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.

Threadripper 3990x brings more CPU threads than Windows Pro can handle

ArsTechnica - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 11:07am
It looks like the Empire is about to cool this CPU by freezing it in carbonite.

Enlarge / It looks like the Empire is about to cool this CPU by freezing it in carbonite. (credit: AMD)

On Friday, AMD launched its latest monster CPU—the 64-core, 128-thread Threadripper 3990x. The 3990x isn't the first publicly available 128-threaded x86-64 CPU—that honor goes to AMD's Epyc 7742, 7702, and 7702P in a three-way tie. But the 3990X is the first "desktop" CPU offering that many threads—and it's stretching the ecosystem in doing so.

Cost per thread

Despite the groundbreaking specs on the TR3990x, AMD is adhering to the same pricing strategy it has employed for years now—pick the CPU that fits your needs and pay a reasonable, roughly linearly scaled price for it. If you want Threadripper CPU threads, you're going to pay roughly $30 apiece for them, whether you're looking for the smaller or larger parts.

Processor Cores/Threads Cost Cost per thread AMD Threadripper 3990x 64/128 $3,990 $31.17 AMD Threadripper 3970x 32/64 $1,999 $31.23 AMD Threadripper 3960x 24/48 $1,399 $29.15 AMD Epyc 7702P 64/128 $4,784 $37.36 Intel Xeon Platinum 9282 56/112 $30,000 (?) $267.86 (?) Intel Core i9-10980XE 18/36 $1,000 $27.78 Intel Core i9-9980XE 18/36 $1,979 $54.97

This is in sharp contrast to Intel's pricing strategies, which have tended for years to run more toward "pick the CPU you can afford" than "pick the CPU that fits your needs." The best example of this strategy is Intel's top-of-the-line Intel Xeon Platinum series, which literally cannot be priced—they're not available in retail—but can be reasonably estimated to cost roughly ten times as much per thread as the closest competing Epyc parts.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

GeForce Now loses all Activision Blizzard titles weeks after launch

ArsTechnica - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 10:25am

Nvidia has announced that all Activision Blizzard games available on its GeForce Now streaming service will soon be removed from streaming play at the publisher's request. The move affects a number of GeForce streamable games on Blizzard's Battle.net launcher, including Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, and the Call of Duty series (Destiny 2 is still streamable since Bungie split with Activision just over a year ago).

"[We're] continually adding new games, and on occasion, having to remove games – similar to other digital service providers," Nvidia said in a statement. "While unfortunate, we hope to work together with Activision Blizzard to re-enable these games and more in the future."

Activision Blizzard hasn't publicly commented on the reason for this pullback, and the company's games could return soon. But last month Activision Blizzard announced that it had entered into a multiyear partnership with Google Cloud to provide backend infrastructure support for its game, as well as esports streaming services through YouTube. Activision didn't announce any plans to bring games to Google's Stadia service at that time, but such a move would make some sense as an extension of that existing partnership.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The auto industry’s unseen inventions—some are weirder than others

ArsTechnica - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 7:21am

Via Vanarama this morning, we have a curious list of patents from the auto industry. Some of them are a little wacky and unlikely to bring their inventors much fame or fortune— vertical parking falls into this category, as does the in-car urinal. But among the list are ideas that aren't that crazy. Like adaptive body panels that would extend a car's tail to reduce drag at cruising speeds.

Drag is the enemy of fuel efficiency, and every little bit helps when trying to cut a vehicle's drag coefficient—just changing the shape of an electric car's wheels can have a meaningful effect on how far its battery will take you. How the air flows away from the car at its rear is critically important to the amount of drag it experiences, and a longer tail is the most efficient shape.

That's easier to do when you're an airplane and not a car that has to fit into conventional-length parking spaces, which is where a Toyota patent for a telescoping tail comes in. I've definitely seen the idea tested by hypermilers in the past, and I don't know about you but I think this dark future of ours would be a little brighter if our cars morphed a little bit.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Steam: Virtual reality’s biggest-ever jump in users happened last month

ArsTechnica - Wed, 02/12/2020 - 4:45am
Well-dressed partygoers dance in VR headsets.

