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.

Ireland fails to enforce EU law against Big Tech

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 10:04am
Ireland fails to enforce EU law against Big Tech

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto | Getty Images)

Ireland is failing to apply the EU’s privacy laws to US Big Tech companies, with 98 percent of 164 significant complaints about privacy abuses still unresolved by its regulator.

Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter all have their European headquarters in Dublin, making Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner the lead EU regulator responsible for holding them to the law.

But the Irish DPC has been repeatedly criticized, both by privacy campaigners and by other EU regulators for failing to take action.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Android 12 is reportedly due out on October 4

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 8:37am
The Android 12 logo.

Enlarge / The Android 12 logo.

Android 10 was released on September 3, 2019, and Android 11 came out on September 8, 2020. So where is this year's Android 12 release?

Instead of the final Android 12 release this month, Google pushed out Android 12 Beta 5 and said the final release was "weeks" away. A new report from XDA Developers' Mishaal Rahman claims to narrow things down a bit, saying that Monday, October 4, is the magic date.

XDA says it has an internal Google document detailing the "tentative" release date for Android 12. The document actually only lists when the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) source code will be released, but the developer source code release and the consumer Pixel release are usually on the same day.

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Here’s how the infrastructure bill would favor cheaper, US-made EVs

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 8:01am
The House Ways and Means Committee has proposed a wide-ranging overhaul of the current electric vehicle incentives as part of the infrastructure bill.

Enlarge / The House Ways and Means Committee has proposed a wide-ranging overhaul of the current electric vehicle incentives as part of the infrastructure bill. (credit: Stadtratte)

On Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee released a markup of its proposed budget reconciliation bill. There's a ton of information in the $3.5 trillion plan, but today, we're interested in a small portion of the 645-page "Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Infrastructure Financing, Green Energy, Social Safety Net, and Prescription Drug Pricing" section—specifically the parts that deal with incentives to decarbonize our vehicle fleet.

Beginning in 2010, the Federal government has incentivized people to buy or lease new plug-in vehicles by offering them a tax credit. The credit is based on battery size, starting at $2,917 for a vehicle with a 5 kWh battery and providing an additional $417 per extra kWh, topping out at $7,500. However, the credit only applies to the first 200,000 plug-ins sold by an OEM, at which point the credit begins to expire. To date, only Tesla and General Motors have sold enough plug-in vehicles to see their credits sunset.

If the budget reconciliation bill passes as is, the current tax credit (known as 30D) goes away, to be replaced by several new purchasing incentives for greener, more efficient vehicles.

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Amazon gives Kindle e-readers a rare user interface overhaul

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 7:46am

Amazon's Kindle e-readers get new software updates regularly, and they're mostly of the nondescript, invisible "performance improvements and bug fixes" variety. But the most recent operating system update (version 5.13.7) is rolling out now, and it refreshes the device's user interface for the first time since 2016 or so. Amazon says that redesigns for the Home and Library screens, which are mostly untouched in the current Kindle update, will be coming "later this year."

The software update that enables the new interface began rolling out in August, but because Kindles only install updates automatically when they're charging and connected to Wi-Fi, it will be a few weeks or months before all supported Kindles will have a chance to grab the update (mine only installed it over this past weekend). To help you navigate the changes, the gallery above gives a brief tour of everything that has changed.

The new update is available on most Kindles released in or after 2015, including the 7th- and 10th-generation Kindle Paperwhite, the 8th-, 9th-, and 10th-generation Kindle Oasis, and the 8th- and 10th-generation standard Kindle. Older "7th-generation" Kindle devices like 2014's Kindle Voyage don't appear to be supported. If your Kindle hasn't installed the update, the link above will give you instructions for installing it manually.

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Here’s why Russia’s space chief keeps asking Elon Musk to visit him

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 5:46am
Yulia Peresild will play the lead role in the Russian space film <em>The Challenge</em>.

Enlarge / Yulia Peresild will play the lead role in the Russian space film The Challenge. (credit: Roscosmos)

The leader of Russia's space program is desperate to have Elon Musk visit him. On multiple occasions, Dmitry Rogozin has invited the founder of SpaceX to come to Kazakhstan for the October 5 launch of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft carrying three Russians to the International Space Station.

More recently, during an interview on CNN, Rogozin gained a fair amount of publicity when he invited Musk to visit his home in Russia.

"We respect him as an organizer of the space industry and as an inventor who is not afraid to take risks," Rogozin said. Musk was welcomed "to be a guest of my family" and discuss "exploring the universe, extraterrestrial life, and how we can use space to preserve life on Earth."

