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'Star Trek: Discovery' spaceship flies over New York - CNET - News - 2 hours 5 min ago
The USS Discovery takes off for real in Manhattan the night before the show's premiere. Well, sort of.

'Star Trek: Discovery' fights for more than Trekkies' hearts - CNET - News - 2 hours 7 min ago
Following Star Trek's legacy, the new show reminds us about the power of inclusion and diversity at a time when Americans seem more divided than ever.

Hurricane Maria leaves Arecibo radio telescope damaged and dark

The Register - 2 hours 11 min ago
Feed antenna collapses, dropping debris onto main dish

In the midst of the humanitarian disaster unfolding after Puerto Rico was battered by Hurricane Maria, astronomers working at the Arecibo radio telescope have reported damage that will leave it unable to operate for months.…

Sputnik-1 replica used to test the real thing goes under the hammer

The Register - 3 hours 19 min ago
If you've got a lazy US$100k to $150k, a piece of history can be yours on Wednesday

A replica of Sputnik-1 used to test the real thing's performance goes to auction this week.…

'Star Trek: Discovery' title sequence is full of dreamy blueprints - CNET - News - 4 hours 8 min ago
The new show opens with a deconstructed take on Star Trek ships and equipment.

5 things we just learned from the iPhone 8 teardown - CNET - News - 4 hours 18 min ago
Would you believe the iPhone 8 has a smaller battery? Here's what else iFixit discovered.

Chairman Zuck ends would-be president Zuck's political career

The Register - September 24, 2017 - 10:58pm
Facebook gives up on share plan that would give Zuck control forever, even if he worked for government

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's personal challenge for 2017 was “to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year.” He'd already visited 20, so the effort to tick off the other 30 means he's travelled rather a lot in 2017. That Facebook also hired former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe meant that many have observed his travels look like just the sort of thing a political aspirant would do to lay the foundations for a tilt at elected office. The theory was helped by a 2016 proposal to let Zuckerberg retain control of Facebook even if he stepped away from running the company to work in government.…

Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal had a long, complicated history

Ars Technica - September 24, 2017 - 10:00pm

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sportwagen photographed in Washington, DC, USA. (credit: IFCAR)

This story originally ran October 8, 2015, just a few weeks after it was discovered that new diesel Volkswagens and Audis ran undisclosed software that allowed the cars to cheat on their US federal emissions tests. This week was the two-year anniversary of the explosive news, and we're resurfacing this story to take another look at the history of automakers gaming regulations. Since this story ran in 2015, Volkswagen agreed to a multi-billion dollar settlement with 2.0L diesel vehicle customers in 2016, and in 2017, researchers were able to get a more detailed look at the code that made the diesels' driving so dirty.

In mid-September, the US Environmental Protection Agency dropped a bomb on Volkswagen Group, the German company that owns Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, and other notable car brands. The EPA sent the umbrella company a Notice of Violation, explaining that it discovered “defeat devices” on Volkswagen and Audi diesel passenger cars from 2009 and later.

The defeat devices—actually less a “device” than code on the cars’ electronic control module that detects whether a car is in a lab or on the road—were preventing the cars’ emissions control systems from working properly while the car was operating under normal driving conditions, likely boosting the car’s performance or fuel efficiency rating or both. The EPA said that nearly 500,000 of these diesel cars were caught spewing emissions well in excess of the federal rules, sending the company’s stock into a tailspin.

Read 43 remaining paragraphs | Comments

CNET UK podcast 528: Analysing Apple and Uber's London ban - CNET - News - September 24, 2017 - 8:02pm
Are Apple's iPhones worth the money and is London right to ban Uber from operating? The CNET UK podcast discusses all the biggest tech stories.

Is the alt-right’s use of Pepe the Frog “fair use?”

Ars Technica - September 24, 2017 - 8:00pm

Enlarge / A supporter holds a campaign sign for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with 'Pepe the Frog' drawn on it during a rally in Minneapolis in November 2016. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What can you do when your favorite frog gets away from you?

