ArsTechnica

  • 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.
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Updated: 37 min 7 sec ago

Google TV features finally make sense with new multi-user support

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 8:40am
Google TV features finally make sense with new multi-user support

Enlarge

After launching in October of last year, Google TV is finally getting one of its most requested features: multi-user profile support.

Google TV is a revamp and rebranding of Google's Android TV OS—it's Android, but tweaked for televisions with a big-screen UI. Currently, there are still some Android TV boxes on the market, but Google reportedly plans to phase out the "Android TV" brand by 2022, in favor of using Google TV branding everywhere. Google TV is the next version of Android TV.

Google TV's flagship feature is the new home screen, which is designed around a content-recommendation engine. Instead of the usual grid of streaming app icons, Google TV displays the shows themselves on the home screen, prioritizing what matters—the content—and deprioritizing which service it comes from. The problem with Google TV's recommendation approach is that the system has gone a full year without profile support, so every user of the TV affects the single list of recommended content.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Microsoft puts the Windows Subsystem for Linux in its app store for faster updating

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 8:20am
Microsoft puts the Windows Subsystem for Linux in its app store for faster updating

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

For a certain kind of person, the new additions to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) are some of the best features in Windows 11. And Microsoft has announced that new WSL features will be even easier to get in the future. The company has posted a preview version of WSL to the Microsoft Store so that Windows 11 users can download and update WSL independently of other Windows updates.

Many of Windows' built-in apps have already moved to being updated through the Microsoft Store rather than through regular Windows Updates. This gives the company more flexibility when deciding when to update apps, though one side effect has been that many of Windows 11's pre-installed apps still haven't been fully updated for Windows 11. But long-term, it also means you don't need to wait for a new Windows update to benefit from updated apps.

For WSL, this means you won't need to install major, potentially disruptive Windows updates (like, say, Windows 11) just to take advantage of new WSL additions. Microsoft specifically calls out "GUI app support, GPU compute, and Linux file system drive mounting" as the kinds of major features that can be added via Microsoft Store updates, in addition to less flashy updates like new Linux kernel versions.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Astra explains previous failure, sets October date for next launch attempt

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 6:00am
Photo of Astra's second orbital launch attempt, in December 2020.

Enlarge / Photo of Astra's second orbital launch attempt, in December 2020. (credit: Astra/John Kraus)

Astra, a small-rocket company based in California still striving to reach orbit, has set of target date of October 27 for its next launch attempt. The rocket, simply named "LV0007," will carry a test payload weighing a few dozen kilograms for the US Space Force.

The stakes are high for this mission. Although the payload is small and likely of relatively little monetary value, Astra needs to demonstrate its viability as a launch company after several failures. This will be the company's fourth attempt to reach orbit—and it comes as other small launch competitors are either successfully orbiting their rockets or soon to make their first attempts.

"Our team is looking forward to returning to flight and learning more about our launch system, consistent with our launch and learn philosophy," said Chris Kemp, founder, chairman and CEO of Astra, in a news release announcing the flight.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Best Buy’s new $200/yr membership locks PS5, hot holiday items behind sign-up

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 4:19pm
Best Buy and PlayStation logos combined with a fiery dollar sign.

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

If you're still searching for a PS5 and are a Best Buy customer, your ship may have just come in—that is, if you're willing to spend an extra $200 a year for access.

That's because the big-box electronics retailer is locking stock of in-demand holiday items like Sony's console behind membership of its new Totaltech program. The expensive customer service package was recently rolled out nationwide.

The $200 annual service—which has benefits like round-the-clock tech support, up to two years of protection on Best Buy purchases (including AppleCare+ insurance, which can cost $200 on its own), and member discounted prices—is throwing in exclusive access to "the season's hardest-to-find products" as a bonus perk for the holidays, the company said in a statement. The Best Buy retail site had the $500 disc drive model PS5s available for Totaltech members to buy Monday morning, with the consoles gated behind an "exclusive access event" paywall. Instead of selling out instantly, its stock lasted between 90 minutes and two hours—a relatively glacial sales pace compared to the insane demand for the hardware that consumers have faced since it hit stores last November.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Toddler dies of Ebola after 3 suspicious deaths in DRC; 148 contacts identified

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 3:00pm
A woman in heavy protective gear walks outside a small house.

