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.

North Korea-backed hackers have a clever way to read your Gmail

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 4:43pm
North Korea-backed hackers have a clever way to read your Gmail

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Researchers have unearthed never-before-seen malware that hackers from North Korea have been using to surreptitiously read and download email and attachments from infected users' Gmail and AOL accounts.

The malware, dubbed SHARPEXT by researchers from security firm Volexity, uses clever means to install a browser extension for the Chrome and Edge browsers, Volexity reported in a blog post. The extension can't be detected by the email services, and since the browser has already been authenticated using any multifactor authentication protections in place, this increasingly popular security measure plays no role in reining in the account compromise.

The malware has been in use for "well over a year," Volexity said, and is the work of a hacking group the company tracks as SharpTongue. The group is sponsored by North Korea's government and overlaps with a group tracked as Kimsuky by other researchers. SHARPEXT is targeting organizations in the US, Europe, and South Korea that work on nuclear weapons and other issues North Korea deems important to its national security.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

With help from BA.5, new COVID hospitalizations quadrupled since April

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 3:36pm
With help from BA.5, new COVID hospitalizations quadrupled since April

Enlarge (credit: Getty | David Gannon)

As the wave of omicron coronavirus subvariant BA.5 continues to flood the US, daily COVID-19 hospitalizations are four times higher than four months ago, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data reflects the high ongoing transmission of coronavirus subvariants adept at evading fading immune responses in a population that is largely unboosted.

In early April, as the US fell into a brief pandemic lull in the wake of the towering BA.1 omicron wave, the seven-day rolling average for new hospitalizations sank to around 1,420 per day nationwide. Now, after waves of subvariants BA. 2, BA.2.12.1, and the current BA.5, hospitalizations have floated back up. The current seven-day rolling average is nearing 6,300. Overall, more than 37,000 people in the US are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

With solar arrays now operational, Lucy’s got some shimmering to do

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 2:23pm
A NASA rendering of the Lucy spacecraft before efforts were made to fully open one of its solar arrays in May and June.

Enlarge / A NASA rendering of the Lucy spacecraft before efforts were made to fully open one of its solar arrays in May and June. (credit: NASA)

NASA confirmed this week that its Lucy mission to explore a series of asteroids has a clean bill of health as it approaches a key gravity-assist maneuver in October.

In a new update, the space agency said Lucy's solar arrays are "stable enough" for the $1 billion spacecraft to carry out its science operations over the coming years as it visits a main-belt asteroid, 52246 Donaldjohanson, and subsequently flies by eight Trojan asteroids that share Jupiter's orbit around the Sun.

The fate of the Lucy mission had been in question since the first hours after it launched on an Atlas V rocket last October when one of its two large solar arrays failed to fully open and securely latch. Each of the arrays was intended to unfurl like a hand fan.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

As Earth spins faster, Meta joins fight against leap seconds

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 2:00pm
An atomic clock based on a fountain of atoms.

An atomic clock based on a fountain of atoms. (credit: National Science Foundation)

Meta recently joined the ranks of tech giants calling for the end of the leap second, the fascinatingly complex way humans account for tiny changes in the Earth’s rotation timing. The owner of Facebook and Instagram adds to a chorus that has been growing for years, and the debate could come to a head at a global conference in 2023—or even sooner if the Earth keeps having record-short days.

Facebook, like many large-scale tech companies, is tired of trying to time a global network of servers against leap seconds, which add between 0.1 and 0.9 seconds to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) every so many years. There have been 27 leap seconds added since 1972. In a post on Meta’s engineering blog, Oleg Obleukhov and Ahmad Byagowi say 27 is quite enough for non-solar-scientist types—"enough for the next millennium."

International timekeeping bodies add leap seconds at unpredictable intervals because the things that cause them—the braking action of tides on rotation, moon position, the distribution of ice caps on mountaintops, mantle flow, earthquakes—are unpredictable. When the Earth’s speed varies too much from atomic time-keeping, a leap second is called for by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS).

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

50 state AGs vow action against carriers that bring foreign robocalls to US

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 1:45pm
A smartphone on a wooden table displaying an incoming call from an unknown phone number.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Diy13)

Attorneys general from all 50 states have created an Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force "to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States," they announced yesterday.

In the task force's first action, it "issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities that are allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic," said an announcement from North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. The task force's formation was led by Stein and the attorneys general of Indiana and Ohio, the announcement said.

Stein cited data suggesting that "more than 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day," such as "Social Security Administration fraud against seniors, Amazon scams against consumers, and many other scams targeting all consumers, including some of our most vulnerable citizens."

