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.

“Wayforward Machine” provides a glimpse into the future of the web

ArsTechnica - Fri, 10/01/2021 - 6:20am
“Wayforward Machine” provides a glimpse into the future of the web

Enlarge (credit: Sandro Katalina)

What could the future of the Internet look like? With the digital world of the 21st century becoming a pit of unwanted ads, tracking, paywalls, unsafe content, and legal threats, "Wayforward Machine" has a dystopian picture in mind. Behind the clickbaity name, Wayforward Machine is an attempt by the Internet Archive to preview the chaos the world wide web is about to become.

Internet Archive suspects what the Internet of 2046 looks like

The Wayback Machine from the nonprofit Internet Archive remains massively popular among netizens, journalists, and archivists interested in seeing how a webpage looked in the past, even when the page or entire websites are later removed. Users can simply browse to web.archive.org to save a webpage or browse to the copy of a webpage as it appeared at an earlier date. As such, the 617 billion-pages-strong Wayback Machine has become an indispensable digital asset since its inception in 1996.

Whereas Wayback Machine allows you to go back in time, this week's Internet Archive has come up with a "Wayforward Machine" doing the opposite. Those visiting the Wayback Machine are now greeted with the following banner that claims to take you 25 years into the future.

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Senators slam Facebook, say it’s using Big Tobacco playbook to hook kids

ArsTechnica - Fri, 10/01/2021 - 6:03am
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) speaks as Facebook head of global safety, Antigone Davis, testifies before a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection focusing on Facebook, Instagram, and mental health harms on September 30, 2021.

Enlarge / Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) speaks as Facebook head of global safety, Antigone Davis, testifies before a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection focusing on Facebook, Instagram, and mental health harms on September 30, 2021. (credit: Patrick Semansky / POOL / AFP)

Senators spent three hours yesterday grilling Facebook’s head of global safety, Antigone Davis, as she attempted to defend the company’s approach to handling the mental wellbeing of children who use its services.

“Facebook has taken Big Tobacco’s playbook,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection. “It has hidden its own research on addiction and the toxic effects of its products, it has attempted to deceive the public and us in Congress about what it knows, and it has weaponized childhood vulnerabilities against children themselves.”

The hearings come on the heels of a Wall Street Journal investigation that revealed that Facebook has been sitting on a cache of research that shows just how harmful its products can be for children under the age of 18. The whistleblower documents, which also have been turned over to Congress, offer “deep insight into Facebook’s relentless campaign to recruit and exploit young users,” Blumenthal said.

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Neiman Marcus data breach impacts 4.6 million customers

ArsTechnica - Fri, 10/01/2021 - 5:32am
Neiman Marcus data breach impacts 4.6 million customers

Enlarge (credit: Jordan Nix)

American luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group (NMG) has just disclosed a major data breach impacting approximately 4.6 million customers. The breach occurred sometime in May 2020 after "an unauthorized party" obtained the personal information of some Neiman Marcus customers from their online accounts. Neiman Marcus is working with law enforcement agencies and has selected cybersecurity company Mandiant to assist with the investigation.

Credit card and gift card numbers exposed

Yesterday, Neiman Marcus disclosed that its 2020 data breach impacted about 4.6 million customers with Neiman Marcus online accounts. The personal information of these customers was potentially compromised during the incident. The bits of information include:

  • Names, addresses, contact information
  • usernames and passwords of Neiman Marcus online accounts
  • Payment card numbers and expiration dates (although no CVV numbers)
  • Neiman Marcus virtual gift card numbers (without PINs)
  • Security questions of Neiman Marcus online accounts

For the millions of customers being notified about the incident, "approximately 3.1 million payment and virtual gift cards were affected, more than 85% of which are expired or invalid," said the company in a statement released Thursday. No active Neiman Marcus-branded credit cards were impacted. As of now, there's also no indication that online customer accounts at Bergdorf Goodman or Horchow were impacted.

