19 Sep 2018

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PlayStation Classic jumps on the retro trend December 3rd for $100

With "Classic" game systems occasionally outselling modern ones, Sony is bringing back its own old school system. The PlayStation Classic will launch in December, loaded with 20 "generation-defining" games for $100 (€99.99 RRP). It's 45 percent...

19 Sep 2018 6:09am GMT

Google gives its Slack rival the ability to snooze notifications

You can now stop Hangouts Chat notifications from breaking your concentration when you're in the zone... or taking a short nap after a stressful task. Google has updated its Slack rival with the ability to block notifications for a set amount of time...

19 Sep 2018 5:38am GMT

Capcom closes Vancouver studio behind ‘Dead Rising’

Video game publisher Capcom is shutting down its Vancouver studio and around 158 employees will be let go. The company told Variety that operations were suspended Tuesday and a skeleton crew would remain on board until January in order to finalize th...

19 Sep 2018 3:51am GMT


Facebook Wanted Banks To Fork Over Customer Data Passing Through Messenger

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: For years, Facebook has publicly positioned its Messenger application as a way to connect with friends and as a way to help customers interact directly with businesses. But a new report from The Wall Street Journal today indicates that Facebook also saw its Messenger platform as a siphon for the sensitive financial data of its users, information it would not otherwise have access to unless a customer interacted with, say, a banking institution over chat. In this case, the WSJ report says not only did the banks find Facebook's methods obtrusive, but the companies also pushed back against the social network and, in some cases, moved conversations off Messenger to avoid handing Facebook any sensitive data. Among the financial firms Facebook is said to have argued with about customer data are American Express, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. The report says Facebook was interested in helping banks create bots for its Messenger platform, as part of a big push in 2016 to turn the chat app into an automated hub of digital life that could help you solve problems and avoid cumbersome customer service calls. But some of these bots, like the one American Express developed for Messenger last year, deliberately avoided sending transaction information over the platform after Facebook made clear it wanted to use customer spending habits as part of its ad targeting business. In some cases, companies like PayPal and Western Union negotiated special contracts that would let them offer many detailed and useful services like money transfers, the WSJ reports. But by and large, big banks in the U.S. have reportedly shied away from working with Facebook due to how aggressively it pushed for access to customer data. Facebook said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal: "Like many online companies, we partner with financial institutions to improve people's commerce experiences, like enabling better customer service, and people opt into these experiences. We've emphasized to partners that keeping people's information safe and secure is critical to these efforts. That has been and always will be our priority."

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19 Sep 2018 3:30am GMT

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MCU heroes could get their own shows on Disney's streaming service

We still don't have an official name for the streaming service Disney is working on to compete with Netflix, but a new rumor from Variety suggests there will be plenty of Marvel content on it. According to the report, Disney has similar plans for the...

19 Sep 2018 2:53am GMT


Wharton Professor Says America Should Shorten the Work Day By 2 Hours

Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist, New York Times best-selling author, and The Wharton School's top professor, says Americans should work two hours less. Instead of the typical 9-to-5, people "should finish at 3pm," says Grant in a recent LinkedIn post. "We can be as productive and creative in 6 focused hours as in 8 unfocused hours." CNBC reports: In the LinkedIn post, Grant was weighing in on an Atlantic article about the time gap between when school and work days end, a bane for many parents. But it's not the first time Grant has given his stamp of approval to less work with more productivity. "Productivity is less about time management and more about attention management," Grant tweeted in July, highlighting an article about a successful four-day work week study. For the study, a New Zealand company adopted a four-day work week (at five-day pay) with positive results; the company saw benefits ranging from lower stress levels in employees to increased performance. In a recent blog post, billionaire Richard Branson also touted the success of a three-day or four-day work week. "It's easier to attract top talent when you are open and flexible," Branson said in the post. "It's not effective or productive to force them to behave in a conventional way." "Many people out there would love three-day or even four-day weekends," said Branson. "Everyone would welcome more time to spend with their loved ones, more time to get fit and healthy, more time to explore the world."

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19 Sep 2018 2:10am GMT

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AI can identify objects based on verbal descriptions

Modern speech recognition is clunky and often requires massive amounts of annotations and transcriptions to help understand what you're referencing. There might, however, be a more natural way: teaching the algorithms to recognize things much like yo...