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Facing quality and pacing issues, Apple reportedly delays iPadOS 16

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 1:33pm
Widgets on iPadOS 15's home screen.

Enlarge / Widgets on iPadOS 15's home screen. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple will delay the release of the iPadOS 16 software update for iPads well into October, about a month after the September release of the iPhone's iOS 16. The news comes from a report in Bloomberg citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Typically, Apple releases iPadOS—which is closely related to iOS—very close to or shortly after the iOS launch, which comes in September alongside new flagship iPhone models. It's arrived slightly later in the past, but this would be an unusually large gap in releases.

According to the report's sources, the delay can be blamed at least partly on the upcoming overhaul of the iPad's multitasking features, including the new Stage Manager feature that is also coming to Macs in macOS. Those features were announced at Apple's developer conference in June.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

WB Discovery merger strikes down “nearly finished” live-action Batgirl film

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:24pm
We hardly knew ye, feature-length live-action film version of <em>Batgirl</em>, and perhaps we never will.

Enlarge / We hardly knew ye, feature-length live-action film version of Batgirl, and perhaps we never will. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Warner Bros)

In response to mounting reports and rumors, the creative teams behind the upcoming straight-to-HBO-Max films Batgirl and Scoob 2: Holiday Haunt confirmed this week that both had been canceled and locked away to apparently never be released in any way, shape, or form.

The bizarre news began unfolding on Tuesday thanks to a report from the New York Post, which alleged that Batgirl, a feature-length, live-action reimagining of the DC Comics superhero that began production last year, would be outright shelved and hidden away in the wake of test screenings. The nearly complete film, which had a budget exceeding $70 million and co-starred Michael Keaton as the character of Batman for the first time in nearly 30 years, was reportedly "unspeakable" on a quality basis.

Two inevitabilities: Death (of possibly decent DC films) and taxes

Shortly after that report went live, well-placed industry rags blamed Batgirl's cancellation on a different issue: accounting and taxes. Deadline pointed to a limited-time opportunity for new WB corporate owners Discovery, which initiated its $108 billion acquisition of Warner in May 2021, to write off both Batgirl and the CGI animation feature Scoob 2: Holiday Haunt as a "purchase accounting maneuver." The outright cancellation would have to happen by "mid-August," according to Deadline; any other attempt to commercially release either film in any way (streaming, theatrical runs, VOD sales) would nix the accounting move.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

SpaceX and Viasat fight over whether Starlink can meet FCC speed obligations

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:38am
A Starlink satellite dish on the roof of a house.

Enlarge / A Starlink satellite dish. (credit: Starlink)

Over a year and a half after tentatively winning $886 million in broadband funding from the government's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), SpaceX is still trying to get paid by the Federal Communications Commission. One problem for Starlink—though not the only problem—is a series of objections from satellite company Viasat, which says Starlink lacks the capacity and speed to meet FCC obligations.

In a new FCC filing, SpaceX denounced Viasat's "misguided campaign" against the Starlink funding. "Viasat is transparently attempting to have the Commission impede competition at all costs to protect its legacy technology," SpaceX told the FCC. The new SpaceX filing was submitted on Friday and posted to the FCC's website Monday, as pointed out by Light Reading.

But SpaceX might have struggled to get its funding even if Viasat never objected. Starlink was tentatively awarded $886 million in December 2020 by the FCC during the final weeks of Chairman Ajit Pai's tenure. Consumer advocacy group Free Press accused Pai of "subsidiz[ing] broadband for the rich," pointing out that Starlink was awarded money in urban areas including locations at or adjacent to major airports.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Microsoft’s $3M anti-abortion donations under fire from activists, shareholders

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:08am
Microsoft’s $3M anti-abortion donations under fire from activists, shareholders

Enlarge (credit: Anadolu Agency / Contributor | Anadolu Agency)

Microsoft isn’t the only company that seems to contradict its own politics by promising to cover abortion travel costs for employees, while at the same time donating to political action committees that funded the governors and attorneys general who fought to overturn Roe v. Wade. However, Microsoft is one of the biggest donors that helped install so many anti-abortion officials over time. The Center for Political Accountability (CPA) told Bloomberg that since 2010, Microsoft donated $3 million to Republican groups doggedly working to end abortion in America.

Microsoft might be donating to these groups for any number of reasons, but a UK activist shareholder group called Tulipshare says the company should change its political giving policy to resist political contradictions and increase transparency. To put pressure on Microsoft, Tulipshare partnered with CPA. Together, they propose that Microsoft release an annual report that would publicly connect the dots between the money Microsoft donates, the elected officials those donations support, and the specific causes that those elected officials support. Such a report could end any company claims about incidental anti-abortion donations.

