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

The US closes Huawei loophole, will no longer grant exceptions for ISPs

ArsTechnica - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 12:02pm
Giant Huawei logo onstage.

Enlarge (credit: Huawei)

The Biden administration has found yet another way to tighten restrictions on Huawei and other Chinese companies that the US government has designated as national security threats. Both sides of the political aisle in the US have gone after the smartphone and networking giant, starting with the Trump administration in 2019. The latest restriction: there will no longer be special exceptions for network operators using Huawei's equipment.

The new law, called the "Secure Equipment Act of 2021," will require the FCC "to establish rules stating that it will no longer review or approve any authorization application" for "radio frequency devices that pose a national security risk." The law covers any company that lands on the list of untrusted companies, which currently covers Huawei, ZTE, HikvisionHytera, and Dahua Technology. The Federal Communications Commission previously banned US companies from using networking gear from these providers. It also ordered ISPs to replace any existing equipment, and Congress established a $1.9 billion equipment replacement fund, lovingly nicknamed the "Huawei Rip & Replace" program, to make it happen. Flying in the face of all this anti-Huawei action was the FCC's ability to approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis, and now this loophole has been closed.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has been pushing for this legislation to pass, saying back in March, "Once we have determined that Huawei or other gear poses an unacceptable national security risk, it makes no sense to allow that exact same equipment to be purchased and inserted into our communications networks as long as federal dollars are not involved. The presence of these insecure devices in our networks is the threat, not the source of funding used to purchase them."

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Flint water crisis costs Michigan $600 million—preventing it would have cost $80/day

ArsTechnica - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 11:43am
The city of Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Michigan.

Enlarge / The city of Flint Water Plant water tower in Flint, Michigan. (credit: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Residents of Flint, Michigan, began complaining in 2014 that their water tasted bad, smelled foul, and came out of the tap discolored. The city had switched water supplies to save money, and in the process, the city and state failed to add anti-corrosion chemicals to the new supply. Flint’s aging pipes began to poison its residents. People suffered rashes after bathing, children were exposed to high levels of lead, and at least a dozen people died from Legionnaires’ disease.

Residents, pediatricians, and pastors sounded the alarm, but it wasn’t until they sued the city and state that a federal judge ordered bottled water to be delivered to every affected home. 

In the intervening years, though, up to 20,000 children were exposed to potentially dangerous levels of lead. In some neighborhoods, the percentage of children who suffered from lead poisoning tripled.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Disney unveils first look at Obi-Wan Kenobi, featuring showdown with Vader

ArsTechnica - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 11:20am
Concept art for <em>Obi-Wan Kenobi</em> shows the titular character locking light sabers with none other than Darth Vader.

Enlarge / Concept art for Obi-Wan Kenobi shows the titular character locking light sabers with none other than Darth Vader. (credit: Disney+)

We have our first glimpse of concept art for Obi-Wan Kenobi, the six-episode series coming to Disney+ next year, as well as a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel featuring star Ewan MacGregor and director Deborah Chow. There's no actual footage, but fans are buzzing about the concept art showcasing Obi-Wan and none other than Darth Vader, lightsabers locked in battle. The sizzle reel briefly leaked online yesterday before being pulled. It was unveiled during the streaming platform's Disney+ Day. (You can check it out on Twitter here.)

We first learned in August 2019 that the rumors were true about a Star Wars spinoff series featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi, with McGregor reprising his role as the iconic character. The actor himself made a surprise appearance at the tail end of a showcase presentation at D23 Expo 2019, Disney's annual fan extravaganza. Then came the big news that Hayden Christensen was reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy called it "the rematch of the century" at the December 2020 Disney Investors Day.

"There's hunger for this character to come back," MacGregor said in the sizzle reel. "The fans have been waiting long enough, you know?"

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple patent fights lookie-loos with glasses-activated screen blur

ArsTechnica - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 10:31am
For your eyes only.

Enlarge / For your eyes only. (credit: Apple)

Apple is giving new meaning to the phrase "for your eyes only." A patent filed by Apple and published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office details the tech giant's interest in creating "privacy eyewear" that blurs content on a device's screen unless someone is wearing special glasses to look at it.

As spotted by Patently Apple, the patent, which focuses on creating different FaceID profiles for various visual impairments, explores a new type of privacy screen. The patent doesn't specify any Apple product by name. Instead, it refers to electronic devices in general, including smartphones, watches, laptops, TVs, and car displays. Drawings in the patent show the feature working on a smartphone-like device.

