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Industry & Technology

Elon Musk's farting unicorn fight settled

BBC Technology News - July 21, 2018 - 2:59pm
The billionaire chief executive of Tesla got in a row with a Colorado potter over use of the image.

Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary

Ars Technica - July 21, 2018 - 2:56pm

(credit: Aurich Lawson)

In light of the $5 billion EU antitrust ruling against Google this week, we started noticing a certain classic Ars story circulating around social media. Google's methods of controlling the open source Android code and discouraging Android forks is exactly the kind of behavior the EU has a problem with, and many of the techniques outlined in this 2013 article are still in use today.

The idea of a sequel to this piece has come up a few times, but Google's Android strategy of an open source base paired with key proprietary apps and services hasn't really changed in the last five or so years. There have been updates to Google's proprietary apps so that they look different from the screenshots in this article, but the base strategy outlined here is still very relevant. So in light of the latest EU development, we're resurfacing this story for the weekend. It first ran on October 20, 2013 and appears largely unchanged—but we did toss in a few "In 2018" updates anywhere they felt particularly relevant.

Six years ago, in November 2007, the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) was announced. The original iPhone came out just a few months earlier, capturing people's imaginations and ushering in the modern smartphone era. While Google was an app partner for the original iPhone, it could see what a future of unchecked iPhone competition would be like. Vic Gundotra, recalling Andy Rubin's initial pitch for Android, stated:

He argued that if Google did not act, we faced a Draconian future, a future where one man, one company, one device, one carrier would be our only choice.

Google was terrified that Apple would end up ruling the mobile space. So, to help in the fight against the iPhone at a time when Google had no mobile foothold whatsoever, Android was launched as an open source project.

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A quick look at the nominees for 2018’s “Board Game of the Year”

Ars Technica - July 21, 2018 - 2:00pm


Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at

On Monday, board gaming's biggest international prize will be announced. [Update: the awards have been announced!] The Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) is awarded by a jury of German game critics, and it traditionally goes to a lighter, family-style game. The more recent Kennerspiel des Jahres goes to a more complex and strategic game. (See our take on the shortlists from 2017 and 2016.)

Earlier this summer, the jury released a shortlist of three titles in each category. As we wait for the winner to be announced in a couple of days, here's a quick look at the nominees in both the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres categories. Several of these games are currently hard to get in the US, but all should be widely available in English later this year.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch: Rumored specs, price and release date - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 1:43pm
Samsung's next smartwatch could debut alongside the Note 9 with a whole new name.

2001 in 70mm: Pod bay doors look better than ever, still won’t open

Ars Technica - July 21, 2018 - 1:00pm

If I'm deep-down honest with myself, the reason I love 2001: A Space Odyssey is the same reason I love most Stanley Kubrick films: because I love watching people and things move inevitably from Point A to Point B.

He's done it with spaceships (2001), armies (Barry Lyndon), trenches (Paths of Glory), Big Wheels (The Shining), leapfrogging (Full Metal Jacket), and walking the streets of New York (Eyes Wide Shut). Ars Senior Editor Lee Hutchinson once told me that, growing up, he was so fascinated with the docking sequence from 2001 that he would watch it over and over again on VHS.

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

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9 great reads from CNET this week - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 1:00pm
We travel to San Diego for the annual Comic-Con geekfest; take a peek at what sounds like an awesome fingerprint scanner; and face the future of passports in Australia.

What a streamlined HomeKit means for Apple's smart home ambitions - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 1:00pm
For starters, you can probably expect to see a lot more HomeKit gadgets.

Lattis Ellipse Smart Bike Lock review: Equal parts smart and frustrating - CNET - Reviews - July 21, 2018 - 1:00pm
The lock has potential, but its flaws are just too much to get past.

Smart home gadgets aren't foolproof, even if you skip the installation - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 1:00pm
A shiny new home with a Nest thermostat and a Rachio sprinkler system! What could go wrong?

Funko Fundays is like Woodstock for pop culture geeks - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 1:00pm
One of the most exclusive parties at Comic-Con is a love letter to its most loyal fans.

The Ellipse smart bike lock in action - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 1:00pm
Does a smart bike lock make your bike more secure than a dumb one? Kinda.

Google Translate spews doomsday messages, Facebook snatches boffins, and more in AI

The Register - July 21, 2018 - 12:32pm
Plus: New Dota challenge for OpenAI

Roundup Hello, welcome to this week's roundup in AI. The machines have been sending us spooky messages on Google Translate, Facebook is hiring more academics to start new labs and some prat decided to step on a self-driving car in California.…

New 2018 iPhone, iPhone X Plus, iPhone 9: All the rumors on specs, price, release date - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 12:00pm
There's talk of a super-size one, a less expensive one and one with three rear cameras.

Key takeaways from Singapore healthcare data breach

ZDnet News - July 21, 2018 - 10:16am
No system is infallible and cybersecurity breaches are inevitable, but Singapore needs to do better in mitigating the risks and following through on its pledge to safeguard citizen data.

Star Trek: Short Treks on CBS All Access to delve into Harry Mudd, Saru, Tilly - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 7:55am
From Comic-Con 2018 comes word that a series of Star Trek short films will warp deeper into the backstories of popular Discovery characters.

LabCorp ransomed, 18k routers rooted, a new EXIF menace, and more

The Register - July 21, 2018 - 7:27am
Plus a new worry for enterprises over DNS flaws

Roundup This was the week of blunders by Venmo, million-dollar bank heists, and beefier bug bounties.…

Meet the kids joining Adam Savage for MythBusters Jr. - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 2:45am
The former MythBusters co-host returns to TV with a new Discovery Channel science-centric competition for young whizzes.

Everything Netflix just signed from Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes - CNET - News - July 21, 2018 - 12:55am
They're paying her $150M a year, according to the New York Times.

2019 Acura RDX review: Left-brain luxury - Roadshow - Reviews - July 21, 2018 - 12:42am
Acura's new compact crossover is one of the best values in the segment, even if it’s missing that special sauce.

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