When Matt Furie drew Pepe the Frog for a short-lived magazine in 2005, he had no way of knowing the character would become a mascot for the so-called "alt-right," a loose coalition of far-right groups that veer towards white nationalism.

But during the 2016 election cycle, that's exactly what happened—and that's what Furie is now trying to undo. Furie has undertaken a campaign to restore Pepe's image as the gentle, stoner frog he intended, rather than a symbol of hate. He's hired a lawyer to send cease-and-desist letters over uses of Pepe that he didn't authorize. So far, targets include T-shirts being sold on Amazon and elsewhere, a book by an alt-right blogger "Baked Alaska" called Meme Magic: Secrets Revealed, a video game called Build the Wall, and a video by another alt-right blogger, Mike Cernovich.

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In shift towards electric vehicles, Volkswagen looking for cobalt contracts

Ars Technica - September 24, 2017 - 7:20pm

Enlarge / This photo, taken on May 31, 2015 near a mine between Lubumbashi and Kolwezi, shows a man carrying a bag of minerals as people separate cobalt from sand and rock in a lake. AFP PHOTO / FEDERICO SCOPPA (credit: Getty Images)

Volkswagen is looking for serious, long-term contracts with cobalt producers, according to a Reuters report on Friday. Cobalt is a common component in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and it's projected to command more and more demand as electric vehicles are adopted in greater numbers. Currently cobalt is trading at about $26 per pound.

Securing reserves of the kinds of materials used in batteries will be key to Volkswagen’s future growth. After the so-called “dieselgate” scandal of 2015, Volkswagen Group pledged to pivot away from diesel to electric vehicles (EVs). The German automaker has said it wants to produce up to 3 million electric vehicles by 2025 and offer 80 electric vehicle models across all 12 brands by 2030. If VW Group succeeds, it would be a considerable feat given that so far there are only about 2 million EVs of any brand on the road worldwide.

As more automakers move to develop EVs, the minerals used to make car batteries will become more and more important. In 2015, Tesla secured two contracts with mining companies Bacanora Minerals and Rare Earth Minerals, as well as Pure Energy Minerals to explore lithium deposits in northern Nevada and Mexico. Cobalt is often used as a component in electric powertrain batteries because cobalt-based lithium batteries tend to have high energy density (although other materials like nickel and manganese can be used in lithium-ion batteries as well, depending on the battery application).

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Google wants to be Apple again. Here's the problem - CNET - News - September 24, 2017 - 6:00pm
Commentary: To succeed in mobile hardware, Google will have to master something for which it has never shown expertise: product marketing.

Live From The Berlin Marathon: You Can't Outrun Bad Weather

Wired - September 24, 2017 - 2:21pm
Heat, humidity, and slippery roads dashed the world record dreams at the Berlin Marathon

The Blockbuster Showdown At This Year's Berlin Marathon

Wired - September 24, 2017 - 2:20pm
Can three elite runners, with a little help from Nike and Adidas, smash the marathon world record?

Sean Spicer's Emmys Appearance Tops This Week's News Roundup

Wired - September 24, 2017 - 2:00pm
Stop trying to make Sean Spicer happen.

All the Ways Equifax Epically Bungled Its Breach Response

Wired - September 24, 2017 - 2:00pm
The Equifax breach that potentially exposed the personal information of 143 million people was bad. The company's response has almost been worse, if that's even possible.

Going once, going twice: An Apple-1 and a Steve Jobs autograph - CNET - News - September 24, 2017 - 1:00pm
Tech nostalgia is driving auction bidders to scramble for vintage computers and memorabilia.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk review - Roadshow - Reviews - September 24, 2017 - 1:00pm
The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is rugged enough to actually be taken offroad, but its surprisingly sophisticated tech makes it feel just as capable on the street.

Delta Leak Detector review - CNET - Reviews - September 24, 2017 - 1:00pm
Delta's $80 Leak Detector gets a lot of things right, but it's also a water-sensing device that's afraid to go swimming.

August Smart Lock Review: A High-Tech Alternative to the Key Under the Mat

Wired - September 24, 2017 - 1:00pm
The redesigned August Smart Lock lets you use your phone as your key.

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