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Rocket Report: Virgin Galactic cleared for flight, Blue Origin “bet and lost”

ArsTechnica - Fri, 10/01/2021 - 4:00am
Night time at a giant rocket hanger.

Enlarge / Under the stars with the Ariane 6 launch base at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. (credit: ESA)

Welcome to Edition 4.18 of the Rocket Report! As usual, it has been a busy week in the world of lift, and as it draws to a close so does the month of September. With three months left in the year, will we see any more orbital rocket debuts in 2021?

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

The FAA clears Virgin Galactic to resume flights. On Wednesday, the FAA said it has closed its investigation into the July 11 launch of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo vehicle. "The investigation found the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo vehicle deviated from its assigned airspace on its descent from space," the FAA stated. "The FAA also found Virgin Galactic failed to communicate the deviation to the FAA as required. Virgin Galactic was not allowed to conduct flight operations as the investigation was ongoing. The FAA required Virgin Galactic to implement changes on how it communicates to the FAA during flight operations to keep the public safe. Virgin Galactic has made the required changes and can return to flight operations."

Read 28 remaining paragraphs | Comments

International climate pledges may be on the right track—maybe

ArsTechnica - Fri, 10/01/2021 - 3:45am
Image of a protest march.

Enlarge / Protesters call for action on climate change in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. (credit: Barcroft Media / Getty Images)

After Joe Biden won the US presidential election, he pledged that the country would cut emissions by 50 percent by 2030. And the US is hardly alone in this ambition. According to new research by Climate Analytics—part of the Climate Action Tracker consortium—131 countries are either discussing, have announced, or are implementing net-zero targets. The paper notes that, if fully implemented, these would cut 72 percent of global emissions.

The extent to which national climate goals can help realize the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5° C is an open question. But according to Matthew Gidden, one of the recent paper’s authors, these climate goals are having (and could indeed continue to have) a marked impact on the climate of the future.

“The clear message from my point of view is that the window has not closed,” he told Ars. “However, it needs significant and real action, especially by the developed countries of the world and the largest emitters in the world, to really make movement.”

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A year later, 45% of COVID patients in Wuhan still have symptoms

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 3:59pm
A person in full, white protective suit, blue face mask, and goggles, helps wheel a patient on a gurney into a hospital. His hand is outstretched as if he is signaling someone not to come near.

Enlarge / Medical staff transfer patients to Jin Yintan hospital on January 17, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. (credit: Getty )

Among thousands of the earliest survivors of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, nearly half had at least one persistent symptom a full year after being released from the hospital, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open.

The study followed up with 2,433 adult patients who had been hospitalized in one of two hospitals in Wuhan early on in the pandemic. Most had nonsevere cases, but a small number had severe COVID-19 and required intensive care. All of the patients were discharged between February 12 and April 10, 2020, and the study follow-up took place in March of 2021.

Overall, 45 percent of the patients reported at least one symptom in that one-year follow-up. The most common symptoms were fatigue, sweating, chest tightness, anxiety, and myalgia (muscle pain). Having a severe case of COVID-19 increased the likelihood of long-lingering symptoms; 54 percent of the 680 severe cases reported at least one symptom after a year. But persistent symptoms were also common among the nonsevere cases, with 41.5 percent of 1,752 nonsevere cases reporting at least one symptom a year later.

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Apple forgot to sanitize the Phone Number field for lost AirTags

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 3:16pm
A plastic tag hangs from a young person's backpack.

Enlarge / Apple's AirTags—as seen clipped to a backpack, above—allow users to attempt to find their own device via location rebroadcast from other Apple users. If all else fails, the user can enable a "Lost mode" intended to display their phone number when a finder scans the missing AirTag. (credit: James D. Morgan / Getty Images)

The hits keep coming to Apple's bug-bounty program, which security researchers say is slow and inconsistent to respond to its vulnerability reports.

This time, the vuln du jour is due to failure to sanitize a user-input field—specifically, the phone number field AirTag owners use to identify their lost devices.

