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Nintendo Switch tops US gaming systems for holiday shoppers - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 4:55pm
Nintendo 3DS hardware sales were also the strongest since December 2014.

Mario Andretti still prefers V12s to EVs - Roadshow - News - January 18, 2018 - 4:49pm
The racing legend joined us to talk what's next for IndyCar, and why his friend Dan Gurney "was an inspiration."

Chrissy Chambers: Revenge porn almost killed me

BBC Technology News - January 18, 2018 - 4:35pm
Singer Chrissy Chambers describes how her life changed when her ex posted an explicit video online.

Meltdown and Spectre: Good news for AMD users, (more) bad news for Intel

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 4:27pm

Enlarge / Core M Broadwell (left) vs. Core M Skylake (right). (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

The good news: Microsoft suspended shipping its Spectre and Meltdown Windows patches to owners of AMD systems after some users found that they left their systems unbootable. Microsoft partially lifted the restriction last week, sending the update to newer AMD systems but still leaving the oldest machines unpatched.

Now the company has an update that works on those systems, too. If you're unfortunate enough to have installed the previous, bad update and now have a system that crashes on startup, you'll still have to roll back the bad update before you can install the new one. We've read reports that this is indeed possible, but unfortunately, Microsoft only offers generic guidance on troubleshooting blue screen of death crashes, not any specific steps to fix this specific issue.

The bad news: Intel has previously warned that the microcode update it issued to provide some processor-based mitigation for some kinds of Spectre attack was causing machines with Haswell and Broadwell processors to reboot. It turns out that the problems are more widespread than previously reported: the chip company is now saying that Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake, and Kaby Lake systems are affected, too.

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F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells <i>El Reg</i>

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 4:27pm
Naturally we demanded proof – and we got it

Interview What's it like to fly an F-35 fighter jet? We interviewed the chief British test pilot about a uniquely British flying technique – and then had a play with a full cockpit simulator to find out for ourselves.…

Amazon names 20 “finalist” cities in its new headquarters beauty pageant

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 4:08pm

Enlarge / And the finalists are... (credit: Amazon)

This morning, Amazon posted its list of candidates under serious consideration for the company's second headquarters—a campus that the company expects to invest over $5 billion to build and which will eventually house as many as 50,000 Amazon employees.

"It will be a full equal to our current campus in Seattle," a company spokesperson wrote in the announcement. "In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community."

That level of promised economic impact has drawn many state and local governments to craft proposals that would give Amazon rich packages of concessions—in many cases, proposals that have been kept secret from the taxpayers. A total of 238 proposals were submitted by local governments to Amazon after the company announced its continent-wide search for a second home.

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DXC confirms veep level shake-up in new world order

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 3:55pm
CEO thanks execs for service... more than most get

Exclusive DXC Technologies is splitting with exec veep and general manager Mike Nefkens - previously the boss for HPE Enterprise Services before the spin merger with CSC - amid a massive shake-down of the exec line-up.…

Net neutrality allies are ready to fight. But can it be saved? - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 3:45pm
It's been a busy few weeks on the net neutrality battleground. Here's a refresher on where things stand.

Google to fix Wi-Fi-slaying Chromecast bug on Thursday - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 3:43pm
An Android update should keep your home network from succumbing to potentially crippling data bursts.

Apple will give users the option to control their own battery’s destiny

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 3:40pm

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple announced big economic plans yesterday, but CEO Tim Cook also touched upon what the company will do in the future to address the grievances brought by users about its recent iPhone performance-slowing controversy. In an interview with ABC News, Cook said that new software updates will allow users with older iPhones to turn off the power management feature that intentionally slows down device performance.

"We will tell someone we're reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart," Cook said. "And if you don't want it, you can turn it off."

Cook's disclaimer is that Apple doesn't recommend turning off this feature, as the company initially came out with it to stop unexpected shut-downs. At the end of 2017, Apple admitted to intentionally slowing down iPhone performance to prevent shut-downs related to the device's deteriorating battery health. Users had suspected Apple's practice for quite some time, and despite Apple's reasoning, many users were furious and a number of class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company.