19 Sep 2018 1:34am GMT


Linux On Windows 10: Running Ubuntu VMs Just Got a Lot Easier, Says Microsoft

Liam Tung reporting for ZDNet: Ubuntu maintainer Canonical and Microsoft have teamed up to release an optimized Ubuntu Desktop image that's available through Microsoft's Hyper-V gallery. The Ubuntu Desktop image should deliver a better experience when running it as a guest on a Windows 10 Pro host, according to Canonical. The optimized version is Ubuntu Desktop 18.04.1 LTS release, also known as Bionic Beaver. Microsoft's work with Canonical was prompted by its users who wanted a "first-class experience" on Linux virtual machines (VMs) as well as Windows VMs. To achieve this goal, Microsoft worked with the developers of XRDP, an open-source remote-desktop protocol (RDP) for Linux based on Microsoft's RDP for Windows. Thanks to that work, XRDP now supports Microsoft's Enhanced Session Mode, which allows Hyper-V to use the open-source implementation of RDP to connect to Linux VMs. This in turn gives Ubuntu VMs on Windows hosts a better mouse experience, an integrated clipboard, windows resizing, and shared folders for easier file transfers between host and guest. Microsoft's Hyper-V Quick Create VM setup wizard should also help improve the experience. "With the Hyper-V Quick Create feature added in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, we have partnered with Ubuntu and added a virtual machine image so in a few quick minutes, you'll be up and developing," said Clint Rutkas, a senior technical product manager on Microsoft's Windows Developer Team. "This is available now -- just type 'Hyper-V Quick Create' in your start menu."

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19 Sep 2018 1:30am GMT

Chrome OS Revamp Delivers a New Look and Linux App Support

Google has released a Chrome OS 69 update that introduces a range of new features. From a report: Most notably, there's now support for running Linux apps. You'll need a supported machine (a handful of machines from Acer, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Google itself). Still, this could be more than a little helpful if you want to run a conventional desktop app or command line terminal without switching to another PC or a virtual environment. The new software also adds the long-in-the-making Night Light mode to ease your eyes at the end of the day. Voice dictation is now available in any text field, and there's a fresh Files interface that can access Play files and Team Drives.

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19 Sep 2018 12:50am GMT

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Amazon helps others make accessories for Echo speakers

There aren't many Echo-oriented accessories beyond Amazon's own Echo Button, but that's about to change very shortly. Amazon has released a beta Alexa Gadgets Toolkit that lets hardware brands make Echo-focused Bluetooth accessories that respond to...

19 Sep 2018 12:24am GMT


EU Drops Court Case After Apple Repays More Than $16 Billion In Taxes and Interest To Ireland

"Ireland's government has fully recovered more than [$16 billion] in disputed taxes and interest from Apple, which it will hold in an escrow fund pending its appeal against a European Union tax ruling," reports The Guardian. From the report: The European commission ruled in August 2016 that Apple had received unfair tax incentives from the Irish government. Both Apple and Dublin are appealing against the original ruling, saying the iPhone maker's tax treatment was in line with Irish and EU law. Ireland's finance ministry, which began collecting the back taxes in a series of payments in May, estimated last year the total amount could have reached -- [$17.5 billion] including EU interest. In the end the amount was [$15.2 billion] in back taxes plus [$1.4 billion] interest. For its part, the commission said it would scrap its lawsuit against Ireland, which it initiated last year because of delays in recovering the money. "In light of the full payment by Apple of the illegal state aid it had received from Ireland, commissioner (Margrethe) Vestager will be proposing to the college of commissioners the withdrawal of this court action," the commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said. Ireland's finance ministry said its appeal had been granted priority status and is progressing through the various stages of private written proceedings before the general court of the European Union (GCEU), Europe's second highest court. The matter will likely take several years to be settled by the European courts, it added.

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19 Sep 2018 12:10am GMT

18 Sep 2018

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Netflix picks up hit BBC drama ‘Bodyguard’

Netflix has purchased the streaming rights to Bodyguard -- a six-part BBC One series that has been raking in viewers in the UK. The show had a strong premiere, drawing in 10.4 million viewers, which is the highest launch figure for any new drama on a...