The Good Samaritan attack

Security consultant and penetration tester Bobby Rauch discovered that Apple's AirTags—tiny devices which can be affixed to frequently lost items like laptops, phones, or car keys—don't sanitize user input. This oversight opens the door for AirTags to be used in a drop attack. Instead of seeding a target's parking lot with USB drives loaded with malware, an attacker can drop a maliciously prepared AirTag.

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Sony acquires its most prominent remaster studio, Bluepoint Games

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 2:46pm
Sony acquires its most prominent remaster studio, Bluepoint Games

Enlarge (credit: Play Station)

After months of speculation, it's finally official: Sony is acquiring Demon's Souls developer Bluepoint Games.

News of Bluepoint's addition to the PlayStation Studios roster shouldn't surprise many. The Austin-based studio turned heads with 2018's Shadow of the Colossus remake before tackling its redux of FromSoftware's Demon's for the PS5. It has been a longtime independent collaborator with Sony, remastering critical favorites like Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid, and Gravity Rush, and it has almost exclusively worked with PlayStation-branded properties. (Other than Metal Gear, Bluepoint's only other third-party project was its 2014 port of Titanfall for the Xbox 360.)

A long history with Sony

Rumors that Sony would be buying the developer date back to the company's acquisition of Returnal developer Housemarque in June. That's when the PlayStation Japan Twitter account accidentally tweeted out a PlayStation Studios splash image that included key art from both Returnal and Demon's Souls alongside other established Sony games. Naturally, the tweet was quickly deleted, but not before the image was saved.

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Liquid metal encased in hydrogel makes a promising energy-harvesting device

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 2:07pm
Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a soft and stretchable device that converts movement into electricity. The device works in wet or dry environments and has a host of potential applications.

Enlarge / Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a soft and stretchable device that converts movement into electricity. The device works in wet or dry environments and has a host of potential applications. (credit: Veenasri Vallem)

Scientists at North Carolina State University have developed a flexible, stretchy energy-harvesting device solely out of biocompatible soft materials: liquid metal and soft polymers known as hydrogels. It produces small amounts of electricity comparable to other energy-harvesting technologies, and it can also operate in water as well as air, according to the team's recent paper published in the journal Advanced Materials. The team thinks the new NCSU device holds promise for powering wearable devices, charging them spontaneously with no need for an external power source.

"Mechanical energy—such as the kinetic energy of wind, waves, body movement and vibrations from motors—is abundant," said co-author Michael Dickey,  a chemical and bimolecular engineer at NCSU. “We have created a device that can turn this type of mechanical motion into electricity. And one of its remarkable attributes is that it works perfectly well underwater.”

The NCSU scientists were particularly inspired by a 2013 paper by Korean researchers. The 2013 researchers found they could harvest energy from an electrical double-layer capacitor (ELCD) by depressing arrays of water droplets sandwiched between two rigid electrodes, thereby spontaneously charging the capacitor. But the rigidity proved to be a shortcoming, since electricity was only generated by moving the stiff electrode up and down. Dickey and his co-authors wanted to create a flexible version of this technology.

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USB-IF is, once again, trying to logo its way out of USB-C confusion

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 1:22pm
The USB-IF is planning new logos to go with the upgraded capabilities of USB-C 2.1 cables and chargers.

Enlarge / The USB-IF is planning new logos to go with the upgraded capabilities of USB-C 2.1 cables and chargers. (credit: USB-IF)

In just a few years, the USB-C port has gone from infancy to ubiquity. Aside from a couple of exceptions, it is the main charging, data, and display port for nearly all modern phones, tablets, and laptops. The European Union has even proposed making it mandatory in all devices.

The problem is that the USB-C connector has always been related to but separate from the other specifications in the USB protocol. USB-C cables can use 2.0 or 3.2 speeds, they can support multiple charging wattages, they can either have or not have Thunderbolt support, and even Thunderbolt cables can be either "active" or "passive." The connector is the same, but the capabilities aren't.

