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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/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 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.

Critical Zoom vulnerabilities fixed last week required no user interaction

ArsTechnica - 1 hour 4 sec ago
Critical Zoom vulnerabilities fixed last week required no user interaction

Enlarge (credit: Zoom)

Google's Project Zero vulnerability research team detailed critical vulnerabilities Zoom patched last week making that made it possible for hackers to execute zero-click attacks that remotely ran malicious code on devices running the messaging software.

Tracked as CVE-2022-22786 and CVE-2022-22784, the vulnerabilities made it possible to perform attacks even when the victim took no action other than to have the client open. As detailed on Tuesday by Google Project Zero researcher Ivan Fratric, inconsistencies in how the Zoom client and Zoom servers parse XMPP messages made it possible to "smuggle" content in them that usually would be blocked. By combining those flaws with a glitch in the way Zoom’s code-signing verification works, Fratric achieved full code execution.

“User interaction is not required for a successful attack,” the researcher wrote. “The only ability an attacker needs is to be able to send messages to the victim over Zoom chat over XMPP protocol.” Fratric continued:

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More than 1 in 5 COVID survivors may develop long COVID, CDC study suggests

ArsTechnica - 2 hours 40 min ago
A woman breathes into a tube while a health care worker looks on.

Enlarge / A long-COVID patient in Germany takes a pulmonary function test at Hufeland Clinic's Center for Pneumology. (credit: Getty | picture alliance)

More than one in five adults in the US who have recovered from COVID-19 may end up developing a long-term condition linked to the viral infection, according to a study published this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The post-COVID conditions span heart, lung, kidney, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, and mental health conditions. Overall, COVID survivors had nearly twice the risk of developing respiratory and lung conditions, including pulmonary embolisms, compared with uninfected controls. The most common post-COVID conditions were respiratory conditions and musculoskeletal pain.

Among COVID survivors, people ages 18 to 64 were more likely than older survivors to develop cardiac dysrhythmia and musculoskeletal pain. The risks for survivors 65 and up were greater for kidney failure, blood clots, cerebrovascular disease, muscle disorders, neurological conditions, and mental health conditions.

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Prominent ex-Tesla self-driving car exec leaves Apple for greener pastures

ArsTechnica - 4 hours 12 min ago
A building at Apple Park, the company's Cupertino, California, HQ.

Enlarge / A building at Apple Park, the company's Cupertino, California, HQ. (credit: Apple)

Apple has reportedly been working on self-driving car technology since 2014, but it has faced a series of prominent employee departures over the past year. As reported Wednesday by Bloomberg, the latest is CJ Moore, who had only just joined the company last August.

Before joining Apple, Moore was Tesla's director of autopilot, where he worked on self-driving cars even as he contradicted Tesla CEO Elon Musk's bold timeline for the project when speaking with California regulators. It's unclear exactly what Moore's work has been at Apple since joining the company.

In any case, he's now moving to lidar company Luminar Technologies, which has been aggressively hiring prominent directors and executives from tech and automobile giants. At Luminar, Moore will lead the global software development for lidar-based features to ensure passengers' safety in autonomous vehicles.

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Microsoft Dev Box will virtualize your Windows development PC in a browser window

ArsTechnica - 5 hours 12 min ago
A selection of apps from the Microsoft Store.

Enlarge / A selection of apps from the Microsoft Store. (credit: Microsoft)

Among the announcements made at Microsoft's Build developer conference yesterday was a new service for organizations that want to offer preconfigured, virtualized developer workstations on demand. Microsoft Dev Box is intended to simplify the process of getting new developer workstations up and running quickly, with all necessary tools and dependencies installed and working out-of-the-box (so to speak), along with access to up-to-date source code and fresh copies of any nightly builds.

Dev Box is built on Windows 365, a service that IT admins can use to provide preconfigured virtual PCs to users. Admins can build operating system images and offer hardware configurations with different amounts of CPU power, storage, and RAM based on what particular users (or workloads) need. Windows 365 virtual machines, including but not limited to Dev Box VMs, can be accessed from other Windows PCs, or devices running macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, or ChromeOS.

Virtualized development environments could offer many benefits to developers and testers beyond the ability to access a preconfigured dev box from anywhere. If you install software or make a change that breaks your development environment, you could easily roll back to a known-working version. Your administrator could offer different environments for different apps to prevent software conflicts or offer multiple environments for different versions of your app so you could easily maintain, test, and provide support for multiple versions at a time.