The technology would use a face scan to determine if the user is wearing the required glasses. It could recognize the headgear by a specific graphic, such as a QR or bar code.

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Rockstar servers down for nearly a day amid remastered GTA Trilogy launch [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 10:05am

[Update: Nearly 29 hours after the outage was first announced, Rockstar tweeted Friday evening that the Rockstar Launcher was back online and most of the company's PC games were once again fully available. GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition was excepted, though, and remains "unavailable to play or purchase as we remove files unintentionally included in these versions. We're sorry for the disruption and hope to have correct ones up soon," Rockstar writes]

Original Story

The servers for the Rockstar Games Launcher on PC have been down for nearly 24 hours now, and PC versions of Rockstar's games have been removed from sale on the company's website. The timing of the outage is particularly tough for the company, coming amid Thursday's launch of the remastered Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy.

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We suggest you don’t buy the $60 Grand Theft Auto Definitive Trilogy

ArsTechnica - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 9:07am

The PlayStation 2-era Grand Theft Auto trilogy is now available on modern gaming devices and comes with across-the-board aesthetic touch-ups. That should be good news. The series' shift from top-down 2D to open-world 3D was a seismic event in the gaming industry, and despite showing their age, each of these games provides a fine amount of macabre criminal adventuring.

But while some parts of the trilogy's re-release are easy to praise, others are less exciting. Shortly after the $60 GTA Definitive Trilogy went live on Thursday, I logged some time with the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X versions. I also spent a few hours staring at the game's locked-up installation on my Windows 10 testing rig. I can now see why Rockstar wasn't eager to make this collection available to the press ahead of launch—and also why the game maker didn't want to break up this set into three $20 purchases. As Ryder might say in GTA San Andreas: This re-release is a buster. (And that's not a good thing.)

That’s one way to encourage grand theft, Rockstar

The worst part of the release is the collection's Windows 10 version, which is now exclusively available on the Rockstar Games Launcher. Ahead of this week's launch, Rockstar removed the old versions of GTA IIIVice City, and San Andreas from storefronts like Steam. You can still access these versions—along with years of community-driven mod support—if you've already purchased them, but they are no longer for sale.

Read 27 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Rocket Report: SpinLaunch spins up, Falcon Heavy to return big time in 2022

ArsTechnica - Fri, 11/12/2021 - 5:00am
As the Crew-3 mission ascends, a Falcon 9 rocket with a Starlink payload awaits its turn on a nearby launch pad in Florida.

Enlarge / As the Crew-3 mission ascends, a Falcon 9 rocket with a Starlink payload awaits its turn on a nearby launch pad in Florida. (credit: SpaceX)

Welcome to Edition 4.23 of the Rocket Report! After a one-week hiatus, this report returns with a superfluity of news. There's a lot to cover, from exciting news in the New Mexico desert to busy times for the Space Coast in Florida as SpaceX gets busy with crewed missions.

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.

SpinLaunch completes first test flight. The California-based startup uses kinetic energy to launch payloads, and its test projectile reached "tens of thousands" of feet during its first launch, CNBC reports. The company's method uses a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to spin the rocket to a velocity several times the speed of sound before it is released. "It's a radically different way to accelerate projectiles and launch vehicles to hypersonic speeds using a ground-based system," SpinLaunch CEO Jonathan Yaney said.

Read 30 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Study: Tracking spiders as they weave their webs reveals detailed “choreography”

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 6:59pm

Johns Hopkins University researchers discovered precisely how spiders build webs by using night vision and artificial intelligence to track and record every movement of all eight legs as spiders worked in the dark.

Ovid's Metamorphoses speaks of the orb-weavers, said to be descendants of Arachne, a figure in Greek mythology who wove beautiful tapestries and dared to challenge Athena to a weaving contest. Angry that she could find no flaws with Arachne's work—and also because the tapestry depicted the gods in an unflattering light—Athena beat the girl with a shuttle. When Arachne hanged herself in remorse, Athena took pity and transformed the rope into a web and Arachne into a spider.

It's an apt literary allusion for a new study on how spiders weave their webs, which is no doubt why scientists at Johns Hopkins University referenced the Ovid story in a recent paper published in the journal Current Biology. The JHU team used night vision and AI to record every single movement of several hackled orb-weavers as they spun their webs. The experiment revealed that the spiders rely on a shared set of movements amounting to "a web-building playbook or algorithm" to create the elegant, geometrically precise structures—even though they have teeny-tiny brains compared to humans.

