Feed aggregator

  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.

Do Homeopathic Cures Work?

Discovery News Headlines - Fri, 11/27/2020 - 11:33am
Alternative medicine has proven tricky to study, and sometimes dangerous to patients. Doctors are divided as to whether or not it has any merit at all.

Judge: Trump Admin‘s TikTok ban would cause “irreparable harm” to creators

ArsTechnica - 5 hours 51 min ago
Visitors visit the booth of Douyin (TikTok) at the 2019 smart expo in Hangzhou, China, Oct. 18, 2019.

Enlarge / Visitors visit the booth of Douyin (TikTok) at the 2019 smart expo in Hangzhou, China, Oct. 18, 2019. (credit: Costfoto | Barcroft Media | Getty Images)

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked a Trump administration order that would have banned TikTok from operating inside the United States as of November 12, finding that content creators who use the short-form video platform to make a living would suffer "irreparable harm" if the ban were to go through.

The "significant and unrecoverable economic loss caused by the shutdown of the TikTok platform" was grounds for granting an injunction, Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the US District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania wrote in a ruling (PDF) today.

President Donald Trump in August issued an executive order declaring TikTok (as well as another China-based app, WeChat) to be a national emergency. That order gave the Department of Commerce 45 days to put a list of banned actions into place. Commerce did so, prohibiting new TikTok downloads after September 20 and banning nearly every other TikTok feature after November 12.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

“Not just a virus that kills people”—WHO spotlights long-term COVID-19

ArsTechnica - 7 hours 23 min ago
A patient receives oxygen inside the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Covid-19 tent at the Ana Francisca Perez de Leon II hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.

Enlarge / A patient receives oxygen inside the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Covid-19 tent at the Ana Francisca Perez de Leon II hospital in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

A significant number of people infected with the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, are experiencing long-term symptoms and taking many weeks or months to fully recover, the World Health Organization emphasized in a press conference today.

“I have heard first hand from people who face mid- to long-term effects of COVID-19 infection,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “What’s really concerning is the vast spectrum of symptoms that fluctuate over time, often overlap, and can affect any system in the body.”

While there have long been reports of COVID-19 long-haulers, the WHO worked to raise awareness of the problem today. It’s still unclear what proportion of infected people go on to have mid- to long-term health problems, Tedros noted. But, it's clear that "this is not just a virus that kills people." And with more than 45 million cases globally—and counting—even a small percentage will mean a large number of people will have long-term disability.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Is it too late for the US to execute a pandemic plan?

ArsTechnica - 8 hours 4 min ago
A woman in a face mask holds up a phone.

Enlarge / A woman in France displays a contact tracing app. (credit: DAMIEN MEYER / Getty Images)

There's a standard set of best practices for disease outbreaks that includes a process called contact tracing. Each time you identify someone infected, you figure out who they've been in proximity to during the time they were infectious. You then get the person infected to self-isolate, and also convince their contacts to do so, at least until they can be tested and found to be uninfected. Doing this successfully can bring the rate of infection down below the point where the outbreak is self-sustaining—even if not everybody's picked up through contact tracing, there won't be many who aren't, and anyone they infect eventually will be.

For the COVID-19 pandemic, infection rates in many countries were initially so high that contact tracing was impractical. But a suite of social interventions—social distance,  mask wearing, limiting time out of the home, washing hands, etc.—were used to bring rates back down to where contact tracing could be effective again.

This didn't happen in the US. There was no national effort to contact trace, each state set its own policy regarding social restrictions, and many states lifted their social interventions too soon, all of which have allowed several surges in infections.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google’s Project Zero discloses Windows 0day that’s been under active exploit

ArsTechnica - 8 hours 12 min ago
A stylized skull and crossbones made out of ones and zeroes.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Google’s project zero says that hackers have been actively exploiting a Windows zeroday that isn’t likely to be patched until almost two weeks from now.

In keeping with long-standing policy, Google’s vulnerability research group gave Microsoft a seven-day deadline to fix the security flaw because it’s under active exploit. Normally, Project Zero discloses vulnerabilities after 90 days or when a patch becomes available, whichever comes first.