Enlarge / If Steam's latest VR hardware stats are any indication, parties like this may very well be happening in your neighborhood. (Yes, we know, most of these models are sporting headsets outside of the SteamVR ecosystem. If you'd like to model for our next VR article's imagery, send your snaps to Aurich Lawson, stat.) (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

How well are virtual reality headsets selling? With most of the sector's major players remaining coy on sales figures, we're left to draw an incomplete picture from various bits of data. This month, at least, we have an intriguing new data point: a burst in PC-VR hardware use, two months in a row.

Valve's gaming marketplace Steam includes an opt-in hardware survey feature, and the results are published as percentages of surveyed users on a monthly basis. You'll find all kinds of data about Steam-connected computers every month, and this includes operating systems, video cards, VR systems, and more. In the latter case, that figure is counted out of all Steam users—as opposed to a less-helpful stat like "70 percent of VR fans prefer Product A, 30 percent Product B."

We were intrigued (but not surprised) to see a jump in connected VR devices for the reported month of December 2019. That's the holiday season, after all, and it's reasonable to expect Santa's deliveries of headsets to affect data.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Altered Carbon’s dystopian world is back and darker than ever in S2 trailer

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 5:19pm

Anthony Mackie takes up the mantle to play former rebel Takeshi Kovacs in season two of Altered Carbon.

Hard-boiled mercenary Takeshi Kovacs is back on a new case and in a new body (or "sleeve") in the trailer for season two of Altered Carbon, the Netflix adaptation of Richard K. Morgan's 2002 cyberpunk novel of the same name.

(Some spoilers for S1 below.)

Like the novel, the series is set in a world more than 360 years in the future, where a person's memories and consciousness can be uploaded into a device—based on alien technology—known as a cortical stack. The stack can be implanted at the back of the neck of any human body (known as a "sleeve"), whether natural or synthetic, so an individual consciousness can be transferred between bodies. Income inequality still exists, however, so only the very rich can afford true immortality, storing their consciousness in remote backups and maintaining a steady supply of clones. Those people are called "Meths" (a reference to the biblical Methuselah, who supposedly lived for 969 years).

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US says it can prove Huawei has backdoor access to mobile-phone networks

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 3:15pm
Giant Huawei logo onstage.

Enlarge (credit: Huawei)

US officials say they have evidence that Huawei has backdoor access to mobile-phone networks around the world, according to a Wall Street Journal article published today.

"We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world," US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien told the Journal.

The United States has long claimed that Huawei can secretly access networks through the networking gear it sells to telcos, but the goverment previously argued that it doesn't need to show any proof. US officials still are not providing such evidence publicly but have begun sharing their intelligence with other countries, the Journal report said.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

One of the most destructive botnets can now spread to nearby Wi-Fi networks

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 2:26pm
Stock photo of Ethernet connections.

Enlarge (credit: Marco Verch / Flickr)

Over the past half decade, the Emotet malware has emerged as a top Internet threat that pillages people’s bank accounts and installs other types of malware. The sophistication of its code base and its regularly evolving methods for tricking targets into clicking on malicious links—in September, for instance, it began a spam run that addresses recipients by name and quotes past emails they sent or received—has allowed it to spread widely. Now, Emotet is adopting yet another way to spread: using already compromised devices to infect devices connected to nearby Wi-Fi networks.

Last month, Emotet operators were caught using an updated version that uses infected devices to enumerate all nearby Wi-Fi networks. It uses a programming interface called wlanAPI to profile the SSID, signal strength, and use of WPA or other encryption methods for password-protecting access. Then, the malware uses one of two password lists to guess commonly used default username and password combinations.