Enlarge / A World Health Organization worker decontaminates the house of a pastor who tested positive for Ebola in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo. (credit: Getty | Sopa images)

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are racing to investigate a potential Ebola outbreak after a 3-year-old boy died of the disease on October 6. Researchers confirmed the toddler's infection with the deadly viral disease on October 8, according to a report by the World Health Organization.

The boy's death closely follows the suspicious deaths of three of his neighbors, a father and his two daughters. One of the daughters died on September 14, followed by the father's death on September 19 and the other daughter's death on September 29. The family displayed symptoms consistent with Ebola but were not tested for the virus. The two daughters, however, had tested positive for malaria.

The family's deaths, along with the toddler's, occurred in the Butsili Health Area, which is close to Beni city, one of the epicenters of the 2018–2020 Ebola outbreak in DRC's North Kivu Province. That outbreak led to 3,470 cases and 2,287 deaths. Additionally, North Kivu experienced a smaller Ebola outbreak earlier this year, between February and May, that involved 12 cases and six deaths.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple tries to block Epic’s court win before it takes effect on December 9

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 12:10pm
iPhone home screen with the App Store icon displayed.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

Apple is appealing the court ruling that said the company must let iOS app developers direct customers to payment options other than Apple's in-app purchasing system. Although Apple previously called the ruling a "resounding victory" because its App Store business model was generally upheld, the company is seeking a stay that would prevent implementation of the injunction requiring Apple to loosen its app rules.

On September 10, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of Epic Games' claim that Apple violated California's Unfair Competition Law. The judge issued a permanent injunction that said Apple must stop "prohibiting developers from (i) including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and (ii) communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app."

If Apple isn't successful in blocking that injunction, the iPhone maker will have to comply with it beginning on December 9. That would make it easier for third-party app developers to collect revenue without giving Apple commissions of up to 30 percent.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple releases iOS and iPadOS 15.0.2, with fixes for CarPlay, Photos, and more

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 11:58am
Screenshot of smartphone interface.

Enlarge / A few apps that received significant updates in iOS 15. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple has just released a second bug-fix update for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 focused on resolving small issues that have been discovered since the operating systems began rolling out in late September. The release notes for both updates differ slightly, but here's a composite list of the fixed bugs:

  • Photos saved to your library from Messages could be deleted after removing the associated thread or message
  • AirTag might not appear in the Find My Items tab
  • Device restore or update may fail when using Finder or iTunes for iPhone 13 or iPad mini (6th generation)
  • iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe may not connect to Find My (iOS only)
  • CarPlay may fail to open audio apps or disconnect during playback (iOS only)

This release comes about 10 days after the iOS 15.0.1 release. No analogous updates have been released for macOS or tvOS, but there's also a watchOS 8.0.1 update that fixes some issues for Apple Watch Series 3 owners.

Both iOS 15.0.1 and 15.0.2 have been focused on fixing minor bugs, not adding additional features. Apple is also currently testing iOS and iPadOS 15.1, which (at least as of this writing) will include the SharePlay group video-watching feature, more camera options for the iPhone 13 Pro, the ability to store COVID-19 vaccine cards in the Wallet app, and a few other additions.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Pixel 6 leaks: Five years of security updates, ~$749 and $1,049 price tags

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 11:48am
 Five years of security updates, ~$749 and $1,049 price tags

Enlarge

Time for a Pixel 6 leak roundup! There are so many leaks.

Over the weekend, UK retailer Carphone Warehouse posted an official-looking teaser site (which has since been taken down) for the Pixel 6. The site was full of info, most notably claiming that the Pixel 6 will come with "five years of updates." The Pixel 6 features Google's first main SoC, the "Google Tensor" chip, and the company hasn't said why it decided to drop Qualcomm and strike out on its own in the chip market. Google isn't designing any custom CPU or GPU cores (though it is getting creative with the configuration), and it has only alluded to a small handful of AI use-cases as selling points for the SoC.

We've long speculated that Google's chip plans are really about extending Android's support timelines, allowing the company to better compete with Apple, and now we finally have confirmation. Apple is up to seven years of support on the iPhone 6S, by the way.

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Nintendo throws rare bone to modern EU gamers via N64 60 Hz toggle

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 11:36am
We're well past the days of CRT TVs by default, and Nintendo Europe's latest welcome update acknowledges this.

