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.

Report: 300 Oracle employees walk out over Ellison’s Trump fundraiser

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 7:10pm
A man in a suit speaks into a microphone.

Oracle founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison. (credit: Oracle PR / Flickr)

About 300 Oracle employees walked off the job on Thursday to protest founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison's decision to hold a fundraiser for President Donald Trump the previous evening, Bloomberg reports. It was a rare sign of dissent for a company known for its stodgy corporate culture. But the circumstances of the small-scale protest also suggest that Ellison has less reason to worry about future employee revolts than some of his fellow tech moguls.

"The protest, called No Ethics/No Work, involved about 300 employees walking out of their offices or stopping work at remote locations at noon local time and devoting the rest of the day to volunteering or civic engagement," Bloomberg reports. Bloomberg's source asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.

Oracle has more than 130,000 employees, so a walkout by 300 workers is hardly a serious threat to the company. Some employees, worried about retaliation from management, chose to give to charities opposing Trump's agenda rather than participate in the walkout. Others took vacation time for their afternoon off. In short, Oracle employees took a less confrontational approach than employees at other tech giants, including Google and Amazon.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple is considering letting users change default email, browser, music apps in iOS

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 4:33pm
Closeup photo of a hand holding the iPhone 11

Enlarge / The iPhone 11. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple is seriously considering the possibility of allowing users to change the default apps for Web browsing, mail, or music on their iPhones. The company might also allow users to listen to Spotify or other music streaming services besides Apple Music via Siri on the iPhone or on the HomePod smart speaker.

These revelations were outlined in a report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman this morning, who cited multiple people familiar with Apple's internal plans.

While Apple's plans are not final, the changes could go into effect as soon as Apple's iOS 14 release later this year, which means they would likely be introduced during Apple's developer conference this June.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

PlayStation cites coronavirus, backs out of multiple major gaming expos [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 3:39pm
Photograph of a video game controller next to a monitor that reads Playstation.

Enlarge / Guess what won't be on display at one of the biggest US gaming gatherings? (credit: Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

Update, February 20: One day after Sony's PAX East cancellation, the company's PlayStation arm has now announced plans to skip a second major gaming expo, the Game Developers Conference, by citing the impact of coronavirus on its worldwide operations. Its exit from the March expo has company: Oculus, the virtual reality arm of Facebook, will also no longer attend GDC.

GamesIndustry.biz reported the pair of cancellations on Thursday with statements from both companies. Both statements revolve around concern for the health and safety of employees worldwide, while Oculus insists it will proceed as planned by posting GDC-timed announcements online and "host[ing] GDC partner meetings remotely" in the near future.

GDC's organizers posted a statement on Thursday assuring attendees that they're moving forward with the expo as planned, based on guidance from state and city health advisers. "We believe that, based on the strict US quarantine around coronavirus and a large number of enhanced on-site measures, we are able to execute a safe and successful event for our community," the statement said.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

It’s the hosts versus the rest of humanity in new trailer for Westworld S3

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 3:07pm

HBO’s Westworld S3.

It's been a long wait, but HBO just dropped a full trailer for the third season of Westworld, HBO's Emmy-award winning science fiction series. And it looks like we're in for another wild, mind-bending ride through multiple dystopian timelines.

(Warning: major spoilers for the first two seasons of Westworld below.)

The titular Westworld is one of six immersive theme parks owned and operated by a company called Delos Inc. The park is populated with a "cast" of very human-looking androids, called hosts. The park's well-heeled visitors can pretty much do whatever they like to the hosts and don't generally view the hosts as anything more than unfeeling props in their private dramas. But the hosts' creator/co-founder and park director of Westworld, Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), "awakens" a host named Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) to true sentience. S1 concluded with a bloody massacre, as the reprogrammed hosts rise up to take revenge on the guests. 

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Neanderthals may have interbred with a much older human lineage

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 2:52pm
Image of a collection of ancient skulls.

Enlarge / OK, which one of you is the father? (credit: picture alliance / Getty Images)

Shortly before the publication of the first Neanderthal genome, a number of researchers had seen hints that there might be something strange lurking in the statistics of the human genome. The publication of the genome erased any doubts about these hints and provided a clear identity for the strangeness: a few percent of the bases in European and Asian populations came from our now-extinct relatives.

