23 May 2019


Senators Propose Bill Requiring Warrants To Search Devices at the Border

An anonymous reader shares a report: If you're taking a trip in to or out of the US, border agents currently have free rein to search through your digital devices. Unlike police, agents don't need a warrant to look through your phones, laptops and other electronics. Two US senators are hoping to change that with a bipartisan bill. Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, on Wednesday introduced the Protecting Data at the Border Act, which would require agents to obtain a warrant before they can search Americans' devices at the border. The number of electronic searches at the border has spiked in the last four years. In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security conducted more than 33,000 searches on devices, compared with 4,764 searches in 2015. Customs and Border Protection declined to comment. "The border is quickly becoming a rights-free zone for Americans who travel. The government shouldn't be able to review your whole digital life simply because you went on vacation, or had to travel for work," Wyden said in a statement.

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23 May 2019 2:50pm GMT

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Las Vegas tourism board approves $48.6 million deal with The Boring Company

One dissenting vote from the board based on the company's lack of experience.

23 May 2019 2:48pm GMT

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Senators propose legislation to protect your phone at the border

For years, US border agents have been demanding access to digital devices as people pass into and out of the country. The practice has raised red flags and lawsuits, and the number of searches has spiked under the Trump Administration. Last month, th...

23 May 2019 2:47pm GMT

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Linda Hamilton is back and buff as ever in Terminator: Dark Fate trailer

New film touted as a sequel to the original Terminator and T2: Judgement Day

23 May 2019 2:42pm GMT

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Clean freaks: Share your thoughts about the iRobot Roomba i7+

People have been arguing about the utility of robot vacuums for as long as there have been robot vacuums. Some feel they're just expensive gadgets with extensive limitations, while others see them as important steps toward a real-life Rosey from The...

23 May 2019 2:36pm GMT

Amazon is reportedly working on an emotion-detecting wearable

Amazon is reportedly working on a wrist-worn gadget that's able to detect your emotional state. The device would pair with a smartphone and use microphones to perceive your emotions from your voice, Bloomberg reported. The device would eventually be...

23 May 2019 2:16pm GMT


Veteran Software Developer Panic Unveils Playdate Handheld Game Player

Veteran software developer firm Panic, which has made its name through high-end Mac software as well as titles such as Firewatch, is expanding its work in games and moving in a very unexpected direction. This week, Panic unveiled Playdate, a tiny, yellow Game Boy-like device with a black-and-white screen, a few chunky buttons, and... a hand crank for controlling quirky games. From a report: Playdate is adorable and exciting and fun and technically impressive. They're making their own hardware (in conjunction with Swedish device makers Teenage Engineering). They wrote their own OS (there's no Linux). It has a high resolution 400 x 240 black and white display with no backlighting. It has a crank. It's going to cost only $149 -- $149! -- and that includes a "season" of 12 games from an amazing roster of beloved video game creators, delivered every Monday for 12 weeks. The idea of a new upstart, a company the size of Panic -- with only software experience at that -- jumping into the hardware game with a brand new platform harkens back to the '80s and '90s. But even back then, a company like, say, General Magic or Palm, was VC-backed and aspired to be a titan. To be the next Atari or Commodore or Apple. In today's world all the new computing devices and platforms come from huge companies. Apple of course. All the well-known Android handset makers building off an OS provided by Google. Sony. Nintendo. Panic is almost cheating in a way because they're tiny. The Playdate platform isn't competing with the state of the art. It's not a retro platform, per se, but while it has an obviously nostalgic charm it is competing only on its own terms. Its only goal is to be fun. And aspects of Playdate are utterly modern: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, apps and software updates delivered over-the-air. They're taking advantage of an aspect of today's world that is brand new -- the Asian supply chain, the cheapness of Asian manufacturing, the cheapness of CPU and GPU cycles that allows things like Raspberry Pi to cost just $35.

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23 May 2019 2:11pm GMT

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The Bitcoin Ponzi scam that won't go away

This article was produced in partnership with Point, a YouTube channel for investigative journalism. In an industry rife with scams, one cryptocurrency trading startup -- USI Tech -- was paying real dividends on its customers' investments. At lea...