Enlarge / We're well past the days of CRT TVs by default, and Nintendo Europe's latest welcome update acknowledges this. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

On Monday, Nintendo of Europe announced a very region-specific—and era-specific—tweak for its upcoming collection of N64 games on the Switch: an option to swap between the PAL and NTSC video standards. While the announcement may sound ho-hum to outsiders, anyone in Europe with a vested interest in classic gaming will appreciate what the toggle affords.

The issue boils down to differences between NTSC and PAL, the leading video broadcast standards on CRT TVs during Nintendo's '80s and '90s heyday. North American and Japanese TV sets were configured for NTSC, which has a refresh rate standard of 60 Hz, while the PAL sets that dominated Europe had a slightly higher pixel resolution and a lower refresh rate standard of 50 Hz.

If you merely watch TV series or films on both NTSC and PAL sets, the difference is noticeable yet mild. But for much of the '80s and '90s, many video games, especially the ones made by the largely Japanese console industry, suffered in PAL because they were coded specifically for NTSC standards. In order to port the games to PAL, developers generally didn't go back and reconfigure all of the timings, especially in the case of early 3D games. Instead, internal clock speeds were often slowed down to 83.3 percent to match European TV refresh rates. This meant both slower gameplay than what was originally coded and slower playback of music and sound effects. (These games also often shipped with NTSC's pixel maximums in mind, so they were squished to fit on PAL displays.)

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Adventures of a Mathematician brings an unsung scientist back into the light

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 11:08am
Still from Adventures of a Mathematician

Enlarge / Philippe Tlokinski stars as Stanislaw Ulam in the new film Adventures of a Mathematician. (credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films)

On November 1, 1952, the US detonated the first thermonuclear weapon, dubbed "Ivy Mike," off the Enewetak Atoll in what is now the Marshall Islands. Most of us consider the late physicist Edward Teller to be the "father of the hydrogen bomb"—and Teller did indeed champion the notion of a fusion-based "super bomb." But hardly anyone outside of physics has heard of Stanislaw Ulam, the Polish mathematician and physicist who helped realize Teller's objective, although the extent of their respective contributions to the breakthrough Teller-Ulam design remains both highly classified and controversial.

Ulam is also the mastermind behind what is known as the Monte Carlo method of computation, and along with his Hungarian-born colleague John von Neumann, he was a pioneer of early computing technology. He proposed a novel nuclear pulse propulsion method for starships that led to the formation of Project Orion in 1958, with the goal of achieving interplanetary travel. And he was a formidable poker player, as many of his Los Alamos colleagues learned to their detriment.

The life of this extraordinary yet largely unsung scientist is the focus of Adventures of a Mathematician, a new film from German director Thor Klein. Klein's thoughtful, haunting film is less a straightforward biopic and more an elegant impromptu composed out of key events in Ulam's life, set against the backdrop of World War II and its immediate aftermath.

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Gasoline-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers to be banned under new California law

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 9:52am
Gasoline-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers to be banned under new California law

Enlarge (credit: Aleksandr Potashev / iStock)

Gasoline-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers will soon be a thing of the past in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill that will ban the sale of small internal combustion engines predominately used in lawn and garden equipment, starting as soon as 2024.

The new law, authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman from Menlo Park, will offer rebates for consumers to purchase electric replacements, and it builds on previous rulemaking already underway at the state’s air regulator, the California Air Resources Board, better known as CARB. The phaseout will begin as soon as is feasible or by January 1, 2024, whichever comes later.

“Currently, there are zero-emission equivalents to all [small off-road engine] equipment regulated by the State Air Resources Board,” the law points out. “The battery technology required for commercial-grade zero-emission equipment is available and many users, both commercial and residential, have already begun to transition to zero-emission equipment.”

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The latest app to get a Windows 11 redesign? The humble Notepad

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 9:37am
The new Notepad app looks a lot like the old one, with condensed menus and added padding to make the menus more touch-friendly.

Enlarge / The new Notepad app looks a lot like the old one, with condensed menus and added padding to make the menus more touch-friendly. (credit: @FireCubeStudios)

Windows 11 is out, but the process of updating the operating system's built-in apps continues. Over the weekend, screenshots leaked for an as-yet-unannounced redesign of the Notepad app, which currently looks and works more or less as it has since Windows XP came out two decades ago (though under-the-hood updates have added new capabilities, like support for the line-ending style used in Linux and macOS text files).