But what if we didn't have the certainty provided by the Neanderthal genome? That's the situation we find ourselves in now, as several studies have recently identified "ghost lineages"—hints of branches in the human family tree for which we have no DNA sequence but find their imprint on the genomes of populations alive today. The existence of these ghost lineages is based on statistical arguments, so it's very dependent upon statistical methods and underlying assumptions, which are prone to being the subject of disagreement within the community that studies human evolution.

Now, researchers at the University of Utah are arguing that they have evidence of a very old ghost lineage contributing to Neanderthals and Denisovans (and so, indirectly, possibly to us). This is a claim that others in the field will undoubtedly contest, in part because the evidence comes from an analysis that would also revise the dates of many key events in human evolution. But it's interesting to look at in light of how scientists deal with a question that may never be answered by definitive data.

Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Former congressman confirms he offered to broker pardon for Assange

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 2:21pm
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on November 6, 2018, in Costa Mesa, California, just before he learned he had lost his seat to a Democratic challenger. Rohrabacher, the most Putin-friendly member of Congress, visited with Julian Assange in 2017 to offer him a pardon in exchange for proof that Seth Rich, not Russian intelligence, had leaked the DNC emails.

Enlarge / Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on November 6, 2018, in Costa Mesa, California, just before he learned he had lost his seat to a Democratic challenger. Rohrabacher, the most Putin-friendly member of Congress, visited with Julian Assange in 2017 to offer him a pardon in exchange for proof that Seth Rich, not Russian intelligence, had leaked the DNC emails. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

A former California congressman confirmed in an interview with Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff that he did offer to broker a pardon for Julian Assange in exchange for information that would exonerate Russia from the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee and members of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign organization. Republican Dana Rohrabacher was seeking to prove that the emails were leaked by DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was murdered in July 2016—and were not the product of a hacking campaign by Russian intelligence organizations.

Rohrabacher, who lost his seat in 2018, was a long-time cheerleader in Washington for Russian President Vladimir Putin's government. Using information provided to him directly by the Kremlin, Rohrabacher personally promoted an effort to remove the name of Sergei Magnitsky from the Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, an anti-corruption law intended to sanction and punish officials involved in Magnitsky's imprisonment and death. (Magnitsky was a Russian tax lawyer murdered after he decided to testify against Russian Interior Ministry officials who had taken over the investment companies of his client and embezzled 5.4 billion rubles (about $230 million) from the Russian government himself.)

Rohrabacher is now a consultant to the cannabis industry. But in August 2017, while he was still a congressman, he visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, with Assange's attorney present. He claimed his goal was to "prove" Seth Rich's involvement—an already widely debunked conspiracy theory—and disprove charges that would later take the form of an indictment of 12 officers of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff (GRU).

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

EU’s new digital strategy targets data-hoarding tech firms

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:51am
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen launching "A Europe fit for the Digital Age" initiative at a press conference on February 19, 2020 in Brussels.

Enlarge / European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen launching "A Europe fit for the Digital Age" initiative at a press conference on February 19, 2020 in Brussels. (credit: Kenzo Tribouillard | AFP | Getty Images)

A comprehensive new grand strategy for handling European regulation in the "Digital Age" seeks to thread the technological needle, mitigating the harms of the information era—such as fraud, misinformation, and loss of privacy—while still reaping the benefits. The proposed plan, as released by the European Commission this week, names no names but still makes quite clear that the biggest US tech titans—especially Facebook and Google—would be squarely in the sights of any new legislation.

The data strategy plan (PDF) is just that: a plan, not a piece of legislation. As such, it's chock-full of aspirational language and lofty goals and relatively low on details. Its structure, however, lays out a clear framework for how the EU intends to approach data going forward.

