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New Lego Movie 2 trailer shows new characters in a wasteland - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 6:32pm
A shape-shifter, a raptor and a rescue mission are coming in the 2019 sequel.

Microsoft now lets you log into Outlook, Skype, Xbox Live with no password - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 6:30pm
It's not yet time to laugh off data breaches, but authentication technology is advancing beyond the password-era problems.

Sony Digital Paper is $100 off for Black Friday - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 6:28pm
This is the lowest price on Sony's cool-but-pricey Digital Paper notepads.

Apple Black Friday 2018 deals: Here's what we know - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 6:26pm
Apple's sale kicks off on Nov. 23. What can you expect -- and what deals are available right now?

Black Friday 2018 Best Buy deals available now: Philips Hue, Moto G6, Roku TVs and more - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 6:25pm
Black Friday starts early and often -- and online -- at the home of the Geek Squad.

Now it’s Office’s turn to have a load of patches pulled

Ars Technica - November 20, 2018 - 6:19pm

Enlarge (credit: Benjamin)

After endless difficulties with the Windows 10 October 2018 update—finally re-released this month with the data-loss bug fixed—it seems that now it's the Office team's turn to release some updates that need to be un-released.

On November's Patch Tuesday two weeks ago, Microsoft released a bunch of updates for Office to update its Japanese calendars. In December 2017, Emperor Akihito announced that he would abdicate and that his son Naruhito would take his role as emperor. Each emperor has a corresponding era name, and calendars must be updated to reflect that new name. The Office patches offer updates to handle this event.

Two of these updates, KB2863821 and KB4461522, both for Office 2010, are apparently very broken, causing application crashes. The company has suspended delivery of the patches, but the problem is so severe that Microsoft is recommending that anyone who has installed the updates already should uninstall them pronto (see instructions for KB2863821 here and for KB4461522 here).

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The Lego Movie 2's real-life Lego sets unveiled - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 6:19pm
You'll be able to recreate the 2019 sequel's post-apocalyptic world -- but everything should still be awesome.

Amazon trying to buy 22 cable TV sports channels, including Yankees network

Ars Technica - November 20, 2018 - 6:14pm

Enlarge / A YES logo banner. (credit: Getty Images | Michael Heiman)

Amazon is trying to buy 22 regional sports TV networks (RSNs) from the Walt Disney Company, according to a CNBC report today.

In June, Disney received Department of Justice approval to buy 21st Century Fox properties on the condition that it divest Fox-owned regional sports networks (RSNs). Together, these networks have programming rights for 44 Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League teams.

"In addition to Amazon, Apollo Global Management, KKR & Co, The Blackstone Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group and TEGNA also made first round bids for the full slate of networks," CNBC wrote, citing anonymous sources.

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Amazon's best Black Friday deals 2018: Available now and coming soon - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 6:08pm
Big-time discounts on basically everything Amazon makes, with some available now.

New Snap Spectacles with two cameras will cost $350, says report - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 6:08pm
That’s $150 more than Spectacles 2 and more than double the cost of the first ones.

Samsung reportedly planning five flagship phone models for early 2019

Ars Technica - November 20, 2018 - 6:02pm


We're rapidly approaching 2019, and that means it will soon be time for Samsung's yearly Galaxy S flagship launch. The company has been facing declining smartphone sales for some time now, and if the latest Wall Street Journal report is to be believed, it seems Samsung's 2019 strategy will be to launch a whole bunch of high-end smartphone models and let the market decide.

The Journal's report claims the Galaxy S10 launch should happen sometime in February, and instead of the usual two smartphone models (one big, one small), Samsung will launch three variants of the Galaxy S10 at once. The report says the three models will have "displays that range in size from 5.8 inches to 6.4 inches"—so instead of "big" and "small," it sounds like we're getting "small," "medium," and "large." After similar designs for the S8 and S9, the S10 is expected to be all new.

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Get a Nintendo Switch for $179.99 - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 5:57pm
Supplies are limited, and you have to order through Facebook, but, yep, it's real. Crazy cheap games and accessories, too. Plus: Three giveaways and the coolest power bank for phones that support wireless charging.

