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Industry & Technology

Gadget Lab Podcast: Nick Thompson Discusses the Facebook Cover Story

Wired - February 16, 2018 - 11:19pm
This week, our guest Nick Thompson talks about Facebook, fake news, Russian propaganda, politics, and journalism.

Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

The Register - February 16, 2018 - 11:11pm
First Amendment bad, Second Amendment good?

The governor of the US state of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, has blamed violent video games for the Florida high-school shooting that left 17 people dead this week.…

No MWC, no problem -- LG's next flagship phone may be unveiled later in June - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 16, 2018 - 10:53pm
LG confirmed it won't release its next flagship this month at MWC 2018, and rumor has it that the phone might arrive in June instead.

Discovering alien life probably won't freak us out, studies say - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 16, 2018 - 10:27pm
From megastructures around Tabby's Star to Earth-like planets at Trappist-1, research finds we react positively to news extraterrestrial life might exist.

Mueller Indictment Against Russia Details Efforts to Undermine US Democracy

Wired - February 16, 2018 - 10:12pm
Robert Mueller's office has come out with a 37-page indictment that details the extraordinary lengths Russian agents went to influence the 2016 presidential election.

A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

The Register - February 16, 2018 - 9:58pm
Alarm raised over APFS sparse disk images tossing documents into the void

Apple's recently revised file system, APFS, may lose data under specific circumstances, a maker of macOS backup software is warning.…

Robotaxi permit gets Arizona’s OK; Waymo will start service in 2018

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 9:50pm

Enlarge / You'll know it's a Waymo Pacifica Hybrid by the roof bar covered in sensors. (credit: FCA)

On Friday, we discovered that Waymo, the self-driving Google spinoff, has been granted a permit to operate as a Transportation Network Company in the state of Arizona. This means that it can launch an official ride-hailing service and start charging customers for their journeys. It also confirms the findings of a recent report that put Waymo at the front of the autonomous vehicle pack, meaning my colleague Tim Lee was right when he said the launch of a commercial operation by Waymo in Arizona was imminent.

Arizona has become a popular state for autonomous vehicle programs. It has rather permissive testing oversight compared to California, for example. That, plus well-maintained roads and little harsh weather, has encouraged both Uber and Waymo to expand their presence in Phoenix.

In recent months, self-driving cars have become commonplace in the city.  Waymo has been running a pilot program that lets people hail rides in its cars, at first with safety engineers riding in the driver’s seat, but fully driverless since November 2017. Evidently that hasn't thrown up any red flags to prevent this expansion.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

32 lawsuits filed against Intel over Spectre and Meltdown flaws

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 9:42pm

Enlarge / This may become the new default imagery for Spectre and Meltdown around Intel. (credit: Brian Turner / Flickr)

In its annual SEC filing, Intel has revealed that it's facing 32 lawsuits over the Spectre and Meltdown attacks on its processors. While the Spectre problem is a near-universal issue faced by modern processors, the Meltdown attack is specific to processors from Intel and Apple, along with certain ARM designs that are coming to market shortly.

Per Intel's filing, 30 of the cases are proposed customer class-action suits from users claiming to be harmed by the flaws. While Meltdown has effective workarounds, they come with some performance cost. Workarounds for Spectre are more difficult and similarly can harm system performance.

The other two cases are securities lawsuits that claim that Intel made misleading public statements during the six-month period after the company was notified of the problems but before the attacks were made public.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Power Rangers action figures, Megazords get a new maker - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 16, 2018 - 9:34pm
Hasbro will be making toys starting in 2019, and down the line may become the owner of the entire property.

Charter fails to defeat lawsuit alleging false Internet speed promises

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 9:30pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Steven Puetzer)

Charter Communications cannot use the federal net neutrality repeal to avoid a lawsuit over slow Internet speeds in New York, the state's Supreme Court ruled today.

The lawsuit was filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against Charter and its Time Warner Cable (TWC) subsidiary in February 2017. Schneiderman alleges that the Internet provider "conduct[ed] a deliberate scheme to defraud and mislead New Yorkers by promising Internet service that they knew they could not deliver."

