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Industry & Technology

Google kills off domain fronting – and so secure comms just got tougher

The Register - April 19, 2018 - 11:01pm
Cloud tech tweaks end anti-censorship workaround

Google has made technical changes to its cloud infrastructure that have caused collateral damage to an anti-censorship technique called domain fronting.…

PUBG’s first-ever free weekend has begun on Xbox One (for XBL Gold members)

Ars Technica - April 19, 2018 - 10:40pm

Enlarge (credit: PUBG Corp./Microsoft)

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)'s stratospheric rise in popularity on PC and console has been curious, in particular because of its $30 cost of entry—a fact that sets it apart from its popular, free-to-play rival Fortnite Battle Royale. For at least a few days, however, that barrier is (for the most part) going away... if you are willing to play PUBG on Xbox One.

The console's "early access" version of the 100-person, massive-arena shooter is currently free to download and play so long as you are an Xbox Live Gold subscriber. (If you do not pay for Xbox Live Gold and are interested, now might be a good time to dig out one of the many 48-hour and 7-day trials packed into Xbox game boxes.) The game's "Free Gold Weekend" promotion runs from today, April 19, until 11:59pm ET on Sunday, April 22.

In some ways, this mostly-free version doesn't offer an ideal way to get to know the popular shooter. We defer to the frame rate analysis gurus at Digital Foundry, who took a hard look in March at what had and hadn't improved for the console version in its first three months. In short: the game is fun, but the performance issues don't help.

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Light, bright: Brabham BT62 supercar teases its rear end - Roadshow - News - April 19, 2018 - 10:21pm
There's no denying the racecar inspiration here, especially when you hear about the brakes.

21 different ways VR is thriving as an indie art form - CNET - News - April 19, 2018 - 10:07pm
From tech-enhanced installations and theater pieces to fantasy and mystery to CGI and documentary film creations that can be explored through virtual reality headsets, VR is alive and well at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Apple unveils 'Daisy' iPhone recycling robot for Earth Day - CNET - News - April 19, 2018 - 9:57pm
Daisy is part of a broader set of environmental programs from Apple, including a donation to a nonprofit for every used device traded in through the end of April.

Nominet drains mug of tea, leans back, calmly explains how to make Whois GDPR-compliant

The Register - April 19, 2018 - 9:39pm
.UK registry not entirely sure what all the fuss is about

The operator of the .uk domain-name registry has outlined the changes it plans to make to its Whois domain registration system to bring it in line with incoming European privacy legislation.…

Southwest Airlines protested airworthiness directive designed to prevent engine failures

Ars Technica - April 19, 2018 - 9:30pm

Enlarge / Southwest's Boeing 737-700, tail number N772SW, was the aircraft for Southwest flight 1380. A failure in its left turbofan engine caused the death of one passenger and multiple other injuries. (credit: Aeroprints)

While a National Transportation Safety Board investigation is still underway, NTSB officials confirmed that the uncontained engine failure aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was the result of a fan blade breaking from a crack near the fan's hub. The failure is similar to one that occurred on another Southwest flight in September 2016.

"The fan blade separated in two places," said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. "At the hub... there's a fatigue fracture where this #13 fan blade would come into that hub. It also fractured roughly halfway through it. But it appears the fatigue fracture was the initial event. We have the root part, but we don't have the outboard part. The crack was interior, so certainly not detectable from looking at it from the outside."

After that incident, the manufacturer of the engine—CFM International—issued a technical bulletin urging customers to conduct more frequent ultrasonic inspections of the fan in the type of turbofan engine used by Southwest's 737 Next Generation aircraft. In 2017, CFM even asked the FAA to enact a new rule requiring those checks. But Southwest Airlines opposed the proposed change to inspection frequency, stating in a comment to the FAA that it would take longer for the airline to comply because of the number of engines in its fleet:

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2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid lands with $500 lower price tag - Roadshow - News - April 19, 2018 - 9:25pm
Less money and more features? Sweet.

Ad-blocking Brave browser to give crypto-payment tokens to everyone - CNET - News - April 19, 2018 - 9:25pm
The startup plans to open the spigot for its BAT cryptocurrency to help promote use of its system for privacy-first online ads.

Did you see this? - CNET - News - April 19, 2018 - 9:24pm
Our team works hard to bring you original reporting and storytelling about what matters in our ever-changing world. Here’s an easy way to follow along.