18 Sep 2018 11:32pm GMT


People Tend To Cluster Into Four Distinct Personality 'Types,' Says Study

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A new study has sifted through some of the largest online data sets of personality quizzes and identified four distinct "types" therein. The new methodology used for this study -- described in detail in a new paper in Nature Human Behavior -- is rigorous and replicable, which could help move personality typing analysis out of the dubious self-help section in your local bookstore and into serious scientific journals. What's new here is the identification of four dominant clusters in the overall distribution of traits. [Paper co-author William Revelle (Northwestern University)] prefers to think of them as "lumps in the batter" and suggests that a good analogy would be how people tend to concentrate in cities in the United States. The Northwestern researchers used publicly available data from online quizzes taken by 1.5 million people around the world. That data was then plotted in accordance with the so-called Big Five basic personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The Big Five is currently the professional standard for social psychologists who study personality. (Here's a good summary of what each of those traits means to psychologists.) They then applied their algorithms to the resulting dataset. Here are the four distinct personality clusters that the researchers ended up with: Average: These people score high in neuroticism and extraversion, but score low in openness. It is the most typical category, with women being more likely than men to fit into it. Reserved: This type of person is stable emotionally without being especially open or neurotic. They tend to score lower on extraversion but tend to be somewhat agreeable and conscientious. Role Models: These people score high in every trait except neuroticism, and the likelihood that someone fits into this category increases dramatically as they age. "These are people who are dependable and open to new ideas," says Amaral. "These are good people to be in charge of things." Women are more likely than men to be role models. Self-Centered: These people score very high in extraversion, but score low in openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Most teenage boys would fall into this category, according to Revelle, before (hopefully) maturing out of it. The number of people who fall into this category decreases dramatically with age.

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18 Sep 2018 11:30pm GMT

Google's Android OS To Power Dashboard Displays

schwit1 shares a report from The Wall Street Journal: Google is making a major push into the auto industry, partnering with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to use the tech company's Android OS to power media displays (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) that will eventually be sold in millions of cars world-wide. The auto-making alliance, which together sells more vehicles than any other auto maker, is picking Google to provide the operating system for its next-generation infotainment system, marking a major victory for the Silicon Valley tech giant, which has spent more than a decade trying to replicate the success it has had with the smartphone in the car. The alliance, which last year sold a combined 10.6 million vehicles globally, will debut the new system in 2021, giving drivers better integration of Google's maps, app store and voice-activated assistant from the vehicle's dashboard, the companies said. The move comes as other auto makers have been reluctant to cede control of this space to tech rivals, in part because they see the technology as generating valuable consumer data that can be turned into new revenue streams. Slashdot reader schwit1 adds: "But can I get it unlocked and can it be turned off, like this traveling telescreen?

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18 Sep 2018 10:50pm GMT

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Bikini Kill's riot grrl punk is available to stream for the first time

Prince, The Beatles and other well-known artists gave into the siren's call of streaming music years ago, but not Bikini Kill -- you still had to get the iconic riot grrl group's music the old-fashioned way. Until now, that is. The feminist punk gr...

18 Sep 2018 10:34pm GMT


iPhone XS, XS Max Are World's Fastest Phones (Again)

