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Industry & Technology

Google Chrome wants to stop back-button hijacking

Ars Technica - 33 min 19 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Google)

Have you ever been to a website where the back button just doesn't work? In these instances, you press "back" to go back but instead you just end up at the same page where you started. A new commit on the Chromium source (first spotted by 9to5Google) outlines a plan to stop weird website schemes like this, with a lockdown on "history manipulation" by websites. The commit reads: "Entries that are added to the back/forward list without the user's intention are marked to be skipped on subsequent back button invocations."

The back button moves backward through your Web history, and, along with the close button, it's one of the most common ways of leaving a website. This is very bad if you're a shady website designer, and sites have tried to mess with the back button by adding extra entries to your Web history. It's not hard to do this with a redirect—imagine loading from a search result, which instantly redirects you to Both pages would get stored in your history, so pressing "back" from would send you to, which would redirect you again and add more troublesome history entries. This doesn't make it impossible to leave (quickly hitting the back button twice might work), but it does make it harder to leave, which is the end goal.

To stop this kind of history manipulation, bad history entries will soon get a "skippable" flag, which means the back button will ignore them when it navigates through the history order. One commit says Google still needs to come up with some kind of "pruning logic" to declare a website as skippable, but that could probably be done with something like a timestamp. You spent zero seconds on that redirect page, so that's probably not a good history entry.

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Kroger-owned grocery store begins fully driverless deliveries

Ars Technica - 37 min 12 sec ago

Nuro, a startup founded by two veterans of Google's self-driving car project, has reached an important milestone: it has started making fully autonomous grocery deliveries on public streets.

Fry's Food, a brand owned by grocery giant Kroger, launched a self-driving grocery delivery program back in August in partnership with Nuro. Fry's has been using Nuro cars to deliver groceries to customers near one of its stores on East McDowell Road in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Initially, these deliveries were made by Toyota Priuses that Nuro had outfitted with its sensors and software. There were also safety drivers behind the wheel. Nuro says it has made 1,000 deliveries using these vehicles since August.

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina charms with some welcome holiday horror

Ars Technica - 40 min 51 sec ago

Enlarge / Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) toasts friends and family at the witchy winter solstice in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina holiday special. (credit: Netflix)

Looking for a palate cleanser after all those wholesome Christmas movies saturating every TV channel? We recommend "A Midwinter's Tale," a special holiday episode of the Netflix horror series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It caps off a strong first season for the fledgling series. And Sabrina has just been renewed for a third and fourth season (16 episodes in total), which means we'll get even more sinister witchy goodness in the future.

The series is based on the comic book series of the same name, part of the Archie Horror imprint, and it's much, much darker in tone than the original Sabrina the Teenaged Witch comics. Originally intended as a companion series to the CW's Riverdale—a gleefully Gothic take on the original Archie comic books—Sabrina ended up on Netflix instead. It's a stronger series for it, evidenced by rave reviews and a rapidly expanding fan base.

(Some spoilers for season 1 below.)

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Ofcom: More spectrum for all the good boys and girls. Except you, EE. You've had your fill

The Register - 1 hour 15 min ago
UK mobile networks had better open their wallets

Ofcom has revealed plans to offer more of the airwaves to mobile networks, increasing capacity by around 22 per cent overall, and by 62 per cent in the more attractive sub-1GHz portion of the spectrum.…

Man sues feds after being detained for refusing to unlock his phone at airport

Ars Technica - 1 hour 21 min ago

Enlarge (credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

A Southern California man has become the latest person to sue the federal government over what he says is an unconstitutional search of his phone at the Los Angeles International Airport.

According to his lawsuit, which was recently filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Haisam Elsharkawi had arrived at LAX on February 9, 2017 and was headed to Saudi Arabia to go on a hajj, the Muslim religious pilgrimage.

After clearing the security checkpoint, Elsharkawi, an American citizen, was pulled aside from the Turkish Airlines boarding line by a Customs and Border Protection officer, who began questioning him about how much cash he was carrying and where he was going. Elsharkawi complied with the officer’s inquiries and dutifully followed him to a nearby table.

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5G is finally starting to feel real - CNET - News - 1 hour 29 min ago
Qualcomm gave us a glimpse of the 5G future earlier this month. Now AT&T is launching its mobile 5G service in a handful of cities.

Netflix renews Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for parts 3 and 4 - CNET - News - 1 hour 30 min ago
The renewal comes months ahead of part 2's debut.

Jaguar Land Rover testing automatic car doors with help from a veteran - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 30 min ago
The doors, while not necessarily new in the industry, could provide a big mobility boost.

SpaceX raising $500 million to help build satellite broadband network

Ars Technica - 1 hour 37 min ago

Enlarge / SpaceX's first Starlink broadband satellites. (credit: Elon Musk)

SpaceX is raising $500 million from investors to help build its worldwide satellite broadband network, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

The company run by Elon Musk has agreed on financing terms with existing shareholders and new investor Baillie Gifford & Co., who will pay $186 per share for new stock, valuing the company at $30.5 billion, according to Journal sources. SpaceX hasn't received the money yet but could announce the deal by the end of December, the Journal reported.

The funding round would pay for initial costs but not the entire project, which the Journal report said could cost as much as $10 billion. We contacted SpaceX about the funding today but the company declined to comment.

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Sonic the Hedgehog's movie leans into its body controversy - CNET - News - 1 hour 40 min ago
Maybe it's always leg day for Sonic.

Twitter rolls out easier way to switch between latest and top tweets - CNET - News - 1 hour 43 min ago
Sometimes you just don't want to see tweets from last night's basketball game on your timeline.

2019 Ford Ranger first drive review: Back with a vengeance - Roadshow - Reviews - 1 hour 47 min ago
Now a modern midsize pickup, the Blue Oval looks ready to battle against Toyota, GM and Nissan.

Facebook shares progress on civil rights audit: 'We need to do more' - CNET - News - 1 hour 50 min ago
The report shows improvements on tackling problems like false information, fake accounts and voter suppression.

Amazon Digital Day 2018 sale slated for Dec. 28 - CNET - News - 1 hour 52 min ago
Its annual sale on intangibles -- Kindle books, movies, games and more -- begins to ramp up starting on Dec. 26.

Apple Watch Series 4: Both sizes, compared - CNET - News - 1 hour 55 min ago
Take a closer look at the 40mm and 44mm models in steel versus the Series 3.

SpaceX, Blue Origin scrub Tuesday rocket launches, will try again soon - CNET - News - 1 hour 57 min ago
Tuesday's missions are postponed, but the Falcon 9 and New Shepard rockets will get another go.

Brit startup Graphcore tossed a £200m early Christmas pressie for machine learning CPU

The Register - 1 hour 58 min ago
Bristol firm says it will 'triple' headcount

AI chip startup Graphcore has managed to grab $200m from investors, part of which will be used to hire more engineers on the west coast...the west coast of Britain for the absence of doubt.…

Nuro launches autonomous Kroger grocery delivery pods in Arizona - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 59 min ago
Earlier, the program used Priuses, but now, it's all about Nuro's diminutive pod-things.

AT&T's 5G network is live, if you're in the right city - CNET - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
It'll cost $70 a month to use with a mobile hotspot. 5G phones arrive in 2019.

Actor Alfonso Ribeiro suing Fortnite developer over the 'Carlton Dance' - CNET - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
The actor wants financial compensation, according to the complaint.

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