Co-author Andrew Gordus, a behavioral biologist at JHU, said that he was inspired to undertake the project while he was out birding with his son and saw an especially spectacular spider web. "I thought, 'If you went to a zoo and saw a chimpanzee building this, you'd think that's one amazing and impressive chimpanzee,'" said Gordus. "Well, this is even more amazing because a spider's brain is so tiny and I was frustrated that we didn't know more about how this remarkable behavior occurs. Now we've defined the entire choreography for web building, which has never been done for any animal architecture at this fine of a resolution."

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Booking.com was reportedly hacked by a US intel agency but never told customers

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 6:23pm
Booking.com was reportedly hacked by a US intel agency but never told customers

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

A hacker working for a US intelligence agency breached the servers of Booking.com in 2016 and stole user data related to the Middle East, according to a book published on Thursday. The book also says the online travel agency opted to keep the incident secret.

Amsterdam-based Booking.com made the decision after calling in the Dutch intelligence service, known as AIVD, to investigate the data breach. On the advice of legal counsel, the company didn’t notify affected customers or the Dutch Data Protection Authority. The grounds: Booking.com wasn’t legally required to do so because no sensitive or financial information was accessed.

IT specialists working for Booking.com told a different story, according to the book De Machine: In de ban van Booking.com (English translation: The Machine: Under the Spell of Booking.com). The book’s authors, three journalists at the Dutch national newspaper NRC, report that the internal name for the breach was the “PIN-leak,” because the breach involved stolen PINs from reservations.

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Tapeworms found in man’s brain years after he ate feces-tainted food

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 3:07pm
Psychedelic image of microscopic parasite.

Enlarge / Head of pork tapeworm. (credit: Getty | Michael J Klein)

On a night that seemed like any other, a perfectly healthy 38-year-old man in Massachusetts fell from his bed amid a violent seizure at 4 am. The commotion woke his wife, who found her husband on the floor, shaking and "speaking gibberish." He was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital.

There, doctors witnessed the man have a two-minute-long tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure, in which he lost consciousness and his muscles aggressively contracted. Doctors began the painstaking process of trying to piece together what was wrong by performing a battery of tests and interviewing his family.

By nearly every account, the man was in very good health. He had no history of seizures or of any cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, or neurologic disorders. His toxicology screens were clear. He took no medications, prescribed or over-the-counter. He didn't smoke and rarely drank. There was no evidence that anything had happened to him recently that would provoke a seizure; the man had spent the previous day with his children, then he had dinner with his brother, who reported nothing out of the ordinary. The only initial hint of the diagnosis to come was that the man had immigrated to Boston from a rural area of Guatemala about 20 years earlier.

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You shall not pinch to zoom: Rittenhouse trial judge disallows basic iPad feature

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 2:02pm
Judge Bruce Schroeder speaking from the bench and gesturing with his hands.

Enlarge / Judge Bruce Schroeder reprimands Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger during cross-examination of Kyle Rittenhouse at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Wisconsin on November 10, 2021. (credit: Getty Images | Pool)

When Kenosha County prosecutor Thomas Binger cross-examined murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse yesterday, he wanted to show Rittenhouse video on an iPad and use a touchscreen feature that phone and tablet owners around the world use every day: pinch-to-zoom.

Judge Bruce Schroeder's ruling? You shall not pinch.

Schroeder prevented Binger from pinching and zooming after Rittenhouse's defense attorney Mark Richards claimed that when a user zooms in on a video, "Apple's iPad programming creat[es] what it thinks is there, not what necessarily is there." Richards provided no evidence for this claim and admitted that he doesn't understand how the pinch-to-zoom feature works, but the judge decided the burden was on the prosecution to prove that zooming in doesn't add new images into the video.

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Logitech Pop Keys review: Reliable wireless mechanical keyboard with a divisive style

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 1:00pm
Logitech's Pop Keys mechanical wireless keyboard.

Enlarge / Logitech's Pop Keys mechanical wireless keyboard. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Logitech Pop Keys
(Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.)

Mechanical keyboards can be intimidating for newcomers. The sheer number of options—keyboard size, the type and the manufacturer of the switches, the style and material of the keycaps, among others—can make it hard to know where to start. And yet, once you do start using a mechanical keyboard, there’s a lot to love, from the excellent key travel and typing feel to the satisfying clackity-clack of the switches to the customizability of the keycaps.

As we talked about in our review of the Razer Pro Type Ultra, good wireless mechanical keyboards are still hard to come by. That’s doubly true if you’re looking for one from a more established company that can provide US-based technical and warranty support and well-maintained, actually useful software. Which is why I’m glad to see Logitech expanding its mechanical keyboard offerings with the $100 Pop Keys Bluetooth keyboard.