After successfully gaining access to a new Wi-Fi network, the infected device enumerates all non-hidden devices that are connected to it. Using a second password list, the malware then tries to guess credentials for each user connected to the drive. In the event that no connected users are infected, the malware tries to guess the password for the administrator of the shared resource.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Registrars raise alarm over proposal for big .com fee hikes

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 1:48pm
Closeup photograph of a computer keyboard with the keys

Enlarge (credit: onurdongel / Getty Images)

Last week, ICANN announced that Verisign, the private company that administers the .com domain, will be allowed to raise prices by more than 70 percent over the next decade. Domain registrars—companies that help the public register domains and must pass along these escalating fees—aren't happy about it.

"ICANN and Verisign made these changes in secret, without consulting or incorporating feedback from the ICANN community or Internet users," registrar Namecheap wrote in a blog post. "Namecheap will continue to lead the fight against price increases that will harm our customers and the Internet as a whole."

On Sunday, my Ars Technica colleague Kate Cox got a notification from her registrar, Dynadot, warning that "price increases on the registry level unfortunately result in price increases at Dynadot."

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Amid coronavirus outbreak, Trump proposes slashing CDC budget

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 1:37pm
A man speaks from a podium while being dwarfed by a painting of Abraham Lincoln.

Enlarge / US President Donald Trump speaks during a Governor's White House Business Session in Washington, DC, on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Trump's budget anticipates the gross federal debt would top $30 trillion over the next decade despite deep proposed cuts to social programs. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

Amid an explosive outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China that has killed over 1,000 and sickened over 43,000 worldwide, US President Donald Trump proposed a nearly 19 percent budget cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—the agency primarily tasked with preparing for and responding to such outbreaks and other serious health threats.

In the president’s proposed 2021 federal budget released Monday, the administration says that the changes to the CDC’s funding are intended to “re-focus CDC’s core mission on preventing and controlling infectious diseases and other emerging public health issues, such as opioids.”

The proposal reduces and consolidates CDC funding for programs under the “chronic disease prevention and health promotion” category. That includes programs addressing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, tobacco use, stroke, nutrition, physical activity, and arthritis.

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Report: System Shock 3 developers are “no longer employed”

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 1:16pm

The latest (and possibly last) public trailer for System Shock 3.

The long-pending dream of a new sequel in the storied System Shock series may be well and truly dead, according to a new report from Video Games Chronicle.

The fate of the new sequel—the first in the series since 1999—started to look questionable last February, when struggling publisher Starbreeze was forced to sell the rights to the game back to developer OtherSide Entertainment to recoup costs. In the wake of that move, though, OtherSide managed to put together a GDC demo and was optimistic about potential publishing options, including self-publishing. OtherSide also put out a new "pre-alpha" gameplay trailer as recently as November, suggesting things were moving along predictably.

The development seems to have taken a turn for the worse in recent months, though, with former community manager Sam Luangkhot confirming in December that a number of high-profile members of the OtherSide team had been laid off. That list of departures included the game's writer & director, senior designer, lead programmer, QA lead, and senior environment artist, according to publicly available LinkedIn profiles posted by those affected.

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Dealmaster: Get a recommended Aukey USB-C portable battery for $21

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 12:55pm
 Get a recommended Aukey USB-C portable battery for $21

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Today's Dealmaster is headlined by a sweet price on Aukey's PB-Y13 portable battery, which is down to $21 with an on-site coupon at Amazon. While this deal has surfaced on multiple occasions, it's still close to the lowest price we've seen for the power bank, and it's a good drop from Aukey's standard $30 going rate.

We recommended the Aukey PB-Y13 in our guide to the best USB-C accessories for offering an 18W USB-C Power Delivery port, which is powerful enough to charge most new smartphones at maximum speeds (with the appropriate cable), in a nice, slim package that won't take up acres of real estate in a backpack or handbag. It comes with two USB-A ports, one of which supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 standard, and its 10,000mAh (37Wh) capacity should be enough to supply two full charges for most phones. Just note that, because it can only output 18W total, you won't get the full brunt of the USB-C port's power if you charge multiple devices simultaneously. You should also note that the PB-Y13 isn't technically certified by the USB-IF, though we've had no safety issues after two years of regular use. Other batteries like Anker's PowerCore 10000 PD Redux are a bit more portable, but for $21, the PB-Y13 is a great value.

