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 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
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Updated: 50 min 59 sec ago

Intel leaks show next-gen desktop CPUs with hybrid “big.little” design

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:05pm
It's a bit too early for photos of Alder Lake-S CPUs, much less Raptor Lake-S—so here's a gorgeous photo of an alder tree on the shore of Llyn Gwynant, in North Wales' Snowdonia National Park.

Enlarge / It's a bit too early for photos of Alder Lake-S CPUs, much less Raptor Lake-S—so here's a gorgeous photo of an alder tree on the shore of Llyn Gwynant, in North Wales' Snowdonia National Park. (credit: R A Kearton via Getty Images)

It looks like big.little CPU design—an architecture that includes both fast, power-hungry cores and slower, more power-efficient cores—is here to stay in the x86_64 world, according to unverified insider information leaked by wccftech and AdoredTV.

Intel’s big/little designs enter round two

At Intel's 2021 Architecture day, the company confirmed that its upcoming Alder Lake (12th generation) processors will use a mixture of performance and efficiency cores. This brings the company's discontinued 2020 Lakefield design concept firmly into the mainstream.

Big.little designs run time-sensitive tasks on bigger, hotter performance cores while running background tasks on slower but much less power-hungry cores. This architecture is near-universal in the ARM world—which now includes Apple M1 Macs as well as Android and iOS phones and tablets—but it's far less common in the x86_64 "traditional computing" world.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Final Eternals trailer is heavy on exposition, eye-popping visuals

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 11:51am

Plot details have been scant to date for Eternals, Marvel's forthcoming film based on the comic book series of the same name, created by Jack Kirby in 1976. We now have the final trailer, and it's a doozy: nearly three full minutes of mostly new footage, heavy on exposition and the striking CGI-heavy visuals Marvel is known for. The trailer also answers one obvious burning question: Just where were these incredibly powerful eternal beings when all the action with Thanos wiping out half of humanity was going down? I mean, humanity really could have used their help.

As I've written about previously, the comic book storyline is about alien Celestials who visited Earth a million years ago, creating two divergent races—the Eternals and the Deviants—by way of genetic experiments. Those experiments were also responsible for the rare emergence of super-power-granting mutations in certain humans. The Eternals protect the human race from the Deviants, and the two races engage in recurrent violent clashes. The Eternals' immortality and powers come from cosmic energy and their ability to channel it. A new Eternals comic series, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Esad Ribić, was launched in January of this year. 

We know the film takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame and that an unexpected tragedy will force the Eternals out of hiding to join forces with humans to fight their ancient enemy, the Deviants. An extended teaser dropped in May, set to a mournful cover of "The End of the World." The teaser didn't convey much information in terms of plot, but it did give us glimpses of our primary characters over the course of centuries.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple photo-scanning plan faces global backlash from 90 rights groups

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 11:12am
Closeup of woman's hand using a smartphone in the dark.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | d3sign)

More than 90 policy groups from the US and around the world signed an open letter urging Apple to drop its plan to have Apple devices scan photos for child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

"The undersigned organizations committed to civil rights, human rights, and digital rights around the world are writing to urge Apple to abandon the plans it announced on 5 August 2021 to build surveillance capabilities into iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products," the letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook said today. "Though these capabilities are intended to protect children and to reduce the spread of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), we are concerned that they will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for many children."

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) announced the letter, with CDT Security & Surveillance Project Co-Director Sharon Bradford Franklin saying, "We can expect governments will take advantage of the surveillance capability Apple is building into iPhones, iPads, and computers. They will demand that Apple scan for and block images of human rights abuses, political protests, and other content that should be protected as free expression, which forms the backbone of a free and democratic society."

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Approval for Nvidia’s ARM acquisition might come down to the wire

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 10:40am
ARM logo combined with Nvidia logo.

