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Industry & Technology

Why you need a better handle on the WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram apps - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 4:33pm
You might not really understand how encrypted messaging works, and you're not alone.

2019 Ford Ranger configurator launches, starts at $25,395 - Roadshow - News - August 14, 2018 - 4:27pm
Just about every configuration of this midsize pickup starts under $30,000.

See what the air-fryer fuss is about for $36 - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 4:27pm
Cheapskate exclusive! This compact convection oven normally runs at least $50.

Google Pixel XL users say Android 9 Pie causes quick-charging problems [Updated]

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 4:23pm


Despite a lengthy beta period that lasted around fives months, it seems Android 9 Pie managed to ship with a few bugs. As first noticed by Android Police, Pixel XL owners are saying that updating to Google's latest mobile OS is causing problems with quick charging.

Pixels (and many other Android phones) use USB-PD for quick charging. Assuming you have a compatible phone, charger, and cable, users should see greatly increased charging speeds. Android doesn't show the exact power transfer, but it differentiates between normal charging and quick charging with a "charging rapidly" message on the home screen. Some Pixel XL owners on Android Pie say that the "rapidly charging" message never pops up anymore after updating to Pie, while others say that the phone has gotten pickier about what chargers can provide rapid charging. Users are reporting slower charging, too, so it's not just a messaging issue.

A thread on the XDA forums dating all the way back to June and an Android bug report from July show that the issue existed in the Android P betas but was never fixed. Google inexplicably closed the original report with "Status: Won't Fix (Infeasible)" during the beta. After the Android Pie final release, a second bug report was opened and a lot more people started chiming in. Now the bug has been marked as "Assigned."

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CVE? Nope. NVD? Nope. Serious must-patch type flaws skipping mainstream vuln lists – report

The Register - August 14, 2018 - 4:10pm
Infosec firm fingers 'decentralised' reporting

The first half of 2018 saw a record haul of reported software vulnerabilities yet a high proportion of these won’t appear in any mainstream flaw-tracking lists, researcher Risk Based Security (RBS) has claimed.…

SpaceX reveals the controls of its Dragon spacecraft for the first time

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 4:00pm

Enlarge / NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins meets with employees at SpaceX on Monday. (credit: SpaceX)

HAWTHORNE, Calif.—Across the cavernous rocket factory, the buzz, whirr, and whine of various machinery never ebbed. Even when the president of SpaceX and four blue-suited astronauts strode confidently onto the factory floor Monday afternoon and took up microphones to address several dozen reporters, the incessant work inside the SpaceX Falcon 9 hatchery continued.

On one side of the factory, technicians produced rolls of carbon fiber and built myriad payload fairings, which cannot yet be reused during a launch. To meet its cadence of a launch every other week, SpaceX must build at least two of these each month. Another section of the factory fabricated the Merlin 1-D rocket engines that power the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage. And in another large white room behind glass, several Dragon spacecraft were in various states of completion.

So when Gwynne Shotwell stopped in front of this Dragon clean room, held a microphone aloft, and welcomed her “extraordinary” astronaut guests to the factory, the noise did not abate. Rather, it seemed to crescendo as Shotwell raised her voice to introduce the crew of SpaceX’s first human mission, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Likewise, the din continued as she welcomed Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover, crew members for the second flight of the Dragon spacecraft.

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Samsung may suspend production at Chinese phone factory due to sales slump - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 3:38pm
The company says it's "focused on raising the efficiency" of its Tianjin factory.

Next top iPhone will support Apple Pencil, 512GB storage, analyst says - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 3:37pm
That sounds rather like the Galaxy Note 9.

Einstein’s equivalence principle updated with a dash of quantum

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 3:36pm

Enlarge / From left to right, a time lapse of a Bose-Einstein condensate forming. (credit: NASA/JPL)

At the heart of Einstein’s theory of gravity (general relativity) is the equivalence principle. The equivalence principle says that there is no difference between being stationary and subject to gravity tugging you and accelerating in a vehicle that's free of gravitational pull. 

In practice, this means that there is no difference between inertial mass (the mass a rocket works on) and gravitational mass (the mass the Earth tugs on). This equivalence has been measured time and time again with no violation ever found. But these tests assumed that quantum mechanics didn’t change the equivalent principle: that assumption is partially wrong.

Some quantum in your equivalence

In relativity, mass and energy are two sides of the same coin. For very small objects, we need to think about that in terms of quantum mechanics, where a particle can be in a superposition of energy states. A particle in a superposition of energy states has two energies at the same time until it is measured, whereupon it has a single fixed energy. An object in a superposition of energetic states can have a superposition of inertial masses. But does it have the same superposition of gravitational masses? 

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Nintendo teases Super Mario Bros. 3 as part of Switch Online service - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 3:24pm
Raccoon Mario will be hopping on Goombas on Switch soon.