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Google’s Fuchsia OS on the Pixelbook: It works! It actually works!

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 3:36pm

(video link)

Google currently has two OSes on the market: Android and Chrome OS. The company is never one to leave a successful product alone in the marketplace, though, so it's also developing a third operating system called "Fuchsia." When we last checked in on the experimental OS in May 2017, calling it an "OS" was a bit of a stretch. We only got the system UI up and running on top of Android, where it then functioned like an app. The UI offered a neat multi-window system, but mostly it was just a bunch of placeholder graphics. Nothing worked.

It has been hard to check in on Fuchsia since. The Fuchsia system UI, which was written with a cross-platform SDK called "Flutter," quickly shut down the Android (and iOS) compatible builds. Fuchsia has a Vulkan-based graphics stack, and no emulator supports the new-ish graphics API. The only way to get Fuchsia up and running again was with actual hardware, and the only supported devices were Intel NUC PCs from 2015 and the Acer Switch Alpha 12 laptop.

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Nintendo Labo lets you build Switch accessories from cardboard - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 3:34pm
Nintendo is taking a DIY approach with Labo, which lets you create paper-craft "toy-cons." Clever.

Russia now looking to sell its prized rocket engines to China

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 3:30pm

Enlarge / The Atlas V rocket is powered by a single RD-180 rocket engine. (credit: United Launch Alliance)

Ever since the Crimean crisis in 2014—precipitated by Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian-held peninsula—Congress has increased pressure on the US aerospace industry to end its use of Russian-made rocket engines. In particular, legislators want United Launch Alliance to stop using the RD-180 engine in its Atlas V launch vehicle. This booster, with a 100-percent mission success rate, launches many of America's national security payloads.

As United Launch Alliance plans to transition to US-made engines early next decade, and with other US rockets already flying or soon coming online, the Russian RD-180 manufacturers are looking to other markets. In doing so, they've found willing buyers in China, although this has come with some concerns.

Even though the rocket engine technology behind the RD-180 is 40 years old, it remains one of the highest performing engines in the world, with a near-perfect service record. With 860,000 pounds of thrust (about 3.8MN), the RD-180 also happens to be three times more powerful than any Chinese rocket engine.

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Google fuels up Chromecast Wi-Fi flooding fix

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 3:27pm
It lands today

Google has confirmed plans to issue a patch for Chromecast and Google Home aimed at resolving a traffic flooding problem that was swamping home networks.…

Apple iPhone X: Two weeks in the life of an anxious user

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 3:04pm
A smartphone that plucks at your heartstrings, not always in a good way

A top-end smartphone isn’t just for Christmas: it’s for 18 months, maybe two years, two-and-a-half at a push. So here at The Reg, we let the stardust settle around Apple's iPhone X launch before putting the product to test in the field for longer than an afternoon. Fanboi squeals written up just after you peel away the cellophane are no use to anyone.…

Windows 10 Meltdown-Spectre patch: New updates bring fix for unbootable AMD PCs

ZDnet News - January 18, 2018 - 3:02pm
AMD PCs can now install Microsoft's Windows update with fixes for Meltdown and Spectre and the bug that caused boot problems.

And Oracle E-biz suite makes 3: Package also vulnerable to exploit used by cryptocurrency miner

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 2:26pm
Hat trick!

A third Oracle enterprise package has been patched against a crypto-mining exploit.…

RAF Marham: F-35 fighter jet simulator unveiled

BBC Technology News - January 18, 2018 - 2:14pm
The F-35 fighter due to arrive at RAF Marham in Norfolk this summer.

I biked Vegas during CES and lived to tell the tale - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 2:10pm
I was on a mission to find the latest and greatest bike tech at CES. What better way to do it than by dodging the Vegas gridlock on two wheels?

M&amp;S extends customer support contract with, er, Capita

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 1:58pm
Web chat? On the phone? Online? That'll be UK IT's Mr Nasty you are talking to

Despite ditching other tech suppliers in a consolidation push, Marks & Spencer – purveyor of Brit middle-class dreams – has extended a customer support agreement with everyone's fave outsourcing titan, Capita, for £70m.…

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