The group behind USB-IF has always taken a hands-off approach to this problem, choosing to solve it not with top-down mandates but with certification and optional logos. Today, the group announced a new batch of logos (PDF) intended to demystify the USB-C 2.1 and USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) 3.1 standards that were announced earlier this year. Among other tweaks, the new logos account for USB 4 support, as well as an increased maximum USB-PD charging wattage, from the old maximum of 100 W up to a new maximum of 240 W.

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Blue Origin has a toxic culture, former and current employees say

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 12:07pm
Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith (black hat) walks with Jeff Bezos after his flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard into space in July 2021.

Enlarge / Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith (black hat) walks with Jeff Bezos after his flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard into space in July 2021. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A former communications executive at Blue Origin and 20 other current and former employees have written a blistering essay about the company's culture, citing safety concerns, sexist attitudes, and a lack of commitment to the planet's future.

"In our experience, Blue Origin’s culture sits on a foundation that ignores the plight of our planet, turns a blind eye to sexism, is not sufficiently attuned to safety concerns, and silences those who seek to correct wrongs," the essay authors write. "That’s not the world we should be creating here on Earth, and certainly not as our springboard to a better one."

Published Thursday on the Lioness website, the essay is signed publicly by only Alexandra Abrams, who led employee communications for the company until she was terminated in 2019. The other signatories, a majority of whom were engineers, declined to publicly disclose their names because they did not want to jeopardize employment at Blue Origin or harm their prospects in the aerospace industry for other jobs.

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Intel launches its next-generation neuromorphic processor—so, what’s that again?

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 11:00am

Mike Davies, director of Intel's Neuromorphic Computing Lab, explains the company's efforts in this area. And with the launch of a new neuromorphic chip this week, he talked Ars through the updates.

Despite their name, neural networks are only distantly related to the sorts of things you'd find in a brain. While their organization and the way they transfer data through layers of processing may share some rough similarities to networks of actual neurons, the data and the computations performed on it would look very familiar to a standard CPU.

But neural networks aren't the only way that people have tried to take lessons from the nervous system. There's a separate discipline called neuromorphic computing that's based on approximating the behavior of individual neurons in hardware. In neuromorphic hardware, calculations are performed by lots of small units that communicate with each other through bursts of activity called spikes and adjust their behavior based on the spikes they receive from others.

On Thursday, Intel released the newest iteration of its neuromorphic hardware, called Loihi. The new release comes with the sorts of things you'd expect from Intel: a better processor and some basic computational enhancements. But it also comes with some fundamental hardware changes that will allow it to run entirely new classes of algorithms. And while Loihi remains a research-focused product for now, Intel is also releasing a compiler that it hopes will drive wider adoption.

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iPad mini teardown sheds new light on “jelly scrolling” controversy

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 10:55am

iFixit's 2021 iPad mini teardown.

A new teardown of Apple's latest iPad mini by iFixit found a clue that may explain the "jelly scrolling" effect that some of the tablet's users have complained about.

In case you missed our past coverage on the subject, some iPad mini users noticed a subtle, stagger-like disconnect between the right and left sides of the screen when scrolling through content. Some people see it right away, others have to have it pointed out to them, and others still don't notice even when told.

After we wrote about it, Apple commented on the story to us saying that the effect is expected. From our coverage:

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Jon Stewart’s new Apple TV+ series: Old man yells at cloud—but it hits the spot

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 10:25am
Jon Stewart is back on TV to set some things on fire.

Enlarge / Jon Stewart is back on TV to set some things on fire. (credit: Apple TV+ / Busboy)

In Jon Stewart's first-ever conversation with an Apple TV+ studio audience, he offers a curious send-off—in fact, it argues against the point of his new multi-million dollar hosting deal. "You're probably just going to look at aggregated clips of" this first episode of The Problem With Jon Stewart, he says, instead of subscribing to Apple TV+. It's a bit meandering, followed by a joke about pirating episodes of Ted Lasso.

