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: 41 min 8 sec ago

Millionaire Twitch streamers react to their leaked earnings

Sat, 10/09/2021 - 4:10am
The twitch logo projected on a wall.

Enlarge / According to the leaked data, 81 streamers have earned over $1 million each through Twitch since late 2019. (credit: Getty Images)

Usually on Twitch, the rallying cry “Let’s get top five, baby!” refers to a video game leaderboard. Now, in the wake of a cataclysmic data breach, the gaming world is focused on a new leaderboard: one that ranks streamers according to how much money they make from Twitch.

A circus of controversy washed over the Internet Wednesday after an anonymous 4chan user leaked 125GB of data from the streaming platform, which included payout information for over 10,000 Twitch streamers. Twitch confirmed the breach later that day, saying that a server configuration change had allowed a “malicious third party” to access the data. The revenue data, which spanned subscriptions, donations, and ads from August 2019 to October 2021, immediately went viral on 4chan, Twitter, Reddit, and other social media. (Several streamers have stated that the information is mostly accurate, although the Twitch payments do not represent their only income source.) And while streamers are understandably concerned about potential privacy risks associated with the data breach, many have also been meme-ing on the money and, as always, making money on the memes.

“NUMBA 6 BEGS FOR PRIMES,” top streamer Ludwig Ahgren titled his livestream Wednesday, referring to Twitch’s Prime subscriptions. Twenty-four thousand viewers tuned in. Scrolling through a website that organized the payout information into a leaderboard, Ahgren typed in various streamers’ usernames to find what they made. (The website has since been taken down.) At one point, Ahgren called another streamer, Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo, to continue the gossip fest. “Number six!” Rinaudo yelled in a greeting to Ahgren. “You have to scroll to see my number. That’s embarrassing.”

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Baking Impossible: The great nerdish bake-off for the engineering set

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 3:06pm

Structural integrity, physics, and load-bearing properties—how often do you see reality TV series that reward contestants' careful engineering efforts? And how often do you see those creations subsequently picked apart with a fork and tasted by judges?

I'm not exactly sure how Netflix's algorithms, the ones that pore over millions of hours of viewers' watching habits and guess what we'll love next, settled on the idea of combining Top Chef and Mythbusters. But as I settle into the oncoming gloom of fall and look for series to watch with non-nerds in my life, I'm convinced that new series Baking Impossible is a good idea.

Having now watched a few episodes, I can safely recommend this as one of the better nerd-fluent reality series out there—even if it's occasionally too cheesy for its own good.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Shareholders pressure Microsoft into expanding its right-to-repair efforts

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 2:50pm
The Surface Pro 8's replaceable SSD.

Enlarge / The Surface Pro 8's replaceable SSD. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Microsoft's Xbox and Surface hardware may be getting easier to repair, according to a press release from shareholder-advocacy nonprofit As You Sow. According to the announcement, Microsoft has agreed to evaluate and expand the repair options for its products "by the end of 2022." Specifically, the company has agreed to:

  • Complete a third-party study evaluating the environmental and social impacts associated with increasing consumer access to repair and determine new mechanisms to increase access to repair, including for Surface devices and Xbox consoles
  • Expand the availability of certain parts and repair documentation beyond Microsoft’s Authorized Service Provider network
  • Initiate new mechanisms to enable and facilitate local repair options for consumers

These are all pretty vague guarantees, and they don't mean that your next Xbox or Surface tablet will suddenly become fully user-serviceable. But the commitments do at least suggest that, long-term, it will be easier to get parts for these devices when they break, and it will be easier to find a shop that can make the repairs without needing to go directly to Microsoft. According to a report from Grist, a summary of the third-party study will be shared with the public by May of 2022.

Microsoft made the commitments in response to a June 2021 shareholder resolution from As You Sow, a nonprofit that "promote[s] environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies." We normally hear about "right to repair" in the context of state and federal legislation or executive orders, but those efforts have moved slowly in the face of legislative gridlock and industry opposition. Shareholder-driven initiatives like this one are a more direct, albeit piecemeal, way to address the problem in the meantime.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Unvaccinated patients are getting kicked off organ transplant waitlists

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 2:40pm
Unvaccinated patients are getting kicked off organ transplant waitlists

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Barcroft)

A growing number of medical facilities across the country are directing coveted organ donations to patients who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, pushing people who remain unvaccinated down or even off of transplantation waitlists.

The thinking behind this move is simple: with transmission of the pandemic coronavirus still high in the US, unvaccinated transplant candidates face an extremely high risk of COVID-19, which poses a danger to them and imperils the usefulness of the scarce, life-saving organs.

