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Industry & Technology

Class-action suits over Intel Spectre, Meltdown flaws surge - CNET - News - February 16, 2018 - 7:49pm
Since the beginning of 2018, the number of cases has risen from three to 32.

The HomePod and Sonos One both leave marks on wood surfaces (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy Podcast, Ep.119) - CNET - News - February 16, 2018 - 7:49pm
Apple confirms the HomePod leaves white rings on some wooden surfaces, but it isn't the only one. We dive deep into the HomePod with our review on the end.

Google removes 'view image' button from searches - CNET - News - February 16, 2018 - 7:42pm
The decision, sparked by complaints from Getty Images, doesn't please the masses.

Special Counsel indicts 13 people, Russian troll farm on conspiracy charges

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 7:39pm


On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller released a 37-page indictment against the Internet Research Agency, a well-known Russian bot and troll factory, and named 13 Russians on charges of “conspiracy to defraud the United States,” wire fraud, and bank fraud, among others.

As he wrote:

Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system, including the 2016 US presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton. Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of US persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as US grassroots entities and US persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as US persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.

At a press conference in Washington, DC, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave brief remarks and took only a few questions from reporters.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Bitcoin miner in NYC home interfered with T-Mobile network, FCC says

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 7:28pm

Enlarge / An Antminer S5. (credit: Bitmain)

A New York City resident was ordered to turn off his bitcoin miner after the Federal Communications Commission discovered that it was interfering with T-Mobile's wireless network.

After receiving a complaint from T-Mobile about interference to its 700MHz LTE network in Brooklyn, New York, FCC agents in November 2017 determined that radio emissions in the 700MHz band were coming from the residence of a man named Victor Rosario.

"When the interfering device was turned off the interference ceased," the FCC's enforcement bureau told Rosario in a "Notification of Harmful Interference" yesterday. "You identified the device as an Antminer S5 Bitcoin Miner. The device was generating spurious emissions on frequencies assigned to T-Mobile's broadband network and causing harmful interference."

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Circuit City's 2018 resurrection hits a snag - CNET - News - February 16, 2018 - 7:26pm
The site relaunch announced in early January has been delayed in order to prepare for a higher volume of traffic, the company says.

FCC serves Bitcoin miner notice for static on T-Mobile calls - CNET - News - February 16, 2018 - 7:25pm
If you live in south Brooklyn and use T-Mobile, that call static was not your imagination.

Elon Musk promises Tesla Model 3 safety improvements after crash - Roadshow - News - February 16, 2018 - 7:02pm
The comments come after a Redditor totaled his Model 3 and pointed out some things.

Ring Spotlight Cam review - CNET - Reviews - February 16, 2018 - 6:48pm
Forget about a complicated hardwired setup -- Ring's plug-in Spotlight Cam connects to wall outlets.

AMD sending out free processors to solve firmware flashing Catch-22

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 6:43pm

Enlarge / An original Ryzen die; this one doesn't have a GPU so it should work with any firmware. Well; this one won't, it's been etched to expose the die so that it could be photographed. (credit: Fritzchens Fritz)

So you want to build a PC using AMD's new Ryzen processors with Vega graphics. You buy a motherboard, processor, some extraordinarily expensive RAM, and all the other bits and pieces you need to construct a PC. Open them all up at home and put them together and... they don't work.

Then it hits you. The motherboard has an AM4 socket. The processor fits the socket fine, and the chipset is compatible with the new Ryzen 5 2400G, but with a catch: the board needs a firmware update to support this latest processor. Without it, it'll only support the GPU-less Ryzens and the even older AM4 processors built around AMD's previous processor architecture, Excavator. While some motherboards support installing firmware updates without a working CPU, many don't. So you're faced with an inconvenient predicament: to flash the firmware you need a working CPU, but your CPU will only work if you can flash the firmware first.