According to Jenna Armitage, Tulipshare’s chief marketing officer, the activist group’s strategy is to “engage with Microsoft’s investor relations department” to request the annual report. That report would ideally “mandate that the company require political action committees it funds to say which candidates and causes they support.” If Microsoft rejects the proposal, Tulipshare’s next step would be to prompt investors to “introduce a shareholder motion.”

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Today’s best deals: Horizon Forbidden West, Apple gift cards, and more

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:00am
 Horizon Forbidden West, Apple gift cards, and more

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

It's Wednesday, which means the time has come for another Dealmaster. Our latest roundup of the best tech deals from around the web includes a number of discounts on recommended PlayStation 5 games. Sony technically started its annual "PlayStation Summer Sale" late last month, but earlier this week it rolled out a fresh batch of deals that covers a range of first-party games. The new offers are available across multiple retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and GameStop—plus, for digital copies, Sony's PlayStation Store. Sony says the sale will run until August 17.

The selection includes the first significant discount we've seen for Horizon Forbidden West, the big PlayStation-exclusive action-RPG that arrived in February. Its PS4 and PS5 versions are available for $40 and $50, respectively, both of which represent a $20 discount. Unless having PS5 box art really matters to you, though, you should only get the PS4 copy—it's the last game to have a free PS4-to-PS5 upgrade path, so you might as well take advantage and save yourself the Hamilton.

Either way, our review deemed Forbidden West nothing less than "one of the greatest game sequels of all time," praising its writing, lush visuals, and general attention to detail. You really need to have played the original Horizon Zero Dawn to get the most out of it, and at the end of the day, it's another modern open-world game, which some players may be fatigued of at this point. But if you enjoyed the original's robot-dinosaur hunting and sweeping sci-fi-infused plot, Forbidden West is a more polished version of that.

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4K webcam uses a built-in gimbal to follow you around, enable gesture controls

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 10:40am
Insta360 Link 4K webcam

Enlarge / Insta360's new Link webcam. (credit: Insta60)

These past couple of years have experienced a bit of a webcam renaissance, as the ability to get an in-person feel from a virtual meeting has become more valuable than ever. That renaissance included the introduction of helpful features, many of which focus on keeping the user center-frame. We've seen cameras play with AI, and in the case of Dell's magnetic, wireless webcam concept, even magnets to keep your face perfectly in frame. The Insta360 Link announced Tuesday also leverages AI auto-framing but adds a much more obvious, yet rare, tool for capturing a moving subject: physical mobility.

Insta360, headquartered in Guangdong, China, and founded in 2015, is primarily known for sports and 360-degree cameras. The Insta360 Link is its first webcam, and it's like if the DJI Pocket 2 and Apple Center Stage had a baby.

The Link is a 4K camera with a proprietary half-inch sensor and f/1.8 aperture living on top of a three-axis gimbal (the webcam can also be mounted on a tripod or stand purchased separately). Insta360's camera is similar to the $269 Obsbot Tiny 4K, but the latter has a two-axis gimbal.

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DIY Tinycade aims to bring Alt Ctrl games to the masses

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 10:25am
DIY Tinycade aims to bring Alt Ctrl games to the masses

Enlarge (credit: P. Gyory et al., 2022)

What's a frustrated game designer to do when stuck at home during a global pandemic? If that designer is Peter Gyory, a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, you figure out how to make a game out of the piles of discarded cardboard lying around the house.

The result is Tinycade, created by Gyory and several colleagues at UCB's ATLAS Institute. All you need to make your own Tinycade game is some cardboard, a smartphone, two small mirrors, rubber bands, and toothpicks. "The restriction I gave myself was that if you couldn't go to the grocery store and buy it, I couldn't use it in Tinycade," said Gyory. He and his collaborators presented their work in June at the Association for Computing Machinery on Creativity and Cognition in Venice, Italy, with a paper published in the conference proceedings.

Gyory is part of a growing community of game developers interested in building Alt Ctrl (alternative controller) games, which employ novel physical interfaces for players. Hot Swap, for example, involves steering and managing the sails of a ship with individual inputs that must be swapped while playing. Octopad will turn a Nintendo Entertainment System controller into eight distinct parts, turning any game played on the system into "a real-time co-op strategy game," per the authors, while Cook Your Way "educates players on how the immigration process strips people of their culture with its faux kitchen controller, complete with a knife and pot."

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Intel’s loss is AMD’s gain as EPYC server CPUs benefit from Intel’s delays

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 9:59am
AMD's EPYC server processors are benefitting from Intel's delays.

