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Industry & Technology

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

Ars Technica - 57 min 36 sec 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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Sony inadvertently leaks player counts for PS4 titles

Ars Technica - 1 hour 15 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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Ford built a noise-canceling kennel to placate your pup - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 22 min ago
It uses the same kind of tech found in headphones and cars.

I was wrong about the Motorola Razr - CNET - News - 1 hour 32 min ago
Long before the iPhone or the Galaxy line, this phone was all the rage. And I failed to see just how popular the Razr would be.

Huawei Nova 4 pushes the new 'hole-punch' notch trend further - CNET - News - 1 hour 33 min ago
This is the same notch design rumored for the Galaxy S10.

Intel Whiskey Lake chips come to the ThinkPad L series - CNET - News - 2 hours 5 sec ago
Lenovo refreshes a pair of budget-friendly laptops in the calm before the CES storm.

Holiday travel plans? Apple offers six classic audiobooks for free - CNET - News - 2 hours 3 min ago
Plus, they're voiced by several famous celebrities.

2020 Hyundai Palisade first drive review: Crocodile eyes, family-friendly heart - Roadshow - Reviews - 2 hours 3 min ago
Striking looks, kid-friendly tech and a premium cabin should put this three-row SUV atop shopping lists.

2019 Nissan Murano first drive review: A sharply styled CUV with comfort in spades - Roadshow - Reviews - 2 hours 4 min ago
Refreshed for 2019, the Murano adds a helping of safety tech and maintains its comfortable accommodations.

Mercedes-Benz teases new CLA-Class ahead of CES 2019 debut - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 6 min ago
Its CES booth will have several new-to-the-US models on display, too.

Visual Studio Code's Python extension goes to Jupyter

The Register - 2 hours 8 min ago
A preview of next year's .NET Framework also emitted

The hardworking elves toiling in the corridors of Redmond loaded up Santa's sled with two more developer treats in the form of Python updates for Visual Studio Code and a fresh preview of the venerable .NET Framework.…

CenturyLink blocked its customers’ Internet access in order to show an ad

Ars Technica - 2 hours 16 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | RiverNorthPhotography)

CenturyLink briefly disabled the Internet connections of customers in Utah last week and allowed them back online only after they acknowledged an offer to purchase filtering software.

CenturyLink falsely claimed that it was required to do so by a Utah state law that says ISPs must notify customers "of the ability to block material harmful to minors." In fact, the new law requires only that ISPs notify customers of their filtering software options "in a conspicuous manner"; it does not say that the ISPs must disable Internet access until consumers acknowledge the notification. The law even says that ISPs may make the notification "with a consumer's bill," which shouldn't disable anyone's Internet access.

Coincidentally, CenturyLink's blocking of customer Internet access occurred days before the one-year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission repeal of net neutrality rules, which prohibited blocking and throttling of Internet access.

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Bloodhound 1,000 mph SSC project gets a jump-start - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 44 min ago
The owner of a turbocharger company gives the supersonic car the boost it needed.

Here's how to correctly pronounce Porsche Taycan - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 46 min ago
Maybe Porsche's next model won't need a pronunciation guide.

Apple FaceTime car crash lawsuit dismissed

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 47 min ago
Appeal court dismisses case alleging Apple's responsibility in Christmas Eve crash in Texas in 2014.

Google announces major expansion in New York City

Ars Technica - 2 hours 48 min ago

Enlarge / Google's current New York Headquarters is in the former Port Authority of New York building. It occupies an entire long city block between 8th and 9th Avenues and between 15th and 16th Streets. (credit: Jefferson Siegel/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Google's New York office is already its largest outside the San Francisco Bay Area, but on Monday the company announced plans to double the size of its New York workforce to more than 14,000. The company is building a new campus in the Hudson Square neighborhood, about a mile south of its current New York headquarters in the Chelsea neighborhood.

It's been a big couple of months for technology companies expanding beyond the West Coast. Last month, Amazon announced it would add a total of 50,000 jobs in two new campuses—one in New York's Long Island City neighborhood, and the other in Crystal City in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Last week, Apple announced it would expand its 6,000-person Austin campus by another 5,000 workers, with the potential to add an additional 10,000 people later on.

Now it's Google's turn. The search giant is planning to add at least 7,000 more New York City jobs over the next decade, and a Google spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that this was "a conservative estimate."

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Mercedes, Tesla lowering prices in China amid easing tariff tensions - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 57 min ago
The tariff reduction doesn't actually go into effect until Jan. 1.

Influential cypherpunk and crypto-anarchist Tim May dies aged 67

The Register - 2 hours 58 min ago
One-time Intel boffin

Obit Friends of Timothy May have confirmed that the former Intel engineer and co-founder of the Cypherpunks mailing list died of natural causes at his home in California on Friday. He was 67. Bitcoin and blockchain, WikiLeaks, P2P software and information markets all owe a debt to the list.…

TCL's Series 6 Roku TV is now $500, cheaper than its Black Friday price - CNET - News - 3 hours 5 min ago
Plus: Save an extra 10 percent on refurbished gear from Decluttr and get a seriously excellent PC game bundle for just $5.

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