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.

Monkeypox: 25K cases, a batch of new deaths, and 3 state emergencies

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 4:36pm
 25K cases, a batch of new deaths, and 3 state emergencies

Enlarge (credit: Getty | View press)

As global monkeypox cases continue to climb, health officials are investigating reports of several new deaths, which include the first batch of deaths reported from countries outside of where the virus is endemic in animals.

The global case count is now over 25,000, with more than 6,000 in the US. The global death toll is now at least 10. Previously, officials reported three deaths from Nigeria and two from the Central African Republic, both of which have historically reported monkeypox spillover cases. On Monday, Ghana, which has also historically had cases, reported its first death. At the same time, four new deaths have been reported in Spain (2), Brazil (1), and India (1). Officials at the World Health Organization are still waiting for more clinical information on the cases.

Initial media reports suggest that the death in Brazil was a 41-year-old man who had lymphoma and was immunocompromised and was therefore at higher risk of severe disease.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

MIT scientists create color-shifting films inspired by 19th-century holography

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 3:35pm
Real-time video capturing the stretching of an 8×6-inch structural color pattern that features a flower bouquet in homage to 19th-century physicist Gabriel Lippmann’s work.
Real-time video capturing the stretching of an 8×6-inch structural color pattern that features a flower bouquet in homage to 19th-century physicist Gabriel Lippmann’s work.

The bright iridescent colors in butterfly wings or beetle shells don't come from any pigment molecules but from how the wings are structured—a naturally occurring example of what physicists call photonic crystals. Scientists can make their own structural colored materials in the lab, but it can be challenging to scale up the process for commercial applications without sacrificing optical precision.

Now MIT scientists have adapted a 19th-century holographic photography technique to develop chameleon-like films that change color when stretched. The method can be easily scaled while preserving nanoscale optical precision. They described their work in a new paper published in the journal Nature Materials.  

In nature, scales of chitin (a polysaccharide common to insects) are arranged like roof tiles. Essentially, they form a diffraction grating, except photonic crystals only produce specific colors, or wavelengths, of light, while a diffraction grating will produce the entire spectrum, much like a prism. Also known as photonic band gap materials, photonic crystals are "tunable," which means they are precisely ordered to block certain wavelengths of light while letting others through. Alter the structure by changing the size of the tiles, and the crystals become sensitive to a different wavelength.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

3 years after launch, Apple Arcade loses 15 games

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 2:36pm
Art from <em>Various Daylife</em>, one of the games that left Apple Arcade in August 2022.

Enlarge / Art from Various Daylife, one of the games that left Apple Arcade in August 2022. (credit: https://variousdaylife.square-enix-games.com)

Several games that were previously available as part of the Apple Arcade subscription service have been removed.

Fifteen titles have been dropped, and all of them are games that were introduced in the early days of the service. Since mid-July, these games had appeared in a "Leaving Arcade Soon" section of the Apple Arcade tab in the App Store. That section is now gone, suggesting that these are the only games that will be removed in the immediate future.

Apple revealed that these games would be leaving Arcade within that section, so subscribers had a little over two weeks' notice. But there's a little more time for those currently playing the games.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

EA cracks down on modders selling their custom Sims 4 content

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 12:41pm
<em>Sims 4</em> mods can add all sorts of new features to the game.

Enlarge / Sims 4 mods can add all sorts of new features to the game.

Last month, EA published an update formalizing its policy that mods for The Sims 4 "cannot be sold, licensed, or rented for a fee." But the publisher tells Ars that there is still one important exception that should ensure many Sims modders can continue to make significant income from their game-expanding creations.

EA's new modding policy, first published July 21, is pretty direct in saying that Sims 4 mods "must be non-commercial and distributed free-of-charge" and that they can't "contain features that would support monetary transactions of any type." According to the published policy, those who want to monetize their Sims modding work are limited to indirect methods like "passive advertisements and requests for donations" on their own websites (but not within the mods themselves).

Despite this recent formalization, this policy isn't entirely new. In late 2017, former EA Community Manager Amanda Drake wrote on the game's forums that mod creators "cannot lock content they make using our game behind a paywall." But that post also carved out a specific loophole for creators who wanted to offer an incentive to encourage donations via sites like Patreon:

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Avowed bitcoin creator Craig Wright is not happy with £1 win in UK libel lawsuit

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 12:27pm
Craig Wright, self-declared inventor of bitcoin, center, arrives at federal court with his attorney Andres Rivero, right, in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday, June 28, 2019.

