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Industry & Technology

Google will fix the Pixel XL fast charging bug after all - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 5:48pm
Google's Android Pie update killed fast charging on some 2016 Pixel phones, but a fix should be coming soon.

Bud Light fridges to unlock free beer if Cleveland Browns win - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 5:41pm
Wireless smart locks will release cold cans to victory-parched Browns fans.

Instagram hack sees accounts replaced with film stills

BBC Technology News - August 14, 2018 - 5:39pm
Affected account holders are seeing random film stills replacing their profile photos.

Chinese EV startup Nio files for $1.8 billion IPO - Roadshow - News - August 14, 2018 - 5:38pm
The Middle Kingdom's electric-vehicle market is only getting started.

FCC says court made error in approval of AT&T/Time Warner merger

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 5:33pm

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

The Department of Justice's attempt to reverse the AT&T/Time Warner merger received some help yesterday from an unexpected source: the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC previously allowed AT&T to buy Time Warner without having to undergo a lengthy public-interest review, despite pushback from Democrats in the Senate and FCC. The DOJ fought the merger alone, ultimately losing a court ruling that allowed AT&T to complete the acquisition.

But the DOJ appealed that court ruling last month, and yesterday the FCC gave the DOJ's case a small boost. The FCC isn't actually supporting the DOJ's case, but the commission's filing points out an error made by the US District Court for the District of Columbia. In US District Judge Richard Leon's ruling against the DOJ, he said that he was "hesitant to assign any significant evidentiary value" to previous statements that AT&T and the AT&T-owned DirecTV made to the FCC. AT&T's own statements to the FCC, made in the years prior to the AT&T/Time Warner merger, supported the DOJ's case that a merged entity could raise the price of programming. Those AT&T statements were made as part of the FCC's 2010 review of the Comcast/NBCUniversal merger and in other FCC proceedings.

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William Shatner: Let's get Carrie Fisher a Hollywood star - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 5:24pm
Star Trek's Captain Kirk joins actor Mark Hamill to suggest a star honoring the late Star Wars actress be added to the famous sidewalk.

Honoring the ’80s, Def Con’s badge is also a text adventure

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 5:14pm

Enlarge / My DEF CON badge, complete with Wall of Sheep add-on from the DC801 crew, built by @kL34N and @SirGed. My puzzle quest is far from complete—it may require reprogramming and flipping a component. (credit: Sean Gallagher)

Nearly 30,000 people came to Las Vegas last week for the 26th edition of DEF CON, the iconic security conference. And no small amount of the mental energy of that vast crowd was spent on one particular thing: the conference badge.

This year's badges, designed by Tymkrs, were elevated works of printed circuit board art with a collection of LED-lit features, including red and green human figures and a color-shifting DEF CON logo. But it quickly becomes apparent that there was a lot more going on here than just blinking lights.

DEF CON alternates year to year between electronic, hackable badges and non-electronic ones; last year's badges were a throwback design intended to celebrate the conference's 25th anniversary. But every year, the badges include some sort of clue to a cryptographic challenge—three years ago, the badge was an actual vinyl record that required attendees to find a turntable to hear the puzzle clue.

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Linux 4.18 arrives fashionably late while Zorin OS shines up its Windows

The Register - August 14, 2018 - 5:02pm
Wanting some Linux love, but just can't let that Windows 10 desktop go? Come this way...

Linux lovers have received a double load of delight this week with the emission of the 4.18 kernel and a refresh of Windows-wannabe Zorin OS.…

Hulu renews Castle Rock for a second season - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 5:00pm
There's more in store for Maine's most paranormally plagued small town.

Kenilworth Castle rebuilt Minecraft-style

BBC Technology News - August 14, 2018 - 4:58pm
The virtual rebuild of Kenilworth Castle has taken block enthusiasts 100 hours.

New law bans US from buying tech from Chinese giants ZTE and Huawei

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 4:45pm


President Trump yesterday signed a defense funding bill that included a sweeping ban on the US government using technology supplied by Chinese telecommunications giants ZTE and Huawei. The bill also includes a narrower ban on using surveillance gear provided by Chinese companies Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, or Dahua Technology for national security applications.

