Feed aggregator

  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PDT/-7.0/DST' instead in /nfs/cristina/home1/b/brian/public_html/drupal-6.28/modules/aggregator/aggregator.pages.inc on line 259.

The iPhone 13 is thicker and heavier than the iPhone 12

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 1:48pm
The IPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini.

Enlarge / The IPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini. (credit: Apple)

Yesterday, Apple announced its new flagship iPhones: the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. But while Apple's announcement livestream was full of details, some things were left out.

Fortunately, we've learned a bit more from Apple's updated website, including dimensions and weight, some info about specs, and the lineup of older iPhone models that will survive the culling that follows the introduction of a new flagship.

Thicker and heavier

The new iPhones are heavier than their immediate predecessors, and they're a little thicker, too. For example, the iPhone 12 weighed 5.78 ounces, but the iPhone 13 weighs 6.14 ounces. The iPhone 12 Pro was 6.66 ounces, but the iPhone 13 Pro is 7.19 ounces. This holds up across the line. And the iPhone 13 is 0.25 mm thicker than the 12; similar thickness differences are also universal.

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Walmart to begin driverless deliveries with Ford and Argo AI

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 12:45pm
Promotional image of woman using self-driving car.

Enlarge / A human collects her Walmart delivery from an autonomous delivery vehicle operated by Ford and Argo AI. (credit: Ford)

It's easy to feel like the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry has settled into the trough of sorrow. The hyperbolic buzz around self-driving cars that was all the rage a few years ago has become tempered as developers discover that not only do humans drive well—which sets a high bar for their robocars—but humans also drive badly in unique ways depending upon where they are. (People drive badly in Las Vegas differently from the way they drive badly in San Francisco, and so on.)

Our streets might not be overflowing with robotaxis as we were promised circa 2017, but here and there, AV companies are beginning commercial deployments. Argo AI, the AV startup heavily backed by Ford, Volkswagen, and others, is one of those companies. On Wednesday, Argo, Ford, and Walmart revealed that they will be working together to roll out last-mile deliveries from the retail giant's stores in Austin, Texas; Miami, Florida; and Washington, DC.

"Our focus on the testing and development of self-driving technology that operates in urban areas where customer demand is high really comes to life with this collaboration," said Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO of Argo AI. "Working together with Walmart and Ford across three markets, we're showing the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale."

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Recent Ebola outbreak emerged from someone infected 5 years earlier

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 12:22pm
Image of two men in protective garments and goggles.

Enlarge / Health care workers don protective equipment before working with Ebola patients. (credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

A large international research group released a paper today suggesting that Ebola viruses can emerge from five years of dormancy to trigger a new outbreak of infections. While this isn't the first instance in which Ebola re-emerged from a previously infected individual, the new results extend the timeframe of risk substantially.

At present, we have little idea how and where the virus persists in the human body. But there are now tens of thousands of people who have survived previous infections, so it's an area where more research is urgently needed.

A re-outbreak

The African nation of Guinea experienced a small Ebola outbreak that started in January of 2021 when a nurse fell ill. Due to a misdiagnosis, she was not immediately isolated, allowing the virus to spread. Fortunately, a major outbreak that occurred in the same region from 2013 to 2016 resulted in the local health authorities obtaining sophisticated diagnostic equipment, including the real-time RT-PCR machines that are used for COVID-19 testing. This ultimately allowed the authorities to determine that Ebola was the cause of her illness, identify 15 additional cases, and take measures that brought the outbreak to a halt. In all, 12 of the 16 infected died.

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Backpage founders get mistrial because US overplayed child sex trafficking claims

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 11:53am
A gavel and jury box in an empty courtroom.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | imaginima)

A federal judge yesterday declared a mistrial in the case against Backpage's founders, ruling that US prosecutors unfairly tainted the jury by focusing too heavily on claims of child sex trafficking in a trial that involved zero charges of child sex trafficking. A new trial will be held.

