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Industry & Technology

Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade

ZDnet News - 2 hours 19 min ago
Microsoft's much-hyped free upgrade offer for Windows 10 ended in 2016, right? Not exactly. The GWX tool may be gone, but all the other upgrade tools still work, and the end result is an apparently valid digital license. But those offers could end soon.

Dealmaster: Get a new 15-inch Dell laptop with a Core i7 for $580

Ars Technica - 2 hours 29 min ago

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, the Dealmaster has returned from his weekend break with another list of sweet, beautiful deals in tow. For a relatively random Tuesday in January, today's crop of deals is surprisingly strong: For one, we've got the latest iteration of Dell's Inspiron 15 5000 laptop down to $580. You still can't expect the world from something like this—its storage mixes a 128GB SSD with a 1TB HDD—but that's not a bad price for a 15-inch device with a 1080p display and 8th-gen (i.e., latest) Intel Core i7 chip.

Beyond that, we have discounts on a high-end version of Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a 55-inch model of LG's acclaimed C7 OLED TV, Amazon's new Echo Show speaker, and several other gadgets and accessories. Take a look for yourself below.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

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Bitcoin plunges—now down 42 percent from December peak

Ars Technica - 2 hours 52 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Bitcoincharts)

Bitcoin's value plunged on Tuesday, falling to $11,300—the lowest value the virtual currency has seen in 2018. Bitcoin's value is down more than 20 percent over the last 24 hours, and down 42 percent from December's all-time high of around $19,500.

Bitcoin's fall was part of a broader crypto-currency selloff. Every major cryptocurrency has suffered double-digit losses over the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. Ethereum is down 21 percent. Bitcoin Cash is down 25 percent. Litecoin is down 20 percent, while Dash is down 21 percent, and Monero is down 25 percent.

It's hard to say what causes cryptocurrencies to go up or down on any given day. In recent months, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have exhibited classic signs of a speculative bubble, with millions of ordinary investors flooding into the market in hopes of making an easy buck. That helped to push Bitcoin to new heights, but it also heightened the cryptocurrency's already significant volatility.

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Star Wars cantina song really clicks on a Rubik's cube - CNET - News - 3 hours 22 min ago
A Rubik's cube master tackles the Star Wars Mos Eisley cantina theme while solving the colorful puzzle.

Alexa, Google Assistant want to be everywhere in 2018 - CNET - News - 3 hours 36 min ago
These voice assistants want to be on the go with you, plugging into smart glasses, smart earbuds and even smart toilets.

This dashing dinosaur rocked a rainbow around its neck - CNET - News - 3 hours 38 min ago
Cool or creepy? Scientists describe the unusual appearance of a chicken-sized Jurassic dinosaur.

The interface to send out a missile alert in Hawaii is, as expected, quite bad

Ars Technica - 3 hours 38 min ago

Enlarge / A morning view of the city of Honolulu, Hawaii is seen on January 13, 2018. Social media ignited on January 13, 2018 after apparent screenshots of cell phone emergency alerts warning of a "ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii" began circulating, which US officials quickly dismissed as "false." (Eugene Tanner/AFP/Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images)

The Honolulu Civil Beat claims to have obtained a picture of the interface used to send out tests and missile alerts to the people of Hawaii, and it's not pretty.

It appears the employee who sent out the mobile and broadcast missile alert that sent Hawaii into a panic for 38 minutes on Saturday was supposed to choose "DRILL - PACOM (CDW) - STATE ONLY" but instead chose "PACOM (CDW) - STATE ONLY" from an unordered list of equally unintuitive and difficult-to-read options.

This is the screen that set off the ballistic missile alert on Saturday. The operator clicked the PACOM (CDW) State Only link. The drill link is the one that was supposed to be clicked. #Hawaii

— Honolulu Civil Beat (@CivilBeat) January 16, 2018

The Honolulu Civil Beat noted in a story on Sunday that the employee who made the choice from the nearly unintelligible list has been temporarily reassigned within the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), and his status at the agency will be decided after a review. The news outlet wrote that according to Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi, the employee "felt terrible about the mistake."

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Found: New Android malware with never-before-seen spying capabilities

Ars Technica - 3 hours 53 min ago

Enlarge (credit: portal gda)

Last year, researchers found what at the time was quite possibly the world's most sophisticated espionage app ever written for the Android mobile operating system. Now, in a discovery that underscores the growing arms race among competing malware developers, researchers have uncovered a new Android spying platform that includes location-based audio recording and other features that have never been seen in the wild before.

According to a report published Tuesday by antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab, "Skygofree" is most likely an offensive security product sold by an Italy-based IT company that markets various surveillance wares. With 48 different commands in its latest version, the malware has undergone continuous development since its creation in late 2014. It relies on five separate exploits to gain privileged root access that allows it to bypass key Android security measures. Skygofree is capable of taking pictures, capturing video, and seizing call records, text messages, gelocation data, calendar events, and business-related information stored in device memory.