If you don't need a new battery pack, we also have deals on Bose's QuietComfort 35 II noise-cancelling headphones, Dell and Lenovo laptops, various big-name video games, and more. You can have a look at the full list below.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip is the first foldable with a flexible glass cover

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 12:35pm

Take a Samsung phone, bend it in half, and what do you get? The Galaxy Z Flip! Alongside the Galaxy S20, Samsung is also introducing its second-ever foldable smartphone. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which was a tiny tablet that folded in half, the Galaxy Z Flip is closer to a normal-size smartphone that folds into a tiny square, making it Samsung's competitor to the Moto Razr.

When open, the Z Flip is about the size of a Galaxy S20+. You get a 6.7-inch, 2636×1080 OLED panel with a hole-punch camera, the usual Samsung interface, and slightly thicker-than-normal bezels. Close the phone and you'll see a tiny 1.1-inch, 300×116 display on the front, which is just big enough to display the time, date, battery status, and any incoming notifications.

While the Galaxy Z Flip has plenty in common with the Galaxy Fold, one big improvement is that it's the first foldable smartphone with a glass display cover. That's right, glass that can fold in half. Previous foldable smartphones used a plastic display cover, which introduced all sorts of problems. Plastic is delicate and easily scratched, which limits many of the design possibilities of foldable devices. Designs like the Huawei Mate X, with a wraparound display on the outside, are not going to last long with only plastic for protection. Plastic is also not a great material when it comes to sliding your finger across the display. The Galaxy Fold had a big indent in the middle of the display where it folded in half, creating a valley for your finger to get stuck in. For the new Moto Razr, Motorola warns "bumps and lumps are normal" in the plastic-covered display. Samsung's flexible glass is the first step toward more durable, practical, better-feeling foldable devices. Samsung says the phone can survive 200,000 folds.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S20 is official, with bigger screens, higher prices

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 12:19pm

It's officially Samsung launch day, so let's meet the company's flagship smartphone for 2020: the Galaxy S20.

This phone is the followup to the Galaxy S10, and no, you're not missing anything—the Galaxy S line counted from 1 to 10 over the last 10 years and is now jumping to 20 for 2020. Presumably, Samsung is naming these phones like they are yearly sports video games now, and we'll be getting Samsung Galaxy S [current year] from here on out.

Samsung has also tweaked the size variants. Last year—accounting for the "small," "medium," and "large" sizes—we had the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+. This year, the smallest phone is going away, and we have the "medium" Galaxy S20, the "large" Galaxy S20+, and the "extra-large" Galaxy S20 Ultra.

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William Gerstenmaier joins SpaceX, and that’s a really big deal

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 12:06pm
A man in a business suit stands next to a display spacesuit.

Enlarge / William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, speaks in 2013. (credit: NASA)

SpaceX has confirmed that NASA's former chief of human spaceflight, William Gerstenmaier, has joined the company as a consultant as it prepares to launch astronauts for the first time.

This is a consequential hire for SpaceX—it is difficult to overstate the influence Gerstenmaier has over human spaceflight both in the United States and abroad. He led NASA's space shuttle, International Space Station, commercial crew, and exploration programs for more than a decade.

He immediately brings credibility to the company's safety culture. Former Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale, who now chairs the human spaceflight committee of NASA's Advisory Council, told Ars last summer, "Bill was recognized by everybody as being technically well-grounded and very astute. He was known to listen carefully and to make his judgments based on good technical reasons."

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’90s nostalgia: Dancing Baby does the cha-cha once more in new HD rendering

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 11:37am

The Dancing Baby became one of the first viral videos in the mid to late 1990s.