Enlarge / AMD's EPYC server processors are benefitting from Intel's delays. (credit: AMD)

Earnings reports for tech companies this quarter have been mixed at best. AppleMicrosoft, Alphabet, and others have managed to eke out a little growth, while the likes of Meta and Nintendo shrank a little, and most companies' projections for the next quarter are also less-than-optimistic.

One company that has been hit particularly hard is Intel, which saw its revenues decline from $19.6 billion in Q2 of 2021 to $15.3 billion in 2022. The company's earnings presentation (PDF) showed weakness across the board for a variety of reasons: weaker demand for consumer PCs, money invested in getting the Arc dedicated graphics products off the ground, and "competitive pressure" in the server CPU market.

That competitor is AMD, whose EPYC line of server processors was just one bright spot in a record quarter for the company. Revenue increased from $3.9 billion in Q2 of 2021 to $6.6 billion this year, with $673 million of that additional revenue coming from EPYC processor sales and the company's data center division. This is a big deal for AMD, which had some success with its Opteron server CPUs in the mid-2000s but had mostly ceded that ground to Intel throughout the 2010s.

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Russia wants a better look at what America’s newest spy satellite can do

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 9:46am
The NROL-87 mission successfully launched on February 2, 2022, from Vandenberg Space Force Base on a Falcon 9 rocket.

Enlarge / The NROL-87 mission successfully launched on February 2, 2022, from Vandenberg Space Force Base on a Falcon 9 rocket. (credit: NRO)

A Russian Soyuz rocket launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Monday around midnight local time. The military mission's payload was classified but has been designated Kosmos 2558 for tracking purposes.

The Russian satellite has since been placed in a nearly circular, 435 km by 452 km orbit, with an inclination of 97.25 degrees. This is notable, satellite trackers say, because it will allow the Kosmos 2558 satellite to come very close to a recently launched US spy satellite, which was designated NROL-87.

This US national security payload was designed and built for the National Reconnaissance Agency and launched on February 2 into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

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Mexican farmers and scientists share a mission: Saving a wetland

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 9:43am
The Aztec canals at the floating gardens of Xochimilco, The land was constantly replenished with soil dredged from the bottom of the lake and is extremely fertile.

Enlarge / The Aztec canals at the floating gardens of Xochimilco, The land was constantly replenished with soil dredged from the bottom of the lake and is extremely fertile. (credit: Werner Farmer | Getty Images)

On the southern edge of Mexico City, on a patch of land surrounded by water, a farmer and a scientist recently inspected rows of small cubes of mud that had sprouted seedlings. They were crouching on a chinampa, an island that appears to float in Lake Xochimilco, part of a complex ecosystem where the Aztec Empire once flourished.

The farmer, Dionisio Eslava, expects a good harvest of the mix of crops he planted this year. On this spring day in May of last year, he showed the agricultural scientist, Carlos Sumano, the sowing cubes he created with mud he scooped up from the bottom of canals, a Mesoamerican farming technique called chapín. “They’re just about ready for transplanting,” said Eslava, carefully pulling a single cube from the ground and, after a closer look, returning it to its place with other chili pepper plants.

Eslava and Sumano are working together to preserve the region’s chinampas, remnants of the branch and reed rafts that Mesoamerican farmers covered in nutrient-rich lake mud to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers. They are part of a conservation partnership that is tapping Indigenous agricultural knowledge and scientific expertise to prevent the demise of Xochimilco, an ecosystem of more than 6,000 acres of protected wetlands that provides multiple environmental benefits, including food production, groundwater recharge, and carbon sequestration.

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Samsung and iFixit launch repair program for flagship phones and tablets

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 9:22am
Samsung and iFixit launch repair program for flagship phones and tablets

Enlarge (credit: Samsung)

Hot on the heels of Google and iFixit launching a parts store about a month ago, Samsung and iFixit's self-repair program is now live, too. iFixit hosts an official Samsung parts store that Samsung says sells parts "at the same pricing offered to our affiliated repair providers."  The repair site now has a series of official repair guides written in the usual excellent style, and Samsung will start selling parts and iFixit tools in its retail locations.

The official repair program is a good start, but it's nowhere near comprehensive. Currently, the parts store ships to the US, and only the S21, S20, and Tab S7 series of devices are covered. With three sizes of each phone, that's support for seven models total. Samsung releases around 40 devices per year, so there's a long list of devices left unsupported. That list also doesn't include the latest flagship models, like the currently-in-production S22 phone and the S8 tablet.

The only way to get a display is to buy this combo package of the display, phone body, and battery. It's like half a phone!