CVE-2020-117087, as the vulnerability is tracked, allows attackers to escalate system privileges. Attackers were combining an exploit for it with a separate one targeting a recently fixed flaw in Chrome. The former allowed the latter to escape a security sandbox so the latter could execute code on vulnerable machines.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple One, Apple’s answer to Amazon Prime, is finally launching

ArsTechnica - 9 hours 5 min ago
Apple One tiers.

Enlarge / Apple One tiers. (credit: Apple)

Apple’s all-in-one subscription services bundle, Apple One, launches today, according to a confirmation given to Bloomberg by Apple CFO Luca Maestri.

CEO Tim Cook also confirmed the bundle’s imminent launch on the company’s quarterly investor call yesterday.

Apple One offers three plans: individual, family, and premier. Each offers some subset or combination of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, Apple News+, and soon, Apple Fitness+.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Motorola says “new” Moto Razrs shouldn’t arrive in used condition anymore

ArsTechnica - 9 hours 10 min ago

If you buy a new Moto Razr 5G, it might not seem all that "new" when you get it. A very interesting note (first spotted by The Verge) is at the bottom of the Amazon product description, which says that your Moto Razr will be opened before it gets to you, it's going to be folded, and, oh, we're sorry if there are some fingerprints:

NOTE: originally, RAZR was meant to be shipped in the unfolded position. However, to better protect the display, we have folded your RAZR – it’s safer but may not look as elegant as we hoped. We apologize if you see fingerprints on your device. We assure you your RAZR is brand new.

Motorola's foldable reboot of the Moto Razr has had a tough time surviving in the real world. While the modern take on a classic smartphone looks beautiful, it has also proven extremely fragile, with the trick hinge system and soft, plastic flexible display being prone to damage. (Ours died after one day!) The original released in February 2020, but a sequel with better specs, the Moto Razr "5G," already came out at the beginning of October. Already, it has been decided that the box isn't good enough.

The Razr 5G box looks just like the original Razr reboot box, and it doesn't follow your typical smartphone box design. The bottom half of the box is designed to double as a functional phone stand, and it actually amplifies the sound coming out of the speaker. The phone sits in the bottom of the box vertically, opened up, and tilted back slightly. The top "half" of the box lowers down over top of the phone stand assembly, and a very large foam block presses against the phone display, keeping the phone in place.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Mandalorian season 2 premiere: This is (still) the way

ArsTechnica - 9 hours 34 min ago
The Child and the Mandalorian walk into a new town

Enlarge / They're back! (credit: Lucasfilm)

Last year, Disney dropped The Mandalorian, a Disney+ exclusive Star Wars TV series, into one of its most crowded entertainment years of all time. Avengers Endgame un-snapped the world. Leia and Kylo died. Heck, the company released three live-action remakes of cartoon classics last year.

This year, a new season of The Mandalorian no longer has the benefit of being a behind-the-Rise surprise, nor part of a massive Disney entertainment barrage. It arrives with expectations, interest, and—in a pandemic-stricken world—little else in the way of competition.

But you wouldn't know that watching Mando and "The Child" return to TV screens early this morning. Series creator Jon Favreau once again writes and directs the new season's first episode, and in doing so, he places a firm first step into a comfortable foothold. In Mandalorian terms, that means viewers will find another entertaining interpretation of the "space cowboy" motif that last year's season delivered so well.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Doomed Philae lander accidentally did a science by denting the comet

ArsTechnica - 10 hours 8 min ago
The close-ups highlight the bright ice exposed in the boulders when Philae struck them during its second touchdown (green box above).

Enlarge / The close-ups highlight the bright ice exposed in the boulders when Philae struck them during its second touchdown (green box above). (credit: O'Rourke et al./Nature)

The Rosetta mission’s attempt to drop the Philae lander on a comet in 2014 didn’t go according to plan. The harpoon mechanism meant to stick Philae to terra-not-quite-firma didn’t work, and poor Philae ended up bouncing around and landing under a dark cliff overhang, unable to deploy its solar panels and complete its tasks. But let it not be said that Philae failed to leave its mark. Because it did. Quite literally.