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Today’s best deals: PlayStation Days of Play sale, SanDisk storage, and more

ArsTechnica - 5 hours 24 min ago
 PlayStation Days of Play sale, SanDisk storage, and more

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

The time has come for another Dealmaster. Our latest roundup of the best tech deals from around the web is led by various deals on PlayStation games and gear. That's because Sony kicked off its annual late-spring "Days of Play" sale, which the company says will run through June 8.

In general, the number of noteworthy deals here isn't quite as vast as what we highlighted from Epic's PC-focused Mega Sale over the weekend: Unlike years past, there are no discounts on PlayStation Plus subscriptions—likely due to Sony's ongoing revamp of that online service—some well-regarded PS5 exclusives like Returnal and Demon's Souls aren't on sale, and a few of the included PS4 games are at prices we've seen fairly frequently. Many of them will be included with PS Plus' new upgrade tiers, if you plan on paying for that.

Still, there are some deals worth your attention. If you need a spare DualSense controller for the PS5, for instance, all colors of that gamepad are down to $59, which is a $10 or $15 discount depending on which model you choose and only a couple of dollars from the lowest price we've tracked. The colorful action game Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is down to a new low of $40, while Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, another PS5 exclusive that remasters the action flick-style shooters Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, is discounted to $30, another new low. Other hits like MLB The Show 22 (Nintendo Switch version included), the PS5 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake, and The Last of Us Part II have received substantial discounts, too; you can see our full list of worthwhile deals from Sony's sale below.

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Google urged to stop collecting phone location data before Roe v. Wade reversal

ArsTechnica - 6 hours 59 min ago
A pro-choice demonstrator holds a sign with a coat hanger and the words

Enlarge / A pro-choice demonstrator in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Stefani Reynolds)

More than 40 Democratic members of Congress called on Google to stop collecting and retaining customer location data that prosecutors could use to identify women who obtain abortions.

"[W]e are concerned that, in a world in which abortion could be made illegal, Google's current practice of collecting and retaining extensive records of cell phone location data will allow it to become a tool for far-right extremists looking to crack down on people seeking reproductive health care. That's because Google stores historical location information about hundreds of millions of smartphone users, which it routinely shares with government agencies," Democrats wrote Tuesday in a letter led by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). The letter was sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Specifically, Google should stop collecting "unnecessary customer location data" or "any non-aggregate location data about individual customers, whether in identifiable or anonymized form. Google cannot allow its online advertising-focused digital infrastructure to be weaponized against women," lawmakers wrote. They also told Google that people who use iPhones "have greater privacy from government surveillance of their movements than the tens of millions Americans using Android devices."

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The (fossil) eyes have it: Evidence that an ancient owl hunted in daylight

ArsTechnica - 7 hours 6 min ago
 Evidence that an ancient owl hunted in daylight

Enlarge (credit: IVPP)

An extraordinarily well-preserved fossil owl was described in PNAS this past March. Owls are not new to the fossil record; evidence of their existence has been found in scattered limbs and fragments from the Pleistocene to the Paleocene (approximately 11,700 years to 65 million years ago). What makes this fossil unique is not only the rare preservation of its near-complete articulated skeleton but that it provides the first evidence of diurnal behavior millions of years earlier than previously thought. 

In other words, this ancient owl didn’t stalk its prey under the cloak of darkness. Instead, the bird was active under the rays of the Miocene sun.

Seeing the light

Its eye socket was key to making this determination. Dr. Zhiheng Li is the lead author on the paper and a vertebrate paleontologist who focuses on fossil birds at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in China. He explained in an email that the large bones around the eyes of birds (but not mammals) known as the scleral ossicles offer information about the size of the pupil they surround. In this case, the pupils of this fossil owl were small. And if the pupil is small, he wrote, it “means they can obtain good vision with a smaller eye opening.”

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Google Hardware’s latest weird defect: Quickly deteriorating phone cases

ArsTechnica - 7 hours 21 min ago
This is a "pink" case after a few months.

Enlarge / This is a "pink" case after a few months. (credit: A_Giant_Baguette)

Google Hardware's products aim to bring the best of Google's software prowess to the market, but the division sure does have a lot of quality control issues. The latest weird Google Hardware defect is yellowing, warping phone cases. As The Verge reports, Google's pricey, translucent plastic cases aren't living up to their $30 price tag.

Numerous reports on Amazon and Reddit list all kinds of problems with these cases. One post on Reddit, titled "Pixel 6 case Made by Google is trash," has 500 upvotes and contains several pictures of what these official cases look like after a few months. The cases apparently quickly turn yellow or brown from UV degradation. That's a common problem with cheap transparent cases, but it's not something you would expect from an official $30 case from a major manufacturer.