Enlarge (credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia's purchase of ARM sure is taking a while, and today the company told the Financial Times it is unlikely to meet the 18-month regulatory window it initially laid out. The blockbuster $40 billion deal was announced in September 2020, and it would give Nvidia control of the world's most popular architecture, used by Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, Huawei, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and a ton of other companies.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang told the Financial Times, "Our discussions with regulators are taking longer than initially thought, so it’s pushing out the timetable... It’s not one particular regulator, but we’re confident in the deal, we’re confident regulators should recognize the benefits of the acquisition."

Nvidia is facing several problems with regulators. First up, regulators in ARM's home country, the UK, have national security concerns. Bloomberg spoke with a "person familiar with the matter" and reports that "the UK is currently inclined to reject the takeover" as it currently stands. Of course, Nvidia could make some concessions to push the deal through, but Bloomberg quotes one analyst as saying investors have "low expectations" that the deal will go through.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

After helping decimate department stores, Amazon plans to open its own

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 9:25am
After helping decimate department stores, Amazon plans to open its own

Enlarge

Amazon is looking for its next conquest. After years of growth, most recently fueled in no small part by the COVID-19 pandemic that also has decimated physical retailers across the country, the company is reportedly planning to open its own department stores.

The move would represent a subtle shift in strategy for the e-commerce giant. Though it has experimented with its own brick-and-mortar locations, Amazon's few-dozen currently branded stores tend to be small affairs that offer a selection of goods. Its largest customer-facing real estate, Whole Foods, came through an acquisition. If Amazon follows through on its department store plans, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, it would represent the company's biggest ground-up push into physical retail, a flagging but still massive sector of the economy.

Don’t expect Amazon to follow in the footsteps of JC Penney or Macy’s, however. Rather, Amazon appears to be following a playbook similar to the one embraced by grocers Aldi and Trader Joe’s. Where most existing department stores are on the order of 100,000 square feet, Amazon’s stores will be about a third the size, with the first set to appear in California and Ohio. And like Aldi and Trader Joe’s, expect Amazon’s department stores to heavily feature Amazon’s private-label goods.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The once-doomed MS Paint gets its first redesign in over a decade

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 7:44am

The latest Windows 11 app to get a coat of paint is Paint, everyone's favorite meme-making sketching and doodling app. It's not available for download for Windows Insiders yet, but Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay posted a brief video of the new design, showing off its updated look, a new dark mode, better text tools, updated brushes, and other tweaks that collectively serve to modernize the app a bit.

The new version of Paint stops far short of making it a full-featured photo editing app like Adobe Photoshop or even Apple Photos or Paint.net—you still don't get layers or any advanced effects tools. But the Paint app as it stands in Windows 10 is barely changed from the Windows 7 version of the app, and Windows 7's biggest contribution to Paint was the adoption of the "ribbon" user interface introduced in the then-current Office 2007.

Back in 2017, Microsoft briefly deprecated the Paint app, officially halting its already stalled-out development and proclaiming that it would be removed from the suite of default Windows apps in favor of the newer Paint 3D. But the app was saved from the Recycle Bin a couple of years later and given an under-the-hood update that improved screen reader support and added keyboard controls. The new update might not signal a renewed commitment to making Paint an actual heavy-duty image editor, but it does at least suggest that Microsoft will be less willing to let the current uncomfortable mix of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10-era apps continue to coexist in the Windows 11 era. The updated Paint app will be going out to Windows Insiders "soon."

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Genesis’ first electric vehicle will be the GV60 SUV, due in 2022

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 5:24am

In previous years, you could always count on Genesis to bring something cool to the New York auto show. That auto show should have taken place this week, but for the second year running, COVID had something to say about that. Which is a shame because this year the luxury Korean automaker would have shown off a new car far more interesting than another concept car (even one as cool as 2019's Mint). That's because this is no concept.

I've been waiting for Genesis to show off its first production electric vehicle, and this is it. It's called the GV60, and it should go on sale in the US in 2022, underpinned by parent company Hyundai Motor Group's new E-GMP platform.

