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.

Some people can’t get FCC subsidy because “Street” isn’t the same as “St.”

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 2:25pm
A rubber stamp stamping the word,

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | acilo)

Some broadband users who qualify for the government's new $50-per-month subsidies haven't been able to obtain the discounts because of technical problems in the Federal Communications Commission's rollout of the program.

The problems stem from the FCC's National Verifier and how the broadband providers' systems interact with the FCC database, as detailed in an article published by Protocol today. Small mismatches between entries in databases—such as having an address recorded as "Elm St." in an ISP's system and "Elm Street" in the FCC's—can cause people's applications to be rejected.

ISPs may be partly to blame as some collected information in the wrong format despite having received training on how to use the system from the FCC. In hindsight, though, the FCC could have allowed ISPs to use the program without requiring such strict data matching. The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) was rolled out quickly relative to other government programs because of the pressing need to get subsidies to consumers, and the FCC hasn't been able to fully stamp out this problem in the month since the program began.

Read 28 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Review: Our favorite trickster god is charismatic as ever in Loki premiere

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 2:03pm
Tom Hiddleston stars in the latest MCU series, <em>Loki</em>, which premiered last night on Disney+.

Enlarge / Tom Hiddleston stars in the latest MCU series, Loki, which premiered last night on Disney+. (credit: Marvel Studios)

It's hard to write a killer TV pilot that compels viewers to come back for more. You have to establish a fictional world, introduce the main characters and core premise, and set up a compelling trigger for the subsequent chain of events—all without making things seem frenetic or incoherent and without employing labored explanatory riffs. That's true even in the case of a well-established fictional universe like the MCU. Fortunately, the first episode of Loki, Marvel's new series reviving Tom Hiddleston's beloved Asgardian trickster god, mostly gets it right—even if it does occasionally lapse into lecturing narrator mode ("talky, talky").

(Only mild spoilers below, with a bit of spoiler-y speculation below the gallery.)

We all remember that scene in Avengers: Endgame when a 2012 version of Loki snags the tesseract containing the Space Stone and vanishes through a portal. That's where the series opens, with our trickster materializing in the middle of Mongolia's Gobi Desert, much to the bemusement of a gaggle of locals. It's not long before another portal opens to bring forth a team of armed guards who "arrest" Loki on behalf of an entity known as the Time Variance Authority (TVA). TVA agents are the so-called "custodians of chronology" in the MCU, monitoring violations to the timeline. Catch their attention by trying to change history, and you just might meet the wrong end of the Retroactive Cannon (Ret Con) and have your entire history deleted from the historical timeline.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Elden Ring shows off first gameplay footage, confirmed for Jan. 2022

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 1:21pm

Over two years have passed since From Software first shared a prerendered tease for Elden Ring at Microsoft's E3 2019 press conference. During a streaming Summer Game Fest event on Thursday, publisher Bandai Namco showed the first gameplay footage from this collaboration between Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and Game of Thrones scribe George R.R. Martin and announced a release date of January 21, 2022, for "next-gen and current-gen" consoles.

The trailer below (and the screenshots above) speak for themselves, and the Dark Souls vibes are apparent throughout. That means a lot of dodge-rolling out of the way of some massive attacks from beasts many times the player's size, including a prominent dragon. It also means a smörgåsbord of dramatic magical effects, including telekinesis, fire, and thrown stone amid the vaguely medieval setting.

A voiceover gives some hints about the "tarnished" protagonist, who has returned "in search of the Elden Ring, emboldened by the flame of ambition." The protagonist is shown summoning a ghostly horse and fighting against mounted enemies. At one point, the mount leaps straight up a sheer cliffside. It looks like you can also summon a ghostly companion to fight alongside you to attack from multiple angles.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Biggest health insurer plans to deny ER bills if it doubts you had an emergency

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 12:42pm
Multistory glass-and-brick building with UnitedHealthcare logo on exterior.

Enlarge / UnitedHealth Group Inc. headquarters stands in Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S., on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

Doctors and hospitals are condemning plans by UnitedHealthcare—the country’s largest health insurance company—to retroactively deny emergency medical care coverage to members if UHC decides the reason for the emergency medical care wasn’t actually an emergency.

In the future, if one of UHC's 70 million members submits a claim for an emergency department visit, UHC will carefully review what health problems led to the visit, the “intensity of diagnostic services performed” at the emergency department (ED), and some context for the visit, like the member’s underlying health conditions and outside circumstances. If UHC decides the medical situation didn’t constitute an emergency, it will provide “no coverage or limited coverage,” depending on the member’s specific insurance plan.