According to "several real-world tests and synthetic benchmarks," the new iPhone XS and XS Max, equipped with the world's first 7-nanometer A12 Bionic processor, are the world's fastest smartphones, reports Tom's Guide. They even significantly outperform Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chip. From the report: Geekbench 4 is a benchmark that measures overall performance, and no other phone comes close to Apple's new handsets on this test. The iPhone Xs notched 11,420, and the iPhone Xs Max hit 11,515. The older iPhone X scored 10,357, so that's about an 11 percent improvement. There's a lot more distance between the new iPhones and Android flagships. The fastest Android phone around, the OnePlus 6, scored 9,088 on Geekbench 4 with its 8GB of RAM, while the Galaxy Note 9 reached 8,876. To test real-world performance, we use the Adobe Premiere Clips app to transcode a 2-minute 4K video to 1080p. The iPhone X was miles ahead last year with a time of just 42 seconds. This time around, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max knocked it down further to 39 seconds. The Galaxy S9+ took 2 minutes and 32 seconds to complete the task, and that's the fastest we've seen from an Android phone. The OnePlus 6 finished in 3:45, and the LG G7 ThinQ took 3:16. One good way to measure real-world performance is to see how long it takes for a phone to load demanding apps. Because the phones have the same processor for this round, we just used the iPhone Xs Max and put it up against the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 9. The iPhone XS Max was faster every time, including a 15-second victory in Fortnite over the Note 9 and 3-second win in Asphalt 9. The phones were closer in Pokemon Go but the iPhone XS Max still came out on top. The new iPhones did lag behind the competition in the 3DMark Slingshot Extreme test, which measures graphics performance by evaluating everything from rendering to volumetric lighting. The iPhone XS Max and iPhone X received scores of 4,244 and 4,339, respectively, while the OnePlus 6 received a score of 5,124. As for the GFXBench 5 test, the iPhone XS Max achieved 1,604.7 frames on the Aztec Ruins portion of the test, and 1,744.44 frames in the Car Chase test," reports Tom's Guide. "The Note 9 was far behind at 851.7 and 1,103 frames, respectively. However, the Galaxy S9+ edged past the iPhone XS Max on this test."

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18 Sep 2018 10:10pm GMT

Tesla Is Facing US Criminal Probe Over Elon Musk Statements

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Tesla is under investigation by the Justice Department over public statements made by the company and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. The criminal probe is running alongside a previously reported civil inquiry by securities regulators. Federal prosecutors opened a fraud investigation after Musk tweeted last month that he was contemplating taking Tesla private and had "funding secured" for the deal. The tweet initially sent the company's shares higher. Tesla confirmed it has been contacted by the Justice Department. The investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in the Northern District of California follows a subpoena issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking information from the electric-car maker about Musk's plans to go private, which he has since abandoned. Tesla said in a statement following Bloomberg's report: "Last month, following Elon's announcement that he was considering taking the company private, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the DOJ and has been cooperative in responding to it. We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process. We respect the DOJ's desire to get information about this and believe that the matter should be quickly resolved as they review the information they have received."

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18 Sep 2018 9:30pm GMT

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Who is Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX's first lunar tourist?

Elon Musk shocked the world on Monday when he revealed the identity of SpaceX's first lunar orbit tourist to be Mr. Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire who made his fortune in online fashion retail.

18 Sep 2018 9:22pm GMT

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Russian surveillance plane got shot down by Syria—and Russia blames Israel

Did Israel fail to warn Russia in time, or are Syria's aging air defenses to blame?

18 Sep 2018 9:21pm GMT

You think your neighbors can drive energy conservation

Beliefs about neighbors' environmental attitudes might trump your own.

18 Sep 2018 8:57pm GMT

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Sony's reborn Aibo robot is available for pre-order in the US

Sony's relentlessly adorable Aibo robot is finally ready to return to American shores. After months of waiting, you can pre-order a First Litter Edition of the robo-pup in the US ahead of an expected mid-December ship date. You'll be spending a sta...

18 Sep 2018 8:55pm GMT


Cyber Sleuths Find Traces of Infamous iPhone and Android Spyware 'Pegasus' in 45 Countries

Security researchers have found evidence that a piece of malware peddled as "lawful intercept" software to government agencies has been deployed against victims located in 45 countries, a number that far outweighs the number of known operators, meaning that some of them are conducting illegal cross-border surveillance. The findings come from a report published by Citizen Lab, a digital rights watchdog at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. ZDNet: The malware, known as Pegasus (or Trident), was created by Israeli cyber-security firm NSO Group and has been around for at least three years -- when it was first detailed in a report over the summer of 2016. The malware can operate on both Android and iOS devices, albeit it's been mostly spotted in campaigns targeting iPhone users primarily. On infected devices, Pegasus is a powerful spyware that can do many things, such as record conversations, steal private messages, exfiltrate photos, and much much more. Citizen Lab's researchers explained how they were able to arrive at the conclusion. They said they identified 1,091 IP addresses that matched their fingerprint for NSO's spyware. Then, they clustered the IP addresses into 36 separate operators with traces in 45 countries where these government agencies "may be conducting surveillance operations" between August 2016 and August 2018. Motherboard adds: Some of the countries where the researchers spotted Pegasus in democratic countries, such as the United States, France, and the UK, but there's also countries with questionable human rights records such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Mexico, Turkey, and Yemen. There's a caveat though. In some cases, the researchers aren't sure if the traces they found indicate an infection -- thus a target that may have been hacked from a foreign country -- or an operator. [...] "I can only hope that our research is causing these companies to think twice about sales where there is the potential for spyware abuse, causing potential customers to think twice about being associated with a company dealing with repressive governments, and causing potential investors to think twice about the inherently risky business of selling spyware to dictators." The report includes a corroboration of sorts from security firm Lookout, which noted that it had detected "three digits" Pegasus infections around the world.