This isn't the first time this kind of situation has occurred. In the past, both Intel and AMD have posed this conundrum. It's pretty common every time a new processor comes out that works on existing motherboards. In a few months, most motherboards in the channel should have newer firmwares installed in the factory, solving the problem, but right now, buyers are stuck. The usual response from the chip companies is accurate, if unhelpful—"go out and buy the cheapest processor that's compatible, use it to flash the firmware, and then use the new processor"—and that would work here, too, but it's hardly a user-friendly response.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Black Panther reinvents the superhero origin story in a profound way

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 6:36pm

Marvel Studios

We've all seen a lot of bloated, meandering superhero movies over the past year, stuffed with exhaustingly large super teams and unmemorable villains. So what makes Black Panther a welcome change isn't just its hero, whose charisma and gravitas are undeniable, but that it is an elegantly structured adventure. The stakes are high, the reveals make sense, and the payoff is satisfying. This is the way superhero movies should be done.

Plus, the secret nation of Wakanda has tech that's way more inventive than anything Tony Stark has produced lately.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ram recalls 200,000 trucks for slipping out of park - Roadshow - News - February 16, 2018 - 6:28pm
You're going to want to make real sure that you set that parking brake.

A solar panel on every roof in the US? Here are the numbers

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 6:17pm

Enlarge (credit: Jon Callas)

When you’re scoping out possible futures, it’s useful to ask a lot of “what if?” questions. For example, what if we could install solar panels on every suitable roof in the United States? How much electricity would they generate?

Plenty of research has followed this line of thought, though much of it has necessarily focused on working out the details for individual cities or regions. But now with enough of these studies in the bank, a group of researchers from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory decided to take another whack at a national estimate.

There are a lot of things you need to know to do this: number of buildings, size of roofs, direction the roofs are facing, strength of sunlight, number of sunny days, and so on. So first off, the researchers took advantage of a Department of Homeland Security program that laser-maps buildings, which now covers almost a quarter of buildings in the US. From this, it's possible to get roof area, roof tilt, roof direction, and whether the roof is shaded by trees. Roofs were tossed out if they were too small, too steep, north-facing, or otherwise would lose more than 20 percent of their possible solar output, but most roofs were suitable.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Internet rages after Google removes “view image” button, bowing to Getty

Ars Technica - February 16, 2018 - 6:05pm

Enlarge / Google Image search will no longer offer the "view image" button, which directly linked to an image. (credit: Google)

This week, Google Image Search is getting a lot less useful, with the removal of the "View Image" button. Before, users could search for an image and click the "View Image" button to download it directly without leaving Google or visiting the website. Now, Google Images is removing that button, hoping to encourage users to click through to the hosting website if they want to download an image.

Google's Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, announced the change on Twitter yesterday, saying it would "help connect users and useful websites." Later Sullivan admitted that "these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week" and that "they are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value."

Almost two years ago, Getty Images filed antitrust charges against Google in the EU, taking issue with the company's image scraping techniques to display image search results. Earlier this week, Google and Getty Images announced a partnership and Getty withdrew its charges against Google. Changes like the removal of direct image links were apparently part of the agreement.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

YouTube star wants a cryptocurrency payday for you every day - CNET - News - February 16, 2018 - 6:00pm
Phil DeFranco is betting on a new cryptocurrency called Props to help stoke a YouTube rival that rewards both creators and fans.

Copycat: How Facebook Tried to Squash Snapchat

Wired - February 16, 2018 - 6:00pm
In an excerpt from a new book on Snapchat, Billy Gallagher explains how Facebook fought back against a tiny rival's challenge.

Land Rover's 'pet pack' knows you'll overspend on your dog - Roadshow - News - February 16, 2018 - 5:59pm
$875 on a partition and a mat? I love my dog, but I don't know, dude.

Facebook told to stop stalking Belgians or face fines of €250k – a day

The Register - February 16, 2018 - 5:59pm
Second privacy ruling to go against Zuck and co in a week

Facebook has been told to stop tracking Belgian citizens' online habits, and to delete all the data it holds on them, or it could be fined up to €100m.…

Facebook told to stop tracking in Belgium

BBC Technology News - February 16, 2018 - 5:55pm
Facebook is ordered to stop tracking people without consent, by a court in Belgium.

Roadshow Asks: Autonomous cars -- Where do you stand? - Roadshow - News - February 16, 2018 - 5:42pm
We know they’re coming, it's only a matter of time. What are your thoughts on this advancement in the auto industry? Do you think fully self-driving cars will be safe?

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