Emergency medical doctors and hospitals were quick to rebuke the plan. They say it sets a dangerous precedent of requiring patients to assess their own medical problems before seeking emergency care, which could end up delaying or preventing critical and even lifesaving treatment.

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dark Sky’s API, iOS app, and web app will all stop working next year

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 12:28pm

A new blog post from the developers of Apple-owned, hyperlocal weather app Dark Sky has announced that the iOS and web versions of the app, as well as the Dark Sky API, will sunset at the end of 2022.

Here's the exact wording from the blog post:

Support for the Dark Sky API service for existing customers will continue until the end of 2022. The iOS app and Dark Sky website will also be available until the end of 2022.

Dark Sky's developers initially said the API would shut down at the end of 2021, but this new end-of-2022 target obviously moves things back a bit. This is the first time we've heard about an end date for the iOS app, though.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The Anacrusis: Left 4 Dead + sci-fi + persistent AI, coming to PC, Xbox this fall

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 11:55am

SEATTLE—The makers of new game The Anacrusis, as revealed during today's Summer Games Fest presentation, are happy for you to mistake it for something like Left 4 Dead, only transported to a '70s sci-fi universe. The new game's co-creator, former Valve designer and writer Chet Faliszek, is banking on it.

"I was the project lead on Left 4 Dead 1 and Left 4 Dead 2, and those are two of my favorite games ever made," Faliszek says from his home office in Seattle. "Clearly they're influential to me in deciding what does and doesn't work in co-op games. Having done those, and having worked on Portal 2's co-op mode, I have a good understanding of how players interact and talk, and mistakes we made, in ensuring that people work together. If you like those games, I had a close seat on them, and we're taking that to the next level."

The resulting project, which Faliszek is leading alongside Kimberly Voll (Riot Games, Fantastic Contraption) at their indie studio Stray Bombay, is slated to launch "this fall" on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Steam, Windows Store, and Epic Games Store. All versions will be connected with cross-play. In a conversation ahead of today's reveal, Faliszek emphasized the game's social thrust, along with a new AI "director" that expands on a similar concept from the L4D series. The director's goals are to satisfy players and scale to various play styles.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

EA source code stolen by hacker claiming to sell it online

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 10:46am
EA source code stolen by hacker claiming to sell it online

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Game-maker Electronic Arts and the Presque Isle Police Department in Maine are responding to an event they had both been dreading: the theft of gigabytes of private data by hackers who breached their Internet-connected networks.

In EA's case, the theft included 780GB of source code and tools for FIFA 21, according to a post published earlier this week on an underground crime forum. The person who published the post, with the username Leakbook, was offering to sell the data.

"You have full capability of exploiting on all EA services," the person wrote.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

GameStop stock falls sharply amid 5M-share sales plan, SEC investigation

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 9:38am
Benjamin Franklin continues to be bemused by the seemingly irrational movements of GameStop's stock price.

Enlarge / Benjamin Franklin continues to be bemused by the seemingly irrational movements of GameStop's stock price. (credit: Flickr / wuestenigel)

GameStop's quarterly earnings report, released last night, contained relatively good news for the embattled retailer, including a smaller-than-expected operating loss and the company's first year-over-year increase in quarterly revenues in years. But GameStop's heavily inflated stock price is down significantly in morning trading on news that the company plans to sell more shares and the announcement that it is cooperating with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into the "meme stock" phenomenon.

In what CEO George Sherman called a "strong start to the year," GameStop's net sales were up over 25 percent to $1.3 billion in the fiscal quarter ending on April 30. That's despite "a roughly 12 percent reduction in the global store fleet due to our strategic de-densification efforts and the continued store closures in Europe during the quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic." The increased sales weren't enough to make GameStop profitable again, but they were enough to reduce quarterly losses to $66.8 million (or $29.4 million if you take out one-time payments), down from $108 million a year ago.

If they want to buy, we want to sell

More than that, the last quarter saw GameStop's bottom line buoyed by the sale of 3.5 million shares of additional stock—$551 million worth—to a rabid market willing to pay an average of nearly $160 per share (compared to the sub-$20 share price at the beginning of the year). Thanks largely to that infusion of cash, GameStop has eliminated $504 million in long-term debts it had on its balance sheet a year ago, and it is now sitting on $770.8 million in cash on hand, up from $583.9 million a year ago.