23 May 2019 2:00pm GMT

NYC will accept Google Pay on some subway and bus routes

If you have Google Pay, you might be able to tap your phone for subway or bus payments in NYC in the near future. The tech giant has teamed up with The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to conduct a pilot test for Google Pay covering select...

23 May 2019 1:22pm GMT

A warranty fraudster tricked Apple into replacing 1,500 fake iPhones

Apparently, some counterfeit iPhones are good enough to fool Apple itself -- especially if they can't be switched on. Quan Jiang, a Chinese national living in Oregon, allegedly took advantage of that by running an elaborate warranty scam that ultimat...

23 May 2019 1:01pm GMT


China Surveillance Tycoons Lose Billions From Threat of US Sanctions

schwit1 shares a report from Bloomberg: The billionaires behind Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. and Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. have watched their combined fortunes sink by more than $8 billion since March 2018 as shares of both companies sank on speculation of potential U.S. sanctions. The losses deepened on Wednesday after reports that Donald Trumps administration is considering blacklisting the surveillance giants, in part because of their alleged role in human rights violations. Hikvision Vice Chairman Gong Hongjia, whose fortune peaked at $13 billion in November 2017, is now worth about $6 billion after the stock fell as much as 10% on Wednesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Dahua Chairman Fu Liquans net worth has dropped to $1.9 billion from $4.3 billion in March 2018. Hopefully the same happens to U.S. surveillance tycoons.

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23 May 2019 1:00pm GMT

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Apple pledges to notify users of potential iPhone slowdowns

Apple became more upfront with iPhone users after it was compelled to admit that it deliberately slowed down iPhones in older devices to balance out performance and battery life. Now, the tech giant has promised UK watchdog Competition and Markets Au...

23 May 2019 12:29pm GMT

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Staffsource: Ars staffers share their favorite books to get lost in this summer

We guarantee some of our favorite tomes will end up on your summer TBR.

23 May 2019 11:46am GMT

Guidemaster: Ars tests and picks the best e-readers for every budget

They may all look similar, but these e-readers have big differences between them.

23 May 2019 11:45am GMT

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LG brings Alexa to its 2019 ThinQ TVs

At CES, LG announced that its 2019 ThinQ AI TVs would support Amazon Alexa, and now the voice assistant has arrived in 14 countries. On top of Google's Assistant, you'll be able to use it on any of the ThinQ AI 4K models including NanoCell and OLED m...

23 May 2019 11:45am GMT

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Why a Windows flaw patched nine days ago is still spooking the Internet

Researchers warn dangerous BlueKeep vulnerability is almost sure to be exploited.

23 May 2019 11:25am GMT

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The Morning After: The black-and-white portable console of the future

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. The new game system everyone is talking about can't do 4K, 8K or even 1K, but we're still excited about Panic's surprise Playdate portable console. On the other hand, it's time to say goodbye to Ouya and Consume...

23 May 2019 10:30am GMT

The Boring Company gets the go-ahead to build Las Vegas transport tunnel

Elon Musk's Boring Company has officially landed its first commercial contract: A $48.7 million project to build an underground transportation system around the Las Vegas Convention Center. The initiative has been dubbed the Campus Wide People Mover...

23 May 2019 10:15am GMT


Significantly Large New Emissions From Banned CFCs Traced To China, Say Scientists