The Pop Keys is definitely not for everyone. Its high-contrast, high-saturation color palette, rounded typewriter-style keycaps, and dedicated emoji keys will instantly turn off people who just want a keyboard-looking keyboard. Its keycap quality leaves a bit to be desired, too. But as a starter mechanical keyboard, or as a mechanical alternative for other Logitech Bluetooth keyboards like the budget-minded K380 or the MX Keys Mini, it’s an aesthetically striking option with reliable connectivity and a decent feel.

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Playdate delays to 2022 amid scramble to revise entire handheld console

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 12:09pm
Playdate delays to 2022 amid scramble to revise entire handheld console

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The global chip shortage has made a serious impact on the production of upcoming portable gaming devices this week. Barely a day after Valve announced that its handheld PC, the Steam Deck, would be delayed two months, the Game Boy-like Playdate console, initially slated to arrive by the end of 2021, followed suit on Thursday.

The system's producers at Panic have given a lengthy explanation for why the console is being delayed to "early 2022," with orders beyond the first 20,000 pushed back even further.

In a newsletter sent to Playdate preorder customers, Panic details the reason for the delay: broken batteries in the first batch of 5,000 systems. "We found a number of units with batteries so drained, Playdate wouldn’t power on at all—and couldn’t be charged," Panic writes.

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New observations suggest our Arctic buildings might be in trouble

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 10:59am
Image of factory like buildings in a snow-covered landscape.

Enlarge / A mining operation inside the Arctic Circle. (credit: BeyondImages / Getty Images)

As the world warms, countries with holdings in the Arctic are increasingly eyeing the region for development and use. As Ars reported last July, the frigid polar zone might be open to increased shipping, as it remains free of ice longer under climate change.

However, policymakers and scientists need better tools to understand the extent to which humans are using the Arctic and what the future holds for the roads, settlements, and other developments in the region. New research claims to provide a more accurate way to look at how human use is changing the Arctic.

According to Annett Bartsch, lead author of the paper, there are currently no good sources of data for risk assessments and vulnerability studies for the infrastructure in the Arctic. She said that OpenStreetMap is “incomplete and inconsistent” in the Arctic and that previous research using it just accepted its limitations.

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Discord CEO backs away from hinted NFT integration after backlash

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 10:40am
Discord CEO backs away from hinted NFT integration after backlash

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Discord's CEO is publicly backing away from hints that the gaming-focused social networking company was seeking to integrate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency wallets into the platform directly.

The news comes after Jason Citron, who founded and leads the company, tweeted a mockup on Monday of a Discord interface showing integration with crypto products like MetaMask, WalletConnect, and Ethereum in the Discord app (alongside currently integrated services like YouTube, Twitch, etc.). That post led to serious pushback from some Discord users and watchers, leading Citron to send out a tweet backing away from the concept late Wednesday.

probably nothing pic.twitter.com/p4P6MoNGgd

— Jason Citron (@jasoncitron) November 8, 2021

"Thanks for all the perspectives everyone," Citron wrote. "We have no current plans to ship this internal concept. For now, we're focused on protecting users from spam, scams, and fraud. Web3 has lots of good but also lots of problems we need to work through at our scale. More soon."

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Express your inner Legolas with these Lord of the Rings keycaps

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 10:22am
close up of drop elvish keycaps

Enlarge / Drop's Elvish Lord of the Rings keycap set. (credit: Drop)

Have you ever wanted to speak like the elf Legolas or the dwarf Gimli? With the latest keycaps from keyboard enthusiast shop and vendor Drop, communicating through The Lord of the Rings' Elvish or Dwarvish languages is just a mechanical key press away.

The Drop + The Lord of the Rings MT3 Elvish Keycap Set and Drop + The Lord of the Rings MT3 Dwarvish Keycap Set announced Wednesday are PBT plastic keycaps that fit on any mechanical keyboard switch with Cherry MX-style stems. The kits come in Elvish or Dwarvish for those already familiar with the languages (or those who can touch-type). Anyone who isn't so multi-lingual may want to opt for the kits that include English letters in smaller print next to the J.R.R. Tolkien-language characters.

Drop used dye-sublimation for the legends, which means the inscriptions are permanently stained on and won't fade. The characters on the keycaps are also accurate, meaning you could use them to teach yourself the fictional languages. And as noted by Matteo "Matt3o" Spinelli, who created the keycaps, you could further your studies by downloading Elvish and Dwarvish fonts.