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Texas abortion ban prompts Salesforce to help employees, families “exit” state

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 5:22am
Protesters hold up signs as they march down Congress Ave at a protest outside the Texas state capitol on May 29, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Thousands of protesters came out in response to a new bill outlawing abortions after six weeks was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbot.

Enlarge / Protesters hold up signs as they march down Congress Ave at a protest outside the Texas state capitol on May 29, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Thousands of protesters came out in response to a new bill outlawing abortions after six weeks was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbot. (credit: Sergio Flores/Getty Images)

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff confirmed late on Friday that his company will pay for employees and their families to relocate out of Texas if they are concerned about their ability to seek reproductive health care. The move comes after the state’s anti-abortion law went into effect earlier this month and the US Supreme Court refused to block the law.

“Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice,” Benioff said in a tweet, using the Hawaiian word for “family.” (Benioff and Salesforce have a long obsession with all things Hawaiian.)

Texas’ new law, known as Senate Bill 8, bans abortions as early as six weeks. That’s well before many women know they’re pregnant. Most women won’t be able to get an accurate result from an at-home pregnancy test until three to four weeks after the day of their last period, and those who don’t take a test won’t suspect anything until they miss a period four weeks in. Six weeks is so early that doctors call the stage of development an embryo, not a fetus. Six weeks is far too early for anyone to know whether the pregnancy won’t spontaneously abort itself. So effectively, the law gives women at most two weeks to decide whether to seek an abortion. It does not make exceptions for rape or incest but does for medical emergencies. 

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Deathloop game review: Can Bethesda rewind this time loop and try again?

ArsTechnica - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 5:01am

If you're looking for a simple back-of-box quote about how Bethesda's newest video game works, you won't get one. The list of inspirations in Deathloop, out this week on PS5 and PC, is long: the time-loop conceit of Zelda: Majora's Mask; the multiroute sneak-and-sleuth genius of Dishonored; the aesthetics and trippiness of We Happy Few; and Metroid Prime's mix of backtracking and clue-hunting.

What a mouthful! Deathloop is certainly more ambitious than yet another generic shooter, which I appreciate. The studio behind it (Arkane Lyon, creators of Dishonored) can't be faulted for not playing it safe. But ambition alone isn't enough.

You may very well enjoy Deathloop's big swings—and at their best, they combine into something special. But there's no denying the sloppiness players have to wade through to find the good stuff. Even though its core is compelling, Deathloop simply doesn't feel finished. Instead, it seems unpolished, like it was rushed out the door. And its die-and-retry gimmick doesn't make up for a confusing lack of world building or an egregiously small gameplay universe.

Read 25 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Fact-checking works to undercut misinformation in many countries

ArsTechnica - Sun, 09/12/2021 - 1:35pm
The word

Enlarge (credit: Gordon Jolly / Flickr)

In the wake of the flood of misinformation that's drowning the US, lots of organizations have turned to fact-checks. Many newsrooms set up dedicated fact-check groups, and some independent organizations were formed to provide the service. We get live fact-checking of political debates, and Facebook will now tag material it deems misinformation with links to a fact-check.

Obviously, given how many people are still afraid of COVID-19 vaccines, there are limits to how much fact-checking can accomplish. But might it be effective outside the overheated misinformation environment in the US? A new study tests out the efficacy of fact-checking in a set of countries that are both geographically and culturally diverse, and it finds that fact-checking is generally more effective at shaping public understanding than misinformation is.

Checking in with different countries

The two researchers behind the new work, Ethan Porter and Thomas Wood, identified three countries that are outside the usual group of rich, industrialized nations where most population surveys occur. These were Argentina, Nigeria, and South Africa. As a bit of a control for the typical surveys, they also ran their study in the UK. All four of these countries have professional fact-checking organizations that assisted with the work and were able to recruit 2,000 citizens for the study.

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As COVID cases rise, so do hospital-related infections

ArsTechnica - Sun, 09/12/2021 - 4:05am
As COVID cases rise, so do hospital-related infections

Enlarge (credit: Francine Orr | Getty Images)

Last month, a 46-year-old military veteran in Houston died of pancreatitis, an urgent but treatable condition, while waiting to be admitted to a hospital overwhelmed with unvaccinated COVID patients. Last week, the governor of Hawaii signed an executive order releasing the state’s hospitals from liability if they turn away sick patients because they have no room. On Monday, the Idaho state health department declared “crisis standards of care,” a triage system that allows hospitals with no spare beds to decide which patients they will accept.