Receiving a transplanted organ requires patients to take immunosuppressant drugs that will prevent their bodies from rejecting the new organ as foreign. But this immune suppression also makes the recipients highly susceptible to becoming infected with the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and developing severe COVID-19. Some experts estimate that transplant recipients' risk of dying from COVID-19 is as high as 20 to 30 percent.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Review: No Time to Die finds 007’s heart in Daniel Craig’s final outing

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 2:15pm

Everyone has their favorite incarnation of James Bond, Ian Fleming's iconic British spy with an eye for the ladies, fast cars, cool gadgets, and a martini that's shaken, not stirred. Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan have all brought their own distinctive style to 007. But Daniel Craig has been my #1 Bond since 2006's Casino Royale, aka one of the best Bond films yet made. So I was delighted to find that Craig's 007 is getting the action-packed, emotionally powerful sendoff he deserves with No Time to Die. The film brings the character arc that began with Casino Royale to a satisfying and fitting conclusion.

(Spoilers for prior films in the Craig/Bond series; only minor spoilers for No Time to Die.)

It's worth taking a moment to revisit why Casino Royale worked so well as a fresh take on a well-worn franchise. It brought 007 firmly into the 21st century while still remaining true to the character. Even Craig's physical appearance was markedly different from the tall, dark, and handsome incarnations that came before. This Bond was more of a rugged street tough who's learned to adopt the trappings of refinement. The cinematography, production design, and even the music reinforced that portrayal.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

You have 72 hours to buy the original, moddable GTA III trilogy on PC

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 1:40pm
You have 72 hours to buy the original, moddable GTA III trilogy on PC

Enlarge

After months of rumors that Rockstar was cooking up revamped versions of the original Grand Theft Auto 3 trilogy for modern hardware, the publisher confirmed Friday its plans to do just that—and if you're interested in playing your own custom-tailored version of these classics on PC by installing mods, you have three days to buy the collection on Steam.

As has become standard practice for many publishers when updating older games for newer platforms, Rockstar is removing all previous versions and bundles of Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, and San Andreas from every console and PC storefront effective "the week of October 11, 2021," the publisher said on its support page. While each entry received Windows ports in the early 2000s, PC players are currently limited to buying the games via Rockstar's game launcher or through Steam, and only the latter platform supports mods.

Modded no more

Steam is also noticeably absent from the new trilogy's list of confirmed platforms, which include the PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox platforms, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Rockstar's game launcher, with iOS and Android ports coming next year. As of press time, all three games and the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy bundle are still available on Steam. Current owners will also be able to download and access the games on their purchased platforms after they've been delisted, Rockstar confirmed.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Rover’s pictures show long history of rivers flowing into Martian crater

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 11:51am
Image of an orange-tinted rock formation.

Enlarge / The rocks of Kodiak Butte record a lot of the history of Jezero Crater. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

Normally, it takes some time for NASA's Mars rovers to return scientific data. The instruments need to be calibrated and commissioned, and the rover needs to move off the landing site toward a piece of landscape with clear scientific interest. In the case of the Perseverance rover, there was an added delay as it tested out the Ingenuity drone over the course of several weeks.

But this week brought a pleasant surprise: The first research paper from Perseverance was published in Science. It turns out that some of the early photographs from the rover revealed features in some near-vertical rock walls some distance from the landing site—details that tell us about the history of the flow of water into Jezero Crater.

Mars meets Kodiak

The Jezero Crater was chosen as Perseverance's landing site because images taken from orbit indicate it once hosted a lake. The photos revealed an exit channel that allowed water to flow through a gap in the crater walls and a site where rivers flowed in to feed the lake. There was also what appeared to be a river delta spreading into the crater from these sites. The rover's mission profile includes sampling material from that delta, which might once have been an inviting environment for life and would have collected any living material that existed upstream.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

There will soon be no more ads denying climate change on Google

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 11:37am
A fire engine drives into air thick with smoke along Juniper Hills Road as the Bobcat Fire advances North into the Antelope Valley in 2020.

Enlarge / A fire engine drives into air thick with smoke along Juniper Hills Road as the Bobcat Fire advances North into the Antelope Valley in 2020. (credit: Robert Gauthier | Getty Images)

Late Thursday, Google announced that it is demonetizing content that makes misleading or false claims about climate change. As a result, content that calls into question or denies the scientific consensus around anthropogenic climate change will not have Google advertising alongside it. In addition, Google will no longer run any advertising that "contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change."