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Facebook is a hub of sex trafficking recruitment in the US, report says

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 9:19am
Facebook is a hub of sex trafficking recruitment in the US, report says

Enlarge (credit: Serhii Ivashchuk/Getty Images)

Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform for human sex trafficking recruitment in the US, according to a new report published by the Human Trafficking Institute.

Last year, 59 percent of victims in active cases who were recruited through social media were found through Facebook, the report states, with 41 percent of all recruitment taking place online.

“The Internet has become the dominant tool that traffickers use to recruit victims, and they often recruit them on a number of very common social networking websites,” Victor Boutros, CEO of the Human Trafficking Institute, told CBS News. “Facebook overwhelmingly is used by traffickers to recruit victims in active sex trafficking cases.”

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Google to stop treating EU antitrust remedy as a “promotional opportunity”

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 8:59am

Google and the European Union have been fighting for several years over Android's default search engine. Just like when the EU took issue with Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, the EU Antitrust enforcers don't want Google using its Android operating system monopoly to prop up Google Search and Google Chrome. The solution the EU came to—just like it did with Windows—is a "ballot" system that pops up during setup and asks users to pick a starting browser and search engine from a list. The only problem? Google was charging companies to appear in this list. It was basically an ad vector. In a blog post this week, Google says it will stop doing that.

The ballots that allowed users to pick a search engine and browser only have five spots, and with way more than five browsers and search engines available, deciding who gets on the list is a contentious subject. First, Google decided that preinstalled apps get sorted to the top of the list. As you can see in the screenshot, the preinstalled apps are almost always Google apps, so Google's decision here happens to work out really well for the company.

As for the other four slots, Google originally described them in 2019 by saying, "Apps that are not already installed on the device will be included based on their popularity and shown in a random order." Sometime after that, Google fell back on its instincts as the world's largest advertising company and thought, "Those are actually ad slots, and we should charge for them!"

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Keystone XL pipeline canceled after Biden scraps US permit

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 7:48am
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York on January 24, 2017.

Enlarge / Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York on January 24, 2017. (credit: AFP | Getty)

Construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline was officially terminated on Wednesday, handing a big victory to environmentalists who fought the project for more than a decade as they intensified their battles against other fossil fuel development.

The decision by TC Energy and the government of Alberta to pull the plug on the $8 billion pipeline had been widely expected after Joe Biden scrapped the permit to build its US leg in one of his first acts as president.

“We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline’s border crossing,” said Jason Kenney, Alberta premier.

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Self-driving Waymo trucks to haul loads between Houston and Fort Worth

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 7:16am
Will Waymo's autonomous truck honk its horn for little kids on the freeway?

Enlarge / Will Waymo's autonomous truck honk its horn for little kids on the freeway? (credit: Waymo)

On Thursday morning, Waymo announced that it is working with trucking company JB Hunt to autonomously haul cargo loads in Texas. Waymo's Class 8 trucks equipped with the autonomous driving software and hardware system called Waymo Driver will operate on I-45 in Texas, taking cargo between Houston and Fort Worth.

However, the trucks will still carry humans—a trained truck driver and Waymo technicians—to supervise and take over if necessary.

Although Waymo is better known for the autonomous taxi service it operates in a suburb of Phoenix, the company started experimenting with adding its autonomous technology to freight haulers several years ago. And in 2018, it began testing those trucks in the Atlanta area. What makes today's news notable is the partnership with a major truck operator.

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NASA doesn’t need to test SLS anymore, but the Senate mandates it anyway

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 6:11am
Photo of SLS core stage hot fire test.

Enlarge / During a second attempt, the SLS core stage fires for a full eight minutes at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann )

After spending more than 15 months at the Stennis Space Center in Southern Mississippi, the core stage of NASA's large Space Launch System rocket departed for Florida in late April. Preparations are now underway for launching this mammoth rocket from Kennedy Space Center, likely sometime in early 2022.

For US Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, the months with the SLS rocket nestled onto a test stand in his home state kindled memories of NASA's glory days, when engine and rocket test firings were more common at the space center. “Seeing and hearing all four engines of the SLS core stage fire together for the first time was thrilling,” Wicker said after one of the SLS test firings.

But even as he was celebrating the Stennis hot fire tests, Wicker must have been wondering what his center would do after the SLS rocket is gone. During the 15-month test campaign, officials from NASA and the core stage contractor, Boeing, made it plain that they only needed to perform ground test firings of this vehicle one time. Future SLS rockets would ship straight from the factory in Michoud, Louisiana, to the Florida launch site.