Another continually cited problem is that the cases don't fit correctly, either straight from the factory or due to warping over time. Images show waggly edges around the power and volume buttons.

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Lidar reveals networks of pre-Columbian cities and towns in Bolivia

ArsTechnica - 8 hours 10 min ago
Cotoca, a 125 hectare settlement, sits at the center of a network of causeways linking it to smaller communities.

Enlarge / Cotoca, a 125 hectare settlement, sits at the center of a network of causeways linking it to smaller communities.

An airborne lidar survey recently revealed the long-hidden ruins of 11 pre-Columbian Indigenous towns in what is now northern Bolivia. The survey also revealed previously unseen details of defensive walls and complex ceremonial buildings at 17 other settlements in the area, built by a culture about which archaeologists still know very little: the Casarabe.

In the last few years, lidar—which uses infrared beams to see what lies beneath dense foliage—has helped archaeologists map a long-hidden, long-forgotten landscape of towns, fortresses, causeways, canals, terraced fields, and ceremonial sites left behind by the Maya and Olmec civilizations across a huge swath of modern Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. Those cultures are fairly well-known to archaeologists and historians, but lidar surveys have still revealed some huge surprises. And we know far less about the Casarabe culture, as it hasn’t been the subject of as many surveys and excavations as bigger, more famous civilizations like the Maya.

But a recent lidar survey, led by Heiko Prümers of the German Archaeological Institute, shed more light (infrared, specifically) on the Casarabe culture’s network of towns and cities, linked by hundreds of kilometers of causeways and canals. The survey also revealed a thriving urban culture in an area where historians once assumed very few people lived before Spanish colonization.

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Sick of picking up toys? Dyson’s future home robots want to do it for you

ArsTechnica - 8 hours 39 min ago
Dyson is trying to get a grasp on home robotics.

Enlarge / Dyson is trying to get a grasp on home robotics. (credit: Dyson)

Dyson today shared its ambitious plans to sell robots that can do your household chores. The company best known for vacuums is in the midst of a massive hiring push as it looks to make consumer robots that roam homes and do more than suck up dust. The company wants to put these robots in homes within 10 years.

For 20 years, Dyson has been making puck-format robot vacuums that move around homes sucking up dust and dirt. But for the last 10 years, Dyson has also been researching autonomous robots with grasping hands.

In a video, Dyson showed robot prototypes performing house tasks, including putting away dishes and helpfully placing bleach on a countertop.

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Earth’s orbital debris problem is worsening, and policy solutions are difficult

ArsTechnica - 10 hours 51 sec ago

Dave Hebert, Caleb Henry, Therese Jones, and Eric Berger at Ars Frontiers 2022 on the growing problem of orbital debris. Click here for transcript. (video link)

One of the greatest threats to humanity's ongoing expansion into space is the proliferation of debris in low Earth orbit. During a panel discussion at the Ars Frontiers conference earlier this month, a trio of experts described the problem and outlined potential solutions.

The issue of debris is almost as old as spaceflight, explained Caleb Henry, a senior analyst at Quilty Analytics. During the Space Race in the 1960s, the Soviet Union and the United States often launched rockets without regard for the trajectory of the upper stages.

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If Europe and Japan can have small, cheap EVs, why can’t America?

ArsTechnica - 10 hours 32 min ago
This EV is called the Nissan Sakura, and it goes on sale in Japan this year for about $14,000, proving that automakers can make small and affordable EVs.

Enlarge / This EV is called the Nissan Sakura, and it goes on sale in Japan this year for about $14,000, proving that automakers can make small and affordable EVs. (credit: Nissan)

You don't have to dig far into the comments of just about any article we write about new cars to find complaints about the ever-growing size and cost of those new cars. Automakers are convinced that size sells in the US market, particularly when it comes to new electric vehicles. But there is a different way, as both Europe and Japan have shown.

For example, Autocar reported on Tuesday that Volkswagen will build a small EV called the ID.1 that will sell for around $18,000 (17,000 euros). Due to reach the market in 2025, this diminutive EV will use a cut-down version of VW's MEB platform (as used in the US-market ID.4 crossover, among others) and is expected to have a WLTP range of about 250 miles (400 km) thanks to a 57 kWh battery pack.

In fact, Europeans will be somewhat spoiled for choice since the same factory in Spain will also produce versions of the ID.1 for the Cupra and Seat brands.