Genesis hasn't released any technical specs of the GV60 yet. But we know that the E-GMP platform—also used to build the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6—uses an 800 V electrical architecture, which makes it possible to fast-charge the battery to 80 percent in 18 minutes. A clever inverter also supports 400 V DC fast charging and bidirectional charging, using the EV's battery pack to supply up to 3.5 kW of AC power.

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It’s time to rethink personal carbon allowances, research suggests

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 3:45am
Outdoor signage advertises an electric vehicle charging station.

Enlarge / Having personal limits on carbon emissions might motivate more people to transition to lower-carbon options. (credit: Mike Kemp / Getty Images)

In 2008, the United Kingdom's government evaluated the idea of a personal carbon allowance (PCA) to help reduce emissions. In short, the effort would put caps on the amount of carbon each person could use as they heat their homes, purchase food, or travel to work. The government decided not to implement it, and since then, this climate strategy has largely fallen off the radar.

"[A]t the time, it was considered an idea ahead of its time. [PCAs] were considered as radical, and also not implementable due to cost and a few other hassles," Francesco Fuso-Nerini, director of the Climate Action Centre at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, told Ars.

However, Fuso-Nerini and a team of researchers performed a meta-analysis of existing literature about PCAs and considered both climate change and the social and technological changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent paper by the team suggests that it might be time to revisit the concept.

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We have our first look at images from Amazon’s new Wheel of Time series

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 3:43pm
Promotional image for upcoming streaming fantasy series.

Enlarge / The hotly anticipated Wheel of Time series is expected to debut in November 2021 on Amazon Prime. (credit: Amazon Prime)

So far, we've only seen a few tantalizing video teasers (which contain only split seconds of actual footage) and some poster art for The Wheel of Time, Amazon's long-awaited TV adaptation of the late Robert Jordan's bestselling 14-book series of epic fantasy novels. But Entertainment Weekly just unveiled an exclusive first look at the new series, featuring four stunning images that give us a welcome taste of showrunner Rafe Judkins' (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) vision for this fictional world.

(Some spoilers for the first book in Jordan's series below.)

"Wheel of Time is the first fantasy series that really dove into the political and cultural worlds of all these different characters," Judkins told Entertainment Weekly. "It was also one of the first to dive into multiple POV characters, so you're following an ensemble, with each of them having their own agendas and approaches to everything. That's always felt to me like the missing piece of the fantasy-literature landscape that hasn't been brought to TV or film yet."

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Mercedes wins Formula E title, will quit the series at end of 2022

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 3:15pm
A group of Formula E cars race towards the camera

Enlarge / Stoffel Vandoorne of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team leads the pack at the Berlin E-Prix. (credit: Andreas Gora/picture alliance via Getty Images)

On Sunday, Formula E's seventh series came to a close on the concrete of Templehof in Berlin. It was the sport's first season as an official FIA world championship, which technically makes the Mercedes-EQ team and driver Nyck de Vries the first ever Formula E world champions. But the team's celebrations may have been brief. On Wednesday, Mercedes-Benz confirmed that it will quit Formula E at the end of 2022, bringing a bittersweet end to the season.

Formula E's low point was undoubtedly round 5, the Valencia E-Prix in Spain. This was held on a permanent racetrack—Circuit Ricardo Tormo—which was a change from Formula E's usual MO of holding events at temporary tracks in city centers. Racing on tight street circuits with short straights definitely played to the original Formula E race car's strengths and worked with its weaknesses. The introduction of the faster, more powerful Gen2 car in 2018 meant there was plenty of interest in seeing what these cars could do on a permanent track. But after the first of two races at Valencia in April, I'm sure many audiences had seen enough.