The only way to get a display is to buy this combo package of the display, phone body, and battery. It's like half a phone! (credit: iFixit)

The store's official guides and parts only cover the back glass, charging port, and a combination "display assembly" that requires you to buy "the phone screen, metal frame, bezel, and battery" in one package. A comprehensive list would look like iFixit's unofficial iPhone store, which has around 30 individual parts. iFixit has 17 guides for something like the S21, but only three of them are flagged as "official."

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How listening to uninterrupted noise helped millions to focus

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 9:08am
How listening to uninterrupted noise helped millions to focus

Enlarge (credit: Juan Pablo Machado)

Who among us isn’t depressingly familiar with the constant tug of war between putting off tasks that require focus, and, like a moth to a flame, being drawn to distraction?

Sometimes we blame ourselves, cursing our tendency to procrastinate. But we should give ourselves a break. We’re living in an unprecedented age where billions of dollars have been made by machines designed to tempt us away from doing what we had planned to do.

These thoughts are hardly new. But something happened recently, which—ironically—has captured no small amount of attention and provided me with a glimmer of hope that the Internet that has rewired our minds could also be used to untangle them.

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Manchin rebuffs industry criticism of new EV tax credit

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 8:37am
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaking to reporters in the Hart Senate Office building on August 1, 2022, in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaking to reporters in the Hart Senate Office building on August 1, 2022, in Washington, DC. (credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Among the many provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 is a revamp of the federal tax credit for electric vehicles. The changes would restore the eligibility of Tesla and General Motors and includes a smaller credit for the purchase of a used EV. Despite this, the bill is running into opposition from the auto industry, and most of the EVs currently on sale would no longer qualify. But the bill's author, Senator Joe Manchin, has little time for complaints.

Currently, almost all new plug-in vehicles qualify for the plug-in electric drive vehicle credit, as laid out in Internal Revenue Code section 30D, introduced on the basis that the high cost of a lithium-ion traction battery is the main impediment to electric vehicles reaching price parity with their gasoline- or diesel-powered alternatives.

The credit is based on battery capacity. Starting at $2,917 for a plug-in vehicle with a 5 kWh pack, the credit increases by $417 per kWh to a maximum of $7,500. But there's a penalty for sales success—once an automaker has sold 200,000 qualifying plug-in vehicles, the credit begins to sunset. So far, this has only happened to Tesla and General Motors, both of which triggered the process in 2018.

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The OnePlus 10T returns to a winning formula of high specs, low ($649!) price

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 8:30am

Four months after the launch of the OnePlus 10 Pro, OnePlus is back with a new device, the OnePlus 10T. After we beat up the OnePlus 10 earlier this year for having a high price, the OnePlus 10T looks like a decent correction: It's $649, $250 cheaper than the $899 OnePlus 10 Pro.

Let's look for the missing $250 in the spec sheet: The OnePlus 10T is slightly faster than the more expensive OnePlus 10 Pro, thanks to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 SoC. This has a minor 10 percent faster MHz boost over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and turns in benchmark scores right around that amount. That 10 percent speed boost finally brings Qualcomm's 2022 CPU performance back up to the level of its 2021 chip—previously it was a bit slower.

The phone still has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (and a new 16GB/256GB tier for $100 more). There's still an in-screen fingerprint reader and a USB-C port. The battery is 4 percent smaller at 4800 mAh instead of 5000 mAh, and the wireless charging is gone. The phone doesn't support Wi-Fi 6E (just Wi-Fi 6), and it sounds like the cameras are all a tier lower, with the phone now sporting a 50 MP Sony IMX776, and then a just-for-fun 8 MP ultrawide and a 2 MP macro camera.

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Review: Beavis & Butt-Head reclaim their thrones of the reaction video genre

ArsTechnica - Wed, 08/03/2022 - 6:00am
Look at how happy they are to be back on their TV-watching couch. Based on what we've seen, the new run of <em>Beavis & Butt-Head</em> has attached some kind of streaming box to their setup.

Enlarge / Look at how happy they are to be back on their TV-watching couch. Based on what we've seen, the new run of Beavis & Butt-Head has attached some kind of streaming box to their setup. (credit: Paramount / Comedy Central)

The easiest review of this week's new Beavis & Butt-Head TV series revival could probably be written as:

Huh-huh-huh, heh-heh-heh, huh-huh-huh. He said "easiest."

If you still fondly recall the '90s pastiche of the world's two stupidest teens' giggling, moronic hijinks, with "TV" interruptions between scenes, Beavis & Butt-Head's newest episodes, debuting Thursday, August 4, exclusively on Paramount+, will do it for you. Yet crucially, the series has been taken over by a new generation of writers and directors who grew up on creator Mike Judge's original version.

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