Solandri writes: In 2014, scientists began detecting plumes of CFC-11 in the atmosphere. The compound had been banned in the 1987 Montreal Protocol after it was discovered that it was contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer that protects life on Earth from ultraviolet radiation. Unfortunately, the releases were detected using global monitoring equipment, so the origin could not be determined. Using data from measuring stations in Korea and Japan, and computer modeling of atmospheric patterns, researchers have now pinned down the source of the emissions to eastern China. They also determined that the emissions were too large to be releases from foam which had been produced before the ban (CFCs were a common aerosol and foaming agent). And that the amounts most likely indicate new illegal production. The paper is published in the latest issue of Nature. dryriver shares an excerpt from the BBC: CFC-11 was primarily used for home insulation but global production was due to be phased out in 2010 [to allow the Ozone layer to heal]. CFC-11 was the second most abundant CFCs and was initially seen to be declining as expected. However in 2018 a team of researchers monitoring the atmosphere found that the rate of decline had slowed by about 50% after 2012. That team reasoned that they were seeing new production of the gas, coming from East Asia. The authors of that paper argued that if the sources of new production weren't shut down, it could delay the healing of the ozone layer by a decade. Further detective work in China by the Environmental Investigation Agency in 2018 seemed to indicate that the country was indeed the source. They found that the illegal chemical was used in the majority of the polyurethane insulation produced by firms they contacted. One seller of CFC-11 estimated that 70% of China's domestic sales used the illegal gas. The reason was quite simple -- CFC-11 is better quality and much cheaper than the alternatives. This new paper seems to confirm beyond any reasonable doubt that some 40-60% of the increase in emissions is coming from provinces in north eastern China. The authors also say that these CFCs are also very potent greenhouse gases. One ton of CFC-11 is equivalent to around 5,000 tons of CO2. "If we look at these extra emissions that we've identified from eastern China, it equates to about 35 million tons of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere every year, that's equivalent to about 10% of UK emissions, or similar to the whole of London."

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23 May 2019 10:00am GMT

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AMC Stubs A-List is now the top movie ticket plan in the US

AMC's movie ticket subscription service has now hit the 800,000 subscriber mark, the company announced this week. AMC Stubs A-List, which just launched last June, has secured its spot as the number one movie subscription service in North America at a...

23 May 2019 8:45am GMT

DJI drones will detect and warn of airplanes and helicopters

DJI has announced that all its consumer drones over 250 grams will use "AirSense" tech to help operators see and avoid airplanes and helicopters. They'll be equipped with so-called ADS-B sensors already installed in many aircraft and air traffic cont...

23 May 2019 7:29am GMT


How 'The Big Bang Theory' Normalized Nerd Culture

Last week, the last episode of the final season of "The Big Bang Theory" was broadcasted on CBS. Say what you will about the show, but one thing is clear: it was popular. While the average episode in Season 11 received over 18.6 million views, the season finale ended its run with an audience of 23.44 million viewers. The New Yorker's Neima Jahromi reflects on the show and how it "normalized nerd culture": On Thursday night, "The Big Bang Theory" closed out its run with an audience of eighteen million viewers. Despite all the cast changes, Sheldon remained emphatically misanthropic, self-centered, and alienated. In the end, the reason he became a kind of dweeby Fonz has to do with the structural tendencies of the oft-dismissed multi-camera sitcom. Such shows extract empathy in real time. With a live audience, silence is not an option: if a joke or a scene doesn't land, if real people aren't feeling it, then the writers storm the soundstage and change it. Alienated characters, who are the least likely to garner empathy, require extra attention from writers, and therefore often gravitate toward the center of a show. As a result, viewers come halfway, too. It's unlikely that a curmudgeonly Archie Bunker on "All in the Family" or an uptight Alex P. Keaton on "Family Ties" will remain detestable for long, even if their creators did set them up to be antagonists. Eventually, audiences saw that Sheldon was as befuddled by the world as they were uncomprehending of his intellectual pursuits. They also learned that he hated change as much as they did. In this way, an outmoded form of television cushioned the anxiety of the brave new tech culture for a generation. How do you feel about the ending of The Big Bang Theory?

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23 May 2019 7:00am GMT

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Fujifilm launches the groundbreaking 102-megapixel mirrorless GFX100

While there are four full-frame mirrorless cameras battling it out for supremacy, Fujifilm is content to stick with APS-C and medium-format. Now, it has announced that its impressive flagship medium-format camera, the 102-megapixel GFX100, will soon...

23 May 2019 6:00am GMT

Acer's Nitro 5 and Swift 3 laptops pack the latest AMD Ryzen processors

Acer isn't just sticking to Intel for chips in its latest laptops. The company has rolled out versions of its Nitro 5 gaming laptop and Swift 3 thin-and-light that pack second-generation Ryzen Mobile processors. The 15.6-inch Nitro 5 (above) carries...

23 May 2019 4:00am GMT

'Fortnite' player Tfue presses his esports team to #ReleaseTheContract

Just a couple of days after pro Fortnite player Turner "Tfue" Tenney filed a lawsuit against his esports team FaZe Clan, the gamer himself is speaking out in a new video. As we explained yesterday, Tenney's lawsuit seeks to sever ties with FaZe Clan,...