"'The government, as prosecutors, are held to a higher standard,' said Judge Susan Brnovich from the bench as court opened for what was expected to be the eighth day of the trial. 'Their goal is not to win at any costs, but their goal is to win by the rules,'" according to an Arizona Republic article.

The case against Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin, plus five Backpage executives and managers, is in US District Court for the District of Arizona. The actual charges are for conspiracy, facilitating prostitution, and money laundering. An order confirming the declaration of mistrial was filed, but Brnovich explained her reasoning orally.

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“Melting face,” “pregnant person,” and 35 other emoji approved for Unicode 14.0

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 10:39am
All the potential new emoji

Enlarge / This is the full slate of proposed new emoji for Unicode 14.0. (credit: Emojipedia)

The Unicode Consortium has finalized Unicode 14.0, adding a total of 838 new characters to the standard, which dictates how text and other written characters are handled in most of the world's software. Most notably for everyday users, Unicode 14.0 includes 37 new emoji characters, including multiple hand gestures and additions like "melting face," "biting lip," "troll," "beans," "pouring liquid," "pregnant man," and "pregnant person."

The "pregnant man" and "pregnant person" emoji are important for inclusivity and representation, since some transgender and non-binary people can be pregnant. The "other keywords" for both emoji suggest possible alternate uses like "bloated" and "full." But the emoji names for both characters were specifically changed from "man/person with swollen belly" to "pregnant man/person" back in February in order to be consistent with the name and intended usage of the extant "pregnant woman" emoji.

The finalized list of emoji is the same as the draft version that circulated a few months ago. That list removed a few candidates that could reappear in a future version of the Unicode spec, including "vulture," "crow," "raised little finger," "cooking pot," "chainsaw," and "submarine." The Unicode Consortium is working to limit the number of new emoji added in each new version of the standard to stay "focused on what is useful" and reduce the amount of work that OS and app developers need to do to support new emoji every year.

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Anonymous leaks gigabytes of data from alt-right web host Epik

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 9:40am
Anonymous leaks gigabytes of data from alt-right web host Epik

Enlarge (credit: Tom Roberts)

Hacktivist collective Anonymous claims to have obtained gigabytes of data from Epik, which provides domain name, hosting, and DNS services for a variety of clients. These include the Texas GOP, Gab, Parler, and 8chan, among other right-wing sites. The stolen data has been released as a torrent. The hacktivist collective says that the data set, which is over 180GB in size, contains a "decade's worth of data from the company."

Anonymous says the data set is "all that's needed to trace actual ownership and management of the fascist side of the Internet that has eluded researchers, activists, and, well, just about everybody." If this information is correct, Epik's customers' data and identities could now fall into the hands of activists, researchers, and just about anyone curious enough to take a peek.

Decades of Epik stuff, now in a torrent near you

Epik is a domain registrar and web services provider known to serve right-wing clients, some of which have been turned down by more mainstream IT providers due to the objectionable and sometimes illicit content hosted by the clients.

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Theranos burned through $2M a week as investors were given rosy projections

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 8:40am
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes collects her belongings after going through security at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building with her defense team on August 31, 2021, in San Jose, California.

Enlarge / Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes collects her belongings after going through security at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building with her defense team on August 31, 2021, in San Jose, California. (credit: Ethan Swope | Getty Images)

Around the time that Theranos was losing nearly $2 million per week, investors in the blood-testing startup were being told that the company would soon be bringing in almost $1 billion per year.

It’s not uncommon for startups to lose money in their early years, and it’s not entirely unusual for the fastest burn rate to happen right before things turn around. Instead, Theranos continued to produce mounting losses. But that’s not what the company was telling investors, according to new documents shared during the jury trial of Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes.

