found that China Telecom is likely to comply with requests from the Chinese government, affording the country the opportunity to access, store, disrupt and misroute US communications. "Promoting national security is an integral part of the Commission's responsibility to advance the public interest, and today's action carries out that mission to safeguard the nation's telecommunications infrastructure from potential security threats," the FCC said.

Over the last year, the FCC has taken similar actions against other Chinese telecoms and equipment manufacturers. Most notably, it labeled both Huawei and ZTE as national security threats and ordered US carriers to replace any networking equipment from the two companies.

We've reached out to China Telecom Americas for comment.

26 Oct 2021 6:40pm GMT

feedArs Technica

More zombie-brand Motorola smartwatches are launching soon

Lenovo makes the phones, but a random brand-acquisition company makes the watches.

26 Oct 2021 6:26pm GMT

feedSlashdot

Astronomers Spot First Possible Exoplanet Outside Our Galaxy

A possible Saturn-sized planet identified in the distant Whirlpool Galaxy could be the first exoplanet to be detected outside the Milky Way. From a report: The exoplanet candidate appears to be orbiting an X-ray binary -- made up of a normal star and a collapsed star or black hole -- with its distance from this binary roughly equivalent to the distance of Uranus from the sun. The discovery opens up a new window to search for exoplanets -- planets orbiting stars beyond our Sun -- at greater distances than ever before. Although nearly 5,000 exoplanets have been detected so far, all of them are in the Milky Way galaxy -- with few further than about 3,000 light years from Earth. An exoplanet in the spiral Messier 51 (M51) galaxy -- also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive shape -- would be about 28m light years away. Dr Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian in Cambridge, US, who led the research, said: "Since the 1750s, it has been conjectured that the dim distant nebulas, now called galaxies, are island universes: large, gravitationally-bound stellar populations similar to our home, the Milky Way. Our discovery of the planet candidate ... gives us the first peek into external populations of planetary systems, extending the reach of planet searches to distances roughly 10,000 times more distant."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 6:05pm GMT

feedArs Technica

You only live once: Epidemiologists analyze health risks in all the James Bond films

Biggest risk might be to Bond's sexual partners: 27.1% of them died shortly after sex.

26 Oct 2021 5:43pm GMT

feedSlashdot

Tech's Message To the Hill: We're Not Facebook

TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat will appear before Congress Tuesday with a key priority: distinguishing their practices from Facebook's. From a report: Facebook is under attack, and its tech peers don't want to get caught in the crossfire as lawmakers mull legislation to rein in the company. At the hearing before the Senate Commerce consumer protection subcommittee, representatives from TikTok, YouTube and Snap will focus on ways their services differ from Facebook and Instagram and measures they've already put in place to protect children. TikTok's Michael Beckerman, vice president and head of public policy, will highlight proactive safety moves the company has made, including disabling direct messages for users under 16. Snap's Jennifer Stout, vice president of global public policy, will note that the company was designed to avoid some of the toxicity of social media platforms and uses human moderation for creator posts that will reach more than 25 users. YouTube's Leslie Miller, vice president of government affairs and public policy, will point out that the company already has designed different services and products for younger users, including YouTube Kids, Made for Kids and Supervised Experiences.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26 Oct 2021 5:32pm GMT

feedArs Technica

Report: Microsoft is working on a low-cost Surface Laptop and “Windows 11 SE”

Ultra-low-cost laptop would be designed to compete with Chromebooks in schools.

26 Oct 2021 5:17pm GMT

feedEngadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Valve reveals dates for Steam's Halloween, autumn and winter sales

Even though Valve usually keeps the dates of Steam sales close to the chest until almost the time they go live, the details usually end up leaking anyway. This time, though, Valve is getting ahead of the curve. It confirmed when the next three sales will take place.

As spotted by Eurogamer, the Steamworks Documentation page notes that the Steam Halloween sale is this weekend and it runs between October 28th and November 1st. The autumn sale will take place from November 24th-30th. As for the Steam winter sale, one of the platform's two biggest sales of the year alongside the summer edition, you'll be able to score discounts on a ton of games between December 22nd and January 5th.