Enlarge / Craig Wright, self-declared inventor of bitcoin, center, arrives at federal court with his attorney Andres Rivero, right, in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday, June 28, 2019. (credit: Bloomberg / Contributor | Bloomberg)

In 2016, when Craig Wright promised to provide “extraordinary proof” that he is bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, he was met with a lot of skepticism. Some had doubts when Wright fabricated evidence, and many weren’t surprised when he failed to bring forward the supposed proof he promised. Instead, he apologized for lacking the “courage” to share any real evidence. Then, in 2018, he committed perjury, further inflaming public perceptions that he could be a fraud.

By 2019, Wright began fighting back at critics by threatening to take them to court for defamation. Among Wright’s most vocal skeptics is bitcoin expert Peter McCormack, who became the first target of Wright's litigiousness. In 2019, Wright sued McCormack for libel for tweeting things like “Craig Wright is a fucking liar, and he’s a fraud; and he’s a moron; he is not Satoshi.” Wright expected that a successful libel lawsuit against McCormack would finally prove he founded bitcoin.

This week, a verdict was delivered by a UK high court—where Justice Martin Chamberlain wrote that “the identity of Satoshi is not among the issues” determined. The libel lawsuit, in the end, was a victory for Wright; he was awarded damages for the "serious harm" McCormack caused to his reputation. But it also proved that, once again, Wright is not being forthcoming about evidence in his public fight to be acknowledged as bitcoin’s creator.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

What do we do about all the people who can’t charge an EV at home?

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 11:25am
What do we do about all the people who can’t charge an EV at home?

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

For much of the automobile's existence, speed was the statistic that sold. But the move to electric vehicles is emphasizing range over performance—ironic given the EV's inherent performance advantage here. While range remains a barrier to EV adoption, it takes second place to charging logistics. For about two-thirds of US drivers, the answer is simply to charge at home, parked in a garage or carport. But for the remaining third, that's not possible, and that's a problem.

From the post-war decades, a win at the racetrack or a new speed record translated to showroom success, both in the US and Europe. In turn, horsepower wars between automakers erupted every few years, steadily making our cars quicker and quicker. That trend is arguably accelerating—the near-instant torque of an electric motor means even SUVs that aren't supposed to be that sporty are capable of 0-to-60 times that would rival a supercar not too long ago.

But when every EV can launch from a stoplight fast enough to give you whiplash, pretty soon everyone needs a new reason to one-up each other. The range fixation makes plenty of sense, given the long charging times and the difficulty that would ensue from completely running out of charge while out in the world. But in practice, most of us drive fewer than 30 miles a day, and many EVs fill their days running errands and commuting, returning home to recharge to 100 percent overnight.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

SEC: Crypto fraudsters raised $300M with “textbook pyramid and Ponzi scheme”

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 11:04am
Golden coins stacked in a pyramid.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SimoneN)

The US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday filed a lawsuit against 11 people accused of creating and promoting a crypto pyramid and Ponzi scheme known as "Forsage." The fraudulent scheme "raised more than $300 million from millions of retail investors worldwide, including in the United States," the SEC's announcement said.

The SEC alleged that "in January 2020, Vladimir Okhotnikov, Jane Doe a/k/a Lola Ferrari, Mikhail Sergeev, and Sergey Maslakov launched Forsage.io, a website that allowed millions of retail investors to enter into transactions via smart contracts that operated on the Ethereum, Tron, and Binance blockchains." Forsage allegedly "operated as a pyramid scheme for more than two years, in which investors earned profits by recruiting others into the scheme." Forsage also "used assets from new investors to pay earlier investors in a typical Ponzi structure," the SEC said.

The SEC filed a complaint in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the four alleged co-founders and seven other people, accusing them of violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, and civil penalties.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

GaN-powered Thunderbolt 4 dock wants to rid data-hungry setups of power bricks

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 10:44am
GaN-powered Thunderbolt 4 dock wants to rid data-hungry setups of power bricks

Enlarge (credit: Hyper/Kickstarter)

For power users juggling a high-resolution monitor or two, large data transfers, multiple PC accessories that need power, and, perhaps, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, a Thunderbolt dock can add helpful high-speed ports while powering a supporting PC, like a MacBook. This helps streamline an office setup but also typically comes with a clunky power brick to add to the mix. Hyper's gallium nitride (GaN)-powered HyperDrive Thunderbolt 4 Hub, which started crowdfunding on Monday, is hoping to change that.