In court yesterday, jurors heard testimony from the company’s longtime chief financial officer, Danise Yam, who also goes by So Han Spivey. Yam said that Theranos lost $16.2 million in 2010, $27.2 million in 2011, $57 million in 2012, and $92 million in 2013. In 2013, things had “started to get a bit tight,” Yam said. There were weeks where the company was burning through around $2 million per week, and there wasn’t any revenue to help ameliorate the losses. In 2012 and 2013, Yam didn’t even bother adding a line for revenue—there was none.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Microsoft accounts can go passwordless, making “password123” a thing of the past

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 8:06am
Microsoft accounts can go passwordless, making “password123” a thing of the past

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Microsoft has been working to make passwordless sign-in for Windows and Microsoft accounts a reality for years now, and today those efforts come to fruition: The Verge reports that starting today, users can completely remove their passwords from their Microsoft accounts and opt to rely on Microsoft Authenticator or some other form of verification to sign in on new devices. Microsoft added passwordless login support for work and school accounts back in March, but this is the first time the feature has been offered for regular, old individual Microsoft accounts.

Passwordless accounts improve security by taking passwords out of the equation entirely, making it impossible to get any kind of access to your full account information without access to whatever you use to verify your identity for two-factor authentication. Even if you protect your Microsoft account with two-factor authentication, an attacker who knows your Microsoft account password could still try that password on other sites to see if you've reused it anywhere. And some forms of two-factor authentication, particularly SMS-based 2FA, have security problems of their own.

The warning message you'll see when you turn on the passwordless account feature.

The warning message you'll see when you turn on the passwordless account feature. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Microsoft has offered passwordless authentication for Windows 10 and Microsoft accounts for a while now, and if you're already taking advantage of those features, nothing about how you sign in to your devices has to change. You just need to visit the Microsoft Account site, go to the Security tab, select "Advanced security options," and turn on the passwordless account feature to remove your password entirely.

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How 13 Reasons Why sparked years of suicide-contagion research

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 8:05am
Back in 2017, the first season of the Netflix series <em>13 Reasons Why</em> sparked controversy about suicide contagion. Four years later, a new UCLA study offers guidance for Hollywood on how to best handle such topics going forward.

Enlarge / Back in 2017, the first season of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why sparked controversy about suicide contagion. Four years later, a new UCLA study offers guidance for Hollywood on how to best handle such topics going forward. (credit: Netflix)

When 13 Reasons Why debuted on Netflix on March 31, 2017, it was initially met with mostly rave reviews from critics and viewers alike. Viewers appreciated the show's frank and sensitive handling of such complex topics as suicide, bullying, rape, and depression. Within weeks, however, mental health professionals began voicing strong objections to the YA-targeted show's treatment of suicide in particular—these professionals believed the depiction could trigger suicidal thoughts or actions in vulnerable teens.

It's well known that high-profile suicides can sometimes influence copycats, but the issue is less clear when it comes to fictional stories. Throughout the last four years, multiple, often contradictory studies on that very topic have since appeared. Some of the studies show negative impacts, while others show beneficial effects in young people who watched 13 Reasons Why.

The series aired its fourth and final season last year, but 13 Reasons Why continues to inspire research on the potential impact (positive or negative) of fictional stories on teen mental health. A new study available today from researchers affiliated with UCLA's Center for Scholars and Storytellers focuses specifically on the show's third season, and it shows that series like 13 Reasons Why can have a positive impact on teen mental health as long as the issues are depicted accurately and with empathy.

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Nintendo Switch finally supports Bluetooth audio—but beware the lag

ArsTechnica - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 5:33am
Bluetooth on Switch, presented as an overly literal image translation of the concept.

Enlarge / Bluetooth on Switch, presented as an overly literal image translation of the concept. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

In an out-of-nowhere Tuesday evening update, Nintendo reversed course on one of the Nintendo Switch's biggest limitations: its lack of Bluetooth audio support. Bluetooth functionality is now live through the system's 13.0 firmware, which is available for download across all Switch regions.

Until this update, Switch consoles had a portable-audio capability that was the exact opposite of smartphones like the iPhone, in that the Switch only worked with wired headphones via the console's built-in 3.5 mm headphone jack. In handheld mode, that limitation was more bearable because the system was in your hands, so a corded headset made a little more sense.