Internet denizens of a certain age will recall with fondness the 3D animated Dancing Baby (aka "Baby Cha-Cha" and "the Oogachacka Baby") that went viral in 1996. Sure, the rendering was crude by today's standards and—it must be said—a little creepy, but in many ways, the Dancing Baby was a proto-meme. Now, almost 25 years after it was first created, an enterprising college student has re-rendered the original model and animation in a suitable HD format for modern displays.

The Dancing Baby is just a 3D rendering of a baby in a diaper, animated to do a little dance to the opening of the song "Hooked on a Feeling" by Swedish rock band Blue Swede (featured on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack in 2014). It was developed by Michael Girard and Robert Lurye in 1996 as a sample source file for the 3D animation software package Character Studio (used in conjunction with 3D Studio Max). The 3D source film was released to the public that same year so that animators could render their own video clips.

Then a LucasArts staffer named Ron Lussier shared a tweaked version of the file with a few co-workers in an email, launching innumerable email chains that eventually spread outside the company and all over the world. Eventually people began remixing the original dancing baby. There was a Kung Fu Baby, a Rasta Baby, and a Samurai Baby, for instance. The model hit peak virality in 1998, when it was featured in a dream sequence on the popular TV show Ally McBeal, supposedly representing the titular character's anxiety over her ticking biological clock.

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AI isn’t just coming to the world of dating—it’s already here

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 11:20am
"It looks like you're trying to hook up. Would you like help?"

Enlarge / "It looks like you're trying to hook up. Would you like help?" (credit: Aurich)

Shane Mac, CEO and co-founder of the conversational AI company Assist, had a problem. After spending most of his time and energy on keeping his young company running and funded, dealing with the semi-rote work of writing to strangers on dating sites was more of a time sink and emotional drain than he liked. So—following the law of the instrument—he created a bot to automate the task.

Mac is only one of many dating app users—so far, apparently all men—that the idea has occurred to. I first came across Mac's idea of semi-autonomous dating in an episode of former CNN technology reporter Laurie Segall's excellent podcast First Contact. After that, a bit more online research led me to a Mashable article that covers an entire world of AI-powered dating site gaming techniques—some of which even have public Github repositories.

Most of the men gaming the apps seem to be following the same script as an MMORPG resource harvesting script—a bot logs on to the site for them, swipes right repeatedly, and perhaps drops a basic introductory message to mutual swipes. The human player simply logs in later and collects the results of the bot's "harvesting" run.

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Goodbye, Sprint: US judge approves T-Mobile’s purchase of competitor

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 10:59am
The outside of a T-Mobile store in New York City with a sign that says

Enlarge / A T-Mobile store in Times Square in New York City. (credit: Getty Images | picture alliance)

T-Mobile's $26 billion acquisition of Sprint is basically a done deal, as a federal judge today ruled that the merger can go forward. T-Mobile said in response that "the companies are now taking final steps to complete their merger," and that they will try to finalize the deal by April 1.

Attorneys general from thirteen states and the District of Columbia sued to block the merger, saying it would reduce competition in the wireless telecommunications market and harm consumers with higher prices. Their arguments were rejected in a ruling issued by District Judge Victor Marrero of US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Marrero's ruling said his decision was difficult because the sides' predictions of how the post-merger future will unfold amount to "competing crystal balls" that "essentially cancel each other out as helpful evidence the Court could comfortably endorse as decidedly affirming one side rather than the other."

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Office365 Pro Plus won’t hijack your search engine after all

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 10:41am
Regina George from the movie Mean Girls

Enlarge / Stop trying to make Bing happen, Microsoft. It's never going to happen. (credit: Paramount Pictures)

In late January, Microsoft announced that a near-future Office 365 update would roll out a Chrome extension forcing all searches to run through Bing, regardless of the user's configured search engine preference. Several weeks of torches and pitchforks from sysadmins and users alike seem to have convinced the company that this was a tactical error, and today Microsoft announced a change of plans—although they couldn't resist prefacing it by announcing how exciting the original, unpopular change really was.