With a worldwide public-health crisis taking place in the midst of natural disasters that are fueled, at least in part, by human-caused climate change, the amount of misinformation and outright falsehoods is not only frustrating but dangerous. Google has been criticized for its role in the spread of misinformation, and many people are unhappy with the company. People paying for ads don't want their ads appearing alongside misinformation-filled videos, and content producers don't want to see their product interrupted by error-filled ads.

Message received, says Google.

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Moto G Pure is a $160 phone available just about everywhere in the US

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 9:46am

The latest device in Lenovo's Moto G line is the Moto G Pure, a low-end $159.99 phone coming to the US and Canada.

Specs include a 6.5-inch, 1600×720 LCD; a MediaTek Helio G25 (that's eight Cortex A53 CPUs built on a 12 nm process); 3GB of RAM; 32GB of storage; and a 4000 mAh battery. There's a microSD slot—which will most likely be needed, as the phone has only 32GB of storage—and a headphone jack. The camera bump on the back is doing its best flagship impression, but in terms of hardware, you're getting one 13 MP camera, a 2 MP "depth sensor," and an LED flash. The front camera is 5 MP.

The body is all plastic. The front has a teardrop camera notch with a big chin at the button, but again, the phone is cheap. The Motorola logo on the back is also a fingerprint reader, which is a nice touch. The phone supports 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5, but sadly, there's no NFC. The USB-C port supports 10 W charging, and the phone comes with Android 11.

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Tesla relocates from California, sets up new corporate HQ in Texas

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 9:35am
Tesla is not completely abandoning California, but it has moved its HQ to Austin, Texas.

Enlarge / Tesla is not completely abandoning California, but it has moved its HQ to Austin, Texas. (credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors that the US's largest electric carmaker has moved its headquarters from California to Texas. In 2020, Musk personally relocated to Texas, which is home to SpaceX facilities and a new Tesla factory outside Austin. Now the Texas state capital will be the new official home of Tesla, too.

In 2020, Musk was at loggerheads with the California government in response to public health measures enacted to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 700,000 Americans. Musk was dismissive about the threat of COVID-19, predicting that infections would fizzle out by April 2020, and he was infuriated at having to temporarily close Tesla's factory in Fremont, California—an act he described as "frankly... the final straw."

Tesla filed and then dropped a lawsuit against Alameda County and then declared that the company would leave the state. Within days, Musk revealed that he had picked Texas for the site of Tesla's next American factory. This week's announcement finalizes that decision.

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Nuclear security helicopter scours Boston Marathon route for radiation

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 9:24am
The US Department of Energy uses two Bell 412 helicopters to survey background radiation in advance of major events.

Enlarge / The US Department of Energy uses two Bell 412 helicopters to survey background radiation in advance of major events. (credit: Grandbrothers / iStock Editorial)

This morning, a Department of Energy helicopter buzzed above cities and suburbs in eastern Massachusetts, scanning for radiation in advance of the 125th Boston Marathon. The sweep is part of security preparations to help first responders pinpoint possible “dirty bombs” and other terrorist activities before they claim any lives.

The flight started with a thorough scan of the starting line in the western suburb of Hopkinton before flying along the 26.2-mile route to the finish line in Boston, where the helicopter performed another comprehensive survey. The craft flew at low altitude the entire time, dipping below 100 feet on several occasions, according to FlightAware.

The twin-engine Bell 412 (tail number N412DE) is operated by the National Nuclear Security Administration, a division of the Department of Energy that is responsible for everything from nonproliferation to maintaining the nation’s nuclear stockpile. The helicopter is part of the agency’s Aerial Measuring System, which routinely performs radiological surveys before major events, including presidential inaugurations, Super Bowls, and New Year’s Eve celebrations in Las Vegas.

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Putin slashes Russia’s space budget and says he expects better results

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 9:02am
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin during a flight to the Vostochny cosmodrome, on September 4, 2021.

Enlarge / Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin during a flight to the Vostochny cosmodrome, on September 4, 2021. (credit: ALEXEY DRUZHININ/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia plans to slash funding for spaceflight activities during the coming three-year period, from 2022 to 2024. The cuts will come to about 16 percent annually, several Russian publications, including Finanz.ru, report. (These Russian-language articles were translated for Ars by Rob Mitchell.)

For 2022, the state budget for space activities will be set at 210 billion rubles ($2.9 billion), a cut of 40.3 billion rubles ($557 million) from the previous year. Similar cuts will follow in subsequent years. The most significant decreases will be in areas such as “manufacturing-technological activities" and "cosmodrome development." Funding for "scientific research and development" was zeroed out entirely.