If anybody can show up to a new streaming service and make a joke at the expense of subscriptions, it's probably Stewart. Online video sharing—and we're talking the renegade kind, uploaded by fans and shared freely—greatly contributed to The Daily Show's massive cultural footprint before Stewart left that show behind in 2015. And as you may have noticed, the TV landscape has dramatically changed since then. These days, every major player is throwing stuff at the video-streaming wall to see what sticks (or, in Quibi's case last year, what absolutely doesn't).

So after six years off the "fake news" desk, what path does Stewart and Apple's new production take? His aforementioned joke may suggest a series that's meant to be shared and remixed in small clips, but The Problem arrives with a different modus operandi: empathy, not sound bites, and patience, not pulverization. You can arguably pluck out some zingers tailor-made for quick swipes on a service like TikTok, but Stewart seems more invested in relishing the full 44 minutes of each episode. As a result, this fake-news innovator spends the runtime of his new series punting the "fake" out of his reputation, expectations be damned.

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Settlement forces Amazon to tell workers they can’t be fired for organizing

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 9:20am
Rally of tech workers holding signs that say,

Enlarge / Tech workers show support for Maren Costa (left) and Emily Cunningham (right) on Sept 16, 2021. (credit: Amazon Employees for Climate Justice)

Amazon has agreed to a settlement with two employees who alleged that they were illegally fired for speaking out about warehouse working conditions during the pandemic.

"Amazon will be required to pay us our lost wages and post a notice to all of its tech and warehouse workers nationwide that Amazon can't fire workers for organizing and exercising their rights," the fired workers, Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham, said in a statement yesterday. "It's also not lost on us that we are two women who were targeted for firing. Inequality, racism, and sexism are at the heart of both the climate crisis and the pandemic."

Costa and Cunningham were tech workers at Amazon's Seattle headquarters and were fired in April 2020. "Both were active in an internal employee group advocating for climate issues and had circulated a petition inside the company calling on Amazon to expand benefits and pay for employees in warehouses," we noted in an article at the time.

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Google tells EU court it’s the #1 search query on Bing

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 9:05am
Let's see, you landed on my "Google Ads" space, and with three houses, that will be $1,400.

Enlarge / Let's see, you landed on my "Google Ads" space, and with three houses, that will be $1,400. (credit: Ron Amadeo / Hasbro)

Google is in the middle of one of its many battles with EU antitrust regulators—this time it's hoping to overturn the record $5 billion fine the European Commission levied against it in 2018. The fine was for unfairly pushing Google search on phones running Android software, and Google's appeal argument is that search bundling isn't the reason it is dominating the search market—Google Search is just so darn good.

Bloomberg reports on Google's latest line of arguments, with Alphabet lawyer Alfonso Lamadrid telling the court, “People use Google because they choose to, not because they are forced to. Google’s market share in general search is consistent with consumer surveys showing that 95% of users prefer Google to rival search engines.”

Lamadrid then went on to drop an incredible burn on the #2 search engine, Microsoft's Bing: “We have submitted evidence showing that the most common search query on Bing is, by far, 'Google.'"

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Nreal Air sunglasses let you watch TV in AR

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 9:00am

Ever wish you could watch YouTube videos through your sunglasses? That’s pretty much what augmented reality (AR) glasses company Nreal is going for with the Nreal Air announced today. With a light, 2.72 ounce (77 g) weight and micro-OLED display, the Nreal Air is just what you need to finally watch Parks and Recreation in an actual park.

Since Nreal released the Nreal Light in 2019, AR tech has evolved so hardware offerings can be smaller. The Nreal Air is 27 percent lighter than the Nreal Light (3.74 ounces/106 g), although it also comes with less functionality. There’s no handtracking or spatial awareness, so you can’t interact with what you see. Instead, you’ll have to rely on an app on your smartphone, which must be tethered to the Nreal Air for it to work (as is the case with the Nreal Light).