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18 Sep 2018 8:50pm GMT

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Don't be afraid to upgrade your old iPhone to iOS 12

Apple was still selling 2015's iPhone 6s until last week. Then it announced three new phones and made the iPhone 7 its entry-level mobile device. There are likely tens of millions of iPhone 6s devices out there still, but last year's buggy iOS 11 upd...

18 Sep 2018 8:40pm GMT

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Apple repays €14B in “illegal aid” to Ireland, so EU drops court case

"Always Ireland's intention to comply with our legal obligations in this regard."

18 Sep 2018 8:34pm GMT

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NASA's planet-hunting TESS spacecraft captures 'first light' image

Back in May, one of the cameras on NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) snapped a two-second test exposure to make sure that it works. It was but a taste of what we can expect from Kepler's successor, though, and now we finally know wh...

18 Sep 2018 8:22pm GMT

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Running Ubuntu VMs on Windows just got a whole lot more streamlined

Desktop image is configured to offer particularly tight Windows integration.

18 Sep 2018 8:20pm GMT


Google is Giving up Some Control of the AMP Format

Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, has been a controversial project since its debut. Critics say AMP is a Google-specific project and it is creating a walled-garden, which would only serve Google's best interests. On its part, Google has insisted that AMP's mission is to benefit the open web, and that many who contribute to AMP are non-Googlers. On Tuesday, Google announced that it would be giving up some control of how the code behind AMP is managed. A report adds: It plans to move the AMP Project to a "new governance model," which is to say that decisions about the code will be made by a committee that includes non-Googlers. Until now, final decisions about AMP's code have been made by Malte Ubl, the tech lead for the AMP Project at Google. A model with a single person in charge is not actually all that rare in open source. That person is often cheekily referred to as the BDFL, or "benevolent dictator for life." Ubl's been that person for AMP, but, he writes, "we've found that it doesn't scale to the size of the AMP Project today. Instead, we want to move to a model that explicitly gives a voice to all constituents of the community, including those who cannot contribute code themselves, such as end-users." [...] Google has already signed up non-Google people for the Advisory Committee, which will include representatives from The Washington Post, AliExpress, eBay, Cloudflare, and Automattic (which makes WordPress). Ubl says that it will also include "advocates for an open web," including "Leonie Watson of The Paciello Group, Nicole Sullivan of Google / Chrome, and Terence Eden." Of course, as anybody who's taken part in a committee knows, it's neither a fun solution nor a guarantee that a single company or person won't dominate it. But it's a step in the right direction, and Google is encouraging people to comment on the plan at the AMP Contributor Summit on September 25th.

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18 Sep 2018 8:10pm GMT

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The coolest tech in Audi’s new e-tron electric SUV is banned in the US

The high-end electric SUV market just got a new option.

18 Sep 2018 8:08pm GMT

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Google Maps works with Apple CarPlay following iOS 12 update

We've known since WWDC in June that iOS 12 would herald the arrival of Google Maps on CarPlay. Apple released the latest version of the iPhone and iPad software Monday, and after Google updated its app to support CarPlay, you can now use that navigat...

18 Sep 2018 8:05pm GMT

Chrome OS revamp delivers a new look and Linux app support

Now that the Chrome browser has received a makeover, it's Chrome OS' turn... and it's about more than just feature parity. Google has released a Chrome OS 69 update that introduces the updated Material Design visuals alongside a few features that co...