With the Nintendo Switch docked to a TV, on the other hand, headset options became more limited. Without Bluetooth audio support, Switch users needed to either run a 3.5 mm extension cord to their entertainment center or use a pair of wireless headphones with a Switch-compatible USB dongle, which would have to plug into one of the Switch dock's open ports. Modern Xbox and PlayStation consoles offer more options for both 3.5 mm jacks in their gamepads and built-in wireless functions in the consoles themselves.

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Globally, climate change drives a willingness to change lifestyles

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 4:00pm
Image of a car stuck near a flooded road.

Enlarge / Climate change is increasing the incidence of extreme rainfall, ensuring that more people are going to directly notice its effects. (credit: SYLVAIN THOMAS / Getty Images)

This year has seen a huge number of climate-related disasters, from hurricanes to droughts and from fires to floods. In the middle of the chaos, the IPCC dropped the first installment of its latest climate report, mapping out how our current choices will shape the planet's future. All of this would seem to make now a great time to check in on public views of climate change.

Unfortunately, one of the best sources of such check-ins, the Pew Research Center, did its most recent polling on the topic way back in February. The survey of industrialized economies shows a strong and growing worry that climate change will affect people personally and a willingness to make changes to avoid the worst of its impacts. Still, because of the timing, it's likely that opinion has shifted even further since.

Around the world

Pew surveyed people in 17 different industrialized economies in North America, Europe, and around the Pacific Rim. Obviously left out are the developing economies, which may have the most impact on the trajectory of the future climate, as well as China. But the survey does provide some perspective on public opinion in the countries that are actively pursuing policies intended to address their carbon emissions.

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Storage galore: New PS5 update finally lets users add more space for games

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 3:47pm
A major new update to the PS5 firmware lets players upgrade the console's internal storage via an M.2 SSD.

Enlarge / A major new update to the PS5 firmware lets players upgrade the console's internal storage via an M.2 SSD.

Players will be able to add specific M.2 SSDs to the PS5 with a new system update rolling out tomorrow, two months after a beta that featured the option was made available to users who signed up.

As detailed in a post on the PlayStation Blog, the update gives users the option to increase the PS5's overall storage capacity by installing a PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD (ranging from 250GB to 4TB) that fits certain technical and dimensional requirements. Once the M.2 drive is installed, the new storage space can be used to copy, download, update, and play PS4 and PS5 games as well as media applications. The result will essentially add a second fully functional internal drive to the console.

This is a big step up over the "cold-storage" solution that was added to the system in April, which allowed last-gen games to run straight from a standard platter-based external hard drive or SSD via USB—and notably kept players from doing the same for PS5 games. As a result, the feature did little more than let players free up space for PS5 games by storing PS4 games on an external drive... or just letting PS5 downloads collect dust in storage, which Sony said still allowed for faster transfers back to internal storage than redownloading them from scratch. For PS5 players, this did little to alleviate problems with the console's internal 667GB of available space.

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Xiaomi shows off smart glasses with an all-green microLED waveguide display

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 3:38pm

Xiaomi—the world's biggest smartphone manufacturer—would like to briefly divert your tech attention away from the iPhone 13 launch to a new pair of AR goggles called "Xiaomi Smart Glasses." The company calls this a "concept" device, but previous Xiaomi "concept" devices have turned into real, for-sale products. There's no release date or price point yet, but it looks like it's a working device. Xiaomi's feet are firmly on the ground, and there isn't much about the product that hasn't been done before by Google Glass or Snapchat Spectacles.

The Smart Glasses look like a slightly bulky pair of prescription eyeglasses, with a 5MP camera in one corner and the display system in the other. The display system is wild—a microLED display fires into a series of lenses and then into a waveguide lens for the right eye only. Cramming a microLED into a pair of glasses apparently wasn't easy—Xiaomi says the chip measures 2.4 mm x 2.02 mm, with individual pixels sized at 4 μm. The big compromise is that the microLED system is actually monochrome: the glasses can only display green, so you'll feel right at home if you ever used a computer in the 1980s.