23 May 2019 3:40am GMT


New Paper Confirms Near-Room-Temperature Superconductivity In Wild, Hydrogen-Rich Material

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: A team of physicists has published peer-reviewed results documenting near-room-temperature superconductivity in the hydrogen-rich compound lanthanum hydride. The team, led by physicist Mikhail Eremets from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, kicked off the most recent race for a high-temperature superconducting hydride in 2015, when they published a paper announcing the discovery of superconductivity at -70 Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit). In this most recent paper, the researchers placed a piece of lanthanum into an insulating ring, then placed it into a box full of pressurized hydrogen gas. They clamped the gasket between a pair of diamonds, and continued squeezing the diamonds until they hit the desired pressures, nearly 2 million times the pressure on the surface of Earth. Then, they hit the sample with a laser to form the lanthanum hydride. Finally, they take measurements to confirm they really created the material and that it's really a superconductor. The researchers detail two measurements in the paper: In one, they measure the resistance drop to zero at the -23 Celsius or -9.67 Fahrenheit temperature. In another, they notice that this temperature decreases in the presence of a magnetic field -- a clue that they were actually measuring the sample rather than something being wrong with their experimental setup.

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23 May 2019 3:30am GMT

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Focals smart glasses put Google Fit data on your face

North's Focals smart glasses can put important data in your eyeline from the gym to the board room. The glasses can sync with Google Fit and Google Slides as a part of recent software updates announced by the company.

23 May 2019 3:01am GMT


Huawei Executive Accused of Helping Steal Trade Secrets

CNEX Labs, a Silicon Valley startup backed by Microsoft and Dell, is accusing high-level Huawei executive Eric Xu of participating in a conspiracy to steal its trade secrets (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source), reports The Wall Street Journal. From a report: The Journal quotes a newly released hearing transcript that offers some details in a largely locked-down trial. According to its write-up, CNEX claims that Xu -- one of Huawei's rotating chairmen -- "directed a Huawei engineer to analyze Cnex's technical information." The engineer then allegedly posed as a potential CNEX customer to obtain details about its operations. CNEX also says that Xu was briefed on a plot to surreptitiously gather information from Xiamen University, which had obtained a computer memory board from CNEX. According to the Journal, Huawei lawyers admitted that Xu had been "in the chain of command that had requested" information about CNEX, but they denied that any trade secrets had been stolen. Huawei originally filed a lawsuit against CNEX co-founder Yiren "Ronnie" Huang in 2017, claiming Huang -- who left Huawei in 2013 -- had poached employees and used its patents to build CNEX's solid-state drive technology. CNEX counter-sued, claiming that Huawei had misappropriated its tech and was trying to gather even more information through the lawsuit.

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23 May 2019 1:50am GMT

Apple Agrees To Notify iPhone Users If iOS Updates Will Affect Performance, UK Watchdog Says

A UK watchdog group said on Wednesday that Apple has agreed to clearly notify consumers if future iOS software updates slow down or change the performance of an iPhone. CNBC reports: The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority investigated the issue after Apple said in early 2018 that it had deliberately slowed down processor speeds through a software update on some iPhones to extend battery life. Public pressure stemming from the revelation forced Apple to provide discounted $29 battery replacements that were cited by the company as one reason iPhone sales last holiday quarter were slower than expected. That program has ended. "To ensure compliance with consumer law Apple has formally agreed to improve the information it provides to people about the battery health of their phones and the impact performance management software may have on their phones," the U.K. government said on its website. The CMA said that Apple is legally required to tell consumers about the software and battery health, something the company was already doing through software on the iPhone as well as a letter on its website.

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23 May 2019 1:10am GMT

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Serial publisher of Windows 0-days drops exploits for 2 more unfixed flaws

SandboxEscaper has published 7 such exploits to date, 3 in the past 24 hours.