The core idea is to make the treatment of data more universal and less segmented. One piece of legislation EU leaders plan to put forward later this year would "facilitate cross-border data use and prioritize interoperability requirements and standards within and across sectors," for example.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dealmaster: Grab another year of PlayStation Plus for $40

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:41am
 Grab another year of PlayStation Plus for $40

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Today's Dealmaster is headed up by a solid discount on a 12-month subscription to Sony's PlayStation Plus service. Typically available between $50-60 online, Newegg has memberships available for $40 with the code "EMCDFFD52" at checkout. Note that the deal applies to digital codes, not physical cards.

PlayStation Plus itself is still needed to play most PS4 games online, and subscribing still nets you access to a couple free titles every month. There hasn't been anything to suggest that Sony's online policy will change with the forthcoming PlayStation 5, so you should be safe to top up regardless of whether your current subscription is running out or you just want to stock up on service time. For reference, these 1-year subscriptions retailed for $45 on Black Friday; while we have seen them available for less than $40 on occasion, those instances have been rare.

If you're not much of a PlayStation fan, though, we also have deals on internal SSDs, Amazon Fire tablets, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, and more. Have a look below for the full rundown.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Nintendo severely limits save file options for Animal Crossing on Switch

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:31am
You want to move your SAVE file? Forget about it! Use your head, punk!

Enlarge / You want to move your SAVE file? Forget about it! Use your head, punk!

When it comes to Nintendo's relationship with online services and save-game backups, we feel like a broken record pointing out every time the big N fails to keep up with the competition. But this morning's announcements about a hotly anticipated game—and how it doesn’t play nice with a key feature in Nintendo’s paid Switch Online service—make the sting feel a bit stronger, especially when the company’s line varies depending on where you live.

This morning's Nintendo Direct video presentation was full of exciting details about the gameplay and features in next month's Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Switch. But the presentation also confirmed some details about the game's save file management that will be unwelcome news to anyone who wants to back up their Animal Crossing island or play the game on more than one Switch unit.

Like all Switch games, Animal Crossing: New Horizons won't let players simply copy a save file to an SD card for easy local backup purposes. But New Horizons will also be one of the few games that doesn't even allow unlimited cloud backups if you subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Human activities responsible for more methane emissions than thought

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:14am
Human activities responsible for more methane emissions than thought

Enlarge (credit: David Seibold)

It’s called the “bomb curve”—a drastic spike in the amount of radioactive (but harmless) carbon-14 in the atmosphere, ushered in by the nuclear age. Scientists can sometimes utilize it as a marker in time when it’s captured by something like tree rings, for example. But the bomb curve can also obscure answers by muddying the waters. That includes the question of just how much methane emissions human activities have released.

The bomb curve

Different sources of methane emissions, ranging from plant decay in wetlands to bubbling seeps around mud volcanoes, come with different signatures of carbon isotopes. Geological sources of methane are quite old, giving any carbon-14 plenty of time to radioactively decay and disappear. Carbon in methane from recently alive plant material, on the other hand, will still have about the same amount of carbon-14 we find in the atmosphere (where it is continually produced).

So if the share of carbon-14-bearing methane in the atmosphere were to decrease, you could determine that “old carbon” methane emissions were increasing. The “bomb curve” ruins that trick by introducing a new variable that has nothing to do with categories of methane emissions. And that has made it harder for researchers to figure out how certain natural sources of methane compare to human-caused emissions. We know how much is going into the atmosphere, but we don’t quite know exactly how much of it is our fault.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

As satellite TV tanks, Dish says merger with DirectTV is “inevitable”

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:04am
Illustration of water circling the drain of a sink, along with the Dish Network logo.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen yesterday said a merger with the AT&T-owned DirecTV is "probably inevitable."

Dish, the second biggest satellite TV company behind DirecTV, lost 194,000 subscribers in Q4 2019 and ended the year with 11.99 million TV customers. That includes 9.4 million satellite TV customers and 2.59 million customers of Sling TV, Dish's online streaming service. The satellite division lost 100,000 subscribers while Sling TV lost 94,000.

On an earnings call yesterday, a financial analyst asked Ergen for his thoughts on a Dish/DirecTV merger, noting that DirecTV is "in increased trouble" and that the US government seems to have "amenability to large-scale transactions."