It's not a bad idea to reveal the dates well in advance. Steam connoisseurs know the sales are coming anyway and the dates are less important than announcing which games will be included beforehand. If a player knows that a game they want to buy will likely get a hefty discount in a couple of months, they'll be less inclined to buy it now. In any case, Steam users now know when they'll be able to stockpile games for their Steam Deck.

26 Oct 2021 5:16pm GMT

feedArs Technica

New Yubico security keys let you log in with a tap to your USB-C port

Yubico's Security C NFC brings a USB-C security key at a lower price.

26 Oct 2021 5:01pm GMT

feedEngadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 695 brings faster 5G to low-cost phones

Now that 5G phones are more affordable, Qualcomm wants to make those low-cost devices more desirable. The company has introduced three new systems-on-chip that all promise improved performance for budget 5G hardware. The star is easily the Snapdragon 695. This 6nm-based sequel to the 690 adds much faster millimeter wave 5G (important for carriers like AT&T and Verizon) while delivering up to 30 percent faster graphics and 15 percent speedier CPU tasks. Your next mid-range phone might be that much better-suited to gaming and giant downloads.

The Snapdragon 480 Plus and 778G Plus, meanwhile, are iterations of the 480 and 778G that deliver minor gains to CPU and GPU performance through increased clock speeds. Think of them as tune-ups for entry-level and upper-mid-range phones, respectively - you won't have to make do with a chip several months old.

There's also a lone LTE chip, the Snapdragon 680, that shares the 695's 6nm process without the added costs of 5G. It's aimed at markets where 5G service is either limited or too expensive.

All four parts are due to reach shipping products before the end of 2021. Honor, Motorola, Nokia (that is, HMD Global), Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi all expect to use one or more of the new Snapdragons in their phones.

There's a pragmatism at work. The 6nm parts (including the 778G Plus) help Qualcomm continue to serve a large chunk of the smartphone market despite limited supplies of 5nm parts like the 780G. It doesn't have to rely on truly old process lStill, it's notable that the chip maker is launching so many speed-bumped chips in the first place - the company is clearly determined to fend off heavyweights like MediaTek that thrive on budget and mid-range hardware.

26 Oct 2021 5:01pm GMT

Yubico's latest security offers USB-C and NFC authentication for $29

After introducing the $80 YubiKey Bio and $85 YubiKey C Bio at the start of the month, Yubico's latest physical security is for those who want a no-frills option. At $29 or €29, the Security Key C NFC comes with almost everything you could want from a security key at a decent price. As the name suggests, it's a USB-C key with NFC support built-in. Out of the box, it works with FIDO-compatible websites and services. That includes major platforms like Google, Twitter and Facebook. Yubico also claims it's the most durable security key on the market. What you won't find here is support for legacy authentication platforms, but for most consumers that shouldn't matter too much.

If you're not familiar with physical security keys, they're one of the most effective ways to protect your privacy and security when used to add two-factor authentication to your online accounts. In 2018, Google reduced successful phishing attacks on its 85,000 employees to zero thanks to a policy that mandated their use. The Security Key C NFC is available to buy today from Yubico's website. The company also offers a USB-A version that costs $25.

26 Oct 2021 4:40pm GMT

feedArs Technica

Biden finally makes FCC picks: Rosenworcel as chair, Gigi Sohn as commissioner

Senate can give FCC a 3-2 Democratic majority after Biden's baffling 9-month wait.

26 Oct 2021 4:22pm GMT

feedEngadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Arturia's MicroFreak gets a custom wavetable synth mode

One of my favorite budget synths just keeps gettingbetter. After adding three new amazing oscillators earlier this year, Arturia is bringing custom wavetables to the MicroFreak as a free firmware update.

The MicroFreak already had a wavetable engine built in, so this isn't a huge stretch. But being able to import your own wavetables opens up a the ability to really build your own unique sounds. There are countless sources fo free wavetables out there ranging from classic analog tones, to icy atmospheres, to blasts of noise. But you can basically use any sound file you want. Hum into your phone, or capture audio of the stray cats in your neighborhood fighting, then upload it to the MicroFreak and turn it into a synthesizer.

