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Industry & Technology

Asteroid discovered after it makes the closest flyby of the year - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 7:57pm
The space rock came sneaking up on us from behind the sun.

Just like iOS 11, Apple is delaying a key feature of iOS 12: Group FaceTime

Ars Technica - August 13, 2018 - 7:57pm

Enlarge / Apple demonstrates Group Facetime at WWDC 2018. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Apple released the seventh beta build of iOS 12 today. The update is focused on performance improvements on older devices—a tentpole promise of iOS 12—but the beta release notes reveal something unexpected about the public release of iOS 12 later this year: the Group FaceTime feature won't make the cut.

Demonstrated prominently in Apple's WWDC keynote event earlier this year, Group FaceTime would allow more than two people to participate in a FaceTime video call at once, with a presentation similar to that of longtime conference-call staple Google Hangouts. Apple has said Group FaceTime will support up to 32 simultaneous participants and that it will be supported on both macOS and iOS.

Apple's iOS 12 beta 7 release notes (PDF) note the removal of Group FaceTime from the beta (and from the eventual public release) with the following:

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Google 'won't fix' an Android P bug that kills Pixel XL fast charging - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 7:38pm
Usually, updates don't remove key features...

These Oreo cookies are meant for left-handed snackers - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 7:30pm
Oreo's new twist on packaging for International Left Handers Day caters to southpaws

Rolls-Royce Ghost and a unique surfboard are strange but welcome bedfellows - Roadshow - News - August 13, 2018 - 7:30pm
This isn't just some off-the-Pacsun-shelf surfboard, either. Oh, no, no, no.

Yamaha YAS-108 review: Superior features and sweet sound from a budget bar - CNET - Reviews - August 13, 2018 - 7:24pm
The Yamaha YAS-108 sound bar sounds really good for $200, delivers superior features and looks really sleek. Is that enough to fend off cheaper models from Vizio?

A Rolls-Royce Ghost looks surprisingly proper with a surfboard - Roadshow - News - August 13, 2018 - 7:23pm
Strange bedfellows converge to show off some excellent craftsmanship on the French Riviera.

Ruby Rose leaves Twitter after Batwoman casting backlash - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 7:09pm
Twitter trolls are pushing another actress to leave social media.

Galaxy S10 may not be Samsung's only triple-camera phone next year - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 6:49pm
The midrange Galaxy A series could come with three rear cameras, says a Korean report.

Print your own labels for $30 - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 6:46pm
The Brother P-Touch Cube is a compact label maker that relies on apps for label design and storage. It's a killer deal at this price.

Your next Chromebook could dual-boot Windows 10 - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 6:42pm
The Campfire update may explain why "premium" Chromebooks are so big right now.

Bethesda pressures Sony with “non-negotiable” cross-platform demand [Updated]

Ars Technica - August 13, 2018 - 6:27pm

Enlarge / Don't expect to see this action on PS4 unless Sony starts changing its tune on cross-platform play...

Across multiple years and multiple franchises, Sony has uniformly prevented PS4 games from playing nicely online with versions of the same game on other consoles. Now, Bethesda is warning that such cross-platform support is "non-negotiable" for the coming console versions of The Elder Scrolls: Legends collectible card game, potentially barring the title from Sony's system.

In an interview with Game Informer, Bethesda VP Pete Hines says that any and all versions of The Elder Scrolls: Legends need to allow for full, unrestricted cross-platform play and cross-platform progress. The applies to the current versions—which already work seamlessly across iOS, Android, and PC platforms—as well as previously announced console versions planned for "later this year."

"It is our intention in order for the game to come out, it has to [have full cross-platform support] on any system," Hines said. "We cannot have a game that works one way across everywhere else except for on this one thing."

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Election hacks and what they mean for 2018 (The 3:59, Ep. 441) - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 6:21pm
Catching up on the Defcon and Black Hat cybersecurity conferences.

Teddy Ruxpin learns some new words after a quick hack - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 6:09pm
The beloved children’s toy picks up some slang at Defcon.

Motorola Moto Z3 review: Solid, midprice phone with a bright 5G tomorrow - CNET - Reviews - August 13, 2018 - 6:07pm
Motorola’s Moto Z3 is reliable, but has little to do while waiting for 2019’s Verizon 5G networks to light up.

“Random” noise pours cold water on room-temperature superconductivity

Ars Technica - August 13, 2018 - 6:02pm

Enlarge / Lasers, magnets, and superconductors, oh my! The lasers have nothing to do with this story, but the other two are critical to understanding it. (credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

Science is said to be moving faster than ever before. In fact, the pace is usually limited by the flow of information—I can’t respond to your results until I know about them, and journals are notoriously slow. The arXiv, which hosts manuscripts that may be submitted for peer review, is not. Put your preprint in today, watch it go public tomorrow... and see it get slapped down three weeks later.

This has all played out before our eyes with an extraordinary claim for room-temperature superconductivity, which is marred by some suspicious data.

Why is superconductivity important?

Superconductivity is a hidden workhorse of today’s medical and scientific establishment. The way to get high magnetic fields is to use a very large current loop. In ordinary conductors, the imperfect conduction of electrons heats the metal, which increases the resistance of the metal. The whole feedback loop terminates when your finely designed metallic coil turns into a small glowing metallic puddle—often considered a bad thing.

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Sainsbury's supermarket goes 'till-free'

BBC Technology News - August 13, 2018 - 6:01pm
The retail giant is running a trial in one store where shoppers scan items and pay with their phone.

Last-chance back-to-school laptop deal: Acer Chromebook R11 for $239 - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 5:49pm
Originally $329 and normally $279, the R11 features a 360-degree hinge and an 11.6-inch touchscreen.

Google DeepMind's AI can detect over 50 sight-threatening eye conditions - CNET - News - August 13, 2018 - 5:40pm
A focus on artificial intelligence could lead to fewer people losing their sight.

Ajit Pai loses in court—FCC can’t kill broadband subsidy in Tribal areas

Ars Technica - August 13, 2018 - 5:39pm

(credit: Free Press)

A US appeals court has blocked the Federal Communications Commission's attempt to take a broadband subsidy away from Tribal areas.

The FCC decision, originally slated to take effect later this year, would have made it difficult or impossible for Tribal residents to obtain a $25-per-month Lifeline subsidy that reduces the cost of Internet or phone service for poor people. But on Friday, a court stayed the FCC decision pending appeal, saying that Tribal organizations and small wireless carriers are likely to win their case against the commission.

"Petitioners have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their arguments that the facilities-based and rural areas limitations contained in the Order are arbitrary and capricious," said the stay order issued by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. "In particular, petitioners contend that the Federal Communications Commission failed to account for a lack of alternative service providers for many tribal customers."

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