Skygofree also includes the ability to automatically record conversations and noise when an infected device enters a location specified by the person operating the malware. Another never-before-seen feature is the ability to steal WhatsApp messages by abusing the Android Accessibility Service that's designed to help users who have disabilities or who may temporarily be unable to fully interact with a device. A third new feature: the ability to connect infected devices to Wi-Fi networks controlled by attackers.

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“Rocket” Madsen formally charged with murder of Kim Wall aboard sub

Ars Technica - 4 hours 7 min ago

Enlarge / The UC3 Nautilus in early sea trials in 2008. (credit: Frumperino)

Today, Peter Madsen—the inventor, engineer, and owner of the world's largest amateur-built submarine and head of the eponymous "Rocket Madsen Space Lab"—was formally charged with murdering Kim Wall, a Swedish freelance journalist who had been writing an article about Madsen. Copenhagen Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen says that Wall's killing was premeditated and called the case “very unusual and extremely disturbing.”

Madsen is also charged with dismemberment, indecent handling of a corpse, and with "sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature." Madsen's trial is set to begin March 8. If convicted, Madsen would face a life sentence. There is also a petition before the court to have him committed to a secure psychiatric facility indefinitely if he is determined to be mentally ill and to pose a danger to others.

Rocket man, U-boat commander

Madsen, who was once one of the founding members of Copenhagen Suborbitals—which describes itself as "the world's only manned amateur space program"—had what could generously be described as a falling out with the group in 2014. "He had disagreement with the other members of the group for years, including the board," a Copenhagen Suborbitals spokesperson wrote in a statement published in September. "This culminated in June 2014, and created a deep rift between Peter Madsen and the rest of us."

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Android snoopware Skygofree can pilfer WhatsApp messages

The Register - 4 hours 9 min ago
Sophisticated nasty also able to listen in based on location

Mobile malware strain Skygofree may be the most advanced Android-infecting nasties ever, antivirus-flinger Kaspersky Lab has warned.…

We survived another CES: The best and weirdest things we saw (The 3:59, Ep. 339) - CNET - News - 4 hours 13 min ago
Another year, another CES down. We talk about our highlights and lowlights from the massive tech fest in Las Vegas.

Google Doodle honors spirited, trailblazing actress Katy Jurado - CNET - News - 4 hours 15 min ago
Katy Jurado is recalled on what would have been her 94th birthday for her role in creating more opportunities for Latina actresses in Hollywood.

BMW, Mercedes to test vehicle subscription services in the US - Roadshow - News - 4 hours 24 min ago
If the Germans have their way, we might be waving goodbye to buying or leasing.

Get a Nonda Aiko rechargeable tracker for $16.99 - CNET - News - 4 hours 26 min ago
That's less than the cost of a Tile, and you don't have to replace it every year. Plus: a free $20 game and free two-year ShopRunner subscription!

Private submarine builder charged with murder of journalist

The Register - 4 hours 47 min ago
Peter Madsen ruled fit to stand trial, but denies allegation

Danish submariner Peter Madsen has today been charged with the murder of journalist Kim Wall.…

Body-heat-powered Matrix PowerWatch X now gets notifications - CNET - News - 4 hours 50 min ago
Can thermal gradients start powering more advanced wearable things? We go hands-on at CES.

All Democrats and one Republican support net neutrality bill in Senate

Ars Technica - 5 hours 6 min ago

Enlarge / Democrats vs. Republicans. (credit: Getty Images | Linda Braucht)

A Senate bill to restore the recently repealed net neutrality rules now has support from 50 of 100 senators and would pass if one more Republican backs the effort.

The measure has backing from all 49 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, including 47 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the only Republican to support the bill so far, but Democrats are trying to secure one more Republican vote.

Democrats announced the milestone in a press release today.

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Facebook, Schrems case cost Irish data watchdog €2m – reports

The Register - 5 hours 24 min ago
But don't worry, it got €4m budget boost this year

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has forked out almost €2m in the long legal battle involving Facebook and privacy activist Max Schrems, according to reports.…

Google expands network with new data centers, subsea cables - CNET - News - 5 hours 38 min ago
Google will build five new regional data centers in 2018 and three subsea cables in 2019 to further grow its worldwide network.

Drone crashes after operator failed to spot extra building site crane

The Register - 5 hours 52 min ago
UK govt's air prang watchdog publishes first UAV incident of the year

A pilot flying a 3D Robotics Solo drone let his autonomous aircraft fly itself into a crane that some inconsiderate person erected on a building site.…

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