Between the heavy rain and a tight, temporary chicane at the end of the lap, more than a few drivers came a cropper, resulting in multiple periods behind a safety car. Formula E races are designed around energy management; without recapturing energy under regenerative braking, the car's 56 kWh battery is insufficient to get to the finish line. Although the organizers have access to telemetry showing every car's battery state of charge, the teams do not. This is done intentionally to make things a bit harder. This information has to be communicated to the teams by their drivers each lap.

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What to know about the US COVID booster plan—and why WHO hates it

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 2:37pm
What to know about the US COVID booster plan—and why WHO hates it

Enlarge (credit: Europa Press News)

US officials on Wednesday formally announced plans to offer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to Americans—and the plans are already under fire from experts at the World Health Organization.

US officials are recommending that all Americans vaccinated with two doses of an mRNA vaccine (either the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine) get a third booster dose of the same vaccine eight months after receiving their second dose. As such, boosters will be rolled out based on the order in which people were initially offered vaccines, i.e., with frontline health workers, nursing home residents, and other seniors at the front of the line.

US officials are prepared to begin offering booster shots the week of September 20. However, the timing of the boosters is pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an independent committee of experts that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Sacklers say they won’t pay $4.5B settlement if judge rejects immunity deal

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 1:56pm
Protesters holding a sign that says,

Enlarge / Members of PAIN (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), Truth Pharm, and other advocacy groups working in response to the overdose crisis protested the Sacklers' immunity deal outside US Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York on August 9, 2021. (credit: Getty Images | Erik McGregor)

The Sackler family is threatening to back out of a $4.5 billion opioid settlement if it is not granted broad immunity from lawsuits. The pending settlement between the Sacklers and 15 states includes an immunity provision, but other states oppose it, and a bankruptcy court judge is still considering whether to approve the deal.

Forty-one-year-old David Sackler, a former Purdue Pharma board member and grandson of one of the company's founders, "vowed in court on Tuesday that the family would walk away from a $4.5 billion pledge to help communities nationwide that have been devastated by the opioid epidemic, unless a judge grants it immunity from all current and future civil claims associated with the company," The New York Times wrote.

"We need a release that's sufficient to get our goals accomplished," Sackler said in testimony via video at a hearing in US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. "If the release fails to do that, we will not support it." The family is worth $11 billion, a fortune boosted substantially by sales of OxyContin.

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Facebook reveals top posts but still won’t share key data about disinformation

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 1:38pm
Facebook reveals top posts but still won’t share key data about disinformation

Enlarge (credit: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Facebook released its first report today detailing which content it says is widely viewed on the site and Instagram. The report comes as research and news stories have highlighted how misleading posts and outright disinformation can draw intense engagement on the company’s platforms.

Much of the scrutiny has focused on far-right accounts, which according to Facebook’s own tool, CrowdTangle, receive the most engagement—likes, shares, and comments. For example, Kevin Roose, a reporter at The New York Times, uses CrowdTangle to tweet out a list of the “10 top-performing link posts by US Facebook pages every day, ranked by total interactions.” His experiment has revealed that, day after day, far-right accounts and pages from the likes of Ben Shapiro, Dan Bongino, and Newsmax appeared on the list, sometimes occupying multiple spots. Facebook's critics have pointed to the list as evidence that the platform has become a right-wing media machine.

The Twitter account, Roose said, “drove executives crazy” at Facebook. They felt it was making Facebook look like it favored right-wing accounts. All of that brings us to today.

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Samsung says it will stop loading its $1,000 smartphones with ads

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 1:20pm
A Samsung phone.

Enlarge / A Samsung phone. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Samsung says it will cut down on the ads it shows on its smartphones. The announcement was first reported by Korean news agency Yonhap and was later confirmed by Samsung in a statement to The Verge. The official line from the industry giant is "Samsung has made a decision to cease the advertisement on proprietary apps, including Samsung Weather, Samsung Pay, and Samsung Theme." The company added, "The update will be ready by later this year."