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Xbox unveils cloud-centric strategy: New hardware, servers, regional plans

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 6:00am
Promotional image of multiple Microsoft devices against a white background.

Enlarge / If you want to play Xbox Game Pass titles on a weaker device, you'll need to sync to the subscription service's cloud library—and Microsoft is bullish that people will do just that from here on out. (credit: Microsoft)

Ahead of Xbox's next major game-reveal event, slated to air online this Sunday, the console-maker's leadership team hosted an hour-long press briefing about how its business has been doing alongside hints of what to expect beyond specific games. Though the presentation was the kind of ham-fisted, Xbox-biased stuff you'd expect from an internal production, it still included a few compelling reveals and statements—and I'm saving you an hour of your life by breaking them out from the rest of the Xbox-and-pony show, now that the embargo has lifted.

Most of the event's biggest announcements, unsurprisingly, revolve around the wildly successful Xbox Game Pass subscription service—and new ways to access its wealth of over 200 games, particularly via the Azure-powered cloud-gaming library (available as part of Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions). That's assuming your bandwidth and monthly caps are up to snuff, at least.

Microsoft's execs confirmed plans to roll out a smart TV app for Xbox cloud gaming, which will allow interested Game Pass subscribers to access Xbox's cloud-hosted games using nothing more than their Internet connection and a compatible gamepad. The presentation didn't confirm which "global TV manufacturers" will support the app or whether these efforts would lead to more streamlined ways to install the service's TV-specific app on existing streaming sticks. (And we have no idea when those apps will roll out; MS didn't offer even a vague estimate like "this year," which means Google Stadia will likely beat Xbox on this TV-specific front.)

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Physicists find “definitive evidence” of mechanism behind brightest auroras

ArsTechnica - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 4:52am
Physicists report definitive evidence that auroras that light up the sky in the high latitudes are caused by electrons accelerated by a powerful electromagnetic force called Alfvén waves.

Enlarge / Physicists report definitive evidence that auroras that light up the sky in the high latitudes are caused by electrons accelerated by a powerful electromagnetic force called Alfvén waves. (credit: Austin Montelius, University of Iowa)

In August and September 1859, there was a major geomagnetic storm—aka, the Carrington Event, the largest ever recorded—that produced dazzling auroras visible throughout the US, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Scientists have long been fascinated by the underlying physical processes giving rise to such displays, but while the basic mechanism is understood, our understanding is still incomplete. According to a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications, electrons in the Earth's ionosphere catch a plasma wave in order to accelerate toward Earth with sufficient energy to produce the brightest types of auroras.

The spectacular kaleidoscopic effects of the so-called northern lights (or southern lights if they are in the Southern Hemisphere) are the result of charged particles from the Sun being dumped into the Earth's magnetosphere, where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen molecules—an interaction that excites those molecules and makes them glow. Auroras typically present as shimmering ribbons in the sky, with green, purple, blue, and yellow hues. The lights tend to only be visible in polar regions because the particles follow the Earth's magnetic field lines, which fan out from the vicinity of the poles.

There are different kinds of auroral displays, such as "diffuse" auroras (a faint glow near the horizon), rarer "picket fence" and "dune" displays, and "discrete aurora arcs"—the most intense variety, which appear in the sky as shimmering, undulating curtains of light. Discrete aurora arcs can be so bright, it's possible to read a newspaper by their light. (Astronomers have concluded that the phenomenon that earned the moniker STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) several years ago is not a true aurora after all, since it is caused by charged particles heating up high in the ionosphere.) Scientists believe there are different mechanisms by which precipitating particles are accelerated to produce each type.

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These macOS Monterey features won’t work on Intel Macs

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 3:01pm

A page on Apple's website has revealed that several features of macOS Monterey, the new version of the software that runs on Macs, won't work on legacy Macs with Intel processors.

Rather, those features will require the Apple-designed M1 chip (or presumably its upcoming successors) found in new Macs the company has introduced since late last year.

That means that the following Macs in Apple's current lineup will be needed to use the features in question:

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Mystery malware steals 26M passwords from millions of PCs. Are you affected?

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 1:50pm
The silhouettes of heads emerge from a screen full of ones and zeros.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Researchers have discovered yet another massive trove of sensitive data, a dizzying 1.2TB database containing login credentials, browser cookies, autofill data, and payment information extracted by malware that has yet to be identified.

