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Industry & Technology

Streaks on Martian slopes might not be caused by water

Ars Technica - March 23, 2017 - 4:36pm

Enlarge (credit: NASA)

The evidence for liquid water on the surface of Mars in the distant past is strong, but a discovery a few years ago provided a glimmer of hope that the wet stuff might still be making occasional appearances on the Red Planet. Fresh, dark streaks show up on steep slopes during the “warm” season, almost as if something wet is trickling downhill. To some researchers, however, these “recurring slope lineae,” which are a few meters wide and a few hundred meters long, look more like downward slides of destabilized sediment.

The question is, what could destabilize the sediment? The presence of briny water? (Water has been detected as a component of some of the minerals present, at least.) Could the thawing of carbon dioxide ice play a role? There is debate about which of these explanations can work and where water could possibly be coming from.

A new study led by Frédéric Schmidt of the University of Paris-Sud throws out a possible alternative that doesn’t involve thawing anything. If you’re holding out for water, you might consider that bad news, but it is at least a satisfyingly weird process.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The Clever ‘DoubleAgent’ Attack Turns Antivirus Into Malware

Wired - March 23, 2017 - 4:33pm
The bug potentially puts every Windows antivirus program at risk, but also hints at more fundamental problems with relying on AV. The post The Clever 'DoubleAgent' Attack Turns Antivirus Into Malware appeared first on WIRED.

Kirkin’ Overtime: The Weird Late-’90s Star Trek Mashup You Didn’t Know About

Wired - March 23, 2017 - 4:30pm
Thank you, 1990s videogames and creative editors, for this gloriously terrible gift. The post Kirkin' Overtime: The Weird Late-’90s Star Trek Mashup You Didn't Know About appeared first on WIRED.

The Battle for Top AI Talent Only Gets Tougher From Here

Wired - March 23, 2017 - 4:00pm
The company has a new AI lab in the hope of becoming the chipmaker of choice for the world's smartest machines. The post The Battle for Top AI Talent Only Gets Tougher From Here appeared first on WIRED.

Jaguar Land Rover offers unlimited in-car internet for $20 per month - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - March 23, 2017 - 3:35pm
Sadly, it's a 3G connection for now, but the 2018 model year will change that.

Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

The Register - March 23, 2017 - 3:27pm
95 people at risk so far

Call centre staff at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) are to be axed in the latest expenses purge, company insiders have told us.…

You can launch the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon with the shift paddle - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - March 23, 2017 - 3:18pm
Dodge's TransBrake feature is the first time something like this has been offered in a production car.

Big US companies pull YouTube ads after extremist content sparks uncertainty

Ars Technica - March 23, 2017 - 3:18pm

(credit: Rego Korosi)

The controversy surrounding Google and YouTube advertising and extremist content has spread across the pond. According to a Bloomberg report, some of YouTube's biggest advertising customers, including Verizon and AT&T, have halted spending on display and other non-search advertising on the platform. The news comes days after a stream of UK companies pulled their ads from YouTube and Google's display ad network in response to a report from The Times that cited instances of UK government advertising running over extremist content.

Bloomberg reports AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. have stopped all non-search advertising spending with Google, while Johnson & Johnson stopped all its global advertising on YouTube. AT&T said in a statement that it is concerned that its advertising may have appeared over "YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate," and it will not resume advertising "until Google can ensure this won’t happen again." Verizon has launched an investigation, presumably to find out if any of its ads appeared over extremist content.

The original report from The Times cited specific instances in which UK taxpayer-funded advertising ran over hateful, offensive videos, including those by American white nationalist David Duke. That revelation sparked many companies in the UK to remove their ads from Google platforms, forcing Google to examine its ad policies and implement new tools to give advertisers more control over where their ads go. However, there have been no other reports detailing instances in which ads from the companies named above ran over offensive content on YouTube or Google's Display Network.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ars Technica Live: California’s floods and droughts are just the beginning

Ars Technica - March 23, 2017 - 3:08pm

Ars Live #10, filmed by Chris Schodt and produced by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

UC-Berkeley environmental scientist Lynn Ingram joined us for the one-year anniversary episode of Ars Technica Live, and she gave us a broad historical perspective on climate change. Ingram's special focus is paleoclimatology, or the study of Earth's ancient ecosystems. She explained that she spends a lot of time in the lab dissolving rocks, bones, and shells in acid to get good carbon dates on them. Working with other researchers, she has found that California's climate has always been subject to dramatic fluctuations, but now those are being exacerbated by human activity.

California history has always been one of drought and flood. Ingram told us about the southwestern region's great medieval warming period roughly 800 years ago, which may have caused drought for over a century. People living in the region abandoned their settlements and moved away, while plant life struggled to hold on. In the more recent past, California's central valley became an inland sea after 40 days of rain in 1862. This is the sort of megaflood that is due to happen again, Ingram told us, because they seem to occur roughly every two centuries. Even without humans contributing to rapid climate change, we should be preparing for another flood of this magnitude—but now, with atmospheric rivers becoming more common, they will probably happen more often.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Wall Street’s New Trick to Dodge Trump-Induced Stock Swings

Wired - March 23, 2017 - 3:01pm
The Trump Tracker reveals a massive uptick in companies listing Trump among their risk factors. The post Wall Street’s New Trick to Dodge Trump-Induced Stock Swings appeared first on WIRED.

