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Americans are becoming more, not less, fearful of self-driving cars - Roadshow - News - May 22, 2018 - 5:05pm
Compared to last year, more people to say they are "too afraid" to ride in an autonomous vehicle.

Braking news: Tesla preps firmware fling to 'fix' Model 3's inability to stop in time

The Register - May 22, 2018 - 5:04pm
Auto auto slammed for garbage stopping distance

Tesla is to issue a firmware update before the weekend for its Model 3 to deal with a critical brake weakness that was highlighted by US website Consumer Reports.…

Video: Forcing more children to figure out more ’80s technology

Ars Technica - May 22, 2018 - 5:02pm

Video shot and edited by CNE. Click here for transcript.

It has been a few weeks since we last checked in with the cadre of kids we threw into our dungeon of '80s tech delights. Previously, the youngsters successfully figured out Nintendos, Power Gloves, and Polaroids—but that was only the beginning.

It's fascinating watching the kids confront tech that was commonplace when I was their age. Actually, by the time I turned ten, it was 1988 and CDs were reasonably common, but asking a 10-year-old in 2018 to load up a CD player would be too easy. The thing that really made me shake my head this time around was the kids' comments about the original Game Boy—tech that my generation would try to sneak anywhere and everywhere. Being able to whip out a Game Boy on the bus to school and nonchalantly stack some lines in Tetris made you almost unbelievably cool—although you'd have to fend off the curious, sticky hands of your fellow bus riders. And, of course, if you were brave enough to try to use the Game Boy in class, you faced the possibility of an angry teacher confiscating it until the end of the day—or worse, calling your parents.

We still haven't set up the Windows 3.1-with-an-HP-DeskJet-500 nightmare scenario I mentioned in the last article, but I think that's definitely on the table for next time. Either that or we'll see about making the kids deal with tweaking a config.sys file to yield maximum EMS memory so they can see all the extra animations in the original Wing Commander—though maybe that's a step too far into maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadness.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Chinese giant salamanders being eaten into extinction - CNET - News - May 22, 2018 - 4:53pm
Poaching threatens the world's largest amphibian, a delicacy in the luxury food market.

Instagram Mute, because FOMO eventually wanes - CNET - News - May 22, 2018 - 4:47pm
With the new feature, you'll never have to wade through your BFF's out-of-focus dog photos again.

Samsung is opening global AI centers in the UK, Canada and Russia - CNET - News - May 22, 2018 - 4:47pm
The company will have five AI centers in total by the end of May.

Trump feels presidential smartphone security is “too inconvenient”

Ars Technica - May 22, 2018 - 4:41pm

Enlarge / President Donald Trump talks on an iPhone with a Morphie battery pack aboard Air Force One on January 26, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.) Hat tip to Ron Amadeo for identifying the phone. (credit: Official White House photo via GettyImages)

The mobile device habits of President Donald J. Trump have been an ongoing source of agitation for many—and not just because of his frequent blasts on Twitter. Getting Trump to adapt his device use to the potential security threats faced by a head of state has proven to be a challenge for the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) and the White House's information technology team. Trump's truculence has hamstrung efforts to secure his personal communications and may well already have exposed them to domestic or foreign surveillance efforts by other governments—or just about anyone else with the ability to intercept cell calls and cellular data.

According to a report by Politico's Eliana Johnson, Emily Stephenson, and Daniel Lippman, Trump has resisted all efforts to get him to use a secured mobile device, instead relying on a pair of off-the-shelf cell phones—one for Twitter only and the other for placing calls. And while the phones used for calls are treated to a degree as "burner phones"—with devices being swapped out regularly—Trump has pushed back on regular security checks and swap-outs of his Twitter phone, calling them "too inconvenient." Two White House officials told Politico that Trump has gone as long as five months without having his Twitter device checked by IT or WHCA staff.

Because of the sensitivity of White House communications and their connection to national security, the WHCA is a military unit that falls under the Defense Information Systems Agency. DISA and the National Security Agency have worked together to develop secure mobile devices for national leadership; during the Obama administration, DISA launched the DOD Mobility Classified Capability-Secret (DMCC-S) program and an accompanying voice-only Top Secret device program (DMCC-TS). The Top Secret device is still in development, but former Secretary of State John Kerry was an early user of the DMCC-S device—a hardened Samsung Galaxy S4 device based on Samsung's Knox security architecture.

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Electrify America to add high-speed chargers to 30 shopping centers - Roadshow - News - May 22, 2018 - 4:36pm
The first one will open next month in Louisiana.

About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer

The Register - May 22, 2018 - 4:34pm
Apps fingered in vanishing desktop snafu

Updated The troubled Windows 10 April 2018 update is facing another issue, with some users losing access to their desktop after installing the new code.…

State of Decay 2 review: Shambling toward nothing

Ars Technica - May 22, 2018 - 4:28pm

Enlarge / Exhaustion, injuries, and low morale stack up pretty quickly within your community.