Charter thought that the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality repeal would help it fight the lawsuit. In November, Charter argued in a court filing that its motion to dismiss the case was bolstered by the repeal because the FCC also preempted state-level regulation.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Alexa in Toyland: How Amazon's assistant is changing playtime - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 16, 2018 - 9:18pm
You'll see Amazon's Alexa dominate the New York Toy Fair as toymakers figure out how to use the digital assistant to add new sound experiences to games.

Best Google Chrome extensions to enhance your productivity, security, and performance

ZDnet News - February 16, 2018 - 9:11pm
If you are a Google Chrome user and you're not making use of extensions, then you are really missing out. Here is a selection of extensions aimed specifically at boosting your productivity and privacy.

NASA rover spots a stripey Mars surprise - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 16, 2018 - 9:07pm
NASA's Mars Opportunity rover delivers a look at some unexpected and mysterious formations on the ground.

Mueller bombshell: 13 Russian 'troll factory' staffers charged with allegedly meddling in US presidential election

The Register - February 16, 2018 - 9:03pm
Ruskies stole citizen IDs to spread discord – indictment

Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor investigating foreign agents tampering with the 2016 US presidential election, has criminally charged 13 Russian nationals with conspiring against the United States.…

Put a 20,000mAh power bank in your pocket for $16.49 - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 16, 2018 - 8:58pm
That's a lot of juice for the money, but there's an interesting caveat. Plus: a desktop monitor for $70!

The Big Engineering Behind Olympic Snowboarding's Big Air Event

Wired - February 16, 2018 - 8:34pm
It takes a well orchestrated team to build the sport's most epic ramp.

New Apple HQ's glass walls a literal headache for walking workers - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 16, 2018 - 8:28pm
Commentary: The company's glass-filled Apple Park headquarters may be design-sexy, but there appears to be a practical issue: Staffers are smacking into walls.

Verizon shakes up prepaid plans with cheaper pricing tier, hotspot tethering and more - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 16, 2018 - 8:27pm
Prepaid Verizon customers will also be able to talk, text and surf the web in Mexico and Canada for $5 a day.

Apple dictates that all new apps must fully support the iPhone X screen

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 8:00pm

Enlarge / Here is a comparison of the safe area in landscape mode on the iPhone 8 and on the iPhone X. (credit: Apple)

Today, Apple emailed iOS developers to explore new features in iOS 11 like ARKit. In that email, the company also announced that all new apps submitted from April 2018 onward must be built with the iOS 11 SDK and must support the iPhone X's new display.

This was Apple's complete message to developers on the subject:

iOS 11 has brought innovative features and the redesigned App Store to hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Your apps can deliver more intelligent, unified, and immersive experiences with Core ML, ARKit, new camera APIs, new SiriKit domains, Apple Music integration, drag and drop for iPad, and more.

Starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK, included in Xcode 9 or later. All new apps for iPhone, including universal apps, must support the Super Retina display of the iPhone X.

The email didn't clarify exactly what support for the iPhone X's "Super Retina" screen means—does it just mean the resolution and aspect ratio must be supported, or do developers also have to update their apps to respect the rounded corners, sensor array (which many people call "the notch"), and the home indicator?

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Distracted driving: Everyone hates it, but most of us do it, study finds

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 7:56pm

Enlarge

Insurance company Esurance has a new study out on distracted driving, and it makes for interesting reading. Almost everyone agrees distracted driving is bad, yet it's still remarkably prevalent. Even drivers who report rarely driving distracted also report that they engage in distracting behaviors. The study also raises some questions about the growing complexity of modern vehicles, particularly the user interfaces they confront us with.

Almost everyone does it

According to official figures, around 10 percent of all road deaths are due to distracted driving. That percentage has held steady for a while now after peaking at 15 percent a decade ago. In the time since, governments and the auto and tech industries haven't been ignoring the problem. Texting-while-driving bans are ever more common. Smartphones now have do not disturb modes, some of which can turn on automatically. Phones can also cast their displays and certain apps to the car's center stack using Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

And modern vehicles are increasingly packed full of advanced driver aids—what the industry calls ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems)—like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, blind spot monitoring, collision alerts, and so on.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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