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Holmes’ ex-boyfriend, who was Theranos exec, bullied and ignored $1.2M investor

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 9:32am
Holmes’ ex-boyfriend, who was Theranos exec, bullied and ignored $1.2M investor

Enlarge

In 2006, Alan Eisenman invested more than $1 million in Theranos, a then-promising medical diagnostic company founded by college dropout Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes had told him that her company was talking with Morgan Stanley about an IPO in 12–18 months and that the company would bring in $200 million in revenue by 2008. 

For years, Eisenman and Holmes were in frequent communication, including quarterly calls with other investors and one-on-one conversations. He was impressed that the company had contracts with a number of pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Novartis, and believed in its mission.

Eisenman is a retired financial planner from Texas, and he took the stand yesterday in Holmes’ criminal trial. Holmes is being charged with ten counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Eisenman’s investment is one of the counts of wire fraud. For him, Theranos’ shine tarnished in 2010 when communications from Holmes and Theranos “dropped to zero,” Eisenman said.

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Can we use big batteries to power our trains?

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 9:00am
An eastbound manifest freight swoops through an S curve in Lombard Canyon, just east of Toston, Montana, on September 11, 2011. The tracks here snake along the Missouri River between Toston and Lombard.

Enlarge / An eastbound manifest freight swoops through an S curve in Lombard Canyon, just east of Toston, Montana, on September 11, 2011. The tracks here snake along the Missouri River between Toston and Lombard. (credit: Mike Danneman / Getty Images)

With the rapid pace of development in electric vehicles, we will likely get to a place where eliminating carbon emissions from one form of transport is possible. But cleaning up the remaining major modes—planes, trains, and ships—appears to be considerably more challenging. A new analysis suggests we have a good idea of how to improve one of those.

The study, performed by California-based researchers, looks at the possibility of electrifying rail-based freight. It finds that the technology is pretty much ready, and under the right circumstances, the economics are on the verge of working out. Plus, putting giant batteries on freight cars has the potential to create some interesting side benefits.

Giving freight a jolt

Right now, most freight in the US is moved by diesel-powered locomotives. In a typical year, these locomotives produce about 35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, and the rest of the pollutants they make are estimated to cause 1,000 premature deaths and $6.5 billion in health damages.

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Kia teases a big electric SUV with the EV9 concept

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 8:40am
Kia will reveal the EV9 concept in Los Angeles.

Enlarge / Kia will reveal the EV9 concept in Los Angeles. (credit: Kia)

Last week, Hyundai teased a concept of a new electric SUV called "Seven." On Thursday, it was Kia's turn to tease its version, a concept it is calling "EV9."

Details are scant for EV9, as they are for the Hyundai Seven, although we know it will employ Hyundai Motor Group's new E-GMP electric vehicle platform, which uses an 800 V electrical architecture. The platform enables rapid fast charging to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes and either rear- or all-wheel drive layouts for larger-battery electric vehicles.

Like the Seven, the EV9 has a flexible and adaptive interior, although I'm slightly worried about Kia's "radical new take on the traditional steering wheel." There are, after all, perfectly good reasons that most cars use round steering wheels.

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Windows 11 SE won’t be sold separately, can’t be reinstalled once removed

ArsTechnica - Thu, 11/11/2021 - 8:30am
Windows 11 SE's default wallpaper.

Enlarge / Windows 11 SE's default wallpaper. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is taking the fight to Chromebooks in schools with the $250 Surface Laptop SE, but inexpensive hardware is only part of the equation. One reason Chromebooks have succeeded in education is because of Chrome OS, which is well-suited for lower-end hardware, easy for IT administrators to manage, and hard to break with errant apps or malware.

Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS is Windows 11 SE. Unlike past efforts like Windows in S mode (which is still its own separate thing), Windows 11 SE isn't just a regular version of Windows with a cheaper license or a cut-down version that runs fewer apps. Windows 11 SE defaults to saving all files (including user profile information) to students' OneDrive accounts, and it has had some standard Windows 11 features removed to ensure a "distraction-free" learning environment that performs better on low-end devices. The operating system also gives IT administrators exclusive control over the apps and browser extensions that can be installed and run via Microsoft Intune.

If you're a school IT administrator with a fleet of PC laptops or desktops, you might wonder if you can buy and install Windows 11 SE on hardware you already have so you can benefit from its changes without buying new hardware. The answer, Microsoft tells us, is no. The only way to get Windows 11 SE is on laptops that ship with Windows 11 SE. And if you re-image a Windows 11 SE device with a different version of Windows 10 or Windows 11, it won't even be possible to reinstall Windows 11 SE after that.

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