The screenshots were posted and deleted by a "Microsoft engineer" but were preserved by FireCubeStudios on Twitter, and they suggest that Microsoft isn't reinventing Notepad in the style of more advanced apps like Notepad++ or Emacs. The screenshots show fewer menu options and a larger, more touch-friendly amount of padding between them, as well as theming options and the ability to set a different default font. Also listed is a "Classic" mode for opening files, though exactly how that differs from the default experience remains to be seen.

The leaked version of Notepad appears to support dark mode (not shown here but implied by the "app theme" option), plus the ability to change the default font.

The leaked version of Notepad appears to support dark mode (not shown here but implied by the "app theme" option), plus the ability to change the default font. (credit: @FireCubeStudios)

The unfinished state of Windows 11's built-in apps was one complaint from our full review, and it's something that keeps the operating system from feeling fully modernized and unified. The Paint app has been updated, but without the promised dark mode support. Updates for apps like Your Phone, Microsoft Whiteboard, some kind of media player, and (now) Notepad have been leaked or announced but not released. And other built-in apps like Wordpad still look like they did in Windows 7.

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Pandemic-related supply issues send US PC market into decline

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 9:00am

It could be harder to get a new PC this holiday season, as supply chain issues continue to hinder the market. Numbers shared by analysts today show that component shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic are still very much affecting PC supply—and demand.

“The shortfall in supply of PCs is expected to last well into 2022, with the holiday season of this year set to see a significant portion of orders not met,” Ishan Dutt, senior analyst at Canalys, said in a statement. 

The biggest factor slowing the growth of desktop, laptop, and workstation shipments is disruption to the global supply chain and logistics network, Dutt said. Manufacturers are dealing with restrictions and even lockdowns, especially in Asia. This situation is leading to backlogs for PC-makers and their partners.

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The first Arab mission to Mars is delivering some interesting science

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 7:03am
New whole-hemisphere image of Mars captured by the UAE "Hope" probe.

Enlarge / New whole-hemisphere image of Mars captured by the UAE "Hope" probe. (credit: Emirates Mars Mission)

Since arriving at Mars eight months ago, the Emirates Mars Mission has quietly begun to deliver some intriguing scientific data about the Martian atmosphere and its weather patterns.

Named "Hope," the probe is in a relatively high orbit, varying in altitude above Mars from 20,000 to 43,000 km. This vantage point allows the spacecraft to see an entire hemisphere at a time. For much of this year, then, the Hope probe has been training its multi-band imager, infrared spectrometer, and ultraviolet spectrometer on Mars to collect data about the planet's atmosphere and resulting weather conditions.

The project was financed by the United Arab Emirates, and the spacecraft was built in conjunction with several US-based universities, including the University of Colorado Boulder. The goal was to inspire young Emiratis to pursue an education in math and science and train some of them through the resulting collaborations. The probe launched in July 2020 on a Japanese rocket.

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The Chevrolet Bolt recall has begun; cars will get new battery packs

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 6:12am
A colorful display for a hunk of metal and plastic about the size of two skateboards side-by-side.

Enlarge / This is the 60 kWh battery pack found inside a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The front of the pack is to the right of the picture, and the hump to the left is the double-stacked modules that live under the rear seat. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Chevrolet was one of the first automakers to market with a long-range battery-electric vehicle, the Bolt EV. Unfortunately for the US automaker, it's also now the first to have to issue a massive recall after manufacturing defects with the car's lithium-ion battery cells were identified as the cause of a number of fires.

Chevrolet's first fix was a software remedy, started in November 2020, before faulty manufacturing was recognized as the true culprit. Now the plan is relatively simple, if expensive: The company will replace every Bolt EV battery pack with a new one, at a cost of more than $1.8 billion.

Those replacements have now begun, and Chevrolet is contacting owners to let them know what's happening.

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The electric Ford Mustang Mach-E GT finally lives up to its famous name

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 3:00am
An orange Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

Enlarge / Cyber Orange Metallic paint is one of the colors exclusive to the Mustang Mach-E GT. You'll also notice new styling at the front. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

Ford provided flights to San Francisco and a night in a hotel so we could drive the Mustang Mach-E GT and Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition. Ars does not accept paid editorial content.