18 Sep 2018 7:37pm GMT


Rice University Says Middle-Class And Low-Income Students Won't Have To Pay Tuition

Rice University is "dramatically expanding" its financial aid offerings, promising full scholarships to undergrads whose families have income under $130,000. NPR reports: The school says it wants to reduce student debt -- and make it easier for students from low-income families to attend. "Talent deserves opportunity," Rice President David Leebron said while announcing the plan on Tuesday. The full scholarships are earmarked for students whose families have income between $65,000 and $130,000. Below that level, the university will not only cover tuition but also provide grants to cover students' room and board, along with any other fees. Another part of the program will help students whose family income surpasses the maximum: If their family's income is between $130,000 and $200,000, they can still get grants covering at least half of their tuition.

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18 Sep 2018 7:30pm GMT

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iPhone XS and XS Max, Day 1: A clear step forward

Last year was a big one for Apple — with the launch of the iPhone X, the company redefined what it meant to be iPhone. This year, Apple's job wasn't any easier. It had to figure out what worked, what didn't, and put that knowledge to use bu...

18 Sep 2018 7:14pm GMT

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Video: A quick explainer on the promise—and risks—of TrueDepth in the iPhone XS

An app developer and an Ars editor cover the basics of Apple's 3D camera.

18 Sep 2018 7:11pm GMT

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Google's own smart display is reportedly the $149 Home Hub

On October 9th, Google will reveal its latest hardware lineup. Rumors have spread for some time that the company is preparing to unveil a smart display at the event, and a leak unearthed by MySmartPrice corroborates the existence of the device, indic...

18 Sep 2018 7:04pm GMT

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Dealmaster: Take $40 off a 32GB Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet

If you have Prime. Plus deals on Samsung SSDs, Xbox One controllers, and more.

18 Sep 2018 6:58pm GMT


Emmys: Broadcast TV Airs Its Own Funeral As Netflix, HBO, Amazon and FX Dominate

At the 70th Emmy Awards, broadcast TV was almost shut out as Netflix and HBO battled each other. The Hollywood Reporter: This year, longtime Emmy nominations leader HBO was out-nominated by Netflix. Netflix then won the most Emmys on the main telecast, with seven noms to HBO's six. But earlier, HBO won one more award than Netflix at the Creative Arts Awards ceremonies, 17 to 16. So by the time the curtain came down on the 70th Emmy Awards, technically -- and sort of poetically -- Netflix and HBO had fought to a draw. Almost all of the major content providers left with several wins to celebrate. [...] All in all, it was a terrible night for broadcast networks -- even as NBC aired the show and two stars of the network, Saturday Night Live's Michael Che and Colin Jost, hosted. SNL won the variety sketch award for the second year in a row, and ABC's The Oscars won for best direction of a variety show (that award's winner, Glenn Weiss, stole the night with his on-stage marriage proposal), but other than that, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and PBS had nothing -- nothing -- to show for their work of the past year. The times have certainly changed.

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18 Sep 2018 6:52pm GMT

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Pictures leak of the “Google Home Hub,” Google’s version of a smart display

Google launched Smart Display software earlier this year; hardware is next.

18 Sep 2018 6:47pm GMT


A $1, Linux-Capable, Hand-Solderable Processor

An anonymous reader shares a report: Over on the EEVblog, someone noticed an interesting chip that's been apparently flying under our radar for a while. This is an ARM processor capable of running Linux. It's hand-solderable in a TQFP package, has a built-in Mali GPU, support for a touch panel, and has support for 512MB of DDR3. If you do it right, this will get you into the territory of a BeagleBone or a Raspberry Pi Zero, on a board that's whatever form factor you can imagine. Here's the best part: you can get this part for $1 USD in large-ish quantities. A cursory glance at the usual online retailers tells me you can get this part in quantity one for under $3. This is interesting, to say the least. The chip in question, the Allwinner A13, is a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor. While it's not much, it is a chip that can run Linux in a hand-solderable package. There is no HDMI support, you'll need to add some more chips (that are probably in a BGA package), but, hey, it's only a dollar. If you'd like to prototype with this chip, the best options right now are a few boards from Olimex, and a System on Module from the same company. That SoM is an interesting bit of kit, allowing anyone to connect a power supply, load an SD card, and get this chip doing something. Currently, there aren't really any good solutions for a cheap Linux system you can build at home, with hand-solderable chips.