Hyper, a 7-year-old maker of PC hubs, docks, portable chargers, and the like, is seeking to crowdfund a Thunderbolt 4 hub that it claims is the first "Thunderbolt 4 hub with an integrated GaN power source." The dock is a small, rounded-edge square offering one Thunderbolt 4 upstream port and three Thunderbolt4 downstream ports with up 40Gbps operation and accompanied by zero clunky power bricks.

However, Hyper isn't ready to release its dock yet; it's currently undergoing a Kickstarter campaign.

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Raspberry Pi 4 expands 3D potential with Vulkan update

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 10:16am
3D racing game screenshot

Enlarge / Real Racing running on a Vulkan-powered Raspberry Pi 4. (credit: Raspberry Pi)

The Raspberry Pi 4 has hit a major graphics milestone, adding support for a more modern Vulkan 3D API. While that doesn’t mean a smooth Doom (2016) experience on the single-board wonder, it does help Pis running Android and points to some future powers.

Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton announced the Pi 4’s Vulkan 1.2 conformance on Monday. Support isn’t available yet in downloadable Pi-friendly operating systems but should be coming soon.

For most people using their Pi as a server, a DIY controller, or a light desktop, Vulkan 1.2 conformance won’t be noticeable. Desktop graphics on the standard Raspberry Pi OS are powered by OpenGL, the older graphics API that Vulkan is meant to replace. There is one group that benefits, says Upton: games and other 3D Android applications. Android uses Vulkan as its low-overhead graphics API.

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Some Studio Display owners are having audio problems; software fix may be coming

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 10:01am
Apple's Studio Display

Enlarge / Apple's Studio Display. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

Developer and blogger Michael Tsai has been collecting anecdotes about a new problem with Apple's Studio Display: recurring audio glitches. Symptoms include audio playback becoming "choppy" or cutting out entirely, and some users have reported similar difficulties with the built-in microphone and even the webcam.

MacRumors reported today that Apple circulated a memo to service providers acknowledging the issue and recommending that affected users power cycle their Studio Displays. This recommendation is made somewhat awkward because the Studio Display has no physical power button and can't be completely shut down or restarted through macOS. But if you unplug the display's power cable, wait at least 10 seconds, and plug it back in, that ought to straighten things out while Apple develops a fix.

The Studio Display has more internal smarts than typical computer monitors—it's essentially a low-end iPad on the inside, complete with an A13 chip, 64GB of storage, and an iOS-derived operating system. That means it can do some unique things, like supporting the pan-and-scanning Center Stage feature or always-on Hey Siri, regardless of the capabilities of the Mac it's connected to. But it also means that, like any computer, it can have software bugs.

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Why space debris keeps falling out of the sky—and will continue to do so

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 9:27am
The Wentian experimental module and the Long March 5B rocket are seen near its launch site on July 18, 2022.

Enlarge / The Wentian experimental module and the Long March 5B rocket are seen near its launch site on July 18, 2022. (credit: CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Things have been falling out of the sky of late. Fortunately, no one has been hurt, but two recent space debris events offer a good reminder that what goes up often does come down.

This past weekend, a huge Chinese rocket broke apart in the atmosphere above Southeast Asia, with large chunks of the 24-metric-ton booster landing in Indonesia and Malaysia. Some of this debris fell within about 100 meters of a nearby village, but there have been no reported injuries.

The debris came from a Chinese Long March 5B rocket launched on July 24 to deliver a module to the country's new Tiangong space station. The large rocket has a core stage and four solid rocket boosters mounted to its side. With the rocket's design, the core stage also acts as the upper stage, delivering its payload into orbit. Because the YF-77 engines cannot restart, the core stage typically reenters the atmosphere about one week after launching when used for low Earth orbit missions.

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The age of brain-computer interfaces is on the horizon

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 8:43am
The age of brain-computer interfaces is on the horizon

Enlarge (credit: Synchron)

Thomas Oxley has a love-hate relationship with Black Mirror. On the one hand, he can appreciate the show’s “gripping” appeal. On the other hand, it means facing a deluge of accusations that he’s spearheading humanity’s dystopian future.

Oxley is the founder and CEO of Synchron, a company creating a brain-computer interface, or BCI. ​​These devices work by eavesdropping on the signals emanating from your brain and converting them into commands that then enact a movement, like moving a robotic arm or a cursor on a screen. The implant essentially acts as an intermediary between mind and computer.