23 May 2019 12:41am GMT


Phones Can Now Tell Who Is Carrying Them From Their Users' Gaits

PolygamousRanchKid shares an excerpt from a report via The Economist: Most online fraud involves identity theft, which is why businesses that operate on the web have a keen interest in distinguishing impersonators from genuine customers. Passwords help. But many can be guessed or are jotted down imprudently. Newer phones, tablets, and laptop and desktop computers often have beefed-up security with fingerprint and facial recognition. But these can be spoofed. To overcome these shortcomings the next level of security is likely to identify people using things which are harder to copy, such as the way they walk. Many online security services already use a system called device fingerprinting. This employs software to note things like the model type of a gadget employed by a particular user; its hardware configuration; its operating system; the apps which have been downloaded onto it; and other features, including sometimes the Wi-Fi networks it regularly connects through and devices like headsets it plugs into. LexisNexis Risk Solutions, an American analytics firm, has catalogued more than 4 billion phones, tablets and other computers in this way for banks and other clients. Roughly 7% of them have been used for shenanigans of some sort. But device fingerprinting is becoming less useful. Apple, Google and other makers of equipment and operating systems have been steadily restricting the range of attributes that can be observed remotely. That is why a new approach, behavioral biometrics, is gaining ground. It relies on the wealth of measurements made by today's devices. These include data from accelerometers and gyroscopic sensors, that reveal how people hold their phones when using them, how they carry them and even the way they walk. Touchscreens, keyboards and mice can be monitored to show the distinctive ways in which someone's fingers and hands move. Sensors can detect whether a phone has been set down on a hard surface such as a table or dropped lightly on a soft one such as a bed. If the hour is appropriate, this action could be used to assume when a user has retired for the night. These traits can then be used to determine whether someone attempting to make a transaction is likely to be the device's habitual user. If used wisely, the report says behavioral biometrics could be used to authenticate account-holders without badgering them for additional passwords or security questions; it could even be used for unlocking the doors of a vehicle once the gait of the driver, as measured by his phone, is recognized, for example. "Used unwisely, however, the system could become yet another electronic spy, permitting complete strangers to monitor your actions, from the moment you reach for your phone in the morning, to when you fling it on the floor at night," the report adds.

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23 May 2019 12:30am GMT

22 May 2019


Consumer Reports: Latest Autopilot 'Far Less Competent Than a Human'

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In recent weeks, Tesla has been pushing out a new version of Autopilot with automatic lane-change capabilities to Model 3s -- including one owned by Consumer Reports. So the group dispatched several drivers to highways around the group's car-testing center in Connecticut to test the feature. The results weren't good. The "latest version of Tesla's automatic lane-changing feature is far less competent than a human driver," Consumer Reports declares. CR found that the Model 3's rear cameras didn't seem able to see very far behind the vehicle. Autopilot has forward-facing radar to help detect vehicles ahead of the car and measure their speed, but it lacks rear-facing radar that would give the car advance warning of vehicles approaching quickly from the rear. The result: CR found that the Model 3 tended to cut off cars that were approaching rapidly from behind. The vehicle also violated some Connecticut driving laws, the testers found. "Several CR testers observed Navigate on Autopilot initiate a pass on the right on a two-lane divided highway," writes CR's Keith Barry. "We checked with a law enforcement official who confirmed this is considered an 'improper pass' in Connecticut and could result in a ticket." The vehicle also failed to move back over to the right lane after completing a pass as required by state law, CR reports. Ultimately, driving with Autopilot's automatic lane-changing feature is "much harder than just changing lanes yourself," writes CR's Jake Fisher said. "Using the system is like monitoring a kid behind the wheel for the very first time. As any parent knows, it's far more convenient and less stressful to simply drive yourself."