Samsung ships Android on all its smartphones, but it changes the experience with a "One UI" skin and includes several Samsung-developed packed-in apps. Many of these apps—like Bixby, Samsung Health, and Weather—contain big banner ads, sometimes right at the top of the app, where you would normally expect to find an app logo or navigation information. The worst offenders are notification ads—a Samsung app will spawn a notification to entice you to buy a new gadget or install a new app.

It's not a great feeling to spend anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars on a piece of hardware and still get ads on that device. (And for you whataboutists out there—yes, Google also shows ads in some of its apps, but they are in serious, ad-supported web services, like YouTube or Google Maps, and they aren't notification ads. You also paid Samsung ~$1000, while you're using Google services for free.)

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Where the sun always shines: Putting solar in space

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 1:16pm
Image of the International Space Station.

Enlarge / See these solar panels in space? They're way too heavy to economically provide power to Earth. (credit: NASA)

"This is an idea that's older than even the space program," Caltech's Harry Atwater told Ars over Zoom. Citing Asimov and Clarke, Atwater conjured an image of gleaming solar panels floating above the Earth on a large metal truss, all wired in to hardware that converts the current to a form suitable to beam back down to Earth. Unlimited clean power, delivered around the clock.

He then explained why the system he is working on will end up looking nothing like that vision, even if it will ultimately accomplish the same thing.

A long gestation

In August, Caltech announced that a member of its board of trustees had given over $100 million meant to foster the development of space-based power. The timing was somewhat odd, given that the donor, Donald Bren, had started the process over a decade ago. At the time, Bren had described his interest in space-based power to the university administration, which began identifying faculty members who had research interests that might be relevant to the project.

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Cuttlefish remember the what, when, and where of meals—even into old age

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 12:42pm
A cuttlefish leisurely hanging out in a tank. A new study found that cuttlefish can remember specifics of place and time for receiving their favorite yummy food rewards.

Enlarge / A cuttlefish leisurely hanging out in a tank. A new study found that cuttlefish can remember specifics of place and time for receiving their favorite yummy food rewards. (credit: University of Cambridge)

Can you remember what you had for dinner last weekend? That ability is a function of episodic memory, and how well we can recall the time and place of specific events typically declines with age. Cuttlefish also seem to exhibit a form of episodic memory, but unlike with humans, their capability doesn't decrease as they get older, according to a new paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

“Cuttlefish can remember what they ate, where, and when, and use this to guide their feeding decisions in the future," said co-author Alexandra Schnell of the University of Cambridge, who conducted the experiments at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. "What’s surprising is that they don’t lose this ability with age, despite showing other signs of aging like loss of muscle function and appetite."

Earlier this year, we reported on a study by Schnell and other colleagues showing that cuttlefish can delay gratification. Specifically, they could pass a cephalopod version of the famous Stanford marshmallow test: waiting a bit for their preferred prey rather than settling for a less desirable prey. Cuttlefish also performed better in a subsequent learning test—the first time such a link between self-control and intelligence has been found in a non-mammalian species.

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Hackers who breached T-Mobile stole personal data for ~49 million accounts

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 11:43am
Hackers who breached T-Mobile stole personal data for ~49 million accounts

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

T-Mobile on Wednesday said criminals obtained the personal information of almost 49 million current, former, or prospective customers in the latest mega-hack of its servers.

The haul includes customers’ first and last names, date of birth, SSN, and driver’s license/ID information for 7.8 million current post-paid accounts, meaning accounts that are billed at the end of each billing cycle. The unknown hackers obtained the same data from more than 40 million records belonging to former or prospective customers who had previously applied for credit with T-Mobile.

Names, phone numbers, and account PINs for about 850,000 active T-Mobile prepaid customers were also stolen. T-Mobile said that “additional information” from an unspecified number of inactive prepaid accounts was also affected.

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Switching from Microsoft Edge gets more annoying in Windows 11

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 10:51am
This browser popup, which you see in Windows 10 the first time you try to open a link after installing a new browser, isn't present in current beta builds of Windows 11.