Adding custom wavetables is easy enough using Arturia's MIDI Control Center desktop app. There's a dedicated tab for them at the top of the interface once you connect your Microfreak. You can only have 16 custom tables at a time, and the format can be a little tricky to nail if you're concerned about perfectly smooth sounding waves - 32 cycles consisting of 256 samples per cycle. But, if you just embrace its quirks, the WaveUser engine is capable of strange, wild and abrasive sounds that speak to the MicroFreak's strengths.

To show off the new WaveUser engine, of course there are 64 new presets. But, let's be honest, factory presets with Arturia provided wavetables kinda defeats the whole purpose here.

The new 4.0 firmware has a few other minor improvements as well. Including a faster scrolling speed option for the oscillator controls and the ability to use Unison and Chord modes can now be applied to every note, wether they're being played live, coming from sequencer or an external source.

MicroFreak 4.0 is available as a free update now on Arturia's website and through MIDI Control Centre.

26 Oct 2021 4:21pm GMT

'A Quiet Place' is being adapted into a video game

No one in their right mind would actually want to live in the world of A Quiet Place, where denizens walk around barefoot and move as silently as possible to avoid incurring the wrath of highly noise-sensitive aliens. But, if you'd like to find out how well you might cope in that universe, you can test your nerves in the franchise's first video game, which is scheduled to arrive next year.

Publisher Saber Interactive has announced that a single-player, story-driven horror adventure is in development by iLLOGIKA and EP1T0ME. The iLLOGIKA team includes developers who have worked on the Rainbow Six and Far Cry franchises, and the studio helped with the development of games including Hyper Scape and Cuphead.

There aren't many other details about A Quiet Place just yet, such as the platforms on which it will be available. However, it will have an original story and "gameplay that captures the compelling suspense, emotion and drama for which the series is famous," according to a press release. Saber plans to reveal more information about the game by the end of the year.

26 Oct 2021 4:12pm GMT

feedArs Technica

Samsung adds Windows 11, 5G, and more OLED to Galaxy Book laptop lineup

Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro 2-in-1 will start at about $300 extra for 5G.

26 Oct 2021 3:54pm GMT

feedEngadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

White House picks Jessica Rosenworcel as first female FCC chair

The FCC might soon have its first permanent woman leader. President Biden has nominated current acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to a permanent position, making her the first female to lead the commission if confirmed. The nomination isn't be a surprising move given her existing title, broad support and alignment with White House policies on issues like net neutrality, but it still represents a milestone for the agency.

Biden has also nominated Gigi Sohn for an unoccupied commissioner position. She was counselor to former FCC chair Tom Wheeler and has been an outspoken advocate of "open, affordable and democratic" communications, according to the White House.

Whether or not Rosenworcel clears the necessary hurdles is another matter. The Senate must confirm Rosenworcel to make her appointment official, and she could face staunch opposition from Republicans who are both historically anti-regulation and eager to reclaim FCC control. The party could retake the majority in the commission if Rosenworcel and the empty commissioner position aren't confirmed by the end of 2021.

If Rosenworcel does pass the Senate, though, she would contrast sharply with the last permanent FCC chair, Ajit Pai. While much of Rosenworcel's work as acting chairwoman has focused on easy-to-pass rules on issues like robocalls, she has been a strong proponent of net neutrality and other efforts to keep big telecoms in check. That's largely the opposite of Pai, who dismantled neutrality and generally sided with incumbent telcos. Don't be surprised if Rosenworcel used a permanent appointment to undo more of Pai's work, at least so long as she has the votes.

26 Oct 2021 3:49pm GMT

feedArs Technica

This camera system is better than lidar for depth perception

Clarity can perceive depth from 0.01-1,000 m at megapixel resolution.

26 Oct 2021 3:17pm GMT

Critical tests for NASA’s large rocket remain as launch day edges closer

"We're absolutely committed to taking it a step at a time."

