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Industry & Technology

Google and NASA to reveal mysterious new space find - CNET - News - December 12, 2017 - 4:40pm
The leaders in space and search are teaming up to announce they've found something in the search for other Earths beyond our solar system.

Android Wear gets updated to Android 8.0 Oreo [Update]

Ars Technica - December 12, 2017 - 4:40pm

Enlarge / The LG Watch Sport.

Remember Android Wear? Google's struggling smartwatch OS is getting updated to Android 8.0 Oreo, just like the rest of the Android lineup. Google announced the update on the "Android Wear Developers" Google Plus group. It seems like the only supported watch right now is the flagship LG Watch Sport, which makes sense since that was the only watch to get an Android O beta in the beginning of October.

Wear's last big update was Android Wear 2.0, which was released with the LG Watch Sport the beginning of the year. Most users won't notice the move to Oreo. Like Android TV, Android Wear has its own interface and set of features that are developed separately from the base OS version. This update to Oreo changes the under-the-hood OS, but the user-facing features will mostly remain unchanged.

Android Wear has not been doing well in the market. In Q1 2017 the Apple Watch had 57 percent of the market, according to Strategy Analytics, with Samsung's Tizen OS in second place at 19 percent of the market, and Android Wear in third place at 18 percent. The group is probably undergoing a bit of a shakeup right now, as Android Wear VP of Engineering David Singleton recently left Google.

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Ajit Pai offers no data for latest claim that net neutrality hurt small ISPs

Ars Technica - December 12, 2017 - 4:35pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | olm26250)

With days to go before his repeal of net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a press release about five small ISPs that he says were harmed by the rules. Pai "held a series of telephone calls with small Internet service providers across the country—from Oklahoma to Ohio, from Montana to Minnesota," his press release said.

On these calls, "one constant theme I heard was how Title II had slowed investment," Pai said.

But Pai's announcement offered no data to support this assertion. So advocacy group Free Press looked at the FCC's broadband deployment data for these companies and found that four of them had expanded into new territory. The fifth didn't expand into new areas but it did start offering gigabit Internet service.

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Speedy new Firefox Quantum browser has people flocking to it - CNET - News - December 12, 2017 - 4:21pm
Lots of us are installing the overhauled browser, but it'll take a busy 2018 to turn that into a real recovery for Mozilla.

Putting Nintendo Switch’s 10 million sales in context

Ars Technica - December 12, 2017 - 4:20pm


If you've been following video game news at all this year, you're probably tired of hearing stories about how the Switch is the hottest selling console since the Sliced Bread 64. With Nintendo announcing this morning that its console has sold 10 million units in under nine months—before its first holiday season is even complete, to boot—we thought we'd skip the wordy analysis and just give you some relevant numbers that put the Switch's current sales in context. As far as recent consoles go, the Switch's sales so far put it in some pretty rarified company.

(Note that for most of these comparisons with other consoles, the time period includes an entire holiday season following a mid-November launch).

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Get Grim Fandango Remastered for free - CNET - News - December 12, 2017 - 4:15pm
Relive the glory days of adventure games with this top-rated title, which normally costs $15. Plus: a sweet ultraportable deal and tech to make your house smell good.

Brrr! It's a snow day and someone has pwned the chuffin' school heating

The Register - December 12, 2017 - 4:02pm
Building management systems easily hackable – researchers

Britain's freezing weather has reanimated the issue of insecure building control systems.…

Gorogoa review: Beneath four panels hide gaming’s most beautiful surprise

Ars Technica - December 12, 2017 - 4:00pm

Enlarge / Look into the eye of the incredible Gorogoa. (credit: Jason Roberts)

After my last click of the mouse, the screen went to black, with only the word "Gorogoa" flashing. Those seven all-caps letters exploded out of the emptiness I'd just exposed by solving the final puzzle.

I nearly doubled over in my chair, overwhelmed with the emotion I felt trying to make sense of what had transpired. The game gave me some breathing room to do so, with a solemn song playing while credits rolled. After those, a single panel appeared. The game had begun again. Flipped to page one.

