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Comic for December 12, 2019

Dilbert - December 13, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

'Link in Bio' is a Slow Knife

Slashdot - 7 min 26 sec ago
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Chrome 79 will continuously scan your passwords against public data breaches

Ars Technica - 27 min 19 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Google)

Google's password checking feature has slowly been spreading across the Google ecosystem this past year. It started as the "Password Checkup" extension for desktop versions of Chrome, which would audit individual passwords when you entered them, and several months later it was integrated into every Google account as an on-demand audit you can run on all your saved passwords. Now, instead of a Chrome extension, Password Checkup is being integrated into the desktop and mobile versions of Chrome 79.

All of these Password Checkup features work for people who have their username and password combos saved in Chrome and have them synced to Google's servers. Google figures that since it has a big (encrypted) database of all your passwords, it might as well compare them against a 4-billion-strong public list of compromised usernames and passwords that have been exposed in innumerable security breaches over the years. Any time Google hits a match, it notifies you that a specific set of credentials is public and unsafe and that you should probably change the password.

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Dealmaster: Nintendo’s Switch Pro Controller is down to $55 today

Ars Technica - 39 min 31 sec ago

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Today, the Dealmaster's tech discount roundup is headlined by a deal on the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which is currently down to $55. While this isn't the absolute lowest we've seen Nintendo's ergonomically friendly gamepad fall, it is the cheapest we've seen it in some time, as drops below $60 have been infrequent over the past year. The controller normally retails closer to its $70 MSRP. For reference, it only fell to $62 on Black Friday.

The Pro Controller itself is worth it if you frequently use the Switch docked to a TV. As we note in our guide to the best Nintendo Switch accessories, it's much more akin to an Xbox One controller than the Switch's default Joy-Cons, whose tiny buttons and joysticks can become uncomfortable over time. The Switch Pro pad should present no such issues—its face buttons and triggers are sized more appropriately for adult hands, its joysticks are tight and responsive, its textured handles give plenty of room to grip, and it has an actual d-pad. Its battery lasts around 40 hours on a charge, which is excellent, and it can pair with a gaming PC over Bluetooth. The only big downsides are that getting it to work with those PCs can require a little extra setup and that there's no headphone jack for hooking up a headset. Still, it's a massive upgrade for those who get lots of mileage out of Nintendo's console.

If you have no need for a better Switch gamepad, though, we also have a variety of deals on Switch console bundles, the latest Apple iPad, a deal that pairs an Echo Dot with a month of Amazon's Music Unlimited service for $1 extra, sales on various Anker accessories, a discount on Ars-approved board game Azul, and more. Check them all out in the full list below.

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Why new consoles probably won’t be enough to save GameStop

Ars Technica - 59 min 34 sec ago

Enlarge / How long will this be a common sight in malls across America? (credit: Flickr / JeepersMedia)

Things continue to look rough for struggling brick-and-mortar game retailer GameStop. This week, the company announced comparable store sales were down 23.2 percent year over year for the third quarter of 2019. It's a decrease led by a whopping 45.8 percent decline in hardware sales and a 32.6 percent fall in software sales.

Those are hard numbers to spin, especially when they're leading to corporate layoffs and hundreds of store shutdowns (including the newly announced shuttering of all GameStop stores in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden by the end of 2020). But GameStop CEO George Sherman attempted to put a good face on the results in an earnings call this week. There, he argued GameStop's current troubles are a predictable result of the end of the current console generation—and consumer anticipation of upcoming consoles from Sony and Microsoft—as much as anything else.

"With 'generation nine' consoles on the horizon set to bring excitement and significant innovation to the video game space, those anticipated releases in late 2020 are putting pressure on the current generation of consoles and related games, as consumers wait for new technology and publishers address their software delivery plans," Sherman said.

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Anti-vax students say outbreak response violates civil rights—judge disagrees

Ars Technica - 1 hour 11 min ago

Enlarge / This image depicts a child with a mumps infection. Note the characteristic swollen neck region due to an enlargement of the boy’s salivary glands. (credit: CDC)

With a one-sentence order Tuesday, an Arkansas judge rejected a request from two unvaccinated University of Arkansas students to have the court block a public health decree that temporarily bars them from classes amid a mumps outbreak.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported that as of December 5, there have been 26 cases of mumps at the university since September. Twenty of those cases occurred in November. According to a recent report in The Washington Post, the outbreak decleated the school’s already struggling football team, knocking out as many as 15 players and a few coaches from the end of its dismal two-win season.

On November 22, the health department issued a directive that any student who had not received two doses of the MMR vaccine (which protects against mumps, measles, and rubella) must either get vaccinated immediately or be barred from classes and school activities for 26 days. As of last week,168 students lacked the vaccinations and were barred from classes.

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