The biggest AR glasses product on the market is Snapchat Spectacles, and those take a more advanced approach to vision, with two full-color waveguide lenses. Xiaomi is pushing the envelope with microLED, while Snapchat appears to be using tiny DLP projectors that project into the waveguides. Snapchat was so impressed with its display supplier that it decided to buy the company—called "WaveOptics"—in March for $500 million.

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It’s all in the ink: Vinland Map is definitely a fake, new analysis finds

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 3:11pm
The Vinland Map purports to be a 15th-century map with a pre-Columbian depiction of the North American Coast. A new analysis has confirmed that the map is, in fact, a modern-day forgery.

Enlarge / The Vinland Map purports to be a 15th-century map with a pre-Columbian depiction of the North American Coast. A new analysis has confirmed that the map is, in fact, a modern-day forgery. (credit: Yale University)

Scholars have questioned the authenticity of a purported 15th-century map housed in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library since it was first unveiled to the public in 1965. About the size of a placemat, the Vinland Map is an intriguing document because, in addition to Africa, Asia, and Europe, the map depicts a section of the North American coastline identified as "Vinlandia Insula" just southwest of Greenland.

This suggested that Norsemen may have been the first Europeans to discover the Americas, well before the first voyage of Christopher Columbus—something for which we now have other evidence for today. However, evidence that the map is a hoax has been steadily accumulating, particularly over the last few years. And the latest scientific analysis has definitively put an end to the controversy once and for all: the inks used to draw the map are of modern origin.

"The Vinland Map is a fake," said Raymond Clemens, curator of early books and manuscripts at the Beinecke. "There is no reasonable doubt here. This new analysis should put the matter to rest."

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In a first, New York passes law banning new fossil fuel vehicle sales after 2034

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 2:32pm
Widespread EV charging stations will be critical for New York to feasibly phase-out new fossil fuel vehicles by its 2035 deadline.

Enlarge / Widespread EV charging stations will be critical for New York to feasibly phase-out new fossil fuel vehicles by its 2035 deadline. (credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York will ban the sale of fossil fuel vehicles starting in 2035 and require all new cars to produce zero emissions. The new law, signed by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul last week, will help slash the state’s carbon pollution by 35 percent. It would put New York well on its way to achieving its statewide carbon reduction goals of 85 percent below 1990 levels.

While the sunset date is in line with other plans from the state government, hitting the goal will still require significant planning and coordination. Though electric vehicles aren’t uncommon in New York, the state is effectively starting from zero—around 1 percent of new vehicles sold in the Empire State are fully electric.

The new law doesn’t stop at passenger vehicles. It also requires zero emissions for off-road vehicles and equipment by 2035 and for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045. There’s some wiggle room with these mandates should batteries or fuel cells for large trucks or construction equipment lag significantly. The law says zero emissions will only be required “where feasible.”

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Travis CI flaw exposed secrets of thousands of open source projects

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 2:12pm
Travis CI flaw exposed secrets of thousands of open source projects

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

A security flaw in Travis CI potentially exposed the secrets of thousands of open source projects that rely on the hosted continuous integration service. Travis CI is a software-testing solution used by over 900,000 open source projects and 600,000 users. A vulnerability in the tool made it possible for secure environment variables—signing keys, access credentials, and API tokens of all public open source projects—to be exfiltrated.

Worse, the dev community is upset about the poor handling of the vulnerability disclosure process and the brief "security bulletin" it had to force out of Travis.

Environment variables injected into pull request builds

Travis CI is a popular software-testing tool due to its seamless integration with GitHub and Bitbucket. As the makers of the tool explain:

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Biden’s baffling FCC delay could give Republicans a 2-1 FCC majority

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 1:35pm
Joe Biden signs an executive order surrounded by various administration officials, including FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

Enlarge / President Joe Biden signs an executive order as (L-R) Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission Lina Khan, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Attorney General Merrick Garland, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, and acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission Jessica Rosenworcel look on at the White House on July 9, 2021, in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Alex Wong)

President Joe Biden's failure to nominate a fifth Federal Communications Commission member has forced Democrats to work with a 2-2 deadlock instead of the 3-2 majority the president's party typically enjoys at the FCC. But things could get worse for Democrats starting in January. If Biden doesn't make his choice quickly enough to get Senate confirmation by the end of this year, Republicans could get a 2-1 FCC majority despite Democrats controlling both the White House and Senate.

