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Industry & Technology

A dozen years after near-death, Star Trek’s future may be stronger than ever

Ars Technica - May 19, 2018 - 3:00pm

On May 13, 2005, Star Trek: Enterprise ended its four-season run with the controversial two-part finale, “These Are the Voyages… ” The finale infamously brought in cast members from The Next Generation to tell the final chapter in Enterprise’s story, and it was viewed by some as a disrespectful and ignominious end to 18 almost-unbroken years of Trek on the small screen.

Generously put, many fans considered this a low point in the franchise’s history. With Enterprise, some fans blamed the anemic finale on the series’ often-uneven writing. Others blamed Rick Berman, who had been Star Trek’s Nerd-in-Chief since Gene Roddenberry’s passing in 1991. And still others blamed the rise of “darker” and more heavily serialized sci-fi fare like Battlestar Galactica (although BSG showrunner Ron Moore first dabbled in this style, largely successfully, in the latter seasons of Deep Space Nine).

But no matter who or what was to blame, Trekkies everywhere were suddenly in an odd position—left to wonder if the universe they’d come to know and love for almost four decades would make it to its 50th birthday. Star Trek was off the airwaves with no successor series waiting in the wings for the first time since 1987. And for some salt in the wound, it had even been three years since the last TNG-cast film, Nemesis, which had been poorly received by most fans and critics. (Its predecessor, Insurrection, hadn’t fared much better.)

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In New York, his neighbors pounded on his walls, so he built this home theater in Texas - CNET - News - May 19, 2018 - 2:59pm
Growing up in a New York City apartment, Rajesh could never have his dream home-entertainment system. But he finally got his wish in Texas.

Peek at LEGO’s upcoming sets: Star Wars crafts, Hogwarts, Ninjago city, and more

Ars Technica - May 19, 2018 - 1:00pm

Valentina Palladino

NEW YORK—Upon walking into a gray, bricked-facade gallery in Manhattan's Chelsea area, color immediately flooded my eyes. LEGO chose an unassuming location to show off some of the more than 100 new sets coming out in time for the 2018 holiday season. The company literally took the blank canvas of the gallery's interior and splashed it with colorful bricks, some waiting patiently in buckets begging to be dumped out and some built into magical express trains, massive starfighters, and working roller coaster replicas.

As an avid LEGO fan for years (I had my father's old LEGO bricks to play with as a kid), I'm always struck by the hundreds of new sets that come out each year. According to Amanda Madore, senior brand relations manager at LEGO, the company constantly tries to spice things up in new sets with various levels of intricacy. While some builders are perfectly content sitting down for a few hours with a 1,000-piece set, others want a burst of building that's just as fun and yields almost instant gratification. Also, some fans can't afford to drop hundreds on a huge LEGO set and that's where new forms like Brick Headz come in.

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Meet the smartest locks on the block - CNET - News - May 19, 2018 - 1:00pm
Take your pick of these smart locks that let you lose your keys for good.

How one little thermostat started a design revolution - CNET - News - May 19, 2018 - 1:00pm
Commentary: Thermostats used to be ugly. The Nest Learning Thermostat changed all that.

Signal bugs, car hack antics, the Adobe flaw you may have missed, and much more

The Register - May 19, 2018 - 9:29am
EFF wins another privacy battle, ICE chips off AI spy plan

Roundup Here's your guide to this week's infosec news beyond what we've already covered.…

Royal wedding 2018 countdown: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are marrying tomorrow - CNET - News - May 19, 2018 - 4:26am
What's the big Harry deal about an American marrying into the British royal family? Here's everything you need to know before this Saturday's wedding.

The apps designed to help mental health

BBC Technology News - May 19, 2018 - 1:08am
New apps and platforms are seen as a way to reach younger people with mental health conditions.

How Google's Smart Compose for Gmail works – and did it fake its robo-caller demo?

The Register - May 19, 2018 - 1:08am
Plus: Classifying frogs can be hopping mad

Roundup Hello, here's our weekly AI roundup. We have more information on how Google's sentence prediction in Smart Compose for Gmail works, as well as some questions about its Duplex robo-caller system. Also, decision trees to classify the mating calls of frogs and toads to study climate change.…

2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow - Reviews - May 19, 2018 - 12:45am
A sweet reminder of the standard 911’s inherent brilliance.

FCC investigating LocationSmart over phone-tracking flaw - CNET - News - May 18, 2018 - 11:59pm
The company that boasts it can find any phone in the US lands on the FCC's radar after a report its website exposed millions of Americans.

GoFundMe campaign raises money to send Mariachi band, taco truck to racist NYC lawyer - CNET - News - May 18, 2018 - 11:59pm
Twitter sure has a creative approach to dealing with racism.

Hearing Yanny? You might speak a lot of languages - CNET - News - May 18, 2018 - 11:34pm
Polyglots aren't picking up on Laurel.

Tidal investigates data breach, denies report it faked streams - CNET - News - May 18, 2018 - 11:25pm
A Norwegian newspaper says Tidal inflated streaming numbers for Beyonce and Kanye albums.

The Hello Kitty bullet train you dreamed of enters reality on June 30th - Roadshow - News - May 18, 2018 - 11:15pm
Hello Kitty is the subject of Japan's second pop culture-themed bullet train which enters service on June 30.

Porsche to recall 60,000 Cayenne, Macan diesels in Europe - Roadshow - News - May 18, 2018 - 10:42pm
European regulators say the models have emissions-defeat devices and must be repaired.

Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy amidst “siege” of negative attention

Ars Technica - May 18, 2018 - 10:37pm

Enlarge / A view of 597 5th Ave, where the New York City office of Cambridge Analytica is on the 7th floor, May 2, 2018 in New York City. (credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Cambridge Analytica LLC, the American arm of the London-based data analytics firm of the same name, filed for bankruptcy in federal court in New York on Friday.

The company submitted a voluntary formal petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy—liquidation. That document reveals the company has between $1 and $10 million in debt with very little assets. On May 2, SCL Elections Ltd. and its other British affiliates filed similar "insolvency" documents with UK authorities.

It was revealed last month that a 2014 survey app created at the behest of Cambridge Analytica required Facebook login credentials and provided the survey creator access to their friends' public profile data. In the end, this system captured data from 87 million Facebook users. This data trove wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, the British data analytics firm, which worked with clients like the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

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Texas school shooting spawns fake Facebook profiles of gunman - CNET - News - May 18, 2018 - 10:35pm
Mock profiles popped up showing the alleged shooter's name alongside an antifa cover photo and a profile picture of him wearing a "Hillary 2016" hat.

Denon vs. Sonos reaches settlement, HEOS line will go on unchanged - CNET - News - May 18, 2018 - 10:24pm
Denon says its 'direction with HEOS is unchanged' after resolving its Sonos patent infringement case, which began four years ago.

Utilities, Tesla appeal federal rollback of auto emissions standards

Ars Technica - May 18, 2018 - 10:20pm

Enlarge / Charging at night. (credit: Jordan Golson)

A coalition of utilities and electric vehicle makers, including Tesla, filed a petition with a US Federal Appeals Court to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider its recent work to roll back auto emissions standards.

In April, the EPA said that it would relax greenhouse gas emissions standards that had been put in place for model year 2022-2025 vehicles.

One of the first actions that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt took when he assumed office in 2017 was to start the process of rolling back passenger vehicle greenhouse gas standards for automakers. The standards had been made official late in the Obama presidency, but the Trump administration claimed that the standards were too burdensome for automakers to adhere to. Automakers agreed, despite having been party to years of negotiations with the previous EPA to determine what was technically and economically possible from a fuel efficiency standpoint.

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