Ukraine detects new Pterodo backdoor malware, warns of Russian cyberattack

Ars Technica - November 20, 2018 - 5:50pm

Enlarge (credit: Mira Mechtley )

The Computer Emergency Response Team of Ukraine (CERT-UA) and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine have detected a new strain of the Pterodo Windows backdoor targeting computers at Ukrainian government agencies, leading officials in Kiev to warn of a pending large-scale cyber attack.

In an alert posted to the organization's website, a CERT-UA official wrote:

CERT-UA together with the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine found new modifications of Pterodo-type malware on computers of state authorities of Ukraine, which is likely to be the preparatory stage for a cyber attack. This virus collects system data, regularly sends it to command-control servers and expects further commands.

Pterodo, also known as Pteradon, is associated with the Gamaredon threat group, a group of attacks based largely on off-the-shelf software that have focused on Ukrainian military and government targets. Pterodo is a custom backdoor used to insert other malware and collect information. The latest version activates only on Windows systems with language localization for Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Tatar, and other languages associated with former Soviet states; this makes it more difficult to perform automated analysis of the malware with certain tools.

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Joe Public wants NHS to spend its cash on cancer, mental health, <i>not</i> digital services

The Register - November 20, 2018 - 5:39pm
Sorry Matt, looks like the app revolution takes a backseat to quality health care

The public wants the NHS's £20.5bn cash boost to be spent on cancer care, mental health and recruiting and retaining staff – not digital services.…

The 62 Best Black Friday deals of 2018 - CNET - News - November 20, 2018 - 5:35pm
Black Friday is Nov. 23, and that means the usual cornucopia of deals. Some are good, some are bad, these are the best.

2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 goes fast everywhere for $147,500 - Roadshow - News - November 20, 2018 - 5:25pm
The off-road icon means business with 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.

Tesla to launch next-gen Superchargers, expand network in 2019 - Roadshow - News - November 20, 2018 - 5:08pm
Musk says Superchargers will be within range of 95 to 100 percent of the population.

Video: How an 11th-hour decision made Aliens versus Predator a classic

Ars Technica - November 20, 2018 - 5:05pm

Video shot by Justin Wolfson and edited by Lee Manansala. Click here for transcript.

Welcome to the latest edition of "War Stories," where we sit down with video game developers and cajole them into talking about the gameplay design elements that almost broke their brains. In this episode, we're chatting up Tim Jones, the lead artist and producer of 1999's Aliens versus Predator.

Jumping on the brand wagon

The Aliens versus Predator brand is a childhood fever dream brought to life—who hasn't had playground arguments over who'd win in a fight between some of the biggest and baddest bad guys of them all? The idea of watching supernal figures battle it out is both fun and endlessly attractive, because everyone likes a spectacle, and the biggest spectacle of all comes from watching one irresistible alien force slam into another unmovable alien object. Sparks fly, things explode, and we're happy.

The "Aliens versus Predator" concept first appeared in graphic novel form, but it was catapulted into mainstream consciousness by a series of films in the 2000s. Though definitely spectacular in the most literal sense of the word, the movies all ultimately fall short in just about every other area; only the first, released in 2004, is (arguably) watchable without the aid of alcohol or other drugs.

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Ivanka Trump used personal email for official White House business

Ars Technica - November 20, 2018 - 4:58pm

Enlarge / Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner on the South Lawn of the White House. (credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

First daughter and presidential advisor Ivanka Trump used a personal email account dozens of times to conduct official White House business, The Washington Post reports, citing an internal White House investigation. It's an ironic revelation given her father's obsession with Hillary Clinton's own use of a private email server during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Federal law requires government officials to preserve written records of their activities—and that includes email. Government email systems are set up to comply with these laws, and federal IT guidelines require government officials to use their official email accounts for all official business. The use of official email accounts may also reduce the risk of sensitive communications being intercepted by foreign intelligence agencies.

But senior government officials have not always been scrupulous about following these rules. Hillary Clinton famously did work as secretary of state using a personal email address linked to an email server located in her home in Chappaqua, New York. Republicans turned this records-management snafu into a prominent issue in the 2016 campaign.

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