In all, researchers from NordLocker said on Wednesday, the database contained 26 million login credentials, 1.1 million unique email addresses, more than 2 billion browser cookies, and 6.6 million files. In some cases, victims stored passwords in text files created with the Notepad application.

The stash also included over 1 million images and more than 650,000 Word and .pdf files. Additionally, the malware made a screenshot after it infected the computer and took a picture using the device’s webcam. Stolen data also came from apps for messaging, email, gaming, and file-sharing. The data was extracted between 2018 and 2020 from more than 3 million PCs.

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What would you pay for autonomous driving? Volkswagen hopes $8.50 per hour

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 1:19pm
A yellow VW bus concept car drives past the beach, with surfboards on its roof

Enlarge / This one is destined to go on sale in 2023. You can watch a short video we made about it back in 2017. (credit: Volkswagen)

The future of driving may cost you $8.50 per hour if Volkswagen follows through on its boardroom musings.

The German automaker is considering charging an hourly fee for access to autonomous driving features once those features are ready. The company is also exploring a range of subscription features for its electric vehicles, including “range or performance” increases that can be purchased on an hourly or daily basis, said Thomas Ulbrich, a Volkswagen board member, to the German newspaper Die Welt. Ulbrich said the first subscription features will appear in the second quarter of 2022 in vehicles based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, which underpins the company's new ID.3 compact car and ID.4 crossover.

The executive said that Volkswagen will also offer video games in cars, similar to Tesla’s arcade. “In the charging breaks, even if they only last 15 minutes, we want to offer customers something,” Ulbrich said. He said the automaker wouldn’t be developing the games themselves, and it’s not clear whether they’ll come preinstalled or be available for purchase through an app store.

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Don’t look now, but GameStop stock is approaching record highs again

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 12:55pm
Q-Bert can't tell what the @!#?! is going on with GameStop stock, either...

Enlarge / Q-Bert can't tell what the @!#?! is going on with GameStop stock, either... (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

GameStop's stock price is approaching the historic highs it reached during the zenith of its meme-stock volatility in January. The stock's steady increase over the last months comes as the company prepares to announce its quarterly earnings after the market closed Wednesday evening. Shareholders, meanwhile, officially elected Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen as chairman of the board.

As of Wednesday afternoon, GameStop stock is trading at around $325 per share, up nearly 10 percent from a Tuesday closing price of $300. That number is off slightly from the stock's all-time high closing price of $347.51 on January 27 (though the stock spiked very briefly to an all-time high of $483 in intra-day trading on January 28). Today's close could easily approach or surpass the January 29 closing price of $325, which was the stock's second-highest point in history.

After the historic highs of January, GameStop stock plummeted to under $60 per share by the time February rolled around, and it sank as low as $40.59 by February 19, just after it was a central subject in a House Committee on Financial Services hearing. By early March, though, enthusiastic retail investors had once again bid the price up to around $260, after which it slowly sank back down to a recent minimum of $143.20 just a month ago.

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The world is rocked by the arrival of aliens in Invasion teaser trailer

ArsTechnica - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 11:49am

Sci-fi drama Invasion follows multiple storylines across different continents, providing "a global look at how one alien invasion would affect us all."

Apple TV+ has a solid hit with its alternative-history sci-fi drama For All Mankind, which just wrapped its second season, and the streaming platform clearly hopes to repeat that success with a new forthcoming sci-fi drama Invasion.

Don't confuse this ambitious project with the 2005 ABC series of the same name about water-based creatures taking over the bodies of people living in a small Texas town after a severe hurricane (basically an aquatic riff on Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Apple TV+'s Invasion is more of a 21st-century riff on War of the Worlds. Shot on four locations on four different continents—New York, Manchester, Morocco, and Japan—the series is intended to "make you question what you would do under extraterrestrial threat," per the official premise, and "takes a global look at how one alien invasion would affect us all."

Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Peaky Blinders) plays Sheriff John Bell Tyson, described as "a weathered rural lawman on the verge of retirement." Shamier Anderson (Awake, Wynonna Earp) plays Trevante Ward, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan. Golshifteh Farahani (Extraction) plays Aneesha Malik, a first-generation Syrian immigrant living in Long Island, while Firas Nassar (Fauda) plays her Syrian immigrant husband Ahmed Malik, a successful businessman. Shioli Kutsuna (Deadpool 2, The Outsider) rounds out the main cast as Mitsuki, who works in mission control in Japan’s space program, JAXA.

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