To extract value from Philae’s accidental adventure, researchers have worked hard to identify the spots where the craft impacted the surface of the comet. This required painstaking analysis of Philae’s motion sensors to reconstruct its trajectory, along with a terrifically complex game of “one of these things is not like the others” played with before-and-after images of the comet’s jumbled surface.

The site of the initial bounce was easy enough to find, but the path from there to its resting place was another story. A new study led by the European Space Agency’s Laurence O’Rourke reveals another spot where Philae dented comet 67P. And the size of that dent actually tells us something remarkable about what comets are like.

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Health officials rated celebrities on Trump loyalty while planning ad campaign

ArsTechnica - 10 hours 37 min ago
Jack Black, "classic Hollywood liberal," on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah.

Enlarge / Jack Black, "classic Hollywood liberal," on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (credit: Getty | John Parra)

Democratic House lawmakers have had no luck getting the Department of Health and Human Services to hand over information on its $250 million advertising campaign to “defeat despair and inspire hope” amid the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

But, the lawmakers have been able to collect documents from the federal contractors working on the campaign—and the details in those documents are “extremely troubling,” they say.

In a scathing letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the lawmakers revealed some of those details, which show blatant political partisanship. For instance, A-list celebrities considered for pandemic-related public service announcements were individually rated based on their loyalty to Trump and other political leanings. Of the 274 celebrities reviewed, only 10 made the cut. The rest were rejected, including Jack Black, who was dubbed a “classic Hollywood liberal” and Judd Apatow, who, the documents say, “believes Trump does not have the intellectual capacity to run as President.”

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Tesla raises “full self-driving” price from $8,000 to $10,000

ArsTechnica - 12 hours 34 min ago
Interior of Tesla's Model 3.

Enlarge / Interior of Tesla's Model 3. (credit: Tesla)

Tesla is wasting no time cashing in on excitement over the company's forthcoming "full self-driving" software release, which was released in beta form to a small number of customers last week. Tesla has now raised the price of the FSD upgrade from $8,000 to $10,000.

Tesla has tinkered with pricing for the full self-driving package repeatedly over the last two years. In 2018, the package cost $3,000 at vehicle purchase time or $4,000 when purchased later. In 2019, Tesla briefly cut the price to $2,000, angering customers who had paid higher prices. Then Tesla revamped its price structure, making basic Autopilot features standard and raising the FSD package price to $5,000. Tesla subsequently raised the price to $6,000, $7,000, and then $8,000.

Musk has long warned customers to expect the price of the full self-driving technology to continue rising. "If you buy a Tesla today, I believe you are buying an appreciating asset—not a depreciating asset," Musk said in a 2019 podcast episode.

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Nearly 90,000 cases in a day: Pandemic skyrockets in third, highest peak yet

ArsTechnica - 13 hours 14 min ago
Some 250 Covid-19 isolation bays stand at the ready at the Austin Convention Center on August 07, 2020 in Austin, Texas. The cavernous facility was prepared for use as a field hospital for Covid-19 patients.

Enlarge / Some 250 Covid-19 isolation bays stand at the ready at the Austin Convention Center on August 07, 2020 in Austin, Texas. The cavernous facility was prepared for use as a field hospital for Covid-19 patients. (credit: Getty | John Moore)

The United States recorded nearly 90,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday, the largest single-day total yet in the pandemic.

The record-breaking day comes amid a steady and sharp climb in US cases. The country is experiencing the third and highest peak in cases, and it’s unclear how high the numbers will go. Today may well be another record-breaking day. The country’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases is now over 76,000, another record in the pandemic.

With more than 88,400 cases Thursday, the US is expected to easily surpass 9 million cases total Friday. Deaths are likely to near 30,000.

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Solve coding challenges at Runcode.ninja online competition, Nov. 6-9

ArsTechnica - 15 hours 47 min ago
Shozoku and ninjato are encouraged, but not strictly required, in order to compete.

Enlarge / Shozoku and ninjato are encouraged, but not strictly required, in order to compete. (credit: RunCode)

Annual programming competition Runcode.ninja is back again in its fourth year, beginning Friday, November 6. RunCode is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers working in their spare time and focused on providing educational opportunities for coders and infosec folks. The online event allows programmers of all experience levels to tackle a wide array of challenges, using any of 14 supported programming languages.