As PUBG-like contenders emerge, Islands of Nyne might already have them beat

Ars Technica - April 19, 2018 - 9:12pm

Call it a trend, if not an outright phenomenon. Battle royale games have officially catapulted into the industry's pole position, largely fueled by the neck-and-neck popularity contest between PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite: Battle Royale. And this week, we learned that even more of these games will likely show up by year's end, with rumors circling around major series like Call of Duty and Battlefield.

The news follows plenty of latecomers to the battle royale genre, which all have a few things in common. Roughly 100 players parachute onto an island with the goal of being the last shooter standing, and that contest is made all the more tense by random-item pickups and a constantly shrinking battlefield.

But what does it take to make a good battle royale game at this point? As more games pile onto the fray and triple-A entries poke their head in, I want to point to one out-of-nowhere game that has done more than bolt the niche's basics onto existing properties. It's called Islands of Nyne, and after playing a lot of battle royale games, I have to say, this indie entry is the one to watch from here on out.

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Bloke fruit flies enjoy ejaculating, turn to booze when starved of sexy times

The Register - April 19, 2018 - 9:01pm
Closer to human beings than previously thought, clearly

A new study reveals that male fruit flies enjoy the sensation of ejaculation, and are more likely to turn to alcohol when sexually frustrated. Sound familiar?…

Male fruit flies like ejaculating and turn to alcohol when starved of sexual pleasure

The Register - April 19, 2018 - 9:01pm
Flies closer to human beings than previously thought

A new study reveals that male fruit flies enjoy the sensation of ejaculation, and are more likely to turn to alcohol when sexually frustrated. Sound familiar?…

Safe driving app says these are motorists' worst habits - Roadshow - News - April 19, 2018 - 8:56pm
EverDrive says we need to lay off the phone and slow down.

Chevy Corvette ZR1 is the 2018 Indy 500 pace car - Roadshow - News - April 19, 2018 - 8:52pm
That'll be one hell of a pace.

Meet Daisy, Apple's new iPhone recycling robot - CNET - News - April 19, 2018 - 8:47pm
The robot can sort out precious materials other recyclers can't recover.

Telegram CEO poses topless in riposte to Putin ban - CNET - News - April 19, 2018 - 8:43pm
Commentary: After Russia blocks his messaging app, Pavel Durov shows that his body is more beautiful than even that of the Russian president.

Ryzen gains on Intel with second generation

Ars Technica - April 19, 2018 - 8:38pm

(credit: AMD)

The second-generation Ryzen chips announced last week are now out, and reviews have hit the 'Net. Unlike the situation last week, we're now free to talk about what has changed in the second-generation chips and where their improvements lie.

Model Cores/Threads Clock base/boost/GHz TDP/W Cooler Price Ryzen 7 2700X 8/16 3.7/4.3 105 Wraith Prism (LED) $329 Ryzen 7 2700 8/16 3.2/4.1 65 Wraith Spire (LED) $299 Ryzen 5 2600X 6/12 3.6/4.2 95 Wraith Spire $229 Ryzen 5 2600 6/12 3.4/3.9 65 Wraith Stealth $199

AMD is calling the new parts "Zen+." This isn't a new architecture; rather, it's a tweaked version of the first-generation Zen architecture. The basic layout of the chips remains the same: each contains two core complexes (CCXes), which are blocks of four cores, eight threads, and 8MB level 3 cache, joined with AMD's Infinity Fabric.

Architecturally, the biggest improvements seem to have been made to memory and cache latencies. AMD says that the cache latency for level 1, level 2, and level 3 caches and main memory have all improved, reduced by up to 13 percent, 34 percent, 16 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Tech Report's benchmarks show improved main-memory latency, and PC Perspective found improved communications latency between CCXes.

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Speed Queen TR7 review - CNET - Reviews - April 19, 2018 - 8:35pm
Speed Queen's TR7 top-loader is the worst washing machine we've ever reviewed.

Facebook puts 1.5bn users on a boat from Ireland to California

The Register - April 19, 2018 - 8:14pm
Social media giant continues its loving embrace of GDPR privacy rules

Facebook is quietly changing its terms of service to shift 1.5 billion users away from Europe to the US while continuing to claim it wants to offer greater privacy protections.…

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