“[Black Mirror is] so negative, and so dystopian. It’s gone to the absolute worst-case scenario … so much good stuff would have happened to have gotten to that point,” he says, referring to episodes of the show that demonstrate BCI technology being used in ethically dubious ways, such as to record and replay memories. The “good stuff” is what Oxley is trying to do with his company. And on July 6, the first patient in the US was implanted with Synchron’s device at a hospital in New York. (The male patient, who has lost the ability to move and speak as a result of having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—a progressive disease that affects nerve cells— has requested anonymity on the basis that he did not wish to promote the device before “experiencing its pros and cons.”)

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Post-quantum encryption contender is taken out by single-core PC and 1 hour

ArsTechnica - Tue, 08/02/2022 - 5:31am
Post-quantum encryption contender is taken out by single-core PC and 1 hour

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

In the US government's ongoing campaign to protect data in the age of quantum computers, a new and powerful attack that used a single traditional computer to completely break a fourth-round candidate highlights the risks involved in standardizing the next generation of encryption algorithms.

Last month, the US Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, selected four post-quantum computing encryption algorithms to replace algorithms like RSA, Diffie-Hellman, and elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman, which are unable to withstand attacks from a quantum computer.

In the same move, NIST advanced four additional algorithms as potential replacements pending further testing in hopes one or more of them may also be suitable encryption alternatives in a post-quantum world. The new attack breaks SIKE, which is one of the latter four additional algorithms. The attack has no impact on the four PQC algorithms selected by NIST as approved standards, all of which rely on completely different mathematical techniques than SIKE.

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NY county with polio has pitiful 60% vaccination rate; 1,000s may be infected

ArsTechnica - Mon, 08/01/2022 - 3:39pm
Transmission electron micrograph of poliovirus type 1.

Enlarge / Transmission electron micrograph of poliovirus type 1. (credit: Getty | BSIP)

The vaccine-derived poliovirus that left an unvaccinated US resident with the country's first case of paralytic polio in nearly a decade has been genetically linked to spread in two other countries: the United Kingdom and Israel. Now that it has been detected in the US, health officials fear it has spread to hundreds or even thousands of people in a poorly vaccinated New York county.

On Monday, officials in New York urgently encouraged unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated "as soon as possible" to prevent further spread of the virus.

"Polio is very contagious, and an individual can transmit the virus even if they aren't sick," the New York State Department of Health said in a news release today. The virus spreads easily via a fecal-oral route through poor hygiene and sanitation. The virus transmits through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated food or water. "Symptoms, which can be mild and flu-like, can take up to 30 days to appear, during which time an infected individual can be shedding virus to others," the health department added.

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Analogue Pocket’s 1.1 update already paying dividends: Jailbreak, Neo Geo core

ArsTechnica - Mon, 08/01/2022 - 1:40pm
No, we did not have "Neo Geo as the first community development for Analogue Pocket" on our FPGA bingo board.

No, we did not have "Neo Geo as the first community development for Analogue Pocket" on our FPGA bingo board. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

A major update to the portable, retro-minded Analogue Pocket gaming system landed on Friday, and its new "OpenFPGA" features are the highlight. Thanks to last week's "1.1" patch, anyone in the open source development community can build hardware-emulation "cores" to make Pocket mimic nearly any gaming and computer system up until the early '90s, if not newer than that.

Our chat with Analogue's CEO left us wondering exactly how OpenFPGA would work, but we didn't have to wait long to find out. By the end of Friday, the system was essentially "jailbroken" as far as its support of "Game Boy"-branded games was concerned. And things got even spicier on Monday morning with the surprise emergence of a core that supports a system far more powerful than either the Game Boy or Game Boy Advance.

Ladies and gentlemen... Pocket is floating in space

The physical cartridge slot on Analogue Pocket supports any game with Nintendo's Game Boy branding, up to the Game Boy Advance, and that's the obvious selling point for the system compared to something like an emulation box. If you're the kind of gamer who prefers physical media but wants modern hardware perks, Analogue Pocket is arguably the system for you.

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Visa knew about Pornhub’s child porn, judge says, and now must face trial [Updated]

ArsTechnica - Mon, 08/01/2022 - 1:23pm
Visa knew about Pornhub’s child porn, judge says, and now must face trial [Updated]

Enlarge

In December 2020, a New York Times op-ed declared that Pornhub had a child porn problem. Subsequently, Visa temporarily suspended all business with Pornhub and other sites hosted by Pornhub owner MindGeek.

At that time, a MindGeek employee confidentially claimed that this was MindGeek's worst fear—losing one of its major payment processors—and, therefore, it was unsurprising when MindGeek responded to increased pressure from Visa and other companies by immediately deleting 80 percent of its hosted content, approximately 10 million unverified videos. According to a California court, much of that was likely child porn.