26 Oct 2021 1:11pm GMT

10 Nov 2011

feedLifehacker

Today’s Lifehacker Workout: The Deck of Cards [Video]

Click here to read Today’s Lifehacker Workout: The Deck of Cards

It's Wednesday, which means another Deck of Cards workout, the fun yet challenging segment of our group exercise program, The Lifehacker Workout. More »


10 Nov 2011 1:15am GMT

iPad Home Screens, Remote Troubleshooting, and Gmail Tasks [From The Tips Box]

Click here to read iPad Home Screens, Remote Troubleshooting, and Gmail Tasks

Readers offer their best tips for previewing your iPad home screen from another app, troubleshooting your friends and family's computers from far away, and accessing Google Tasks in the new Gmail layout. More »


10 Nov 2011 1:00am GMT

Facebook Brings Back the Old "Most Recent" News Feed Option (But It's Kind of Hidden) [Updates]

Click here to read Facebook Brings Back the Old "Most Recent" News Feed Option (But It's Kind of Hidden)

Facebook recently changed its layout, no longer allowing you to choose between "top stories" and "most recent" stories. Due to user outcry, however, they announced today that they'll be changing it back, though you might not notice it at first. Here's how it works. More »


10 Nov 2011 12:30am GMT

Remains of the Day: The Kindle Fire Will Launch with These Available Apps [For What It's Worth]

Click here to read Remains of the Day: The Kindle Fire Will Launch with These Available Apps

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet gets a full slate of dedicated apps for its launch next week, Adobe officially pulls the plug on mobile flash development, and Google continues to add the +1 button to its services. More »


10 Nov 2011 12:00am GMT

09 Nov 2011

feedLifehacker

Stop Lion from Re-Opening Old Windows with Command+Option+Q [Shortcut Of The Day]

Click here to read Stop Lion from Re-Opening Old Windows with Command+Option+Q

Lion's resume feature can be pretty handy, but other times it opens a bunch of old windows when you least expect it. If you're tired of apps opening up all the windows you had open last time, you can stop the app from remembering those windows next time with Command+Option+Q. More »


09 Nov 2011 11:30pm GMT

Fix Gmail's Newest Annoyances with These Userstyles and Userscripts [Gmail]

Click here to read Fix Gmail's Newest Annoyances with These Userstyles and Userscripts

Now that Gmail's rolled out its new look and you've learned your way around the changes, it's time to fix the little quirks and annoyances that remain. Here are a few of our favorite userstyles and userscripts for making the best of the Gmail redesign. More »


09 Nov 2011 11:00pm GMT

Daily App Deals: Get Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking v11.5 for Only $19.99 in Today's App Deals [Deals]

Click here to read Daily App Deals: Get Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking v11.5 for Only $19.99 in Today's App Deals

The Daily App Deals post is a round-up of the best app discounts of the day, as well as some notable mentions for ones that are on sale. More »


09 Nov 2011 10:30pm GMT

A Scientific Approach to Swatting Flies [Do It Right]

Click here to read A Scientific Approach to Swatting Flies

Flies are already annoying, but if you spend too much time chasing after them to no avail, they're that much more annoying. Fortunately, Wired Magazine found that the answer to your aggravation lies in our good old friend science. More »


09 Nov 2011 10:00pm GMT

What’s Hogging ‘Other’ On My iPhone? [Ask Lifehacker]

Click here to read What’s Hogging ‘Other’ On My iPhone?

Dear Lifehacker,
Can you tell me why in iTunes, under my iPhone summary, there is 1.1GB used by 'other'? I can understand app, music, photos but don't know what the 'other' option is and why it is using my precious 1.1GB of space. Can I do anything about that? I have only 16GB so I want to use it for something useful! More »


09 Nov 2011 9:30pm GMT

Namerick Makes Sure You Remember the Name of That Person You Just Met [Video]

Click here to read Namerick Makes Sure You Remember the Name of That Person You Just Met

iOS: Need a little help cementing your new acquaintance's name in your brain so you won't need to embarrass yourself next time you meet? iPhone application Namerick uses tried-and-true techniques to help you remember the name of a person you've just met, creating memory mnemonics, sending you followup reminders, and more. More »


09 Nov 2011 9:00pm GMT

The Pros and Cons of a Tethered Jailbreak on Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch [Video]

Click here to read The Pros and Cons of a Tethered Jailbreak on Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

iOS 5 has been available for download and install for almost a month, but if you want to jailbreak, your only option is a tethered jailbreak. A full, untethered jailbreak is likely still a ways away. If you want to jailbreak now, however, tethered is your only option. Here's a look at what's really involved with a tethered jailbreak and whether it's worth it for you. More »


09 Nov 2011 8:30pm GMT

Work at a Different Speed Mix [Video]