The publications say Russian President Vladimir Putin is unhappy with the performance of Russia's space program. At a space industry meeting on September 29, they report, Putin criticized the industry’s failure to fulfill directives on long-term goals in the space sphere. In 2020, for example, Roscosmos failed to hit 30 of the 83 stated goals of the national space program.

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Samsung’s forgotten web browser now runs on the latest Galaxy smartwatches

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 8:39am
samsung's new galaxy watch 4

Enlarge / Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic. (credit: Samsung)

Everyone has a favorite Internet browser, right? Google Chrome and Safari are staples, Firefox is still kicking, and Microsoft Edge has somehow established itself as a beloved underdog. But when it comes to surfing the web on your smartwatch, options are understandably more limited. By bringing its own browser to its latest smartwatches, Samsung may make things simpler for smartwatch wearers while also reminding people of the browser’s existence.

As spotted by 9to5Google, the Samsung Internet Browser is now available on the Google Play Store for Samsung smartwatches using Wear OS, namely the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic. The browser is already available for the company's older Tizen-powered watches, such as the Galaxy Watch Active 2, and Samsung’s web surfer is also available on its phones and tablets. In fact, Samsung devices are often preloaded with the app, but since many also run Android, and thus come with Google Chrome, Samsung’s alternative frequently goes unused—or even unnoticed.

But the needs for watch-based web surfing are a bit different, and as detailed by 9to5Google, exploring the Internet on your wrist may be easier than you’d think with the Samsung Internet Browser. For example, you can swipe diagonally left or right to grab a webpage. Swiping up reveals handy features like bookmarking, zooming, or the ability to send a webpage to your phone. The search button on Samsung’s Internet Browser lets you access your favorite search engine, whether it's Google, DuckDuckGo, or Bing.

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Far Cry 6 review: A familiar return to open-world stupidity

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 5:51am

Less than five minutes into Far Cry 6, I was iffy about it.

The game opens with dictatorial President Antón Castillo delivering a televised address to Yara, a faux-Cuban paradise saddled with a history of political upheaval. Castillo has reinstated a citizen draft for the ongoing cultivation of Viviro, a homegrown wonder drug that cures cancer. Made by fertilizing Yara's tobacco crops with a chemical gas, this magic medicine is the key, the president declares, to lifting his broken-down island into the upper echelons of the world economic stage.

But this is Far Cry, well-known for its love of open-world war games, destabilized nation-states, and crackpot despots. And Castillo, played with gusto by Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), is certainly a tyrant. The truth we're shown during his address—of citizens being shipped off to the fields as forced slave labor or gunned down for resisting—is a non-revelation given the series' touchstones.

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Rocket Report: Falcon Heavy delayed due to payload issue, DART gets a date

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 4:00am
NASA's SLS rocket has passed its design certification review.

Enlarge / NASA's SLS rocket has passed its design certification review. (credit: NASA)

Welcome to Edition 4.19 of the Rocket Report! If all goes well during the course of the next week, Capt. James T. Kirk will become a real-life star trekker. There's plenty of other news this week as well, including some words on how SpaceX managed to snag an Italian government satellite launch.

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

Blue Origin announces full manifest for next flight. The company said Star Trek actor William Shatner and Blue Origin's VP of mission of flight operations, Audrey Powers, will round out the passenger manifest for the second human flight on board New Shepard. They will join paying customers Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries for the flight, which is scheduled to launch from West Texas at 8 am CT (13:00 UTC) on October 12.

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No, your antibodies are not better than vaccination: An explainer

Fri, 10/08/2021 - 3:15am
A masked woman makes a heart symbol with her hands.

Enlarge / Dr. Silvia Gelvez gestures after receiving a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19, at Colombia University Clinic in Bogota on February 18, 2021. (credit: Getty | RAUL ARBOLEDA )

As long as there have been vaccines against COVID-19, there have been arguments for why people shouldn't get those vaccines. One of the more persistent—and hairier—arguments is that people who have already been infected with the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, don't need a vaccine. An infection will generate immune responses similar to those generated by vaccines, the thinking goes. So, why waste coveted vaccine doses on people who already have immune responses against the virus—which may also needlessly put those people at risk of vaccine side effects, however rare?

It's a reasonable question, and there is legitimate scientific debate about it. There are also different approaches to the issue in terms of public health policy. In Israel, for example, people who have recovered from COVID-19 after testing positive on a PCR test can get a vaccination "Green Pass" that's valid for up to six months. The pass allows them entry into various places just as it does for people who are fully vaccinated. In the European Union, some member states offer a similar "Digital COVID Certificate" to people who have recovered from COVID-19 and received just one dose of a two-dose mRNA vaccine regimen.

