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To fight climate misinformation, point to the man behind the curtain

Ars Technica - January 18, 2019 - 5:51pm

Enlarge / Protest sign from a rally against the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline on Burnaby Mountain, BC. (credit: flickr user: Mark Klotz)

In 2018, Gallup’s annual environment survey found that overall concern about climate change in the US was roughly stable. But within that stability was a growing divide. The 87 percent of Democrats who reported in 2017 that they believe global warming is a result of human activity bumped up slightly to 89 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, for Republicans, that number dipped from 40 percent in 2017 to 35 percent in 2018.

How can the misinformation campaign driving this divide be fought? Just reporting and reiterating the facts of anthropogenic climate change doesn’t seem to work. A paper in Nature Climate Change this week argues that attempts to counter misinformation need to draw on the research that is illuminating the bad actors behind climate denialism, the money funding them, and how their coordinated campaigns are disrupting the political process.

Facts alone won’t cut it

“It is not enough simply to communicate to the public over and again the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change,” write Justin Farrell, Kathryn McConnell, and Robert Brulle in their paper, because “individuals’ preexisting ideologies and values systems can play a significant role in whether they accept or reject scientific consensus.”

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

No delay for net neutrality lawsuit in spite of government shutdown - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 18, 2019 - 5:49pm
A federal appeals court denied the FCC's request to delay the suit challenging the agency's right to roll back net neutrality rules.

Nissan NV300 van concept lets you woodwork in the sticks with ease - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - January 18, 2019 - 5:37pm
Its portable power pack makes off-grid life a little easier.

Nissan NV300 van concept is a woodworking wunderkind on wheels - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - January 18, 2019 - 5:36pm
It also packs a portable energy storage system based on used Leaf batteries.

Microsoft: Switch to iOS or Android because Windows 10 Mobile is ending

Ars Technica - January 18, 2019 - 5:31pm

Lumia 950 (credit: Peter Bright)

Windows 10 Mobile will receive its last patches and security updates on December 10 this year, as Microsoft winds down the last remaining bit of development on its smartphone platform.

The last major notable to the platform was October 2017, when it was bumped to version 1709. At that point, Microsoft ended feature development entirely, shipping only security updates and bug fixes. That's going to come to an end on Patch Tuesday this coming December.

Certain online services will continue to operate beyond that date; device backups for settings and applications will work for three months, to March 10, 2020, and photo uploads and restoring devices from backups will work for 12 months beyond the end of support.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Fortnite predator 'groomed children on voice chat'

BBC Technology News - January 18, 2019 - 5:27pm
A man is accused of using the hit video game Fortnite to initiate sexual activity with children.

US courts indict four Audi managers in continued Dieselgate probe - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - January 18, 2019 - 5:22pm
The US courts' investigation into criminal matters stemming from the VW Group's emissions cheating scandal has expanded dramatically.

Elon Musk announces Tesla layoffs, warns about weak Q4 profits

Ars Technica - January 18, 2019 - 5:18pm

Enlarge / Tesla CEO Elon Musk visiting China in January 2019. (credit: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tesla is cutting its workforce by about 7 percent, CEO Elon Musk announced in a Friday morning email to employees. Musk said that the cuts are necessary to help Tesla cope with what Musk described as an "extremely difficult challenge: making our cars, batteries, and solar products cost-competitive with fossil fuels."

Tesla's stock price fell more than 9 percent on the news.

Tesla grew its workforce by 30 percent in 2018, according to Musk, but that growth turned out to be unsustainable. And Tesla is facing a number of headwinds in the coming months.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Atlassian barges into the billion dollar club with a cheery G'Day!

The Register - January 18, 2019 - 5:17pm
Aussie Jira flinger celebrates a bonzer quarter

Atlassian, home of Jira, Trello and Bitbucket, has rounded out calendar 2018 with over $1bn in revenues as it continues to persuade customers that the cloud is really where they’d like to be.…

Colorado to implement zero emission vehicle mandate - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - January 18, 2019 - 5:14pm
This is the first executive order from Colorado's new governor.

The Punisher returns to Netflix - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 18, 2019 - 5:04pm
Enjoy it while you can.

The Earth has been experiencing more frequent asteroid strikes

Ars Technica - January 18, 2019 - 4:54pm

Enlarge / The craters used for this analysis and their locations. (credit: Dr. A. Parker, Southwest Research Institute)

How often does a big rock drop on our planet from space? As we've gotten a better understanding of the impact that did-in the dinosaurs, that knowledge has compelled people to take a serious look at how we might detect and divert asteroids that pose a similar threat of planetary extinction. But something even a tenth of the size of the dinosaur-killer could cause catastrophic damage, as you could easily determine by placing a 15km circle over your favorite metropolitan center.

So, what's the risk of having a collision of that nature? It's actually hard to tell. The easiest way to tell is to look for past impact craters and try to figure out the frequency of these impacts, but the Earth has a habit of erasing evidence. So, instead, a group of scientists figured out a clever way of looking at the Moon, which should have a similar level of risk. They found that the rate of impacts went up about 300 million years ago.

Erasing history

Some impact craters on Earth are pretty obvious, but erosion and infilling with sediments make others much harder to find. We wouldn't have noticed Chicxulub or the Chesapeake Bay Crater were there if we hadn't stumbled across them for other reasons. As we go back in time, plate tectonics can erase evidence of impacts from the sea floor, as the rock they reside in gets subducted back into the mantle. And then, about 550 million years ago, the Great Unconformity wipes off any evidence of impacts that might have been left on land.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

WD you like to know the damage? Analyst predicts sales dip ahead for Western Digital

The Register - January 18, 2019 - 4:33pm
NAND revenues and disk drive topline downbound until mid-year - Wells Fargo

The slump in Western Digital's SSD and disk drive sales is forecast to deepen for the current and next quarters, according to analysts.…

Mortal Kombat 11's first gameplay footage: new fatalities, characters revealed - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 18, 2019 - 4:29pm
Mortal Kombat 11 is pairing its familiar ultraviolence with more character customization.

Apple Watch to be used in stroke prevention research - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 18, 2019 - 4:14pm
Johnson & Johnson is teaming up with Apple on early atrial fibrillation detection.

Now That’s What I Call Ars Technica, Volume 1: Favorite stories from Ars’ 20 years

Ars Technica - January 18, 2019 - 4:00pm

Enlarge / Actually, I think that was a popular timepiece style when the site first started. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

It's true—Ars Technica is in the process of turning 20 years old throughout 2019. If you've ever looked at the whois info, our official birthday hits on December 29. But Ars was really birthed all throughout that first year, as Editor-in-Chief Ken Fisher (err, Caesar) and his fellow computer prosumers figured out how to start the most comprehensive PC enthusiast outlet around. "Our love for the PC is gonna lead us into bad, bad things like NT, Linux, and BeOS content under the same roof," as the original Ars Mission Statement noted. "Please don't report us!"

Since then, well, Ars has definitely expanded. You can find anything from LARPing to archaeology industry trends alongside the latest Linux review on the site today. But throughout these past two decades and the site's numerous evolutions, Ars still feels like it has stuck with the ethos of that initial public declaration—"having fun, being productive, and being as informative and as accurate as possible," as Caesar put it.

So to cap off this week (itself likely a small start to what will inevitably be numerous trips down memory lane during our 20th anniversary year), we recently polled the Ars community—aka, staff and readers—to find out what folks consider some of the site's greatest hits. The first batch of story suggestions is below, but don't be shy about starting a second list in the comments.

Read 21 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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