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Sliding to mild? Nope—omicron BA.2 caused worse COVID symptoms than BA.1

ArsTechnica - 11 hours 20 min ago
Sliding to mild? Nope—omicron BA.2 caused worse COVID symptoms than BA.1

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Xinhua News Agency)

Despite early suggestions that the omicron coronavirus subvariant BA.1 would be mild, a massive wave of infections in January caused spikes in hospitalizations and more excess deaths than earlier variants. And subsequent omicron subvariants don't appear to be easing up.

According to a preprint study involving data from more than 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom, an infection with the omicron subvariant BA.2 was more likely to be symptomatic, more likely to cause a larger number of symptoms, and more likely to cause symptoms that people said affected their daily lives "a lot," compared to an infection with BA.1.

In fact, BA.2 wasn't just worse than BA.1; it was bad overall. The study authors analyzed symptom reports linked to infections of the ancestral coronavirus strain and variants alpha, delta, omicron BA.1, and omicron BA.2. The authors found that BA.2 infections were the most likely to cause symptoms compared with all the other variants. And the finding held up when the authors adjusted for time since a booster dose in people who were triple vaccinated, suggesting that waning vaccine protection could not explain the increase in symptom reporting.

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Pfizer warns of “constant waves” of COVID as complacency grows

ArsTechnica - 12 hours 3 min ago
A woman wears a facemask as she walks by the Pfizer world headquarters in New York on November 9, 2020.

Enlarge / A woman wears a facemask as she walks by the Pfizer world headquarters in New York on November 9, 2020. (credit: Getty | KENA BETANCUR )

Growing complacency about COVID-19 and politicization of the pandemic response will cost lives as the world is hit by new waves of the virus in the coming months, Pfizer’s chief executive has warned.

Albert Bourla said people were growing “tired” of the measures introduced to slow the spread of the virus, while “politicians want to claim victory.” Compliance with authorities’ requests for people to get booster shots would fall even among those who are already vaccinated, he predicted.

This, combined with waning immunity from previous infections and vaccinations, is likely to lead to “constant waves” of COVID variants and deaths, he said.

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Server hack yields harrowing images of life inside Chinese detention camps

ArsTechnica - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 4:31pm
Server hack yields harrowing images of life inside Chinese detention camps

Enlarge

A hack on police servers in China’s Xinjiang region has yielded thousands of graphic images and videos of Uighur detainees suffering in detention camps in one of the starkest accounts yet of the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the country’s persecution of ethnic minorities.

The images are accompanied by training manuals, detailed police work rosters, and instructions for guarding the camps. Using a euphemism to describe inmates, one document states: “If students do not respond to warning shots and continue to try to escape, the armed police shoot to kill,” the BBC reported. Images show one prisoner in an iron torture device known as a tiger chair, which immobilizes the arms. Der Spiegel, one of the other outlets that published the tranch of hacked photos and documents, said it confirmed their authenticity in part by analyzing GPS data included in some of the images.

“The material is unprecedented on several levels,” Dr. Adrian Zenz, director and senior fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, who obtained the files and shared them with news outlets, wrote on Twitter. His thread provided a broad overview of the leaked materials that included “high-level speeches, implicating top leadership and containing blunt language,” “camp security instructions, far more detailed than China Cables [that] describe heavily armed strike units with battlefield assault rifles,” and other evidence of Uighur oppression at the hands of the Chinese government.

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What the public wants in COVID news vs. what the press provides

ArsTechnica - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 4:01pm
Image of dice shaped cubes with letters spelling out fake/fact.

Enlarge (credit: Anton Melnyk)

Misinformation posing as news has been a problem that only got worse with the ease of publishing on the Internet. But the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have raised it to new levels, driving lots of attention to rumors, errors, and outright falsehoods. Given the magnitude of the threat, there would seem to be a premium placed on ensuring the accuracy of any pandemic information. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

It's unlikely there will be a single explanation for why that was the case. But researchers based in Paris have looked into the dynamics of pandemic news and found a potential contributor: Unreliable news sources were better at producing content that matched what readers were looking for.

Supply and demand

The researchers behind the new work treated the news ecosystem as a function of supply and demand. The audience—in this case, the Italian public—is interested in obtaining answers to specific questions or details on a topic. News sources attempt to satisfy that demand. Complicating this relationship, the news ecosystem includes organizations that don't produce quality information. Poor reporting can be due to carelessness or to satisfy an agenda separate from providing news.

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Big-budget The Lord of the Rings: Gollum video game gets a 2022 release date

ArsTechnica - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 3:22pm

It's been quite a while since we've had a new, triple-A Lord of the Rings game, but that's going to change on September 1, according to developer and publisher Daedalic Entertainment.