Malware has no trouble hiding and bypassing macOS user warnings

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 3:22pm

(credit: Apple)

Apple works hard to make its software secure. Beyond primary protections that prevent malware infections in the first place, company engineers also build a variety of defense-in-depth measures that are designed to lessen the damage that can happen once a Mac is compromised. Now, Patrick Wardle, a former National Security Agency hacker and macOS security expert has exposed a major shortcoming that generically affects many of these secondary defenses.

In a presentation at the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas over the weekend, Wardle said it was trivial for a local attacker or malware to bypass many security mechanisms by targeting them at the user interface level. When these security measures detect a potentially malicious action, they will block that action and then display an alert or warning. By abusing various programming interfaces built into macOS, malicious code could generate a programmatic click to interact or even dismiss such alerts. This "synthetic click," as Wardle called it, works almost immediately and can be done in a way that is invisible to the user.

“The ability to synthetically interact with a myriad of security prompts allows you to perform a lot of malicious actions,” Wardle told Ars. “Many of Apple's privacy and security-in-depth protections can be trivially bypassed.”

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Reel talk: You know what's safely offline? Tape. Data protection outfit Veeam inks deal with Quantum

The Register - August 14, 2018 - 3:15pm
Magnetic strips barrier to ransomware, burble box-flingers

Data protection firm Veeam has forged an alliance with one of the oldest data protection technologies of all – tape.…

Hands-on with's add-on Level 2 autonomous tech - Roadshow - News - August 14, 2018 - 3:13pm treats cars like computers and loads them with Level 2 semiautomated tech.

Are diesel’s days numbered? A view from a trip to BYD’s electric bus factory

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 3:10pm

Enlarge / The lines of sight in the BYD factory are all like this: a row of buses stretching to the horizon. (credit: Megan Geuss)

LANCASTER, CALIF.—One single diesel transit bus consumes the equivalent of 10,440 gallons of gasoline a year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Replacing that diesel-burning transit bus with an electric bus has some obvious benefits. Electric buses improve local air quality, because the particulates that come from burning diesel don't exist. And, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, an electric bus runs cleaner than a diesel bus no matter where you plug it in on the US grid, even if you're plugging into a grid fed by fossil fuels.

In the desert north of Los Angeles, a Chinese company called BYD (short for "Build Your Dreams") is banking on transit managers realizing this. BYD offered Ars a tour of its Lancaster facility in July, and we found a bustling factory floor filled with 900 workers who were building, welding, shaping, and painting about 90 buses in various stages of completion. The company's workforce, recently unionized, is expected to grow to 1,200 in the near future.

So far, BYD has put more than 250 electric buses on US roads, and, as of mid-July, the company had more than 400 orders in the pipeline. That's a significant number of buses in this nascent industry: last December, Reuters estimated that only 300 public buses on US roads were electric. Of course, BYD's numbers include publicly and privately owned electric buses, while Reuters' statistic only tallies public buses. Still, the numbers show just how aggressively the electric bus industry is growing, considering the size of the market just six months ago.

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Fortnite used by company for job interviews

BBC Technology News - August 14, 2018 - 3:09pm
An advertising agency is conducting job interviews in the video game Fortnite.

Ars Pro: You can now PayPal us the money!

Ars Technica - August 14, 2018 - 3:05pm

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Earlier this year, we launched Ars Pro, our new subscription program. It's pretty simple: for just $25 per year (or $3 per month), subscribers get to browse Ars Technica without ever seeing a single ad.

Ars Pro has been a big success, and one of the reasons why is because we're listening to feedback from our readers to make it even better. One of the biggest requests has been support for PayPal. So we've made it happen!

In addition to an ad-free experience, all Ars Pro subscribers get full-text RSS feeds and can read Ars Technica free of tracking scripts (with the exception of scripts that come with objects embedded in stories, like tweets and videos from YouTube). Pros also get access to our subscriber-only forums, PDFs of all our long-form content, and single-page view for multipage articles.

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Are your live local channels on a streaming TV service yet? - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 3:03pm
Six nationwide live TV streamers -- DirecTV Now, Fubo TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV and YouTube TV -- all offer some combination of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Find out how they compare in your city.

Apple pulls iOS 12 beta 7 after less than 24 hrs

The Register - August 14, 2018 - 2:40pm
Devs reported performance issues then...

Apple has pulled the latest beta of its iOS platform software after less than 24 hours in the wild, and without explanation.…

Microsoft reveals more details of Windows Core OS

ZDnet News - August 14, 2018 - 2:31pm
A LinkedIn job posting has revealed some new details about how it's preparing Windows for new form factors and new devices.

Turkey's president threatens boycott of iPhones, other US electronics - CNET - News - August 14, 2018 - 2:29pm
Amid a diplomatic clash, Recep Tayyip Erdogan points to Samsung devices as an alternative.

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