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22 May 2019 11:50pm GMT

Millions of Golfers Land In Privacy Hazard After Cloud Misconfig

Millions of golfer records from the Game Golf app, including GPS details from courses played, usernames and passwords, and even Facebook login data, were all exposed for anyone with an internet browser to see -- a veritable hole-in-one for a cyberattacker looking to build profiles for potential victims, to be used in follow-on social-engineering attacks. Threatpost reports: Security Discovery researcher Bob Diachenko recently ran across an Elastic database that was not password-protected and thus visible in any browser. Further inspection showed that it belongs to Game Golf, which is a family of apps developed by San Francisco-based Game Your Game Inc. Game Golf comes as a free app, as a paid pro version with coaching tools and also bundled with a wearable. It's a straightforward analyzer for those that like to hit the links -- tracking courses played, GPS data for specific shots, various player stats and so on -- plus there's a messaging and community function, and an optional "caddy" feature. It's popular, too: It has 50,000+ installs on Google Play. Unfortunately, Game Golf landed its users in a sand trap of privacy concerns by not securing the database: Security Discovery senior security researcher Jeremiah Fowler said that the bucket included all of the aforementioned analyzer information, plus profile data like usernames and hashed passwords, emails, gender, and Facebook IDs and authorization tokens. In all, the exposure consisted of millions of records, including details on "134 million rounds of golf, 4.9 million user notifications and 19.2 million records in a folder called 'activity feed,'" Fowler said. The database also contained network information for the company: IP addresses, ports, pathways and storage info that "cybercriminals could exploit to access deeper into the network," according to Fowler, writing in a post on Tuesday. No word on whether malicious players took a swing at the data, as it were, but the sheer breadth of the information that the app gathers is concerning, Fowler noted.

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22 May 2019 11:10pm GMT

Crowdfunded Android Console Ouya Will Be Shut Down On June 25th

Razer, the gaming hardware manufacturing company that purchased Ouya's software assets in mid-2015, announced today that the crowdfunded Android console will cease functioning on June 25th. "That date will mark the unremarkable end of what began as a runaway Kickstarter success story: the inexpensive Ouya mini-console was powered by Android and introduced games such as TowerFall," reports The Verge. "But despite being positioned as the indie console, Ouya never quite took off after its $8.5 million crowdfunding campaign. The goal was to move Android's indie gaming scene to TV screens -- with exclusive Ouya-only titles mixed in -- but the execution didn't pan out." From the report: The hardware has been discontinued ever since Razer acquired Ouya's software assets in 2015. So it's somewhat surprising that the platform has continued to plod along for nearly four additional years. But that all ends next month. Accounts will be deactivated on June 25th. After that, Razer says "access to the Discover section will no longer be available. Games downloaded that appear in Play may still function if they do not require a purchase validation upon launch." But by and large, games on the Ouya platform will stop working after the cutoff date. Razer notes that some developers might choose to help their Ouya customers by activating the same game on some other platform (i.e., Google Play) where available following the shutdown. Razer's own Forge TV device will continue functioning as an Android TV set-top box, but the Forge TV games store is also going offline come the 25th. Part of Razer's thinking behind the Ouya acquisition was to propel its long-term Android TV gaming ambitions. The company has clearly shifted its priorities over the last few years, as indicated by the decision to finally shut down Ouya once and for all.

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22 May 2019 10:30pm GMT

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Billion-year-old fossils may be early fungus

Shrooms' relatives beat us to multicellularity by a healthy margin.

22 May 2019 10:12pm GMT


Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Speaks Out Against 'Always-On' Work Culture

At The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival on Tuesday, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian spoke out against the toxicity of "hustle porn" and how always-on work culture creates "broken" people. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the report: I've spoken out quite a bit about things like 'hustle porn,' and this ceremony of showing off on social [media] about how hard you're working," said Mr. Ohanian, who previously co-founded online discussion forum Reddit. "Y'all see it on Instagram and you certainly see it in the startup community, and it becomes really toxic." Business men in his position are rarely asked about juggling the requirements of their roles outside of work, like in their family, he said, and that contributes to unrealistic expectations that a job can reflect the entirety of anyone's identity as a human being. "All of us who decide to start a company, we're kind of broken as people," because founders are often singularly-focused on the success of their venture, said Mr. Ohanian. Even with great mentors and investors supporting their vision, entrepreneurs tend to put a great deal of pressure on themselves to work harder than anyone else to achieve success and profitability. That psychological pressure is compounded by what he and others refer to as "hustle culture." "You have this culture of posturing, and this culture that glorifies the most absurd things and ignores things like self-care, and ignores things like therapy, and ignores things like actually taking care of yourself as a physical being for the sake of work at all costs. It's a toxic problem," said Mr. Ohanian. This issue isn't limited to technology companies, he added, noting that his acquaintances in finance and other industries also promote an unhealthy attitude that encourages 12-hour work days and few breaks. "Social media has made it possible to weaponize it to the point where, if [bragging about your difficult workweek] gets hearts, you're incentivized to keep pushing" the limits.