After that, Visa seemed to think that the matter was resolved and continued doing business with MindGeek, claiming it has no control over MindGeek's content. Now, a lawsuit from a plaintiff named Serena Fleites (a Pornhub child sex-trafficking victim since the age of 13) and 34 other plaintiffs alleges that Visa has become a willing co-conspirator in alleged child sex trafficking on MindGeek sites, and a judge has agreed that they're not just speculating. It's a real possibility that Visa could be liable.

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Bungie shuts Destiny 2 text chat to stop malicious exploit

ArsTechnica - Mon, 08/01/2022 - 12:23pm
A screenshot of a character in Destiny 2

Enlarge / It's quiet... too quiet...

Over the weekend, players in the Destiny 2 community started to notice a game-breaking bug that could be activated just by sending in-game chat messages to other players. Bungie responded on Saturday by temporarily disabling all in-game chat while it investigates the issue.

"The team is aware of the exploit right now that is causing some players to be kicked and are actively working on identifying what’s causing the issue and addressing it," Destiny 2 Community Manager Liana Rupert wrote on Twitter just before chat was disabled across the game.

Scrub those inputs

The damaging exploit involved a string over 200 characters long, composed mostly of Chinese characters, according to multiple players who came across it over the weekend (and who shared the forbidden text with Ars Technica). The specific way those Chinese characters are encoded in Unicode means each one can take up more memory space than a single-byte ASCII character.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai says productivity is “not where it needs to be”

ArsTechnica - Mon, 08/01/2022 - 11:37am
A large Google logo is displayed amidst foliage.

Enlarge (credit: Sean Gallup | Getty Images)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai apparently thinks Google has room to be a more focused company. CNBC reports the executive recently called an all-hands meeting and—after saying the company is "not currently" planning layoffs—said he wants a more efficient Google.

"There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the headcount we have," the report quotes Pichai as saying. The CEO added that he wants to "create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused. We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity."

The call for more focus came after Google's Q2 earnings report last week, where Google's parent company, Alphabet, missed revenue expectations amid what CFO Ruth Porat said was "uncertainty in the global economic environment." Last month, Pichai also announced plans to slow hiring for the rest of the year. Google also revamped its performance evaluation process this year with the goal of "creating an easier path to promotions" and "busting bureaucracy." A 2021 New York Times exposé on Pichai's management style described Google as a declining, indecisive company in "a paralyzing bureaucracy."

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Linus Torvalds uses an Arm-powered M2 MacBook Air to release latest Linux kernel

ArsTechnica - Mon, 08/01/2022 - 11:20am
Slowly but surely, the Asahi Linux team is getting Linux up and running on Apple Silicon Macs.

Enlarge / Slowly but surely, the Asahi Linux team is getting Linux up and running on Apple Silicon Macs. (credit: Apple/Asahi Linux)

We don't normally cover individual releases of the Linux kernel, partly because most updates are pretty routine. Any given Linux kernel update resolves some bugs, improves support for existing hardware, and makes some forward-looking changes in anticipation of new hardware, and kernel version 5.19 is no exception. Phoronix and OMG! Ubuntu! both have good overviews of the changes.

But there's one interesting note about this release that Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds mentions in his release notes: The kernel update is being released using an Arm-powered laptop, specifically the M2-powered version of Apple's MacBook Air.

"It's something I've been waiting for for a loong [sic] time, and it's finally reality, thanks to the Asahi team," Torvalds writes. "We've had arm64 hardware around running Linux for a long time, but none of it has really been usable as a development platform until now."

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Charter loses home Internet customers, blames end of COVID subsidy program

ArsTechnica - Mon, 08/01/2022 - 10:44am
Charter CEO Tom Rutledge gesturing with his hands and speaking at a conference.

Enlarge / Charter CEO Tom Rutledge speaks during The New York Times DealBook conference in New York on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

The two largest home Internet providers in the US both lost subscribers in the second quarter of 2022.

On Friday, Charter Communications reported a loss of 42,000 residential Internet customers, leaving it with 28,259,000 households buying Spectrum Internet service. Charter also gained 21,000 small and medium business (SMB) customers, bringing it up to 1,994,000 in that category.

Charter is the second biggest Internet provider after Comcast. Last week, Comcast reported a loss of 10,000 residential broadband customers, leaving it with 29,826,000 Internet-subscribing households. Comcast also gained 10,000 business broadband customers, giving it 2,337,000 business subscribers.

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