Workflow already looked like an Apple product. Now it is one - CNET

cNET.com - News - March 23, 2017 - 2:59pm
Apple takes the plunge and buys a task-automation app it has long admired.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has a problem with its cooling system

Ars Technica - March 23, 2017 - 2:52pm

Enlarge / A view of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the station. (credit: NASA)

Launched to the International Space Station in 2011 on the penultimate flight of the Space Shuttle, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has quietly been collecting data during the last six years, observing more than 100 billion cosmic ray events. Although it has yet to produce any major scientific findings, physicists believe the steady accumulation of data will eventually yield insights about dark matter and other cosmic mysteries.

But for that to happen, the instrument has to continue to take data. In recent months, scientists monitoring the $2 billion AMS instrument have noticed an increase in the "degradation" of several of the pumps that operate the thermal cooling system on its silicon tracker. Three of the four pumps have now essentially failed, leaving just one functional cooling pump. Only one is required, but the cooling system has now lost all of its redundancy.

To remedy this problem, physicists associated with the experiment have begun working with a team at NASA to devise a long-range strategy that would extend the life of the AMS. According to one source, this could culminate in a "Hubble-esque" series of spacewalks to repair its cooling system.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

This designer Samsung TV looks like a painting - CNET

cNET.com - News - March 23, 2017 - 2:42pm
Most TVs look like big, black rectangles that clash with your otherwise tasteful decor. This chic Samsung is wall art. Bonus: A TV that looks like sculpture.

Hands-on with Android O—A million new settings and an awesome snooze feature

Ars Technica - March 23, 2017 - 2:32pm

Android O is actually here! After diving into Google's blog post, we fired up our developer tools and loaded Android O on a sacrificial device. There are a few new interesting features, lots of UI tweaks, and plenty of odd bugs and unfinished areas. Let's dive in.

Notifications: Snooze, channels, and a terrible new ambient mode

My favorite new feature in Android O is the ability to do system-wide notification snoozing. If you don't want to deal with a notification right now, just pull it to the side a bit, which will unveil a new "clock" icon. Tap it, and the notification will be automatically snoozed for 15 minutes. You can tap on the drop-down menu to increase the time to 30 minutes or an hour. This is really handy, but I'd like to be able to customize the times here. I'm sure some people would like a few hours, or maybe a "tomorrow" option. A "type in your time" option would be fine, too.

Read 32 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Inside China’s Almost-Totally-Legal $400M Fishery in Africa

Wired - March 23, 2017 - 2:30pm
Few things so clearly represent China's influence in West Africa as the ships pulling fish from its fisheries. The post Inside China’s Almost-Totally-Legal $400M Fishery in Africa appeared first on WIRED.

Vodafone's NB-IoT launch dates for Ireland and Netherlands slip

The Register - March 23, 2017 - 2:30pm
Delay may indicate Internet of Things market is less frantic than thought

Vodafone has admitted that the commercial launch of its Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network in Ireland and the Netherlands has been delayed by a whole season.…

Corsair One review: The best small form factor PC we’ve ever tested

Ars Technica - March 23, 2017 - 2:05pm

Enlarge (credit: Mark Walton)

Specs at a glance: Corsair One Lowest Middle Best (as reviewed) OS Windows 10 Home 64-bit CPU Intel Core i7-7700 (liquid cooled) Intel Core i7-7700K (liquid cooled) Intel Core i7-7700K (liquid cooled) RAM 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz (8GBx2) 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz (8GBx2) 16GB DDR4 2,400MHz (8GBx2) GPU Nvidia GTX 1070 (air cooled) Nvidia GTX 1080 8GB (liquid cooled) Nvidia GTX 1080 8GB (liquid cooled) HDD 240GB SATA SSD, 1TB HDD 480GB SATA SSD, 2TB HDD 960GB SATA SSD PSU 400W SFX 400W SFX 400W SFX NETWORKING Gigabit Ethernet, AC Wi-Fi PORTS 3 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB-3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, headphone jack, microphone jack SIZE Height: 380mm (18.6 inches), depth: 200mm (14.19 inches), width: 176mm (8.35 inches) WEIGHT 7.4kg WARRANTY Two years with 24/7 support and five day repair turnaround PRICE £1800/$1800 £2200/$2200 £2300/$2300

It's hard to believe that the Corsair One comes from the same company that designed the Bulldog, a small form factor PC so monstrously ugly that the mere thought of placing it in a living room was enough to set off a spousal gag reflex. Where the Bulldog was a confused mishmash of jaunty, l33t gamer angles, the One is sleek, sophisticated, and—dare I say it—even a little grown up.

That Corsair continues to sell a slightly updated version of the Bulldog is something of mystery considering just how good the Corsair One is. Of all the small form factor (SFF) PCs I've tried—and there have been quite a few over the past year—it is by far the best. I'd even go as as to say it's one of the best pre-built PCs you can buy, full stop.

At £2,300 for a fully loaded version, the Corsair One isn't cheap by any means—and as always, going the DIY route can lead to substantial savings—but few homebrew PCs have such a tiny footprint. Fewer still do so while being entirely liquid cooled, graphics card and all. It's a combo that results in a PC that doesn't just fit into the living room environment aesthetically, but acoustically too.

Read 21 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The Fight to Wrap Cheapo Cars in Luxurious Silence

Wired - March 23, 2017 - 2:00pm
The joy of quiet, long reserved for the fanciest drivers, is making its way down market. The post The Fight to Wrap Cheapo Cars in Luxurious Silence appeared first on WIRED.

Meitu T8 Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

cNET.com - Reviews - March 23, 2017 - 2:00pm
Can a phone designed to make you look great be all that good?

Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Plug-In Dimmer review - CNET

cNET.com - Reviews - March 23, 2017 - 2:00pm
Plug a lamp into this Leviton Decora smart plug, and you'll be able to tell Alexa to dim it up and down.

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