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

A US gas pipeline operator was infected by malware—your questions answered

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 10:53am
A US gas pipeline operator was infected by malware—your questions answered

Enlarge

Tuesday’s news that a ransomware infection shut down a US pipeline operator for two days has generated no shortage of questions, not to mention a near-endless stream of tweets.

Some observers and arm-chair incident responders consider the event to be extremely serious. That’s because the debilitating malware spread from the unnamed company’s IT network—where email, accounting, and other business is conducted—to the company’s operational technology, or OT, network, which automatically monitors and controls critical operations carried out by physical equipment that can create catastrophic accidents when things go wrong.

Others said the reaction to the incident was overblown. They noted that, per the advisory issued on Tuesday, the threat actor never obtained the ability to control or manipulate operations, that the plant never lost control of its operations, and that facility engineers deliberately shut down operations in a controlled manner. This latter group also cited evidence that the infection of the plant’s industrial control systems, or ICS, network appeared to be unintentional on the part of the attackers.

Read 30 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Two passengers from coronavirus-stricken cruise ship die in Japan

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 10:31am
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - 2020/02/20: Former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship leave on a chartered bus after spending weeks on board in quarantine.

Enlarge / YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - 2020/02/20: Former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship leave on a chartered bus after spending weeks on board in quarantine. (credit: Getty | SOPA Images)

Two former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died in Japan after contracting the new coronavirus as it ran rampant among the 3,711 people on board.

The two deceased passengers were an 87-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman, both Japanese, according to the Japanese health ministry. Local media reported that they had been taken from the ship to hospitals on February 11 and 12. Both had underlying health conditions, according to local media.

The deaths are the first reported from the cruise ship’s COVID-19 outbreak, which has hit 621 confirmed cases since the first case detected February 1. According to local media, 27 others sickened on the ship are in serious condition. Given that preliminary estimates of the disease’s mortality rate in China is around 2 percent, experts at the World Health Organization said Thursday that they were not surprised by the cruise ship deaths.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Coronavirus cuts Chinese carbon emissions by up to 25 percent

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 10:21am
A Chinese power plant

Enlarge / A man tends to vegetables in a field as emissions rise from nearby cooling towers of a coal-fired power station in Tongling, Anhui province, China, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (credit: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On Monday, we discussed the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak could interrupt global trade and just-in-time manufacturing, causing car makers to miss ambitious new European carbon emissions regulations. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the virus has had a concrete effect on CO2, and it's surprisingly positive when seen through the lenses of climate change and air pollution.

According to a report in CarbonBrief, the disruption to China's economy has meant that the country has emitted about 25 percent less CO2 into the atmosphere over the past two weeks than it would if businesses were operating as normal. Traditionally, everything shuts in China for the Lunar New Year celebrations, then kicks back into gear a week later.

But not this year. Factories and other businesses have remained shuttered. Coal-use at power plants is at a four-year low. Oil and steel production are both lower than at any point since the Chinese economy suffered a slowdown in 2015. And domestic air travel has been seriously curtailed as the Chinese government attempts to contain the spread of the epidemic. All told, this equates to about 100 million fewer tons of CO2 in the atmosphere, or a 6 percent reduction of global emissions. Assuming that China's economy doesn't get put into overdrive to compensate, that could well mean that we see global CO2 levels remain flat or even possibly decrease slightly by the end of 2020.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Android 11 Preview hands-on—Notification changes, dark mode options, and more

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 10:11am

The Android 11 Developer Preview is out, and I've tried it for a few hours. I'm back to report my findings.

To be honest, there are not a lot of user-facing changes in this first preview release. Like the earlier Android 11 post laid out, this is almost entirely API changes with little to see from a UI perspective. Right now, Android 11 looks just like Android 10. Hopefully, Google is just holding back, and we'll see more in future Developer Preview releases.