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22 May 2019 9:50pm GMT

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Anti-abortion clinics that try to trick women face new Google ad policy

The move could steer women away from misinformation and abortion "science fiction."

22 May 2019 9:38pm GMT

Amazon made video games for its workers to reduce tedium of warehouse jobs

The games are voluntary and have been deployed at five Amazon warehouses.

22 May 2019 9:22pm GMT


Hackers Are Holding Baltimore's Government Computers Hostage

On May 7, hackers infected about 10,000 of Baltimore city government's computers with an aggressive form of ransomware called RobbinHood, and insisted the city pay 13 bitcoin (then $76,280, today $102,310) to cut the computers loose. The hackers claimed the price would go up every day after four days, and after the tenth day, the affected files would be lost forever. From a report: "We won't talk more, all we know is MONEY!" the ransom note read. "Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!" But the city has not paid. In the two weeks since, Baltimore citizens have not had access to many city services. The city payment services and email systems are still offline. A May 7 Baltimore Sun report stated the Robbinhood ransomware used in this attack encrypts files with a "file-locking" virus so the hackers can hold the files hostage. Among the departments that have had issues with their email and phone systems are the Department of Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and the Baltimore Police Department. According to the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Health Department's epidemiologists aren't able to use the network that allows them to alert citizens of certain which types of drugs are causing recent overdoses. Many services have resumed through phone, and vital emergency systems like 911 and 311 reportedly continued to function. The ransomware froze the system the city uses for executing home sales, which reportedly hurt the local market, but the city began implementing a manual workaround earlier this week.

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22 May 2019 9:10pm GMT

How the World's First Digital Circuit Breaker Could Completely Change Our Powered World

This week the world's first and only digital circuit breaker was certified for commercial use. The technology, invented by Atom Power, has been listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the global standard for consumer safety. This new breaker makes power easier to manage and 3000 times faster than the fastest mechanical breaker, marking the most radical advancement in power distribution since Thomas Edison. From a report: Picture the fuse box in your basement, each switch assigned to different electrical components of your home. These switches are designed to break a circuit during an electrical overload to protect your lights and appliances. When this happens, you plod down to your mechanical room and flick the switches on again. Now multiply that simple system in your home to city high rises and industrial buildings, which might have 250 circuit breakers on any given floor, each one ranging from 15 to 4000 amps at higher voltages. At this scale, the limitations and dangers of a manually controlled power system become much more evident -- and costly. Ryan Kennedy, CEO of Atom Power, has been working to build a better electrical system since he began his career 25 years ago, first as an electrician and then as an engineer and project manager on large, high profile commercial electrical projects. His experienced based inquiry has revolved around a central assertion that analog infrastructure doesn't allow us to control our power the way we should be able to. That idea has led to some pretty critical questions: "What would it take to make power systems controllable?" and "Why shouldn't that control be built in to the circuit breaker itself?"

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22 May 2019 8:30pm GMT

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Apple’s WWDC 2019 keynote will detail iOS 13, macOS 10.15, and more on June 3

The event usually focuses on software, but Mac Pro rumors abound.

22 May 2019 8:25pm GMT

Mario Kart Tour beta hands-on: Microtransactions land like a nasty blue shell

The actual gameplay has some polish. Everything else in this Android beta stinks.

22 May 2019 7:58pm GMT

Seattle makes history with electric garbage truck

Recology has taken delivery of its first BYD 8R rear-loading class 8 garbage truck.

22 May 2019 5:36pm GMT

Superconductivity reported at the temperature of a good freezer

The catch? You need about a million atmospheres of pressure.

22 May 2019 5:00pm GMT

ARM is the latest partner to shun Huawei, so how will it design chips?

UK chip designer cites "US origin technology" as a reason to cut ties with Huawei.

22 May 2019 4:13pm GMT

Consumer Reports: Latest Autopilot “far less competent than a human”

Automatic lane-change feature cuts drivers off, breaks Connecticut law, CR finds.

22 May 2019 4:01pm GMT

T-Mobile/Sprint merger faces big trouble at DOJ despite FCC approval

DOJ staff recommend filing lawsuit to block merger, Reuters reports.

22 May 2019 3:38pm 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