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Industry & Technology

The Mac gaming console time has forgot

Ars Technica - 32 min 44 sec ago

Enlarge / Nope, that's not an Xbox, Playstation, or even a Dreamcast... (credit:'s Museum)

Apple in mid-1993 was reeling. Amidst declining Mac sales, Microsoft had gained a stranglehold over the PC industry. Worse, the previous year Apple had spent $600 million on research and development, on products such as laser printers, powered speakers, color monitors, and the Newton MessagePad system—the first device to be branded a "personal digital assistant," or PDA. But little return had yet come from it—or indeed looked likely to come from it.

The Newton's unreliable handwriting recognition was quickly becoming the butt of jokes. Adding to the turmoil, engineering and marketing teams were readying for a radical transition from the Motorola 68k (also known as the 680x0) family of microprocessors that had powered the Mac since 1984 to the PowerPC, a new, more powerful computer architecture that was jointly developed by Apple, Motorola, and IBM. Macs with 68k processors wouldn't be able to run software built for PowerPC. Similarly, software built for 68k Macs would need to be updated to take advantage of the superior PowerPC.

It was in this environment that COO Michael Spindler—a German engineer and strategist who'd climbed through the ranks of Apple in Europe to the very top layer of executive management—was elevated to CEO. (The previous CEO, John Sculley, was asked to resign.) Spindler spearheaded a radical and cost-heavy reorganisation of the company, which harmed morale and increased the chaos, and he developed a reputation for having horrendous people skills. He'd hold meetings in which he'd ramble incoherently, scribble illegible notes on a whiteboard, then leave before anybody could ask a question, and his office was usually closed.

Read 43 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Reddit Bans, Atlanta Ransomware, and More Security News This Week

Wired - 32 min 55 sec ago
Reddit bans, Atlanta ransomware, and more of the week's top security news.

'The Sky Is Yours' Combines Dragons and YouTube

Wired - 32 min 55 sec ago
Chandler Klang Smith's new novel is full of surreal weirdness.

Leaked data suggests Uber self-driving car program years behind Waymo

Ars Technica - 1 hour 2 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Uber)

Insiders have long viewed Uber as a laggard in the driverless car race, but internal documents obtained by the New York Times suggest that the company's self-driving car program is even further behind its rivals than had been publicly known.

The key statistic: prior to last Sunday's fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona, Uber's self-driving cars in Arizona were "struggling" to go 13 miles between interventions by a safety driver—known as a disengagement.

In comparison, Waymo's self-driving cars in California traveled 5,600 miles per disengagement in 2017, while Cruise, GM's self-driving car subsidiary, had a disengagement once every 1,250 miles in the state. We don't know either company's statistics in Arizona because Arizona law doesn't require them to be disclosed.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Spirit Island review: Finally, an anti-colonialist board game

Ars Technica - 1 hour 32 min ago

Enlarge / Get off my island.

A side effect of Euro-style board games’ preoccupation with European history as a theme is that many such games hinge on colonialism. Most board games are not “pro-colonialist,” of course, but simulating a long history of European imperialism necessarily means that a lot of us sit around on game nights trying to figure out the most efficient way to exploit the resources (and sometimes, uncomfortably, the people) of a newly “discovered” land.

Spirit Island, a cooperative strategy game for one to four players, flips this well-worn script on its head. Instead of playing as settlers building out villages and roads in a new land, you and your friends take on the role of god-like elemental spirits charged with protecting the island's various landscapes from those pesky invaders, who are controlled by the game itself. It’s kind of like a complex, wildly asymmetric Pandemic—but here, people are the disease.

The island's natives are there to help you fight back when they can, but it's mostly up to you and your teammates to destroy the settlers' fledgling cities, remove the blight they introduce as they ravage your pristine lands, and gain more and better powers to help you on your way. Gameplay is driven by cards, and as the game progresses, you'll get more and better powers and strike more and more fear into the invaders' hearts. Drive them off to win.

Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Whirlpool WTW7500GC review - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 32 min ago
The $999 Whirlpool WTW7500GC top-load washing machine has a lot going for it... except great performance.

10 Tech and Gaming Deals: Sea of Thieves, Star Wars, Alienware, Netgear

Wired - 1 hour 32 min ago
We've scoured the web to find deals on desktops, Xbox, food dehydrators, and more.

Guccifer 2.0 outed, Kaspersky slammed, Oz radio hacker in the slammer, and more

The Register - 1 hour 57 min ago
Top tip: Switch on the VPN when doing naughty hacking, товарищ!

Roundup Here's your easy-to-digest round up of information security news beyond everything we've already covered this week.…

The 45 best Android games of 2018 - CNET - News - 2 hours 2 min ago
These are unequivocally the best Android games on the planet.

Epson Home Cinema 4000 review - CNET - Reviews - 2 hours 32 min ago
Despite lacking 4K resolution, the Epson HC4000 projector delivers a very impressive image for the price.

Best mobile games of 2018 - CNET - News - 2 hours 32 min ago
Looking for a new game to play on your phone or tablet? Here are our picks of the best mobile games.

Uber's Crash and the Folly of Humans Training Self-Driving Cars

Wired - 2 hours 32 min ago
Humans are terrible at paying attention when they're doing all the driving. So why expect anything different when the robot's in charge?

In Search of God’s Mathematical Perfect Proofs

Wired - 2 hours 32 min ago
The mathematicians Günter Ziegler and Martin Aigner have spent the past 20 years collecting some of the most beautiful proofs in mathematics.

Uber's disturbing fatal self-driving car crash, a new common sense challenge for AI, and Facebook's evil algorithms

The Register - 4 hours 59 min ago
Are we doomed?

Roundup It’s been a grim week for AI. The deadly Uber crash and fallout from the scandal between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are a reminder of the ways algorithms can fail, and how they can be used against us.…

More ad-versarial tech: Mozilla to pop limited ad blocker into Firefox

The Register - 12 hours 11 min ago
Deteriorating web prompts browser maker to take a stand

Mozilla intends to add basic ad filtering capabilities to its Firefox browser later this year, according to its recently updated roadmap.…

Firefox flirts with adding limited ad blocker

The Register - 12 hours 11 min ago
Deteriorating web prompts browser maker to take a stand

Mozilla intends to add basic ad filtering capabilities to its Firefox browser later this year, according to it's recently updated roadmap.…

Uber's driverless cars said to lag behind competitors - CNET - News - 12 hours 46 min ago
After a pedestrian is killed by one of the company's self-driving cars, documents show Uber's autonomous vehicle program might've been struggling.

Why did my iPhone stop working with my BMW? - Roadshow - News - 13 hours 54 min ago
Short answer: BMW is from Venus, Apple is from Mars.

Next iPad and 2018 iPad Pro: All the rumors on specs, price, release date - CNET - News - 13 hours 55 min ago
Growing buzz suggests new iPads on Tuesday.

Tumblr outs 84 accounts it says are trying to game you - CNET - News - 13 hours 57 min ago
The microblogging site wants to avoid Facebook's mistakes.

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