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18 Sep 2018 6:12pm GMT

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Judge: FCC can’t hide records that may explain net neutrality comment fraud

Journalist seeks identities of bulk comment submitters, gets partial court win.

18 Sep 2018 5:49pm GMT


'It's Always DRM's Fault'

A social media post from Anders G da Silva, who accused Apple of deleting movies he had purchased from iTunes, went viral earlier this month. There is more to that story, of course. In a statement to CNET, Apple explained that da Silva had purchased movies while living in Australia, with his iTunes region set to "Australia." Then he moved to Canada, and found that the movies were no longer available for download -- due, no doubt, to licensing restrictions, including restrictions on Apple itself. While his local copies of the movies were not deleted, they were deleted from his cloud library. Apple said the company had shared a workaround with da Silva to make it easier for him to download his movies again. Public Knowledge posted a story Tuesday to weigh in on the subject, especially since today is International Day Against DRM. From the post: To that rare breed of person who carefully reads terms of service and keeps multiple, meticulous backups of important files, da Silva should have expected that his ability to access movies he thought he'd purchased might be cut off because he'd moved from one Commonwealth country to another. Just keep playing your original file! But DRM makes this an unreasonable demand. First, files with DRM are subject to break at any time. DRM systems are frequently updated, and often rely on phoning home to some server to verify that they can still be played. Some technological or business change may have turned the most carefully backed-up and preserved digital file into just a blob of unreadable encrypted bits. Second, even if they are still playable, files with DRM are not very portable, and they might not fit in with modern workflows. To stay with the Apple and iTunes example, the old-fashioned way to watch a movie purchased from the iTunes Store would be to download it in the iTunes desktop app, and then watch it there, sync it to a portable device, or keep iTunes running as a "server" in your home where it can be streamed to devices such as the Apple TV. But this is just not how things are done anymore. To watch an iTunes movie on an Apple TV, you stream or download it from Apple's servers. To watch an iTunes movie on an iPhone, same thing. (And because this is the closed-off ecosystem of DRM'd iTunes movies, if you want to watch your movie on a Roku or an Android phone, you're just out of luck.) [...] My takeaway is that, if a seller of DRM'd digital media uses words like "purchase" and "buy," they have at a minimum an obligation to continue to provide additional downloads of that media, in perpetuity. Fine print aside, without that, people simply aren't getting what they think they're getting for their money, and words like "rent" and "borrow" are more appropriate. Of course, there is good reason to think that even then people are not likely to fully understand that "buying" something in the digital world is not the same as buying something in the physical world, and more ambitious measures may be required to ensure that people can still own personal property in the digital marketplace. See the excellent work of Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz on this point. But the bare minimum of "owning" a movie would seem to be the continued ability to actually watch it.

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18 Sep 2018 5:35pm GMT

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Report: Tesla facing criminal probe over “funding secured” tweet

Musk tweeted he had "funding secured" for a buyout-but the proposal fell apart.

18 Sep 2018 4:58pm GMT

Game streaming’s latency problems will be over in a few years, CEO says

Zelnick also says "closed system walls are coming down" for cross-platform play.

18 Sep 2018 3:55pm GMT

Construction to begin on 36 megawatt Moroccan wind farm for Bitcoin mining

While Soluna.io waits for transmission lines, it's hoping to cash in on stranded energy.

18 Sep 2018 3:47pm GMT

The trailer for Captain Marvel is finally here, and it’s spectacular

Will Captain Marvel come to save the day after the devastating events of Infinity War?

18 Sep 2018 3:28pm GMT

Review: HP’s Chromebook x2 could convince me to go all-in on Chrome OS

Fans of the Pixelbook will want to check out this $599 detachable alternative.

18 Sep 2018 2:55pm GMT

Introducing Classic View, a new way for subscribers to browse Ars

Our newest subscriber-only feature is a throwback way of reading Ars.

18 Sep 2018 2:15pm GMT

Amazon said to release eight new Alexa devices before year’s end

An Alexa "in-car gadget" could be one of many revealed at an event later this month.

18 Sep 2018 2:05pm GMT

10 Nov 2011


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


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