This year, the competition theme is "all things web"—which means that most challenges will have something to do with websites; although the "something" can vary pretty drastically, from user interaction to server log analysis. The event will have more than 30 available challenges, grouped into easy, intermediate, and hard, for competitors to find and upload solutions for.

For each challenge, competitors will be given a problem description, a sample data set, and an expected output to make the desired order and formatting clear. Competitors are expected to generate more test data of their own and thoroughly verify the correctness of their code against all the corner cases they can think of; solutions tested against only the sample data provided will likely fail the challenge. Uploaded code is run in a sandboxed Docker container and its output tested for correctness.

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Monster Mash: These are the best new horror movies to binge this Halloween

ArsTechnica - 15 hours 53 min ago
Halloween weekend is the perfect time to check out some of the best horror films released in October.

Enlarge / Halloween weekend is the perfect time to check out some of the best horror films released in October. (credit: Photo collage by Aurich Lawson)

It's Halloween weekend, and with the ongoing pandemic putting a kibosh on the usual large parties and gatherings, it's the perfect opportunity to order in and binge-watch horror movies. There are plenty of classic films to choose from, but if you're keen to discover something new, October has been a remarkably good month for solidly entertaining indie horror comedies, along with a handful of films that fall under a rubric I'd call "prestige horror." And for once there's not a zombie in sight; we've got vampires, werewolves, and mutant monsters running amok instead, along with some really bad hair.

(Some mild spoilers below but no major reveals.)

Seven years after a global apocalypse, a young man braves 85 miles of mutant man-eating monsters to reunite with his high school girlfriend in Love and Monsters.

Love and Monsters

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“Oh Jeeeesus”: Drivers react to Tesla’s full self-driving beta release

ArsTechnica - 16 hours 6 min ago
Two cars nearly collide in a parking lot.

Enlarge / YouTuber Brandon M captured this drone footage of his Tesla steering toward a parked car. "Oh Jeeeesus," he said as he grabbed the steering wheel. (credit: Brandon M)

Last week, Tesla released an early version of its long-awaited "full self-driving" software to a limited number of customers. It was arguably Tesla's biggest Autopilot update ever. The software enables Tesla vehicles to autonomously navigate the vast majority of common roadway situations and complete many trips from start to finish.

Tesla considers it to be beta software and says it's not intended for fully autonomous operation. Drivers are expected to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times.

To understand the new software, I watched more than three hours of driving footage from three Tesla owners who got the FSD update. These YouTube videos underscored how important it is for drivers to actively supervise Tesla's new software. Over the course of three hours, the drivers took control more than a dozen times, including at least two cases when the car seemed to be on the verge of crashing into another vehicle.

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Rocket Report: SpaceX hits the century mark, vote for Atlas V on Election Day

ArsTechnica - 16 hours 50 min ago
Photograph of a rocket just after liftoff on a cloudy day.

Enlarge / The "In Focus" mission takes to the skies this week. (credit: Rocket Lab)

Welcome to Edition 3.22 of the Rocket Report! After a spate of recent scrubs, the Cape gets down to business in the coming week with back-to-back government launches, one by United Launch Alliance and the other by SpaceX. Fingers (and toes) are crossed.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Rocket Lab orbits its 15th mission. Rocket Lab successfully launched its 15th Electron mission and deployed Earth-imaging satellites for Planet and Spaceflight Inc. customer Canon Electronics, the company said. The "In Focus" mission launched from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula at 21:21 UTC Wednesday.

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There’s no place like the perfectly sized home for the mighty mantis shrimp

ArsTechnica - Thu, 10/29/2020 - 3:09pm

"Nice burrow you have there. I want it." Patrick Green of the University of Exeter filmed this fight between mantis shrimp. (video link)

Size matters to the small-but-mighty mantis shrimp, which show a marked preference for burrows in coral rubble with volumes that closely match their own body size or are just a bit larger—in other words, large enough to accommodate their body, but small enough that they can defend the entrance. But according to a new paper published in the journal Animal Behavior, sometimes a mantis shrimp will compromise. If a burrow is already occupied and is close to the ideal size, or a bit smaller, the mantis shrimp will fight longer and harder for that burrow—and be more likely to win the contest.