Enlarge / This browser popup, which you see in Windows 10 the first time you try to open a link after installing a new browser, isn't present in current beta builds of Windows 11. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

A report from The Verge today has drawn attention to the way current Windows 11 betas are handling third-party Web browsers like Chrome and Firefox. These tweaks continue a trend that has intensified over Windows 10's lifecycle—you can use any browser you want on Windows! But are you sure you wouldn't like to try Microsoft Edge instead? Are you sure? Are you really, really sure?

There are two functional changes in the current beta of Windows 11 that make switching browsers more annoying. The first is that the OS no longer pops up a window asking you if you'd like to switch browsers the first time you click a link after installing a new browser. The second is that the "default apps" screen has removed the broad app categories currently available in Windows 10. Windows 10 allows you to set the default email app, map app, music player, photo viewer, video player, and web browser from the default apps screen, while Windows 11 makes you choose an app first and assign defaults one file extension at a time.

When you do attempt to change the default app that handles .htm or .html files from Edge to something else, Windows 11 takes it as yet another opportunity to make sure that you're absolutely, positively sure that you actually want to switch away from Edge.

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Today’s best tech deals: Kindle Paperwhite, Logitech webcams, and more

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 10:34am
 Kindle Paperwhite, Logitech webcams, and more

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Today's Dealmaster is headlined by a great deal on Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite that brings the e-reader down to $80. That matches the lowest price we've ever tracked.

While an ebook reader isn't exactly essential for most people, we've long recommended the Paperwhite as a great option for anyone in that market. It's almost three years old at this point—and we wouldn't be surprised if Amazon gave it a refresh in the not-too-distant future—but it still offers a compact and comfortable design, a side-lit, 6-inch, 300-pixels-per-inch display that is crisp and allows you to read in darker settings, and Amazon's typically extensive catalog of ebook and audiobook content. This model also has Bluetooth audio support for listening to audiobooks from Audible, as well as an IPX8 waterproof rating, so it's safe to read in the tub or pool.

You still have to put up with ads on the lock screen and other places unless you pay an additional one-time fee, and if you can live with a lower-resolution display, Amazon's base-level Kindle is a solid budget-friendly alternative that's currently on sale for $65. If you'd rather avoid entering Amazon's locked-down platform altogether, Kobo's Clara HD offers similar hardware—minus the waterproofing and Bluetooth support—and is discounted to $100. If you go with one of Amazon's deals, though, note that both Kindle offers include a three-month trial of the Kindle Unlimited service, which provides an on-demand selection of books for one monthly fee.

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Google’s Fuchsia OS will soon roll out to all first-gen Nest Hubs

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 8:56am
The Nest Hub.

Enlarge / The Nest Hub. (credit: Google)

Google's up-and-coming Fuchsia OS has reached another milestone. According to a report from 9to5Google's Kyle Bradshaw (the Internet's premiere Fuchsia resource), the new OS is rolling out to all first-gen Google Nest Hubs. The OS launched in May but only to a select few devices in the preview program.

The first-gen Google Nest Hub (which launched as the "Google Home Hub" and was later renamed) has always had a strange OS story. The smart display launched in 2018 with an OS based on the Google Cast platform at a time when Google was pushing partners to ship displays with Android Things, an Internet-of-things OS based on Android. Today, Android Things is dead—at least, as a public platform—and there's not much future in turning the simple Google Cast Platform into a smart display. The Fuchsia team, which has been experimenting on the Home Hub for years, apparently commandeered the project and started rolling out the new OS.

You can check if you have Fuchsia by going to the "About" page in the settings. If there's an "Operating System Version" field at the bottom, you're running Fuchsia. You won't notice any differences, though. The Google smart display UI is written in Flutter, which can run on both Fuchsia and the Google Cast OS, so everything you interact with comes from the same code base. Google just quietly replaced the underlying OS.

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