Simultaneously, a Florida high school teacher went viral after describing how he took his 12-year-old to an emergency room that turned out to be overwhelmed with COVIOD patients. They waited six hours while his child’s appendix ruptured, a potentially life-threatening event. His son survived—after what the dad described as five days in the hospital and an initial $5,000 bill.

Stories of patients unable to get into hospitals—stuck in waiting rooms, lingering in ambulances, life-flighted to other states where there might be an open bed—have been an awful constant during this hot-spot summer. Overcrowding is an obvious threat to their health. But it poses a more subtle threat to already-admitted patients: it creates conditions and demands on hospital staff that allow dangerous infections to spread.

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Twitch sues users over alleged “hate raids” against streamers

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/11/2021 - 9:10am
Twitch sues users over alleged “hate raids” against streamers

Enlarge (credit: MikkelWilliam | Getty Images)

Since early August, Twitch has been wrestling with an epidemic of harassment, known as “hate raids,” against marginalized streamers. These attacks spam streamers’ chats with hateful and bigoted language, amplified dozens of times a minute by bots. On Thursday, after a month trying and failing to combat the tactic, Twitch resorted to the legal system, suing two alleged hate raiders [PDF] for “targeting black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content” in violation of its terms of service.

“We hope this Complaint will shed light on the identity of the individuals behind these attacks and the tools that they exploit, dissuade them from taking similar behaviors to other services, and help put an end to these vile attacks against members of our community,” a Twitch spokesperson said in a comment to WIRED.

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Aliens board game is another ho-hum dungeon crawler

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/11/2021 - 4:30am
Ripley defending Newt.

Enlarge / Ripley defending Newt.

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com.

Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps is a peculiar release. Aliens, James Cameron’s follow-up to the sci-fi classic Alien is frankly one of the best action films ever made, so the excitement around this new cardboard adaptation is not surprising. The problem? We’ve seen it all before.

Aliens first received a tabletop implementation with a strong 1989 design published by Leading Edge. The spirit of the film was further embodied in Games Workshop’s classic Space Hulk, a game that was Aliens in all but name. Space Hulk influenced hundreds of tabletop dungeon crawlers since, each paying homage to their predecessors and re-wrapping that core tense experience with minute deviations.

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California Senate passes warehouse workers bill, taking aim at Amazon

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/11/2021 - 3:00am
Modern warehouse work sometimes unfolds within million-square-foot buildings, which some labor organizers say can make bathroom breaks “logistically impossible.”

Enlarge / Modern warehouse work sometimes unfolds within million-square-foot buildings, which some labor organizers say can make bathroom breaks “logistically impossible.” (credit: Jane Barlow | Getty Images)

Warehouse workers in California are one step closer to being able to pee in peace. Yesterday, the state Senate voted 26-11 to pass AB 701, a bill aimed squarely at Amazon and other warehousing companies that track worker productivity. The bill would prevent employers from counting health and safety law compliance—and yes, bathroom breaks—against warehouse workers’ productive time, which is increasingly governed by algorithms. The bill, which organizers call the first in the nation to address the future of algorithmic work, is now en route to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signature.

Although some observers expect Newsom to sign the bill given his record on other pro-worker legislation, such as AB 5, he has thus far remained mum on AB 701. When asked about his intentions, Newsom’s office demurred, saying only, “The bill will be evaluated on its merits when it reaches the governor’s desk.” (The governor is currently fending off a recall election, which takes place September 14.)

AB 701’s passage came as welcome news to advocates like Yesenia Barerra, a former seasonal Amazon worker who traveled to Sacramento to campaign for the bill, helping stage a mock assembly line on the steps of the state capitol. Barrera staffed the company’s Rialto, California, fulfillment center for five months until her termination in 2019. When she was hired, she didn’t realize the rigidity of the productivity system or the extent of Amazon’s camera- and barcode-based employee tracking matrix. She assumed only slackers got fired.

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Porsche and Siemens break ground on low-carbon e-fuel plant in Chile

ArsTechnica - Sat, 09/11/2021 - 12:00am
70 percent of the cars Porsche has ever built are still on the road. Since it wants to keep it that way, its developing a synthetic fuel that emits 90 percent less CO2 than gasoline derived from fossil fuels.