Click here to read Work at a Different Speed Mix

Instead of featuring one artist today, we're going to feature eight in this Work at a Different Speed Mix. The 99% says: More »


09 Nov 2011 8:00pm GMT

Ask and Answer Questions About Cleaning House [Help Yourself]

Click here to read Ask and Answer Questions About Cleaning House

Every day we're on the lookout for ways to make your work easier and your life better, but Lifehacker readers are smart, insightful folks with all kinds of expertise to share, and we want to give everyone regular access to that exceptional hive mind. Help Yourself is a daily thread where readers can ask and answer questions about tech, productivity, life hacks, and whatever else you need help with. More »


09 Nov 2011 7:30pm GMT

Give Your Desktop a Snack with These Tasty Wallpapers [Wallpaper Wednesday]

Click here to read Give Your Desktop a Snack with These Tasty Wallpapers

Food can be beautiful, simple, and make for some great wallpapers. Today we're offering several options for your desktop to snack on, whether you like to stay healthy or...not. Enjoy some fruit, pancakes, french fries, and beer in to today's Wallpaper Wednesday pack. More »


09 Nov 2011 7:00pm GMT

The Best Text Messaging Replacement for iPhone [Iphone App Directory]

Click here to read The Best Text Messaging Replacement for iPhone

Text messaging is pretty expensive, but fortunately there are a number of great alternatives for your iPhone that will provide the service for free. Of all the options, our favorite is Google Voice thanks to its cross-platform and web syncing plus full control over how you get your messages and who can send them. More »


09 Nov 2011 6:30pm GMT

How Can I Use My Smartphone Without a Data Plan? [Ask Lifehacker]

Click here to read How Can I Use My Smartphone Without a Data Plan?

Dear Lifehacker,
I love having a smartphone, and Wi-Fi's nearly everywhere these days, so I'd rather not pay $30 a month for data. Sadly, most of the cellphone carriers require that I purchase a data plan. Is there any way I can get out of it? More »


09 Nov 2011 6:00pm GMT

01 Jan 2009

feedLinux.com :: Features

A new year, a new Linux.com

Many of you have commented that our NewsVac section hasn't been refreshed since the middle of last month. Others have noticed that our story volume has dropped off. Changes are coming to Linux.com, and until they arrive, you won't see any new stories on the site.

01 Jan 2009 2:00pm GMT

31 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Android-powered G1 phone is an enticing platform for app developers

The free and open source software community has been waiting for the G1 cell phone since it was first announced in July. Source code for Google's Android mobile platform has been available, but the G1 marks its commercial debut. It's clearly a good device, but is it what Linux boosters and FOSS advocates have long been anticipating?

31 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

30 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Municipalities open their GIS systems to citizens

Many public administrations already use open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to let citizens look at public geographic data trough dedicated Web sites. Others use the same software to partially open the data gathering process: they let citizens directly add geographic information to the official, high-quality GIS databases by drawing or clicking on digital maps.

30 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

29 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Interclue and the pitfalls of going proprietary

The Interclue extension is supposed to give you a preview of links in Firefox before you visit them, saving you mouse-clicks and, with a little luck, allowing you to move quickly between multiple links on the same page. Unfortunately, the determination to monetize the add-on and keep its source code closed results in elaborations that make the basic idea less effective, and its constant pleas for donations make Interclue into nagware. As much as the usefulness of the basic utility, Interclue serves as an object lesson of the difficulties that the decision to go proprietary can take.

29 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

26 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Patterns and string processing in shell scripts

Shell programming is heavily dependent on string processing. The term string is used generically to refer to any sequence of characters; typical examples of strings might be a line of input or a single argument to a command. Users enter responses to prompts, file names are generated, and commands produce output. Recurring throughout this is the need to determine whether a given string conforms to a given pattern; this process is called pattern matching. The shell has a fair amount of built-in pattern matching functionality.

26 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

25 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Best wishes to you

Many religions have some sort of holiday during this season, where we look back at the joyful moments of the year that's coming to a close, and look ahead with anticipation and hope to the year to come. We hope your year is filled with all you wish for.