Android 11

View more stories As for what's here, like we suspected, there is now a "conversations" section of the notification panel that incoming texts and messages end up in. The section is sorted at the very top of the notification panel, above regular notifications and silent notifications. If you long-press on a message notification, you'll get a whole host of options. You can banish a certain type of notification from the "messages" category, show a message as a bubble, "favorite" a person to sort them above every other person, snooze a notification, or mute a notification.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

HTC takes its own magic leap, announces Vive Proton prototype headset

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 8:00am

Thanks to the cancellation of next week's scheduled Mobile World Congress, tech companies are beginning to come forward with their previously planned MWC announcements. One of those, from HTC's Vive division, mostly revolves around plans to double-down on its consumer-grade Vive Cosmos VR headset. The company has announced three new models of the Cosmos, and each is a spin on the existing Cosmos system, only with new swappable "face plates."

The thing is, we've yet to go hands-on with any of these new versions of the Cosmos, which HTC says it'll remedy soon enough. In the meantime, if we're going to talk about unproven hardware, why not shoot for the moon?

That brings us to HTC's wackiest Thursday announcement: the HTC Vive Proton. This brand-new "prototype" headset system, as pictured above, is built around HTC's belief that "immersive" headset experiences will, for the foreseeable future, be a blend of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. As a result, the Proton is built around this concept of being able to see your real-life environs, with a certain level of 3D content superimposed on top, depending on what a given game or app demands.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Japan’s space agency moving ahead with Phobos lander mission

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 7:37am
An image of Phobos captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Enlarge / An image of Phobos captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

Japan's space agency has finalized a plan to send a probe to the Martian moons of Phobos and Deimos, and it includes an ambitious lander to collect samples from Phobos to return to Earth.

The agency, JAXA, submitted the plan to the country's science ministry on Wednesday, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported. On Twitter, the Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) official account also announced that it had formally moved from design into the "development" phase of operations. The space agency estimated that the total cost for the mission would come to $417 million.

The current plan calls for a 2024 launch of the probe on an H-3 rocket, a new booster built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and expected to debut late this year or in 2021. The MMX spacecraft would enter into orbit around Mars in 2025 and return to Earth in 2029.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ars Technicast special edition, part 2: Spotting bad actors inside a company

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 6:00am
Artist's impression of an insider threat stealing your stuff.

Enlarge / Artist's impression of an insider threat stealing your stuff. (credit: D-Keine / Getty Images)

In the second of our series of podcasts on artificial intelligence produced in association with Darktrace, we dive into something a little spookier: the world of "insider threat" detection.

There have been a number of recent high-profile cases where people within organizations use their access to data for self-enrichment or ill-intent, and it slipped past the usual policies and tools that are collectively referred to as "data loss prevention." Most of the time, employees are long gone before the data theft is noticed (if it ever is), and preventing data loss almost requires a Minority Report level of pre-cognition.

To get some insight into how AI could play a role in detecting insider threats, Ars editors Sean Gallagher and Lee Hutchinson spoke with Kathleen Carley, director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems at Carnegie Mellon University, about her research into identifying the tells of someone about to take the data and run. Lee and Sean also talked to Rob Juncker, senior vice president of Research and Development at data loss prevention software company Code42, about whether AI can really help detect when people are about to walk off with or upload their employer's data. And Justin Fier, director for Cyber Intelligence and Analysis at Darktrace, spoke with Lee about how AI-related technologies are already being brought to play to stop insider threats.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Guidemaster: The best portable SSDs you can buy right now

ArsTechnica - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 5:55am
 The best portable SSDs you can buy right now

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Portable SSDs are a good way to increase the amount of storage you have to preserve digital data and take that data with you wherever you go. These powerful accessories let you pack a huge amount of storage in your daily bag, giving you a place where you can offload files from your computer or smartphone, access files you only need in certain circumstances, and backup important information on the go.

But the world of portable SSDs is a large one, and choosing the best device for your needs can be a challenge. It's not just about how small the device is, how durable it is, or how many gigabytes of storage it has—the speed of a portable SSD can heavily influence your satisfaction with it. SSDs in general promise better read and write speeds than HDDs, so you'll see a general increase if you're going from one to the other. However, not all portable SSDs perform the same—even if they advertise similar maximum speeds.

To help you decide which portable SSD might work for you, Ars put some of the newest and most popular portable SSDs on the market to the test and judged them on speed, design, durability, compatibility, and price. Here are our findings:

Read 54 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Syndicate content