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Unscheduled fixes released for critical flaw in optional Windows codec

Ars Technica - July 1, 2020 - 8:46pm

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has published unscheduled fixes for two vulnerabilities, one of them with a severity rating of critical, that make it possible for attackers to execute malicious code on computers running any version of Windows 10.

Unlike the vast majority of Windows patches, the ones released on Tuesday were delivered through the Microsoft Store. The normal channel for operating System security fixes is Windows Update. Advisories here and here said users need not take any action to automatically receive and install the fixes.

“Affected customers will be automatically updated by Microsoft Store. Customers do not need to take any action to receive the update,” both advisories said. “Alternatively, customers who want to receive the update immediately can check for updates with the Microsoft Store App; more information on this process can be found here.”

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Hyundai’s super-efficient 2020 Sonata Hybrid sedan is best in class

Ars Technica - July 1, 2020 - 8:30pm

It seems like every article we write explaining just how good Korean cars have become is met with surprise. Well, I'm ready for more shocked faces, because I just spent a week with a 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and it is spectacular. It's handsome, well put-together, boasts some nifty driver-assist tech, and best of all, it sips gas, averaging a combined 52mpg (4.5L/100km). Not bad for a sedan that starts at $27,750.

To be fair, I expected the Sonata Hybrid to be good. An hour spent in the not-hybrid Sonata as part of the judging process for the World Car Awards in late 2019 suggested that the Camry and Accord should both be scared. As for the Sonata's hybrid version, I first saw it at this year's Chicago Auto Show, where it stood out against a sea of pedestrian-terrifying SUVs and trucks.

The Sonata is a sleek-looking thing, with a hint of techno catfish to it, thanks to visual whiskers that appear where the chrome cuts through the hourglass grille at its narrowest. I also love the way the daylight-running LEDs blend into strips of chrome as they make their way toward the A pillars. Other design details tell of the wind tunnel and fluid-dynamics simulations in a server farm rather than the whimsy of a design sketch—leading to the disc-like wheels, for instance, or the spikes on the tail lights that work like hostile architecture but for vortices instead of homeless people.

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Google Glass 3.0? Google acquires smart glasses maker North

Ars Technica - July 1, 2020 - 8:10pm

Google Hardware's latest acquisition is North, a wearables computing company that most recently was making smart glasses that seemed like a successor to Google Glass. Google Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh announced the purchase on Google's blog, saying, "North's technical expertise will help as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts and ambient computing future."

North developed and released a pair of smart glasses called "Focals," which came the closest we've seen so far to smart glasses that looked like normal glasses. First, the company didn't neglect the "glasses" part of "smart glasses" and provided the frames in a range of styles, sizes, and colors, with support for prescription lenses. The technology was noticeably less invasive, too. Google Glass's display surface was a transparent block distractingly placed in front of the users' face, but Focal's display surface was the glasses' lens itself. A laser projector poked out from the thicker-than-normal temple arms and fired into the lens, which has a special coating, allowing the projection to reflect light into the eye.

As you can probably guess from the thicker arms, all the computer components and the battery were smushed into the arms. The device worked a lot like a smartwatch, tethering to your phone for Internet and personal data. It not being a part of the Google or Apple ecosystem duopoly meant a host of app and ecosystem problems, but the glasses supported pop-up notifications, calendar viewing, weather, navigation, Uber, and some kind of messaging support. There was even Amazon Alexa support for voice commands. Like Google Glass, Focals aren't augmented reality; they're just a transparent display that shows flat imagery, more like a smartwatch for your face.

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Twin Galaxies says Billy Mitchell “flirts with perjury” in high-score case

Ars Technica - July 1, 2020 - 7:39pm

Enlarge / Billy Mitchell reviews a document in front of a Donkey Kong machine decked out for the annual "Kong Off" high score competition. (credit: Flickr / Florence Ivy)

In May, Ars Technica was the first to report on a Los Angeles County defamation lawsuit brought against Twin Galaxies over the video game scoreboard's 2018 removal of Billy Mitchell's historical scores.

As that case barrels toward a July 6 anti-SLAPP motion hearing, both sides have recently filed hundreds of pages of new evidence and arguments laying out their contrasting views of the case and the facts behind it. Those documents contain some of the strongest language yet between the two parties, with Mitchell accusing Twin Galaxies of lying and ignoring eyewitness accounts during its investigation, while Twin Galaxies says some of Mitchell's statements "flirt with perjury."

Pineiro’s dueling statements

Some of the strongest disagreement in the opposing filings center on the role of one Carlos Pineiro. Both sides agree that, during Twin Galaxies' investigation, Pineiro spent significant time experimenting with arcade Donkey Kong hardware and recording equipment. That time was expended in an effort to recreate the infamous "girder finger" that appears during level loads in certain Twin Galaxies tapes of Mitchell's purported gameplay performances.

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Android's AirDrop Competitor Is Coming Soon

Slashdot - July 1, 2020 - 6:45pm
Categories: Geek, Opinion

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