On January 22, 2020 we announced in advance that the Microsoft Search in Bing browser extension would be made available through Office 365 ProPlus on Windows devices starting at the end of February. Since then, we’ve heard from many customers who are excited about the value Microsoft Search provides through Bing and the simplicity of deploying that value through Office 365 ProPlus. With Microsoft Search integrated, Bing becomes a single search engine for users to find what they need - both from inside their organization and the public web.

But we’ve also heard concerns about the way we were planning to roll this value out.

The Microsoft Search in Bing browser extension will no longer be deployed by default to Office 365 Pro Plus users. Instead, administrators will get a new toggle in the Admin Center allowing them to deploy the extension to their organization—and, importantly, the toggle defaults to off.

For now, even when an admin decides to toggle the feature on, it only affects managed (Active Directory domain joined) devices—employees' personal and home computers won't get Binged as a result, even if they've used some of the five legitimate installations per license to put Office 365 Pro Plus on those devices. (Microsoft does plan additional settings to allow more granular control of unmanaged devices in the future, so BOFHs will simply need to be patient.)

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For decades, US and Germany owned Swiss crypto company used by 120 countries

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 10:31am
Boris Hagelin's mechanical crypto gear, like the CX-52 first introduced in 1952, gave US intelligence fits. So they cut deals with Hagelin and eventually bought the company.

Enlarge / Boris Hagelin's mechanical crypto gear, like the CX-52 first introduced in 1952, gave US intelligence fits. So they cut deals with Hagelin and eventually bought the company. (credit: Rama , Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr)

Crypto AG, a Swiss cryptographic communications gear company that got its big break building code-making gear for the US Army in World War II, has been a provider of encryption systems for more than 120 countries. And according to a report by The Washington Post and German broadcaster ZDF, the company was owned outright for decades by the Central Intelligence Agency and Germany's intelligence agency, the BND—allowing the CIA, the National Security Agency, and German intelligence to read the most sensitive communications of practically everyone but the Soviets and Chinese.

That unprecedented level of access allowed the US to monitor Iranian communications during the Iranian hostage crisis, Argentine communications during the Falklands War (shared with British intelligence), the communications of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during negotiations of an Egypt-Israel peace deal at Camp David, and communications from Libya that confirmed the Qaddafi regime's involvement in a 1986 West Berlin disco bombing. During the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, Iranian communications were "80-90 percent readable," according to documents viewed by the Post and ZDF.

While German intelligence cashed out of the company in the 1990s, the CIA's ownership persisted until 2016, even though the intelligence value of the company diminished with the widespread availability of other digital cryptography tools—and a series of missteps, including what a CIA history described as a "storm of publicity" after the arrest of a Crypto AG salesman in Iran in 1992. But the history also informs the US government's concerns over the potential threat that comes from other countries' ownership of parts of communications infrastructure, including concerns over China's Huawei.

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Logitech debuts $169 StreamCam: A streamer-focused, USB-C webcam

ArsTechnica - Tue, 02/11/2020 - 10:00am

Today, creating videos for platforms like YouTube and Twitch has few barriers to entry but many barriers to success. Logitech is hoping it can make things easier for aspiring online creators and streamers with its new StreamCam, a 1080p webcam with features like autofocus and built-in image stabilization that are tailored to online creators' needs.

Logitech already has a number of accessories that creators and streamers can use including microphones and other webcams. But none of those accessories were made with streamers in mind to this extent—in an effort to fill what it sees as a void in the market, Logitech surveyed a number of online creators and streamers to see what they'd want in an ideal webcam.

And thus, StreamCam came to be: it records 1080p video at 60fps and has autofocus capabilities. Auto-exposure compensates for poor background lighting as well as light changes to make sure that the subject of the video is never shadowed. Built-in image stabilization reduces unwanted movement for a continuously smooth shot as well.

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