Enlarge / 70 percent of the cars Porsche has ever built are still on the road. Since it wants to keep it that way, its developing a synthetic fuel that emits 90 percent less CO2 than gasoline derived from fossil fuels. (credit: Porsche)

Even with the best will in the world, it will be many years before we entirely decarbonize our transport. The UK, France, China, and even California have announced plans to phase out the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines in the late 2030s, but to our knowledge, none of these plans include a ban on vehicles already on the road. If those cars and trucks are going to keep driving for a while longer, it behooves us to get creative when it comes to the fuel they'll burn.

Which is why I'm a little excited about a collaboration between Porsche and Siemens to do just that. As we reported earlier this year, Porsche and Siemens are developing a low-carbon synthetic fuel that combines green hydrogen (produced by wind-powered electrolysis) with carbon dioxide (filtered from the atmosphere) to form methanol, which is in turn then turned into gasoline.

On Friday, the two organizations broke ground on the Haru Oni manufacturing plant near Punta Arenas in Chile. Assuming all goes to plan, the plant should be able to produce 34,000 gallons (130,000 L) of synthetic fuel in 2022, before scaling up to 14.5 million gallons (55 million L) by 2024 and 145 million gallons (550 million L) by 2026, at a cost of around $7.6 per gallon ($2 per L).

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Star Trek Day celebrates 55 years with Picard, Prodigy trailers, and more

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 3:46pm

Paramount+ celebrated 55 years of Trek on Star Trek Day 2021, a live-streamed event held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California, on September 8, 2021.

It's been 55 years since the television debut of Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS), and the franchise continues to expand its reach in film and television, bringing delight to new generations of fans. Paramount+ marked the occasion with Star Trek Day 2021, a live-streamed event staged (and taped for posterity) at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Co-hosted by Wil Wheaton (aka Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation) and actress Mica Burton (daughter of LeVar Burton), the event featured a live orchestra and back-to-back panels with cast members and creatives from the new generation of Star Trek TV shows: Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and Star Trek Prodigy. These events were interspersed with "legacy moments" featuring such iconic past cast members as George Takei (Hikaru Sulu, TOS), Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisco, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Anthony Montgomery (Ensign Travis Mayweather, Star Trek: Enterprise), and Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim, Star Trek: Voyager).

The event also marked the launch of a month-long "Boldly Go" campaign in honor of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Fans worldwide are invited to submit photos and videos about their hopes for the next 100 years. The Roddenberry Foundation will work with its campaign partners to combine the submissions into a piece of artwork that will eventually be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to support various nonprofits. The artwork will also be etched onto a network of satellites slated to be launched in 2022—"a first-of-its-kind space-based art installation."

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Unvaccinated are 5X more likely to catch delta, 11X more likely to die

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 3:45pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters stands in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

Enlarge / The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters stands in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

COVID-19 vaccines are largely holding up against the hyper-transmissible delta coronavirus variant, particularly when it comes to preventing severe disease and death, according to three studies published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overall, fully vaccinated people are about five times less likely to become infected with delta, 10 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 from delta, and 11 times less likely to die from the variant, according to the studies.

The fresh data lands just a day after President Biden announced sweeping vaccine mandates—the administration's most aggressive action yet to push vaccine holdouts into getting the life-saving shot. About 80 million Americans eligible vaccination have yet to receive the free and readily available shots. Meanwhile, delta has spread across the country like wildfire since June, leading to one of the largest COVID-19 surges yet in the pandemic. Currently, the US is seeing nearly 150,000 new cases every day, with 100,000 hospitalizations and over 1,500 daily deaths—almost all of which are preventable with vaccination.

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Report: Google has illegally underpaid thousands of temp workers since 2019

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 3:12pm
Photo of the Google logo but each letter is burned or damaged

Enlarge

A new investigation from The Guardian pulls no punches while detailing Google's treatment of temporary workers, saying, "Google has been illegally underpaying thousands of temporary workers in dozens of countries and delayed correcting the pay rates for more than two years as it attempted to cover up the problem."

The Guardian says it has seen documents indicating that Google has known about this problem since 2019, and "rather than immediately correct the errors, the company dragged its feet for more than two years, the documents show, citing concern about the increased cost to departments that rely heavily on temporary workers, potential exposure to legal claims, and fear of negative press attention."

Google employs many temp workers for various purposes across its tech empire, and many countries in the UK, Europe, and Asia have laws that mandate those workers be paid as much as regular employees. The Guardian report says that Google hasn't been doing this and that "Google admitted the failures and said it would conduct an investigation after being contacted by the Guardian."

