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Industry & Technology

Conservation of energy used to parallelize quantum key distribution

Ars Technica - 26 min 31 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Taki Steve / Flickr)

It has been a while since I wrote about quantum key distribution. Once a technology is commercially available, my interest starts to fade. But commercial availability in this case hasn't meant widespread use. Quantum key distribution has ended up a niche market because creating shared keys with it for more than one connection using a single device is so difficult.

That may all change now with a very inventive solution that makes use of all the best things: lasers, nonlinear optics, and conservation of energy.

Quantum key distribution in less than 500 words

The goal of quantum key distribution is to generate a random number that is securely shared between two people, always termed Alice and Bob. The shared random number is then used to seed classical encryption algorithms.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dealmaster: Take 24% off the latest 9.7-inch Apple iPad

Ars Technica - 54 min 9 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: TechBargains)

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today's list is headlined by a deal on the 32GB model of Apple's latest 9.7-inch iPad, which is down to $249 at Walmart and Amazon. That's $80 off its usual price.

This has been the iPad's sale price for much of the holiday season, but if you're in need of a new tablet and haven't taken advantage yet, it's still a strong deal. While the 9.7-inch model isn't the most capable device for professional work, it is far and away the best slate on the market for the things most people do with tablets—namely, watching videos, reading articles, and playing games.

It may not have the souped-up processor or ultra-vibrant display of Apple's iPad Pro devices, but it is still built well and plenty smooth for far less money. Android's sloppiness on large screens almost makes Apple king of this territory by default. There's no pressing need to upgrade if your tablet that still serves you well, but if you need something new and don't want to settle for the flimsier designs of cheaper devices, the 9.7-inch model remains a good value. Note that the 128GB model is on sale, too, if you need more storage.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ken Block's Gymkhana 10 is 20 minutes of nonstop awesome - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 11 min ago
That tire budget must have been huge.

Russian influencers thrived on Instagram after pressure on Facebook, Twitter - CNET - News - 1 hour 16 min ago
Senate report says Russia's disinformation campaign will start moving to smaller platforms, where it's found more success.

Best wireless headphones for making calls - CNET - News - 1 hour 19 min ago
The microphone and communications features are better on some wireless headphones than others. Here are some our current favorites for making cell-phone calls.

Genetic information as self-fulfilling prophecy

Ars Technica - 1 hour 23 min ago

Enlarge (credit: 23AndMe on Flickr)

If the TV ads are at all effective, plenty of people will be getting the gift of their genetic tests this Christmas. These tests frequently allow people to explore their inherited tendencies toward health problems and, in some cases, may suggest lifestyle changes to ward off future problems—although studies have indicated that few people do.

However, DNA test results can also cause issues that wouldn't otherwise be there. Genetic information can exert a potent placebo effect—or the opposite, the nocebo effect, wherein if you think that something can harm you, it in fact does. And the potency of this effect has not been studied until now.

Experimental ethics

Some psychologists at Stanford wondered if the perception of genetic risk could actually increase people’s risk, independent of their actual genetic risk. In other words, could simply learning that you have a genetic propensity for something elicit physiological changes akin to really having that propensity, regardless of whether you have it? The team designed experiments to find out.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

PewDiePie bro army sneaks meme-filled ad page onto - CNET - News - 1 hour 27 min ago
The typo-riddled, meme-filled ad page claimed the Wall Street Journal had fired journalists and wanted people to subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Huawei Nova 4 pushes the new 'hole-punch' notch trend further - CNET - News - 1 hour 28 min ago
This is the same notch design rumored for the Galaxy S10.

Samsung and LG are reportedly bringing their 5G phones to MWC - CNET - News - 1 hour 41 min ago
Mobile World Congress 2019 is scheduled for Feb. 25 to 28.

Tumblr's ban on porn starts today - CNET - News - 1 hour 42 min ago
The microblogging service says it hasn't been an easy transition.

TCL's Series 6 Roku TV is now $500, cheaper than its Black Friday price - CNET - News - 1 hour 54 min ago
Plus: Save an extra 10 percent on refurbished gear from Decluttr and get a seriously excellent PC game bundle for just $5.

Netflix reveals Dark Crystal voice cast, Gelflings - CNET - News - 2 hours 7 min ago
Mark Hamill and Simon Pegg will lend their voices to The Dark Crystal puppet production.

Holiday travel plans? Apple offers six classic audiobooks for free - CNET - News - 2 hours 12 min ago
Plus, they're voiced by several famous celebrities.

The 51 best VR games of 2018 - CNET - News - 2 hours 19 min ago
What's worth playing in virtual reality? Here are all our favorites.

Smartwatches will continue to dominate wearables into 2022, predicts IDC - CNET - News - 2 hours 21 min ago
They'll also play a "critical role" in tracking your health, says the market researcher.

Archaeologists reconstruct pre-Columbian temple with 3D-printed blocks

Ars Technica - 2 hours 28 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Brattarb via Wikimedia Commons)

The unfinished temple in a southern valley of the Lake Titicaca Basin in modern-day Bolivia has been a mystery for at least 500 years. Now known as the Pumapunku—"Door of the Jaguar" in the Quechua language—the complex stone structure is part of a sprawling complex of pyramids, plazas, and platforms built by a pre-Columbian culture we now call the Tiwanaku. Construction began around 500 CE and proceeded off and on, in phases, over the next few centuries until the Tiwanaku left the site around 900 or 1000 CE.

When the Inca Empire rose around 1200 CE, they claimed the sprawling ceremonial complex as the site of the world's creation, although they didn't finish the Tiwanaku's temple.

Old school and high tech

Spanish visitors in the 1500s and 1600s describe “a wondrous, though unfinished, building” with walls of H-shaped andesite pieces and massive gateways and windows carved from single blocks. These were set on remarkably smooth sandstone slabs, some of which weighed more than 80 tons. But after centuries of looting, the stones of the Pumapunku are so scattered that not one lies in its original place. The Tiwanaku left behind no written documents or plans to help modern researchers understand what their buildings looked like or what purpose they served.

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There was more than just one Razr - CNET - News - 2 hours 35 min ago
The original thin phone is 14 years old. Take a look back the Motorola Razr V3 in all of its many iconic forms.

Samsung Q9 series (2018) review: Sumptuous picture quality in designer garb at a luxury price - CNET - Reviews - 2 hours 37 min ago
Samsung's high-end Q9 delivers the best picture quality of any non-OLED TV on the market, scads of features and sweet design. So can it knock off its OLED rival from LG?

Sony inadvertently leaks player counts for PS4 titles

Ars Technica - 2 hours 46 min ago


Here at Ars, we have a longstanding obsession with revealing the hidden numbers in the secretive world of video game sales and gameplay data. So we were intrigued this weekend when we heard that Sony seems to have inadvertently revealed the total number of players for a large majority of the PS4's library.

The leak centers on Sony's recent My PS4 Life promotion, which lets users generate a personalized statistics video for their PSN Gamertag. Amid some aggregate statistics and "total hours played" numbers for your favorite games, the video also lists your "rarest" trophy and, crucially, the precise number of PSN users who have earned that trophy.

Sony has long made public the percentage of a game's players that have earned any specific trophy on PSN (rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent). Combining that percentage with the "My PS4 Life" numbers, that makes it relatively simple to reverse-engineer an overall "players" estimate for that game.

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Intel Whiskey Lake chips come to the ThinkPad L series - CNET - News - 2 hours 48 min ago
Lenovo refreshes a pair of budget-friendly laptops in the calm before the CES storm.

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