"Story-driven action-adventure game" The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will ship this fall on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. A Nintendo Switch version will arrive later in the year. Announced in 2019, the game was initially planned for a 2021 release, but it was delayed to 2022, and this is the first time we have a firm date for it.

Based on a gameplay video released last year, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum appears to be a stealth game like Assassin's CreedSplinter Cell, or Metal Gear Solid. Like Assassin's Creed, it will involve a fair bit of climbing and platforming. But unlike recent stealth games, it will be a linear affair rather than an open world. It follows the (mostly) untold story of Gollum's activities during the book The Fellowship of the Ring, when Frodo and company were traveling from The Shire eastward to Rivendell, Moria, and beyond.

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Dial M for more power, more handling: The 2023 BMW iX M60, tested

ArsTechnica - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 3:01pm
We've come to expect controversial styling from BMW, but the iX's face is starting to grow on me.

Enlarge / We've come to expect controversial styling from BMW, but the iX's face is starting to grow on me. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

BMW provided a flight from DC to Berlin and a flight from Milan back to DC, plus nights in hotels in Berlin, Munich, and Como, so we could drive the iX M60 and attend the Villa d'Este concours. Ars does not accept paid editorial content.

These days, carmakers are in a bit of a quandary. For generations, the industry has evolved and refined its products, and now it’s time to throw away that knowledge as it pertains to internal combustion technology and learn all new things about electric powertrains. This feeling must be particularly acute in the more specialized corners of the industry, like the go-fast merchants responsible for those factory-built, souped-up sedans and SUVs with badges that read AMG, Blackwing, and the like.

BMW M is arguably the most famous, having just celebrated its 50th anniversary this past week. For decades, since the mid-engined BMW Turbo concept of 1972, the tricolor badge has been a byword for sharp handling and plenty of power, usually delivered by a peach of an engine. But the future is electrified, even at M, which is why we were in Berlin to try out its latest creation, a tweaked version of BMW’s latest electric SUV, the 2023 iX M60.

We had our first taste of the iX last summer. It's a controversial-looking thing, as with so many of BMW's more recent creations, and it's best thought of as an all-electric alternative to the more conventional X5 SUV. But the engineers at M have now gotten their hands on the iX, having already worked their magic on the i4 M50.

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Third-party widgets are coming to Windows 11, which might actually make them useful

ArsTechnica - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 1:32pm
Microsoft will allow third-party apps to bundle their own widgets starting later this year.

Enlarge / Microsoft will allow third-party apps to bundle their own widgets starting later this year. (credit: Microsoft)

When Windows 11 did away with support for Live Tiles, Microsoft attempted to relocate some of that quick, glance-able information into a new Widgets menu that lives in the taskbar alongside the Start and search menus. Our main issue with widgets in our Windows 11 review was that they were limited to Microsoft's apps and services, with no mechanism for third parties to develop their own widgets.

That will change later this year, according to an announcement made at Microsoft's Build developer conference. Third parties will be able to develop their own Windows 11 widgets "beginning later this year." This suggests that it will be among the tweaks and new features coming for Windows 11 22H2, the operating system's first big yearly update.

Widgets can be packaged as companions for traditional Win32 apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), and they'll use the Adaptive Cards platform that Microsoft created to enable cross-platform widgets and UI previews.

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Top Gun: Maverick spoiler-free review: A worthy return to the danger zone

ArsTechnica - Tue, 05/24/2022 - 1:09pm
Tom Cruise, still crazy after all these years.

Enlarge / Tom Cruise, still crazy after all these years. (credit: Skydance Productions)

As I walked out of my review screening of Top Gun: Maverick, coming down from its adrenaline-filled finale, a small part of my brain began looking for dents in the film's armor. Maybe it's the critic in me, but my thoughts didn't need long to land on stuff from the original film—a plot point, a stylistic choice, a particular character—that didn't return this time.

I chewed on those thoughts for a second, but before I could lose myself in cataloging them at length, a sensation came over me. It landed like a massive G-force blast, as if I were a jet fighter pilot attempting a seemingly impossible climb: one of great satisfaction with this sequel and admiration that this film pulled off the impossible feat of adhering to the old while doing something new.

Returning to old haunts.

Returning to old haunts. (credit: Skydance Productions)

The series' predilection for steering military theater toward Hollywood-style silliness is arguably more tolerable, as tempered by a savvy script and cutting-edge stunt work. The character development hits important notes for both Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and the people in his high-speed orbit, and the film's focused supporting cast mostly hits the mark.

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