As we previously reported, mantis shrimp come in many different varieties: there are some 450 known species. But they can generally be grouped into two types: those that stab their prey with spear-like appendages ("spearers") and those that smash their prey ("smashers") with large, rounded, and hammer-like claws ("raptorial appendages"). Those strikes are so fast—as much as 23 meters per second, or 51mph—and powerful, they often produce cavitation bubbles in the water, creating a shock wave that can serve as a follow-up strike, stunning and sometimes killing the prey. Sometimes a strike can even produce sonoluminescence, whereby the cavitation bubbles produce a brief flash of light as they collapse.

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Apple earnings show strong iPad and Mac sales can’t make up for the iPhone

ArsTechnica - Thu, 10/29/2020 - 2:50pm
An older man in a white polo shirt flashes a peace sign while walking outdoors.

Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook. (credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Apple announced its fourth-quarter earnings today after the bell, and it was something of a strange quarter because, unlike some previous years (including last year), this quarter's numbers did not include an iPhone launch. The iPhone 12's various models ship in October and November instead of September this year.

CEO Tim Cook proudly announced double-digit YOY growth in all product categories besides iPhone on the call, but the iPhone is important: Apple's total revenue was up only 1 percent year over year, with iPhone revenue down almost 21 percent.

While the iPhone didn't help push up the bottom line, Apple did launch other products during the period, including the redesigned iPad Air and two Apple Watches: the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. iPad revenue was up a substantial 46 percent YOY (it totaled $6.8 billion), and Mac revenue was also strong at $9 billion, or 28-percent more than the same quarter last year.

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Ancient skull a new window on human migrations, Denisovan meetings

ArsTechnica - Thu, 10/29/2020 - 2:34pm
Image of a large, lit trench with people working in it.

Enlarge / These excavations identified Denisovan DNA within the sediment. (credit: Dongju Zhang, Dongju Zhang, Lanzhou University)

The Denisovans occupy a very weird place in humanity's history. Like the Neanderthals, they are an early branch off the lineage that produced modern humans and later intermingled with modern humans. But we'd known of Neanderthals for roughly 150 years before we got any of their DNA sequence and had identified a set of anatomical features that defined them. By contrast, we had no idea that Denisovans existed until their DNA turned up unexpectedly in a single, tiny piece of finger. And, to this day, we've not identified enough remains to really say anything about what they looked like.

But, over time, we've gotten increasing ancient DNA samples that are providing a clearer picture of our interactions with this enigmatic lineage. Now, two new reports describe ancient DNA that provides some more details. One paper describes a modern human genome from Asia that dates to closer to the time when interbreeding must have taken place. It provides further evidence that there were at least two instances of interbreeding, and it helps clarify how early human populations moved around Asia. The second confirms that Denisovans were living along the Tibetan Plateau and may have adapted to high altitudes.

The Mongolian skull

Back in 2006, mining in Mongolia's Salkhit Valley turned up the top of a skull that was clearly old. But, because it didn't have any definitive features, people argued over whether it might be Neanderthal or Homo erectus. However, preliminary DNA sequencing indicated it belonged to a modern human, with carbon-dating placing its age at roughly 34,000 years old.

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Hackers are on the hunt for Oracle servers vulnerable to potent exploit

ArsTechnica - Thu, 10/29/2020 - 12:51pm
Photograph of computer server.

Enlarge (credit: Victorgrigas)

Hackers are scanning the Internet for machines that have yet to patch a recently disclosed flaw that force Oracle’s WebLogic server to execute malicious code, a researcher warned Wednesday night.

Johannes Ullrich, dean of research at the SANS Technology Institute, said his organization’s honeypots had detected Internetwide scans that probe for vulnerable servers. CVE-2020-14882, as the vulnerability is tracked, has a severity rating of 9.8 out of 10 on the CVSS scale. Oracle’s October advisory accompanying a patch said exploits are low in complexity and require low privileges and no user interaction.

“At this point, we are seeing the scans slow down a bit,” Ullrich wrote in a post. “But they have reached ‘saturation’ meaning that all IPv4 addresses have been scanned for this vulnerability. If you find a vulnerable server in your network: Assume it has been compromised.”

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