25 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

24 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Displaying maps with OpenLayers

Google Maps gives you a quick and easy way to add maps to your Web site, but when you're using Google's API, your ability to display other data is limited. If you have your own data you want to display, or data from sources other than Google, OpenLayers, an open source JavaScript library, can give you more options.

24 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

23 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Revised Slackware keeps it simple

At a time when new and buggy features cloud basic computer functions, it's refreshing to see a new release of a distro like Slackware that stays true to its core philosophy. Slackware has an unfair reputation of being a distro only for experienced users. Granted it doesn't sport many graphical configuration tools, but it balances that with stability and speed.

23 Dec 2008 7:00pm GMT

FLOSS Manuals sprints to build quality free documentation

Documentation is one area in which free/libre/open source software (FLOSS) is weakest. A project called FLOSS Manuals is trying to remedy this situation. The idea behind project is to create quality, free documentation for free software.

23 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

22 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Nix fixes dependency hell on all Linux distributions

A next-generation package manager called Nix provides a simple distribution-independent method for deploying a binary or source package on different flavours of Linux, including Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE, Fedora, and Red Hat. Even better, Nix does not interfere with existing package managers. Unlike existing package managers, Nix allows different versions of software to live side by side, and permits sane rollbacks of software upgrades. Nix is a useful system administration tool for heterogeneous environments and developers who write software supported on different libraries, compilers, or interpreters.

22 Dec 2008 7:00pm GMT

Three plugins for better online social networking

Managing buddies on a few online social networks isn't too much of a hassle, but throw in your contact list from instant messaging platforms and online apps and services like Flickr, Digg, and Twitter, and you have a contact list that'd rival that of Kevin Bacon. Managing so many people can be a headache, but here are three browser plugins that can help you manage your online presence more efficiently.

22 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

19 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

The annoyances of proprietary Firefox extensions

As a regular browser of the Firefox Add-ons site, I'm troubled by the apparent proliferation of proprietary extensions in the last year. Maybe I've simply exhausted the free-licensed extensions that interest me, but recently every interesting-looking extension seems to be a proprietary one -- especially in the recommended list. Nothing, of course, in the Mozilla privacy or legal notice prohibits proprietary extensions simply because they are proprietary, but I find them not only contrary to the spirit of free and open source software (FOSS), but, often, annoying attempts to entangle me in some impossible startup.

19 Dec 2008 7:00pm GMT

Open source programming languages for kids

The past couple of years have seen an explosion of open source programming languages and utilities that are geared toward children. Many of these efforts are based around the idea that, since the days of BASIC, programming environments have become far too complex for untrained minds to wrap themselves around. Some toolkits aim to create entirely new ways of envisioning and creating projects that appeal to younger minds, such as games and animations, while others aim to recreate the "basic"-ness of BASIC in a modern language and environment.

19 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

18 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

openSUSE 11.1 makes Christmas come early

It's that time of the year again. No, not Christmas -- it's the time of the year we get the latest versions of our favorite Linux distributions. Version 11.1 of openSUSE is being released today. Designated as a point release, there are enough new goodies to warrant a new install or upgrade.

18 Dec 2008 7:00pm GMT

Three ways to create Web-accessible calendars on your intranet

Let's take a look at three projects that are aimed at showing calendar information through a Web interface: WebCalendar, VCalendar, and CaLogic. These projects run on a LAMP server and provide a Web interface to calendar events.

18 Dec 2008 2:00pm GMT

17 Dec 2008

feedLinux.com :: Features

Barracuda offers a new -- and free -- alternative to Spamhaus

For many years Spamhaus has been top dog in the anti-spam world of DNSBL (Domain Name System Block List; also known as Realtime Blackhole Lists or RBLs). But Spamhaus is no longer a 100% free service. Even small nonprofits are now expected to pay at least $250 per year for a subscription to the Spamhaus DNSBL Datafeed Service. Now a new, free alternative to Spamhaus has arrived: the Barracuda Reputation Block List (BRBL), provided by well-known, open source-based Barracuda Networks. And Barracuda CEO Dean Drako says the company has no plans to charge for the service in the future. He says that BRBL (pronounced "barbell") "does cost us a little bit of money to run, but we think that the goodwill, the reputation and the understanding that Barracuda is providing the service will do us well in the long run."

17 Dec 2008 7:00pm GMT