That possibility can be easily averted if Biden and the Senate spring into action, but it's closer to becoming a reality than anyone expected when Biden became president. The reason is that acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel's term expired in mid-2020. US law allows commissioners on lapsed terms to stay until "the expiration of the session of Congress that begins after the expiration of the fixed term," which means she can stay until the beginning of January 2022.

To ensure a 3-2 Democratic majority in January, Biden has to nominate a third Democrat, renominate Rosenworcel or nominate a replacement for Rosenworcel, and hope that the Senate confirms both nominations in time. As president, Biden can promote any commissioner to chair, but the Senate decides whether to confirm each newly nominated commissioner. That process usually takes a few months or longer. Tom Wheeler was confirmed as FCC chairman in October 2013, six months after his nomination.

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The stormy relationship between solar power and the weather

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 1:10pm
Image of a massive solar farm.

Enlarge / A hailstorm at a location like this could be really problematic. (credit: Barcroft Media / Contributor)

Solar panels have a love-hate relationship with nature.They need to be placed in exposed locations that get a lot of sunlight, but cloudy weather obviously reduces their production. Less obviously, more extreme weather—from snowstorms to hurricanes—can damage or even break solar hardware altogether. New research performed by Sandia National Laboratories and published in Applied Energy showcases how weather events can reduce the amount of energy produced by the United States’ solar farms.

To study this relationship, the researchers deployed a machine-learning algorithm on large sets of data from private solar farms. “This was a huge, collaborative effort,” Thushara Gunda, one of the paper’s authors and a researcher with Sandia, told Ars. Going forward, Gunda wants to expand this research to look into other extreme weather events and renewables such as wind, geothermal, and marine energy. Her team is in the early stages of this work, she said.

The team hopes that this research could be used to inform decisions about solar operations in the future. This is particularly true as climate change increases the frequency of extreme weather events, potentially causing more issues that impact solar production. “We do recognize that with the shift to renewable energy, there is an increased dependence on local environmental conditions,” Gunda said.

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iOS 15 brings new FaceTime and AI features on September 20

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 11:32am
Tim Cook discusses the new iPhones at Apple's event on September 14, 2021.

Tim Cook discusses the new iPhones at Apple's event on September 14, 2021. (credit: Nathan Mattise)

The next major release of the operating system for iPhones, iOS 15, will arrive on September 20, Apple announced at its product event on Tuesday. iPadOS 15 will hit compatible tablets the same day, and watchOS 8 will be available for the Apple Watch as well.

iOS and iPadOS 15 bring several new features and design changes to the iPhone and iPad. iPadOS 15 lets widgets reside on the home screen instead of being relegated to their own dedicated screen. New multitasking controls make it easier to launch and control multiple concurrent apps. Notifications have been redesigned, and a new notification summary view attempts to show notifications that are most relevant at a given time.

The new features tie in closely with Focus, which gives you the ability to create profiles for work, family time, gaming, or other categories. You'll see different apps and notifications in each Focus view, and your currently selected Focus is synced across devices.

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Apple announces iPhone 13 in 4 flavors: mini, regular, Pro, and Pro Max

ArsTechnica - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 10:42am

Today, Apple executives took the stage in a virtual streaming event to announce the new flagship iPhone lineup. The iPhone 13 is official.

The iPhone 13's body has a similar look to last year's model, but the cameras in the base model are now arranged diagonally. This year, Apple is cutting down on the size of the front display notch, which still features all the usual Face ID sensors but is now 20% smaller.

The new display in the base model is branded "Super Retina XDR" and is 28 percent brighter at 800 nits. The device comes in 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch sizes.

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