I wanted to be a “State of Decay person” since the first game came to the Xbox 360 in 2013. My friend pretty much forced the issue. I remember a straight month where all they wanted to do was whack zombies from a third-person perspective, scrounge vital materials, and maneuver the valuables through menus to keep a playable squad of survivors happy. True State of Decay fans found the hunt for food and ammo was just a vehicle for ambient stories of post-apocalyptic survival. Assuming you could stomach the game’s many vicious glitches, that is.

Very little has changed in the half-decade since that original game. In State of Decay 2, you smack undead “zeds” around to loot the supply-rich structures they guard. The gear shores up your semi-safe headquarters. And while I’m still not feeling the fantasy as much as I’d like, the bugs sure are back in full force.

State of Decay’s continued lack of polish is sort of infuriating, and not just for the obvious reasons. The game’s premise was always sound: like the best zombie fiction, it gives us a window into an egalitarian nightmare-fantasy, where debt and bureaucratic power are wiped away by a threat we can exercise six-gun justice against, largely guilt-free.

Few other games strive to be a sandbox where those stories crop up organically. With a bit more polish and a lot more direction, State of Decay could have been an undisputed classic—and not just among a devoted cult of followers. Theoretically, State of Decay 2 should be that polished follow-up. It has had five years to cook, leverages more powerful hardware, and already has its own predecessor as a sound proof of concept.

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Comcast bug made it shockingly easy to steal customers’ Wi-Fi passwords

Ars Technica - May 22, 2018 - 4:10pm

Enlarge (credit: Comcast)

A security hole in a Comcast service-activation website allowed anyone to obtain a customer's Wi-Fi network name and password by entering the customer's account number and a partial street address, ZDNet reported yesterday.

The problem would have let attackers "rename Wi-Fi network names and passwords, temporarily locking users out" of their home networks, ZDNet wrote. Obviously, an attacker could also use a Wi-Fi network name and password to log into an unsuspecting Comcast customer's home network.

Shortly after ZDNet's story was published, Comcast disabled the website feature that was leaking Wi-Fi passwords. "Within hours of learning of this issue, we shut it down," Comcast told ZDNet and Ars. "We are conducting a thorough investigation and will take all necessary steps to ensure that this doesn't happen again."

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HTC U12 Plus leaks on company site ahead of May 23 launch - CNET - News - May 22, 2018 - 4:02pm
The page was soon removed, but on the web there's always someone poised to take screenshots.

Within Arm's reach: Chip brains that'll make your 'smart' TV a bit smarter

The Register - May 22, 2018 - 4:00pm
Get ready for a future where everything from phones to CCTV recognizes faces, things

Processor design house Arm has emitted a few more details about the AI brain it's trying to persuade chip makers to pack into their silicon.…

Elon Musk promises over-the-air Model 3 braking fix - Roadshow - News - May 22, 2018 - 3:45pm
If only software could grow larger brake pads.

Google search reveals names of rape victims

BBC Technology News - May 22, 2018 - 3:41pm
Search engine promises to remove such sensitive content if people alert them to it.

Google, Microsoft find another Spectre, Meltdown flaw - CNET - News - May 22, 2018 - 3:33pm
Intel promises patches in the next few weeks. Devices could take a performance hit.

It's time for the Apple Watch to get a watch face store - CNET - News - May 22, 2018 - 3:28pm
Commentary: It's long overdue. And it would fill the gap left by the apps leaving the Apple Watch.

What to expect at E3 2018 - CNET - News - May 22, 2018 - 3:22pm
Where and when to hear the latest Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation news.

It could be you: National Lottery hands £16m to England's Jodrell Bank

The Register - May 22, 2018 - 3:15pm
Iconic site bags funding for 'astronomy gallery'

Jodrell Bank is to receive £16.1m in UK lottery and government funding for a gallery dedicated to astronomy.…

Razer slims down Blade, debuts macOS-compatible eGPU enclosure

Ars Technica - May 22, 2018 - 3:10pm


With Razer releasing a smartphone and a three-screen laptop concept alongside updating its Blade Pro and Blade Stealth machines, the mid-tier Razer Blade sat quietly in wait for its next moment in the spotlight. Today, Razer debuted big updates to its Razer Blade laptop, focusing on design and performance to usher the gaming notebook into 2018.

While the new Blade still looks unmistakably "Razer," its design has changed dramatically for the better. Razer upped the screen size from 14 inches to 15.6 inches, reducing the surrounding bezels to just 4.9mm so that the device fits in with the other nearly bezel-less ultrabooks popular today. Razer is offering 1080p 60Hz or 144Hz panels, along with a 4K touchscreen option as well. The larger display panel makes the laptop slightly heavier than its predecessor, and it's a bit wider overall, too (4.7 pounds and 9.3 inches, respectively). However, the slimmer bezels, sharper edges, and aluminum unibody make the new Razer Blade look like a clear upgrade from the previous model.

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