SAUSALITO, Calif.—In the grand scheme of things, the names that automakers give their cars aren't really important. And yet, almost two years after it was first revealed, some people are still upset that Ford decided to call its new electric crossover the Mustang Mach-E. It probably didn't help that Ford focused its attention on the longer-range Mach-E at first rather than a car that would live up to the image of the Mustang as the people's sports car.

I'm not entirely unsympathetic to that argument. When we tested a Mach-E in February, I found it a competent electric vehicle, but it wasn't much fun. Using the Mustang name to take advantage of brand recognition is all well and good, but only if it doesn't dilute that name past any point of meaning. A Mustang is a wild horse, after all.

Well, Ford has rectified that with the arrival of the $59,900 Mustang Mach-E GT. The concept is similar to the first Mustang GT back in 1965. More power, better tires, and seats that hold you in place, plus some styling tweaks—just don't crash it leaving Cars and Coffee.

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9 past mistakes offer lessons for today’s hot new automakers

Sun, 10/10/2021 - 2:00pm

In 2021, there are easily two dozen electric vehicle start-ups whose founders dream of becoming the next Tesla. Wanting to be the next big thing is a story as old as the automobile business, given that more than 2,000 American automakers have come and gone, and all of those founders held the same dream. Many found some initial success only for it to all go wrong in the end.

As glamorous as the automotive industry seems, the chances of sustained success for new manufacturers remains slim. So while many failed companies have since slipped into obscurity, their stories may have some use to today's neophyte manufacturers.

Selling reliability isn’t a panacea

Engine failure was common in the early days of motoring; both driver and passengers could routinely find themselves stranded miles from home. Most automakers responded by trying to improve the quality of their engines. But not Howard Carter.

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These virtual obstacle courses help real robots learn to walk

Sun, 10/10/2021 - 3:34am

A clip from the simulation where virtual robots learn to climb steps.

An army of more than 4,000 marching doglike robots is a vaguely menacing sight, even in a simulation. But it may point the way for machines to learn new tricks.

The virtual robot army was developed by researchers from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and chipmaker Nvidia. They used the wandering bots to train an algorithm that was then used to control the legs of a real-world robot.

In the simulation, the machines—called ANYmals—confront challenges like slopes, steps, and steep drops in a virtual landscape. Each time a robot learned to navigate a challenge, the researchers presented a harder one, nudging the control algorithm to be more sophisticated.

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Capt. Michael Burnham and crew face a dire threat in ST: Discovery S4 trailer

Sat, 10/09/2021 - 12:32pm

We didn't get a new trailer for the fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery during the Star Trek Day festivities last month, although we did get a premiere date: November 18, 2021. But we didn't have to wait that long. The much-anticipated new trailer debuted during Discovery’s New York Comic Con 2021 panel, which included cast members Sonequa Martin-Green, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, David Ajala, and Blu del Barrio, as well as showrunner and executive producer Michelle Paradise.

(Spoilers for prior seasons below.)

As I've written previously, in S3, Michael Burnham (Martin-Green), Discovery, and her crew arrived in the future and found that Control's plan had been thwarted: life still exists. But the galaxy was very different thanks to something called The Burn, a catastrophic event that caused all the dilithium in the Milky Way to explode and destroy much of Starfleet in the process. In the aftermath, with no warp drive possible, all the planets had become disconnected and were no longer governed by the Federation. Michael did, however, manage to locate one sole Federation liaison on a remote space station with the help of a new ally, Book (David Ajala).

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How to transfer save data from one Nintendo Switch to another

Sat, 10/09/2021 - 5:00am
Side-by-side comparison for two handheld video gaming devices.

Enlarge / The new OLED Switch above its predecessor. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

Your Nintendo Switch is loaded up with precious game save data, not to mention your prized screenshots and gripping gameplay recordings. You don't need to upgrade to the new Switch OLED, but if you are—or you just need to swap from one console to another—you'll need to transfer all of this data over. There are a couple of ways to do it.

Transferring save game data and your screengrabs involve different processes, and for the latter, you'll need a separate MicroSD card. Things are also very different (in a good way) if you pay for Nintendo Switch Online. Here, we break down all the details so you can follow the process that best applies to you. Here's how to transfer your Switch data.

How to transfer save data and user profiles

Your most precious data—all the save data and progress you've made in your games—is tied to the user profile you created when you first set up your Switch. It's the profile you pick each time you start a game, with a name and an avatar. All of that associated data is stored on your Switch and needs to be copied over to your new console.

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