I describe this "ending" moment because it answers a critical concern about the puzzle game Gorogoa, which has been in development for an astonishing six years and was made almost entirely by one man, Jason Roberts. Gorogoa is, quite frankly, short. At the end of six years of development, Roberts has produced a little over two hours of gameplay.

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Apple turns on app preorders in App Store

Ars Technica - December 12, 2017 - 3:17pm

Enlarge / iOS 11, which will ship with the iPhone 8, has a renovated app store.

Apps are just as highly anticipated as other forms of entertainment now, and Apple's newest update to its app stores lets customers call dibs on their favorites before they're even released. An update to the iTunes Connect resources page states that developers can now open up their apps for preorder on all Apple platforms before the program is officially released. This allows developers to see the product page before anyone can download the app, and customers can tap a new "Pre-Order" button to secure their download before it becomes available on the designated release date.

Developers can choose never-before-published apps from their My Apps page to make available for preorder. They must choose an official release date before the preorder page goes live, and that date must be at least two days, but no more than 90 days, in the future. Once the release date is chosen and the app is approved by Apple, the app's page will go live, allowing customers to preorder the program.

Preorders are available for free and paid apps. After preordering an app, you'll be notified of the official release date that the app is available to download. If that preordered app happens to be a paid app, you won't be charged until you download the program.

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What you need to know about the FCC's net neutrality repeal - CNET - News - December 12, 2017 - 3:17pm
The FCC is set to roll back Obama-era regulation protecting an open internet. Here's a quick rundown to help you understand the issues.

Gemalto: Cheers for that 'unsolicited' €4.3bn bid, Atos. We'll think about it

The Register - December 12, 2017 - 3:09pm
We've long admired you from afar, croons French outsourcer

Tech consultant (and UK public sector buddy) Atos has offered to buy mobile chip-smith Gemalto for €4.3bn (£3.79bn) in a deal announced yesterday.…

Avere wheels out fitter, faster filer accelerator

The Register - December 12, 2017 - 3:00pm
Latest edge box pumps out more data with haste, claims vendor

NAS accelerator Avere has introduced a beefier box to top its edge filer range – the FXT 5850.…

Volvo puts Swedish families to work on driverless data-slurp trials

The Register - December 12, 2017 - 2:55pm
Playing catchup with Britain, or taking a slightly different tack?

Two Swedish families are to start data-gathering trials for Volvo’s driverless car project, revealing that the Chinese-owned Swedish carmaker is quite a long way behind British autonomous vehicle R&D.…

Tech firms could be held liable for extremism and abuse

BBC Technology News - December 12, 2017 - 2:30pm
The BBC understands that an independent ethics watchdog will recommend new laws on online content.

The 39 best holiday shopping deals right now: Dec. 12 update - CNET - News - December 12, 2017 - 2:27pm
With less than two weeks until Christmas, some better-than-Black Friday deals are starting to pop up.

Pickaxe chops cable, KOs UKFast data centre

The Register - December 12, 2017 - 2:26pm
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work we go

Manchester workmen were blamed for knocking out hosting business UKFast's data centre today, after it seems some hapless bod cut a cable with a pickaxe.…

Internet sites to protest Trump admin's net neutrality plan - CNET - News - December 12, 2017 - 2:19pm
A group of sites plan to take action to draw attention to a crucial FCC vote planned for Dec. 14 that could dismantle Obama-era net neutrality rules.

US regulator halts Munchee digital-token sale

BBC Technology News - December 12, 2017 - 2:06pm
The SEC halts an initial coin offering and warns consumers of the dangers of crypto-currency investment.

iPhone X reveals the secrets of iPhones yet to come - CNET - News - December 12, 2017 - 2:05pm
CNET’s Roger Cheng and Scott Stein read the tea leaves of Apple's latest flagship phone for clues to upcoming iPhones.

Why is Wikipedia man Jimbo Wales keynoting a fake news conference?

The Register - December 12, 2017 - 2:03pm
Who best to drain the swamp? Why, the biggest alligator

Comment The co-founder of the website that has propagated some of the internet's most enduring falsehoods on an industrial scale will address a Westminster conference about "fake news".…

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