The legislation directs federal agencies to stop using the Chinese-made hardware within two years. If that proves impractical, an agency can apply for a waiver to permit a longer phase-out period.

Obviously, being banned from selling to the US government is a significant blow to these companies. But overall the bill actually represents something of a reprieve for ZTE. Back in June, the US Senate passed a version of the bill that would have re-imposed an export ban that would have been a de facto death sentence for ZTE because ZTE is heavily dependent on components like Qualcomm chips and Google's Android operating system.

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Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

The Register - August 14, 2018 - 4:35pm
280 brassed-off Brits begged ASA to bite Bezos' behemoth

Amazon Prime’s next-day-delivery advertising strapline has been branded misleading by a British advertising watchdog.…

Why you need a better handle on the WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram apps - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 4:33pm
You might not really understand how encrypted messaging works, and you're not alone.

2019 Ford Ranger configurator launches, starts at $25,395 - Roadshow - News - August 14, 2018 - 4:27pm
Just about every configuration of this midsize pickup starts under $30,000.

See what the air-fryer fuss is about for $36 - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 4:27pm
Cheapskate exclusive! This compact convection oven normally runs at least $50.

Google Pixel XL users say Android 9 Pie causes quick-charging problems [Updated]

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 4:23pm


Despite a lengthy beta period that lasted around fives months, it seems Android 9 Pie managed to ship with a few bugs. As first noticed by Android Police, Pixel XL owners are saying that updating to Google's latest mobile OS is causing problems with quick charging.

Pixels (and many other Android phones) use USB-PD for quick charging. Assuming you have a compatible phone, charger, and cable, users should see greatly increased charging speeds. Android doesn't show the exact power transfer, but it differentiates between normal charging and quick charging with a "charging rapidly" message on the home screen. Some Pixel XL owners on Android Pie say that the "rapidly charging" message never pops up anymore after updating to Pie, while others say that the phone has gotten pickier about what chargers can provide rapid charging. Users are reporting slower charging, too, so it's not just a messaging issue.

A thread on the XDA forums dating all the way back to June and an Android bug report from July show that the issue existed in the Android P betas but was never fixed. Google inexplicably closed the original report with "Status: Won't Fix (Infeasible)" during the beta. After the Android Pie final release, a second bug report was opened and a lot more people started chiming in. Now the bug has been marked as "Assigned."

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CVE? Nope. NVD? Nope. Serious must-patch type flaws skipping mainstream vuln lists – report

The Register - August 14, 2018 - 4:10pm
Infosec firm fingers 'decentralised' reporting

The first half of 2018 saw a record haul of reported software vulnerabilities yet a high proportion of these won’t appear in any mainstream flaw-tracking lists, researcher Risk Based Security (RBS) has claimed.…

SpaceX reveals the controls of its Dragon spacecraft for the first time

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 4:00pm

Enlarge / NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins meets with employees at SpaceX on Monday. (credit: SpaceX)

HAWTHORNE, Calif.—Across the cavernous rocket factory, the buzz, whirr, and whine of various machinery never ebbed. Even when the president of SpaceX and four blue-suited astronauts strode confidently onto the factory floor Monday afternoon and took up microphones to address several dozen reporters, the incessant work inside the SpaceX Falcon 9 hatchery continued.

On one side of the factory, technicians produced rolls of carbon fiber and built myriad payload fairings, which cannot yet be reused during a launch. To meet its cadence of a launch every other week, SpaceX must build at least two of these each month. Another section of the factory fabricated the Merlin 1-D rocket engines that power the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage. And in another large white room behind glass, several Dragon spacecraft were in various states of completion.

So when Gwynne Shotwell stopped in front of this Dragon clean room, held a microphone aloft, and welcomed her “extraordinary” astronaut guests to the factory, the noise did not abate. Rather, it seemed to crescendo as Shotwell raised her voice to introduce the crew of SpaceX’s first human mission, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Likewise, the din continued as she welcomed Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover, crew members for the second flight of the Dragon spacecraft.

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Samsung may suspend production at Chinese phone factory due to sales slump - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 3:38pm
The company says it's "focused on raising the efficiency" of its Tianjin factory.

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