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Your standard SSD might work as an Xbox storage expansion

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 2:53pm
Your standard SSD might work as an Xbox storage expansion

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Microsoft)

Xbox Series X or S owners in need of more storage space for current-gen software may be in luck if they have a spare SSD, according to one modder's experiences.

Writing in a step-by-step post on the Chinese video-sharing site Bilibili, a user has discovered that it's potentially possible to use any high-speed SSD in the Xbox Series X and S by using an adapter to convert the drive's storage interface—instead of mandating that users who want to expand installable space for newer "Velocity Architecture" games purchase proprietary Series X/S memory cards. (Past-gen software on Series X/S can be installed to older, slower storage options connected via USB ports.)

The modder learned via a teardown video that the Xbox Series S uses two PCIe 4.0 ports to house its NVMe SSD and external expansion, and, crucially, that the console's external expansion card uses the CFExpress protocol, which also uses an NVMe interface. (Asian video-sharing sites like Bilibili generally work like YouTube, except users can often post blog-style entries as well as videos, hence the tutorial.)

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House bill would eliminate natural gas power, impose sweeping changes on economy

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 1:47pm
House bill would eliminate natural gas power, impose sweeping changes on economy

Enlarge (credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden’s climate ambitions will face a critical test on Monday as a major portion of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill comes up for a vote. If it passes, the sprawling legislation will push the American economy to rein in its carbon emissions by spurring advancements in clean energy, electric vehicles, grid modernization, and more.

Nearly $500 billion worth of grants, incentives, and programs will be voted on by the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. After that, the legislation will be merged with the other portions of the reconciliation bill as soon as Wednesday. Senate Democrats have been meeting to draft their version of the bill, and Congressional Democrats hope to send a finalized piece of legislation to Biden by the end of the year.

So far, Republicans are united in their opposition, and the reconciliation bill’s passage appears to hinge on whether Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) approves of key portions. Manchin, who represents coal-rich West Virginia and who owns millions of dollars of stock in a coal brokerage, has expressed reservations about the bill eliminating fossil fuels.

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Texas law could force social media to host misinformation and hate speech

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 11:56am
US and Texas flags seen in daytime outside the Texas State Capitol Building.

Enlarge / US and Texas flags flying outside the Texas State Capitol building in Austin. (credit: Getty Images | PA Thompson)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott yesterday signed a ban on social media "censorship" into law, imposing new restrictions on tech companies that are certain to spark a court battle similar to one happening in Florida.

Industry groups slammed the newly enacted legislation as "unconstitutional." The law "seeks to punish social media companies for following policies that protect Internet users from dangerous content online," according to the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).

The CCIA previously sued Florida to block a state law that would have made it illegal for social media companies to ban politicians. US District Judge Robert Hinkle sided with the tech industry in June, granting a preliminary injunction that blocks the law because it violates the First Amendment rights of companies that moderate user content on their online platforms.

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Further testing shows new PS5’s smaller, lighter heatsink keeps console cooler

ArsTechnica - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 10:26am
Old PS5 heatsink on the left, new "11-series" PS5 heatsink on the right.

Enlarge / Old PS5 heatsink on the left, new "11-series" PS5 heatsink on the right. (credit: Austin Evans)

Last month, Sony began shipping a lightly revised version of its PlayStation 5 console with a smaller, lighter heatsink and a handful of other tweaks. An earlier teardown and analysis of the revised PS5 made headlines because it suggested that the new PS5 ran warmer than the old one, based on the temperature of the air being exhausted from the console. This does make some intuitive sense if you assume that a smaller heatsink will automatically be worse at dissipating heat. But more detailed and precise testing from the YouTubers at Hardware Busters International backs up our skepticism of that claim, showing that the PS5's exhaust air is warmer because the new cooling system is doing a better job of removing heat from the console, as cooling systems are meant to do.

The Hardware Busters testing measured the temperature of the APU, memory, voltage regulator modules (VRMs), and exhaust air while Devil May Cry 5 was running on both PS5 models. The exhaust air is indeed a few degrees warmer in the new PS5 than the old one, but on average, the new PS5's APU ran about 11°C cooler, dropping from about 51°C to 40°C.

The memory and VRM temperatures in the new PS5 rise a bit—the memory temperature goes up by around 7°C and the VRM temperature goes up by around 1.3°C—but neither increase should have a huge impact on the console's reliability or longevity. The much larger drop in APU temperature is worth the tradeoff.

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