This is because the Nreal Air isn’t about dragging and dropping furniture around your virtual home or trying on outfits via a virtual avatar before buying, or other, more interactive AR applications. Instead, Nreal is targeting the Nreal Air primarily at watching videos on YouTube and other streaming apps.

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Theranos device failed pharma evaluation, while lab director cleared it for seven tests

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 8:50am
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.

Enlarge / Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. (credit: Getty | CNBC)

A scientist who worked at a Theranos partner said that her company did not “comprehensively validate” the diagnostic startup’s proprietary devices, undermining a claim that founder Elizabeth Holmes allegedly made to investors.

Victoria Sung had been tasked with evaluating Theranos’ Edison device for her employer, Celgene, which had a small contract with the startup. What she saw suggested that the device was not ready for use with patients.

Initially, Celgene and another pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, were intrigued by the promise of Theranos’ devices. QPS, the gold-standard of diagnostic testing, needs 2 ml of blood. But Theranos promised to do it with 0.25 ml, and the company claimed it was able to get good results with whole blood, which Sung described as “very nice.” The problem was, just over 14 percent of Theranos samples failed to produce usable results compared with less than 2 percent for QPS. Was that good or bad, the prosecution asked her? “Bad,” Sung replied.

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PoC exploit released for Azure AD brute-force bug—here’s what to do

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 6:05am
PoC exploit released for Azure AD brute-force bug—here’s what to do

Enlarge (credit: Michael Dziedzic)

A public proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit has been released for the Microsoft Azure Active Directory credentials brute-forcing flaw discovered by Secureworks and first reported by Ars. The exploit enables anyone to perform both username enumeration and password brute-forcing on vulnerable Azure servers. Although Microsoft had initially called the Autologon mechanism a "design" choice, it appears, the company is now working on a solution.

PoC script released on GitHub

Yesterday, a "password spraying" PoC exploit was published for the Azure Active Directory brute-forcing flaw on GitHub. The PowerShell script, just a little over 100 lines of code, is heavily based on previous work by Dr. Nestori Syynimaa, senior principal security researcher at Secureworks.

POC just popped for the SSO spray https://t.co/Ly2AHsR8Mr

— rvrsh3ll (@424f424f) September 29, 2021

According to Secureworks' Counter Threat Unit (CTU), exploiting the flaw, as in confirming users' passwords via brute-forcing, is quite easy, as demonstrated by the PoC. But, organizations that use Conditional Access policies and multi-factor authentication (MFA) may benefit from blocking access to services via username/password authentication. "So, even when the threat actor is able to get [a] user's password, they may not be [able to] use it to access the organisation's data," Syynimaa told Ars in an email interview.

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Fairphone 4 has an incredible 5-year warranty, aims for 6 years of updates

ArsTechnica - Thu, 09/30/2021 - 3:30am

Fairphone is unique in the world of smartphones. It's pretty much the only company trying to build a sustainable device that isn't glued together and hostile to the repair community. Today, Fairphone is announcing a brand-new flagship: the Fairphone 4, which brings an updated design and better specs while still shipping with all the modularity you would expect.

The base specs for the 579 euros ($671) model include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G SoC, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. There's also a 649 euro ($753) version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. On the front, you'll get a 6.3-inch, 2340×1080 LCD with slimmer bezels (compared to the Fairphone 3 design) and a teardrop notch for the 25 MP front camera. The 3905 mAh battery is Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.1 compatible, so if you have a compatible USB-C charger (not included in the box), you can take the battery from 0-50 percent in 30 minutes. The phone ships with Android 11 and has a side fingerprint reader in the power button, a MicroSD slot, and the option for dual SIM usage via the one physical nanoSIM and an eSIM.

Surprisingly, there isn't a headphone jack, which seems like something Fairphone's demographic would really have wanted. Wired headphones last indefinitely, while Bluetooth buds turn into garbage after a few years when the batteries die. It seems antithetical to Fairphone's sustainability pitch to tell people to run out and buy Bluetooth headphones.

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