In the US, however, public health officials are unequivocal in their approach: people are categorized as either vaccinated or unvaccinated, regardless of prior infection. It's an approach with many strengths, including robust scientific data supporting vaccination for people who have recovered. That data—which we'll get into below—has consistently shown that immune responses from natural infections are extremely variable, thus unreliable. Vaccines, on the other hand, have repeatedly been proven to generate highly protective immune responses.

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Resident Evil reboot trailer looks like a welcome return to gaming roots

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 4:33pm

When the first Resident Evil game debuted in 1996, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spawning several sequel games, comics, novels, and a very lucrative film franchise directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich. But those films were only loosely based on the games, keeping a few primary characters and the basic concept, but little else. Sony Pictures just dropped the official trailer for its upcoming reboot, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, and it looks like it will hew much more closely to the source material than its big-screen predecessors.

(Some spoilers for the first two games in the franchise below, but no major reveals.)

The sixth and final film in the Anderson series was released fairly recently, in 2016. But the franchise made a ton of money, so naturally a complete reboot was in the works by early 2017, with Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) at the helm.

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iPadOS 15 mini-review: It’s all about the home screen

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 3:33pm
Widgets on iPadOS 15's home screen.

Enlarge / Widgets on iPadOS 15's home screen. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Last year, Apple released a meaty iOS update for iPhones, but some of the biggest changes didn't make it over to the iPad. This year, the iPhone update is modest—so does that mean that the iPad update is the big one this time around?

Well, that depends on your point of view. iPadOS 15 brings almost everything iOS 15 brought to iPhones, but it also brings those major iOS 14 omissions from last year to the tablet. As a result, iPadOS 15 feels like a significant update if you haven't been using an iPhone lately, but if you've already used iOS 14's new home screen and app library features, it instead ends up feeling like it's late to the party.

We published a lengthy, iPhone-focused review of iOS 15 earlier this week. Consider this a short addendum to that review that puts the spotlight on the iPad. Refer to the earlier review for details on new features like Focus that aren't iPad specific or for a list of iPads that are supported by iPadOS 15.

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Lunar samples returned by Chang’e-5 tell of recent volcanism

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 12:42pm
Greyscale image showing a slice through a rock with a complex structure.

Enlarge / An electron micrograph of some of the volcanic material returned by the Chang'e 5 mission. (credit: Beijing SHRIMP Center, Institute of Geology, CAGS)

Chang'e-5 represented a major step forward for China's lunar program, as it was the first of the country's missions to return samples to Earth. Now the results of dating the samples are in, and it's clear that while the deposits are old, they're young enough to be a bit of an oddity.

To the Moon and back

China has now successfully landed several probes and rovers on the lunar surface as part of a larger exploration program. Chang'e 5 represented the next step, as it had a drill to obtain subsurface samples and a return vehicle that could take them back to Earth. The spacecraft successfully landed almost two years ago, and a few weeks later, it returned roughly 2 kilograms of rock to Earth from the Moon.

China has the benefit of decades of knowledge gained since the Apollo missions, along with a greater theoretical understanding of the Moon's formation. And it carefully chose Chang'e 5's landing site, a large volcanic deposit called the Oceanus Procellarum, thought to be one of the younger areas of the Moon's surface. But "younger" covers a lot of ground, as estimates based on its crater count ranged from 3.2 billion years old down to just 1.2 billion.

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Cloudflare doesn’t have to cut off copyright-infringing websites, judge rules

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 11:43am
A copyright infringement notice lying on a desk next to a keyboard

Enlarge

Cloudflare is not liable for the copyright infringement of websites that use its content-delivery and security services, a federal judge ruled yesterday.

Cloudflare was sued in November 2018 by Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero Designs, two wedding dress manufacturers and sellers that alleged Cloudflare was guilty of contributory copyright infringement because it didn't terminate services for websites that infringed on the dressmakers' copyrighted designs. The companies sought a jury trial, but Judge Vince Chhabria yesterday granted Cloudflare's motion for summary judgment in a ruling in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Chhabria noted that the dressmakers have been harmed "by the proliferation of counterfeit retailers that sell knock-off dresses using the plaintiffs' copyrighted images" and that they have "gone after the infringers in a range of actions, but to no avail—every time a website is successfully shut down, a new one takes its place." Chhabria continued:

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